Posted in Mentoring Service, Uncategorized on July 1st, 2015 by Phil – Be the first to comment
Most photographers hate having their pictures taken (good excuse to hide behind the camera), and true to form very few pictures this month featured actual recognisable faces.
Picture of the month this month was telling the story with objects – Sally-Anne tells us quite a bit about herself with a few choice objects – note how some are lovingly worn. It’s a portrait rather than a landscape, so low f number, watch the white balance and try to get it lined up without looking too obvious.
I’ve cropped it in for more drama (hopefully) without losing the essential information.
Posted in Mentoring Service on May 13th, 2015 by Phil – Comments Off
From the tiny to the huge, the slow to the fast, we had a great range of subjects this month, although heavy on the bees and traffic!
Picture of the Month – to our mind Dave’s shot gets both the reality of busy travel and the opposite relaxed pose of the subject. He has judged the shutter speed dead right, not an easy thing to do as the train slows down and speeds up in the station.
Shooting pretty wide here (27mm equiv) Dave used an aperture of f4.5, to give a blurry background and portrait-y focus on the subject, as you would do normally. He’s then played with the shutter speed and ISO to give the effect he wants – in this case 1/13th of a second and a fairly low 320 ISO. Obviously this shutter speed is on the long side (about twice the recommended length), so we need to be very careful to hold the camera as still as possible – possibly leaning up against a post or wall – to prevent a blurry subject. So the balance has to be found between movement, and blur caused by camera shake if you don’t have a tripod or camera rest.
We think it’s really important in pics like this that the still stuff is really sharp – it helps no end with making the movement more exciting and contrasty. Great stuff Dave!
Posted in Mentoring Service on April 15th, 2015 by Phil – Comments Off
This month’s theme was particularly loose, and gave people lots of opportunities, which we’d intended. March can be a miserable month, and it’s hard to get out at the best of times!
Dave’s picture we think has a nice bit of foreground interest. Foreground interest was all the rage about 20 years ago, when no landscape photo was complete without a duck in the front. These days it’s not stressed so much, but often helps in giving the picture a narrative impulsion. The view here is less than stunning, but the framing makes us look at it.
There’s also some implied romance from the two benches, which never hurt anyone!
We also had quite a few pictures this month that were totally off topic – eclipse shots, snow pictures etc. We’re really happy with this – if you have a photography problem with your camera or pictures let us know and we’ll try to help. That’s why we’re here!
Posted in Mentoring Service on March 4th, 2015 by Phil – Comments Off
A very varied selection of pictures from this month’s theme. Lots of traffic including this rather good first shot from Dave, which follows all the rules for getting a good headlight/traffic shot:
Firstly and most importantly it’s a long shutter speed – here, it’s 15 seconds. You will not be able to hold it still for this, but you may not need a tripod – you may get by resting on a handrail or a dog poo bin. Use the timer so you don’t poke the camera and wobble it.
Secondly, you’ll need to find an aperture and ISO to suit the shutter speed (so, usually a higher f stop and lower ISO – here it’s f22 and 100ISO.
Thirdly, you need a good bit of road. Sleek and understandable, with traffic diverting smoothly. (Bumps in the road look awful). It’s crucial that the still stuff is really sharp – so a stationary car looks good too. Somehow if everything is moving we can’t pick out the movement of the subject from the wobbling of the lens, so it doesn’t work. We need to be holding the camera really still for these – use every trick in the book and you’ll be glad you did.
We did have a young chap on a course in Henley who was unbelievably good at holding the camera still – up to a second or more an perfect clarity – weird. Turned out in his day job he is a Royal Marine sniper – fair enough! For most of us the old rule of being able to hold the camera for the length of the zoom applies (so a 200mm lens can be held for 1/200th on a full frame camera, or 1/300th on a Nikon/Sony or 1/3200 on a Canon crop sensor camera. Much longer than this and you have to take precautions – and don’t believe the hype about image stabilisation either!!