Finding treasure in Beverley

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: what I love most about putting on family workshops is seeing different generations working together. And they were certainly doing that in the family photography workshops I put on at the East Riding Treasure House in Beverley recently:

The Treasure House family photography workshop

The Treasure House family photography workshop. (Photos by Sarah Hammond)

Now, whilst the Treasure House is teeming with treasures on the inside (do go and visit – it’s a gem of a place!), you’ll have noticed from these photos that there are not a lot of treasures in the outside space. It’s by a busy road, and there are some flower tubs, a front border and a bit of green by the side.

And you’d think, given that these were nature photography workshops, that this would have posed somewhat of a problem. However, it didn’t stop our talented photography families:

Taking photos outside The Treasure House

Taking photos outside The Treasure House. (Photos by Sarah Hammond)

They put into practice my Top-Secret photography technique, and in so doing found all sorts of things to take fabulous photos of.

James is 14. Here are his favourite photos from the day:

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And Marco is 7. Here are his favourite photos from the day:

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My favourites from the photos Marco took are these (which I’ve cropped a little):

My favourite photos taken by 7-year-old Marco

My favourite photos taken by 7-year-old Marco

You see – you don’t need to live in Kew Gardens to take great nature photos. Look carefully in a grass verge or a municipal flower tub, and you’ll be amazed at what’s there.

Now, back to the treasures inside the Treasure House. Well, they were of two types. Firstly, something I treasured was seeing so many people, of all ages, milling enthusiastically round the exhibitions (and café!)

And talking of exhibitions, the other big treasure for me that day was the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which was on tour from the Natural History Museum in London. Indeed, that was the reason I was at the Treasure House – to put on photography workshops to inspire the Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners of the future.

It was Sarah Hammond, Education Officer at the Treasure House, who asked me to come and put on these photography workshops – plus two more in local schools. (You can see the amazing photos the children took in the school workshops here and here.) So a big Thank You to her for inviting me, and for all her organisational work. (And for taking the photos at the top of this post.)

Both of my Treasure House workshops were fully booked, and I’d like to thank all the people who came along and took part – and gave such lovely feedback afterwards, some of which you can read below:

Infectious enthusiasm of Anneliese is wonderful, well done’

‘I just want to say it was EPIC!!! Thank you!!!’

‘Anneliese was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The techniques she taught were straightforward and her manner was encouraging. Thank you for a lovely afternoon.’

‘A very interesting and educational way to spend Saturday afternoon.’

‘Anneliese is so passionate about her work, it is very contagious.’

‘We like how we got a lot of tips’

‘I learnt how to use a camera!’

If you’d like me to put on a nature photography workshop for families at your venue, you can find out more here, and you can email me here.

Meanwhile, here’s to Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners from East Yorkshire in the future!

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz

 

 

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Year 6 photography in Bridlington

First day back at school, SATS looming, Tour de Yorkshire arriving on Friday – there was a lot on the minds of Year 6 pupils at Bay Primary in Bridlington when I arrived to put on a photography workshop for them this week. But they rose to the occasion!

They learnt my photography technique, learnt how to use the cameras I’d taken along for them, and went out into their grounds to take nature photos. And what fabulous photos they took! Here are some of my favourites:

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I was at Bay Primary as part of the outreach work surrounding this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which had been on tour from the Natural History Museum in London at the Treasure House in Beverley.

Just like the children of St Nicholas Primary in Beverley (which I visited a couple of weeks ago), these children had visited the exhibition before my visit. I was there to teach them how to take nature photos, so they might enter the competition in years to come. I hope they do! In fact, more than one pupil came up to me afterwards to say they now wanted to be a professional photographer when they grew up!

However, you don’t have to wait until they’re grown up to see their photos for real yourselves. The Treasure House in Beverley is hoping to put on an exhibition of some of the photos these children took. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Meanwhile, thank you to Bay Primary teachers Mrs Green, Mrs Pemberton and Miss Johnson, and all their TAs – both for their help on the day and for warding off the sleet, snow, hail and rain that dogged my journey there and back for long enough for us to be able to go outside and take photos!

