They say a picture paints a thousand words, and this one speaks volumes:
First photo on manual – not a promising start…
This was the first picture I took with my camera in manual mode at the Currys / Canon photography workshop hosted by Joe Blogs last week! I’ve had my DSLR over a year, but have been using it in guide mode ever since. I read the instructions, but I needed showing how to use it properly. Joe Blogs had brought in professional photographer Paul Hames to show a small gaggle of eager bloggers how to get the best out of our cameras.
What I loved about Paul was his ability to break down the techie stuff so that even my slightly fuddled brain understood. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO – I’d heard of them before but I’d never be able to point them out in a line up. However, Paul made me understand that they are all to do with the light coming into the camera. It was starting to click. Kind of.
Paul. Patience of a saint. Voice of Jimmy Carr. My saviour!
No question was too stupid, no kit check too small. Paul made sure we were all understanding his explanations, and our cameras, before moving on.
My brain was beginning to understand but my shots were still over exposed or out of focus. Or both.
This is where the focus problems started!
We hit the streets of Kings Cross. Our first assignment was to take portraits. I teamed up with Rhiannon from FashionRocksMySocks and had some arty shots lined up. But what ever I did I couldn’t get my shots in focus. Arg! Maybe I wasn’t getting it after all? But a quick check with Paul and we discovered that I’d knocked one of the settings. Brilliant- I did know what I was doing!
We headed over to the Kings Cross Pond. Not only a freshwater swimming pond, but also a building site with lots of quirky views to practice on.
I loved this place: weird buildings, a shed in the sky…so many lines!
Up close and getting the hang of it!
Finally we stopped off to look at reflections and angles. By now, I was flicking through different ISOs and shutter speeds like a pro to try and get the best shot on the water- get me!
Reflecting on everything we’d learned *groans*
I’m no Annie Leibovitz and the pics I’ve shared here are by no means perfect, but I now know what I am trying to do and how to improve. I took the camera outside when I got home to bother the cats and, err, some strawberries and I can already see some improvements (even though the strawbs are a bit blurry. In my defence I was ‘shooting from the hip’).
I can’t wait to get baking so I can crack out the Gorilla Pod which Currys kindly gave me to try and get some delicious food shots up.
Thank you to Paul for bringing me hope, Joe Blogs, Currys and Canon for hosting. You can read more about the event on the Currys website here.