Tree photography workshop with Alison Pouliot

In the stoic embrace of the Strathbogie Memorial Hall, photography enthusiasts were treated to a hands on photography workshop by the supremely engaging Alison Pouliot. Alison is no stranger to Strathbogie, having hosted many memorable sessions on all things fungi to curious nature-lovers.

The workshop started by Alison going around the room and asking participants what aspect of their photography they were hoping to improve on. This was a pertinent question, as most attendees had been tasked with taking two photographs of trees.
One was to be an “informational image”, something you’d see in a field guide that documented the technical, botanical or scientific aspects of the tree.
The other was an “inspirational image”, a creative image that spoke more to the viewer’s heart rather than their mind. The goal of an inspirational image is to elicit an emotional response from the viewer.

An example of an informational image

This proved a challenge to all attendees, as trees are an especially difficult subject to capture. Alison outlined some of the techniques she uses to read landscapes and find the right trees to capture. Conceptual techniques like using non-conventional angles to add interest to the subject and making sure to have defined fore, mid and backgrounds were discussed alongside more practical aspects like making sure photos were in focus and correctly exposed.

An example of an inspirational image

A critique session was held where Alison went through each submitted photo and discussed what worked and what could be improved on. This was particularly helpful, as it’s not often that photography enthusiasts have access to direct feedback from a world class photographer.

After a brief lunch, the race was on to head up Mount Wombat and put new skills to the test before the rain set in. The lighting conditions were perfect, with thick cloud providing a natural diffuser. Despite battling a biblical plague of mosquitoes, attendees managed to challenge themselves and capture some stunning tree photos.

Thanks to all of those who attended, to Alison Pouliot and to The Weekend Local for catering. This workshop was funded as part of the Bogies & Beyond project by the the Goulburn Broken CMA.

Too see photos taken on the field trip, check out our Facebook Page.