Thank you too to Sarah Hammond, Education Officer at The Treasure House in Beverley, for inviting me to put on these workshops in the first place.

If you’d like a photography workshop at your school, you can find out more here, and get in touch with me here.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz

Prize-winning photographers of the future …

In all honesty, I didn’t think that the last day of term was the wisest choice for a photography workshop. I thought I would arrive at the school to find the children demob happy and unable/unwilling to concentrate. How wrong I was!

The school in question was St Nicholas Primary School in Beverley, and the children were two Year 5 classes, 5F and 5C. I was there as part of the outreach work surrounding this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which is currently on tour from the Natural History Museum in London at the Treasure House in Beverley.

The children had visited the exhibition before my visit. I was there to teach them how to take nature photos, so they might enter the competition in years to come!

Each class had just over two hours to go from zero to fully fledged nature photographers, proficient at using the Canon cameras I took along for the workshop. And they well and truly rose to the challenge – and took some fabulous photos! Here is a small selection, all taken in a modest-sized flower bed at the front of the school.

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Impressive!

Thank you to all the staff and parent-helpers for their assistance during these workshops – especially to Mrs Fox, for all her behind-the-scenes work in advance of my visit. Thank you, too, to Sarah Hammond at the Treasure House in Beverley, whose idea it was to invite me to put on some photography workshops linked to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

Next up, I’m putting on two family photography workshops at the Treasure House itself, on 22 April – but they’re already fully booked, so it’s too late to join in with them, I’m afraid. Then there’s another school workshop too.

If you’d like a photography workshop where you are, just get in contact. You can find out more about my school photography workshops here, and my photography workshops in general here.

Meanwhile, you’ve got until 22 April to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Treasure House in Beverley. Enjoy! I’m looking forward to seeing photos by local Beverley children in future years’ competitions!

Anneliese Emmans Dean

Terrific Technologies at St Anthony’s Primary School

It was Terrific Technologies week at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School in Leeds last week, and I went along one afternoon to teach Year 4 how to take photos using my BigBuzz Photography Technique and my digital cameras. The children caught on fast. Very fast! Take a look at some of the terrific photos they took in their school grounds:

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It’s amazing what you can find on a cold, grey afternoon in February when you’re being observant, isn’t it?

What did the children think of the workshop? Well, more than one came up to me and said they now wanted to be a photographer when they grew up!

And what did form teacher Miss McGuire think about it all?

‘Thanks so much for the fabulous workshop. The children really loved it and I was so impressed by the quality of the photos they took!’

I was really impressed too! Congratulations to Year 4 for learning to use the terrific technology that is the digital camera so fast and so well. It’s a skill for life. Who knows where it will lead them?

If you’d like a BigBuzz photography workshop in your school, and you’re within an hour of York, then just get in touch.

And you can find out more about my photography workshops here and here .

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz

Photographing the darling buds of May

The theme chosen by Half Acres Primary School in Castleford for my photography workshops with them on Monday was ‘Signs of Summer’. However, this message clearly hadn’t percolated through to the relevant meteorological authorities, because the weather as I travelled down to them was appalling: driving, torrential rain and thunderous grey skies.

Fortunately, by the time Year 6 were ready to go on the photography missions I assigned them late morning, the rain had eased enough for us to be outside collecting material to photograph – albeit taking the actual photos under cover.

Taking photos undercover

Taking outdoor photos under cover

And when Year 5 went out in the afternoon, the sun decided to make a (brief) appearance, which meant that the children were able to find – and photograph – some fantastic minibeasts, amongst other things.

Young Half Acres photographers

Taking outdoor photos outdoors proper

I was very impressed by all the children I worked with at Half Acres. They got the hang of my Top Secret photography technique very quickly and put it into action in their school grounds enthusiastically.

The results? Well, here are a few of the – many – great photos they took:

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Well done to you all! I think Half Acres will be able to create their ‘Signs of Summer’ photography display after all!

