Photographing Old Buildings Online Workshop

Photographing Old Buildings Online Workshop

An appreciation of textures, details, space and light

The workshop was very beneficial and surpassed my expectations. Interestingly, I now feel more confident in approaching the historical buildings that I intend to photograph for my PhD research - online photography workshop delegate (2021).  

05/07/2022 - 30/09/2022
Course Type: 


Introductory, Intermediate, General Interest, CPD, Leisure Learning
Virtual event: held online
United Kingdom
Required Equipment: 

Digital SLR or mirrorless camera (+ tripod, if you have access to one)


£95 per person

Event details

Photographing Old Buildings Online Workshop: an appreciation of textures, details, space and light  
July - September 2022
£95 pp 

FULLY BOOKED - please join the waiting list

By popular demand, our online photography workshop returns for a second time this year. Whether you photograph old buildings for work projects or leisure, this four-step workshop is an opportunity to receive professional guidance on techniques and composition to develop your appreciation of the space and light within old buildings and to boost your confidence in photographing their textures, details and features.   

Spaces on this workshop are limited to allow for small group discussion. The workshop assumes familiarity with a digital SLR or mirrorless camera and photography basics. Certificates of attendance for CPD purposes are available on request. The workshop offers approximately 5 hours of guided learning + an independent task to submit.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and the task which was a worthwhile exercise; it was insightful and will make me consider my shots more thoroughly, ultimately resulting in me being a better photographer and taking better photos” - online workshop delegate (2021).


This workshop is suitable for: 
· Anyone with a general interest in photographing old buildings. 
· Property managers or building conservation professionals who wish to improve the quality and composition of their photography for record keeping and reporting. 


Workshop Schedule: 

Step 1: from 5 July 2022, you will receive access to a pre-recorded presentation by professional photographer and workshop tutor Ralph Hodgson. Watch this recording to prepare for step 2. You will have access to this pre-recorded presentation for the duration of the workshop, so you can view it as many times as you like. Ralph’s presentation provides inspiration, technique advice and guidance on photographing old buildings. Ralph also discusses the independent task required to complete this workshop. Please prepare any questions you may have, at this stage, to submit in advance of or ask at the first online group session (step 2). A workshop information pack will be shared at this stage. 

Step 2: join us for a live, informal online group session on Wednesday, 20 July 2022 at 11:00 - 12:30 (BST).  
Workshop tutor Ralph Hodgson will provide examples for improving your photography and further explanation of the independent task. Gaps in photography technical knowledge will also be addressed with helpful tips from Ralph. This will be an opportunity for you to virtually meet others on the workshop, and for you to ask us any questions before embarking on the independent task. Information on how to access this online group session will be circulated by email closer to the date. The live session will be recorded, and you will receive access to this for the duration of the workshop.

Step 3: for the independent workshop task, participants will be asked to use a digital SLR or mirrorless camera and a tripod (if you have access to one) to photograph an old building that interests them and create a miniseries of photographs (photo essay) during the workshop timeframe. Ideas of how to approach your task are shared by workshop tutor, Ralph Hodgson, in the pre-recorded presentation and during the first group session (steps 1 and 2). The independent task submission deadline is midday (BST) on Wednesday, 14 September 2022. Details of how to submit your task will be shared in the workshop information pack (step 1).

Step 4: your photographic essay will be reviewed by Ralph Hodgson in a relaxed online group feedback discussion session live on Wednesday, 21 September 2022 at 10:30 - 13:00 (BST). This session will also be recorded for you to watch again on demand. Details of how to join this group feedback session will be circulated by email closer to the date.   


More feedback from 2021 online workshop delegates:
“The workshop was very beneficial and surpassed my expectations. Interestingly, I now feel more confident in approaching the historical buildings that I intend to photograph for my PhD research” - online workshop delegate (2021).  

“The constructive feedback from Ralph was very useful and done so in a relaxed environment with a friendly tone. Such evaluations will ultimately make me a better photographer, of old buildings or otherwise. I used the course as the basis of a workplace objective, so it was useful proof of CPD for my career.” - online workshop delegate (2021). 

“I have been taking photographs of old buildings for a number of years, but just taking the shots that appealed to me. I took the course to find ways to improve and discover new ways of thinking about the buildings, and to tell a better story. The course was really useful - starting with an online presentation of a range of examples and how they generated meaning and pleasure, and then moving onto a positive critique of the photos I'd taken.  Taking the course made me slow down and really consider what I was trying to do and how to achieve the effect.” - online workshop delegate (2021). 


Workshop Prerequisites: 
· Digital SLR or mirrorless camera (+ tripod, if you have access to one). 
· An opportunity to photograph an old building. * 
· The ability to digitally transfer your workshop task (photographic essay) to the SPAB (we use for files under 2GB).
· Access to the online presentation and Zoom group sessions - a device, connected to the Internet, which can play audio and visual. You do not need to be on camera for the group session (although we do encourage it). To be able to contribute to the discussion you would need a microphone or be able to type your comments during the session.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of these prerequisites before registering for the workshop.  

* If you require permission – for example from the owner - to photograph your chosen old building, please obtain it before you start. Please follow any Covid regulations local to you when you are undertaking your practical task. Access to the inside of an old building is not essential for this activity. The SPAB cannot be held responsible for any actions (by you or others) when you are photographing an old building for this workshop. 


Use of your photographs: 
We have been inspired by and proud of photographs taken by previous workshop participants. By registering for the workshop, you consent to the SPAB displaying your activity task photographs in the live online group discussion session (which will be recorded for participants to watch on demand for a limited time), and to use of your photographs for further promotion of this workshop by the SPAB through our social media, online blog and printed magazine. Full credit will be given to the photographer. The SPAB will not use your photographs for any other purpose without your prior written consent. Please contact us if this is something you would like to discuss before registering for the workshop.


Please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.


Booking Terms & Conditions


The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was founded by William Morris in 1877 to counteract the highly destructive 'restoration' of medieval buildings being practised by many Victorian architects. The SPAB remains true to its founding principles and is now the oldest and most technically expert building conservation charity in the UK, fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage. The SPAB is a membership organisation and offers training, events and expert advice, as well as publishing a quarterly Magazine, technical pamphlets and advice notes. 


Image credit:
Ralph Hodgson