Photography is a journey…
On Saturday October 30th I led a one day taster course at The Berkshire College of Agriculture on photography and getting more out of the camera, most of us have one in some way or another, but do we have the eye or the interest in taken anything more than snaps?
I led 7 adults and one minor on a day round the grounds of the magnificent agricultural college started fairly simply with the usual suspects of shutter and aperture and then seeing the things around like bits of horse tack hanging on the stables. To parts of a tractor and indeed the whole tractor….
Seeing the abstracts and small items and how and when to use a shallow depth of field, the framing of an image of autumn leaves on a tree and getting in close or standing back for a shot of the whole tree etc….
For the most part probably not much thought is given to the point of view and composition or being creative with shutter speeds.
Whether you have a compact or a state of the art DSLR, understanding light and how it differs as the day passes can make a photo that is unique and will make the people who see go ooohhh that’s nice.
This photo (rather obviously) is taken with the sun behind me.
This one is into the sun.
An early morning with some mist or fog by a lake or river is not a bad place to start, for some the thought of such an early start to the day is not such an exciting prospect, try late afternoon. Sunsets can be fantastic and can be enhanced with filters, usually an ND grad of 3 stops should really improve things for example. Cokin P series is the cheapest slot in filter system and a good starting point.. ND stands for Neutral Density the grad means it will be dark on one half of the filter and clear on the other half. The dark area is set to just below the horizon and helps control the exposure of the sky for more detail and colour.
We also spent sometime talking about equipment and how to make the taking of photos easier by using a tripod etc and that it is always best to buy a good solid tripod. Some of the cheaper ones are so light, that they can be knocked over easily and do not have independent legs as they are joined by bracing.
Having a tripod that has independent legs makes it easier to use at lower levels for example. Also they tend to have better heads that are stronger or are easy to set exactly where you want it…
I had a great day with some lovely people that are on a journey to taking better and more interesting photos. We never stop learning new skills in photography as we also keep seeing things differently to most people.
We finished outside talking about flash photography and how terms like strobist have come along to describe off camera flash using just small flashguns or bigger lighting solutions like the Lencarta Safari and how we can over power the sun or use a combination of hard and soft light by moving one light closer or further away.
If you are just starting in the hobby of photography, then some purchases you make should have more money thrown at them than you may think………
I still have many things to learn myself, but I am getting there…