Thank you to everyone at Half Acres who made my visit possible. Here’s to a sunny summer for us all …

If you’d like a photography workshop for your primary school, do get in touch. I’m afraid I won’t be able to guarantee good weather for my visit to you, but your pupils will learn a skill for life in a workshop that enhances their observational, motor, teamwork, art and IT skills, increases their confidence and their curiousity and knowledge about their surroundings, and leaves you with a bank of great photos – and great budding photographers.

‘I’m going to go out tomorrow lunchtime and look for more minibeasts on the playing field.’ Year 5 pupil

‘I’m going to go to my grandma’s house tonight and take pictures of her garden. She’s got lots of flowers.’ Year 5 pupil

Anneliese Emmans Dean – www.theBigBuzz.biz

Spring at Ackton Pastures

Spring is here! And Years 5 and 6 at Ackton Pastures Primary School in Castleford have been out taking photos to prove it.

I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with them this week, teaching them my Top Secret photography technique. Which they put into practice with great gusto!

As you can see, they were taking photos high:

Taking photos of the Spring at Ackton Pastures Primary School

Taking photos of the Spring at Ackton Pastures Primary School

and low:

Taking photos of the Spring at Ackton Pastures Primary School

Taking photos of the Spring at Ackton Pastures Primary School

and came up with some fabulous pictures:

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Most of these children had never picked up a camera before. I was very impressed by how quickly they learned, how well they worked together as teams outdoors and, of course, by the photos they took.

Taking photos of the Spring at Ackton Pastures Primary School

Taking photos of the Spring at Ackton Pastures Primary School

Miss Coggill, their Head Teacher, wanted them to come up with photos for a display in school. I think it’s going to be a wonderful display!

Congratulations to all the children who took part in the workshops. I hope they will enjoy putting their new-found skills into practice more and more.

Thank you to the staff at Ackton Pastures who welcomed me so warmly and were so helpful during my time with them. (See staff feedback here.) Thank you too to the good folk at Fulford Framing in York for the viewfinders they generously provided for the children. The biggest thanks of all goes to the sun, for deciding to come out *just* when we needed it – two days running!

If you’d like your pupils to learn my Top Secret photography technique, then please get in touch.

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to a return visit to Ackton Pastures next year!

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

A new year, a new photo …

This time last year my photo of a beautiful snowdrop was adorning walls as far afield as Australia (so I was told) as the January photo of a 2012 Marks and Spencer calendar sold in aid of the Woodland Trust:

Snowdrop, by Anneliese Emmans Dean

Snowdrop, by Anneliese Emmans Dean

This week I had a request to use another of my photos in a publication. This time it was a photo of something slightly less appealing. (If you’re not keen on slugs, turn away now!)

Slugs speeding towards our beer trap. Photo by Anneliese Emmans Dean

Slugs speeding towards our beer trap. Photo by Anneliese Emmans Dean

Little did these slugs know as they sped towards this dish of beer in our Yorkshire garden that they were going to become internationally famous! For the request to use the photo came from the Oregon Food Bank, all the way across the pond in the US, to be used in their Seed to Supper course booklet.

Oregon Food Bank’s Learning Gardens Program sounds like a great initiative, and I was only too happy to give permission for my photo to be used.  Ali, their Learning Gardens Program Coordinator, told me a bit about it:

‘Seed to Supper is a comprehensive, 5-week beginning gardening course that gives novice, adult gardeners the tools they need to successfully grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget. Oregon Food Bank and the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener Program offer Seed to Supper classes for free to the public and to host agencies serving low-income clients throughout Oregon.’

Thank you to Ali and the Oregon Food Bank for asking permission to use my photo. I wish their Seed to Supper course every success.

As it happens, I use both my snowdrop photo and this slug photo in my hands-on photography workshops, where I show children, adults and families how to take great nature photos using point-and-shoot cameras.

Learning to take great nature photos on one of my photography workshops

Learning to take great nature photos on one of my photography workshops

If you fancy coming along to one of my photography workshops, or would like me to put one on for you, email me!

Anneliese Emmans Dean www.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life