The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Spring Fling, Photography Workshop - and Episode 27 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres

With Spring Fling being an open studios event, where it's very purpose is for visitors to go into studios and workshops, and meet and talk directly to artists and makers, Covid-19 could not have been more detrimental to its existence.

Since 2003, the last weekend in May has been one of the busiest times of the year for many local artists, making preparations for large numbers of people coming into their workspaces. But this year was different.

However, rather than completely writing it off and cancelling it, the organisers decided to postpone it, and redesign it as an online event.

All this week, then (5th to 12th October) is Spring Fling Rescheduled.

Each participating studio has a page on the Spring Fling website, and many have been expanded to include images of their spaces and videos of their practices.

On my one, for example, I have created a video giving an introduction to how changing the direction of your light source can have a huge impact on the mood of your photo.

On Maggie's page you can follow her talking through one of her primary sketch books for the series of paintings on “breath”, which is the focus of her current body of work.

Additionally there are 2 photography workshops you can follow and join in.

One is about cyanotype printing. Izzy Leach, whom I have been mentoring through the Upland “Emerge” programme, has put together a video and list of ingredients and tools to make it work. She's highly creative as well as warm and friendly, and I would certainly recommend you check it out

The other is by me and is going to be spread over 4 evenings this week. 

Each evening at 8pm (UK time) from Thursday to Sunday, I will be on Facebook Live, taking you through an introduction to different kinds of photography, and then setting you wee tasks to have a go yourself.

Here's the event page on Facebook

And if you like and follow Spring Fling's page, you should get notified when I go live

If anyone wants to post their images on Facebook before the following evening, I'll give some feedback on them.

On Thursday I'll be talking about different ways to photograph a household item and make it more interesting.

On Friday I'll be talking about doors and windows – photographing them, and photographing through them.

On Saturday I'll be talking about portraits and selfies.

And on Sunday, as well as reviewing the images, I'll pick my favourite, and the winner will get a one-to-one online photography mentoring session with me.

You don't need a fancy DSLR – anything from a phone to a tablet to a point-and-shoot (or a fancy DSLR if you have one) can be used – nor any clever lighting set up either. 

The whole thing has been designed for people to be able to take part with  minimal equipment, from their own homes, in case they are in a Lockdown situation.

And another advantage about this all being online is you don't have to be in SW Scotland to take part either. It doesn't matter what part of the world you live in, so long as you take into consideration the time differences, and that when I say 8pm, I am referring to UK time.

If for any reason you can't make the live sessions on Facebook, they will be recorded and uploaded to the workshop page on the Spring Fling website by the following morning

Do let your friends and families know too – for anyone who's ever wanted to improve their photography, even if it is only on their phones for their social media posts, then this is a great way to improve your understanding of the medium.

I do hope you'll be able to join me.

Meanwhile, in this week's podcast, I talked about my involvement in various Spring Fling events over the years, including the time I photographed 127 Humphrey Bogarts...


0.00 - What's coming up
4:35 - Introduction to Spring Fling Open Studios
5:55 - My Spring Fling experience over several years
15:55 - I'm Humphrey Bogart, and so's my wife...
46:25 - Introduction to a Photography Workshop in conjunction with Spring Fling
53:58 - Critique of images submitted to the Facebook Group, "Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres"
1:18:00 - Ethics of removing an object in landscape photography
1:36:00 - End

If you found this interesting/useful/entertaining, then please consider supporting these podcasts and blog posts via

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And, or course, if you would like to submit a photo for feedback, or just ask a photography related question, then do join my Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres  Facebook group and I will put it into the following podcast:

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