We caught up with David and Libby Nightingale of Chromasia to give you a taste of what to expect in our new Redeye Academy workshops.
Can you introduce yourself and your wife Libby and what you both do?
Libby and I currently live in Blackpool, with 5 of our eight children. Before starting Chromasia in 2004 I was a university lecturer and Libby was a mental health manager, and we were both keen photographers. I started running workshops in 2005, initially in Blackpool, then online. I have now run workshops in Europe, the USA, the Middle East and China. Until recently I ran the workshops and Libby ran the business side of things, which worked well when the children were small. Libby recently obtained a BA in photography and is an ARPS and is now more involved in our workshops and events.
Can you tell us about Chromasia?
Chromasia started as a photography blog in 2004. It gained a big following and won numerous awards – including the best European photography blog and best world photography blog. The Financial Times listed Chromasia in the top 10 of the UKs most influential blogs and Chromasia has been Time Magazine’s photography website of the year. This lead to commissions and requests for tuition, and that’s how the workshops began. I have also written four commissioned photography books, which have been translated into several languages. We now concentrate on photography and postproduction training, photo tours and 1-2-1 mentoring (both face-to-face and online with clients around the world).
What can people expect from your workshops with Redeye Academy?
Libby and I started Chromasia because of our passion for photography – and we have learnt a lot along the way! Our workshops are designed to be relaxed and practical – without complicated and wordy explanations. We cover the essential theory, with lots of visual examples, and then move on to the practical. The only way to learn it to try it yourself! We hope clients will join in and have fun, and leave with new skills and new friends.
When did you first get into photography?
My father was always a keen photographer – documenting our lives and holidays – but it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I also became interested. I bought a Canon A1 and a 50mm lens, and shot black and white film for the next few years. In my late 20’s I drifted away from photography, only to return when my wife bought me a digital compact camera about 10 years later. Since then I have been passionately interested in both photography and postproduction.
Libby’s father was also a keen amateur photographer with his own darkroom and her uncle was a professional sports photographer, so she was always aware of photography. In her early 20’s she bought an Olympus SLR and attended night classes in photography and her interest grew from there. She recently returned to university and gained a first class honours degree in photography, and plans to continue studying.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
It really isn’t about the equipment you own – but about skill and vision. A new photographer is better off buying a reasonable camera within their budget – then concentrate on practising and attending workshops to develop specific skills. It's also good to meet with other photographers to keep motivated, pick up tips and find shooting buddies.
What is next for Chromasia?
We’re currently working on a range of new postproduction courses that will be delivered online, local workshops, and international photo tours. We’re also hoping to extend our mentoring programme during 2017.
You can find out more about Chromasia here
Image: David Nightingale, Chromasia