Our Photography Courses Blog

Photography Mentoring Service gallery for February – the theme was Before and After

Posted in Mentoring Service on March 8th, 2017 by Phil – Comments Off

This month’s theme was intended to get people thinking about narrative – trying to tell a story with one image. Man of the match goes to Rob – lovely clarity in this food shot.


Honorable mention goes to Dave with this beautifully composed landscape.

08-Before 1

02-Fressia small (1 of 1)


04-Before and After 1




09-After 1

10-After 2



Photography Mentoring Service gallery for January 2017, the theme was Bright and Shiny

Posted in Mentoring Service on February 8th, 2017 by Phil – Comments Off

Moira took our favourite shot this month – a nicely thirdsy shot of the steel balls in Sheffield, even getting some blue sky in January – now that takes skill. It’s the intentional composition that gives the shot it’s professional look. Perfect exposure here too, f2 aperture drawing our attention to the subject.






09-lincoln station







1-PMS flower small

2-PMS grater

3-PMS Game

Photography Mentoring Service pictures for October 2016 – the theme was “Safe.”

Posted in Mentoring Service on November 4th, 2016 by Phil – Comments Off

A very broad church of shots this month – I had to give man of the match to this little story from Rob, perhaps bit literal. Fantastic attention to detail, as always.
Honorable mention should also go to Moira’s lovely colourful, engaging landscapes (the next three) and Dave’s health-and-safety DIY shot (black and white, you can’t miss it!)











11-Safe 1

12-Safe 3

13-Safe 2



Photography Mentoring Service pictures for September 2016 – a closer look.

Posted in Mentoring Service on October 6th, 2016 by Phil – Comments Off

This month we’ll have a closer look at some of our favourite pictures, looking at the composition and technical elements of the pictures, rather than the usual gallery of images. The theme this month was Still Here – and we were thinking of not just old stuff, but things that had battled against the odds, things that had been left out of context and so on.

Rob’s picture of the famous Pig and Whistle pub, left standing after the Liverpool blitz does a great job of making it feel left behind. It’s a tricky building to photograph, as there is a lot of clutter and car parks in the area which can confuse the message.
Rob has used an aperture of f11 here, which puts most of the picture into focus while emphasising the foreground, which we feel is absolutely the way to go:


Moira sent this shot in from Magnetic Island, Queensland. This piano is a bit of a mystery, how it got to Radical Bay is unknown but it’s been there for years. It’s been photographed a lot (often with gormless-looking Aussies pretending to play it), but not as well as this.
This shot is classically thirdsy, and taken from a low angle which bigs up the piano but still lets us see the keyboard. Technically, as with Rob’s shot, it’s a mid-aperture not-quite-a-landscape-not-quite-a-portrait shot which gives loads of context while directing us to look at the piano. Exposure is just about perfect here – it would be easy to overexpose those people on the beach.
We might have moved the stool, as it’s ugly and a bit dated and time-specific – the timelessness of the object may have been more clear without it. Great shot though:

1-_MG_6900_Interior 3

To Worcester now, with Geof’s shot of a bemused-looking Elgar with a lot of modern clutter. Coincidentally, years ago we sold a photograph of this that Rachel had taken to the son of Kenneth Potts, the sculptor as a present for his Dad – small world!
Geof’s shot is a slightly weird narrow crop, and has a lot of the kind of clutter that Rob had managed to avoid in Liverpool – perhaps a clearer crop would have given a more focused view – it’s a bit busy. Geof took this a low f-stop to make it portraity, but his Nikon P7100′s small sensor has taken the edge off this a bit.

1-elgar 2

Staying in the Midlands, here’s Dave’s very popular wideangle view that’s been seen by over 1800 people since we put it on Facebook. Many of these viewers are overseas and the classic thirdsy composition and dramatic image appeals to everyone in any language.
This shows the advantage of using a wide-angle (here a 10-20mm that I recommend for Nikon users on courses) to do portrait-style shots. The background is a little blurry – perhaps not as much as you might expect for f4.5, but a wide angle’s low focal length tends to reduce the effect of aperture on depth of field. Dave has a crop sensor camera (like most of us with limited budgets!), so here the 12mm marked on the lens is actually 18mm. The 18-being-27mm view of a kit lens would have worked, but been much less effective here. Using 12mm rather than 10mm massively reduces lens distortion.
The monochrome treatment has been enhanced by skilful tweaking of the black and white “mix” in Adobe Lightroom, darkening the sky and changing the yellow stubble against the soil, but it’s not overdone. A fantastic shot, which is why it’s so popular all over the world:

1-Still Here 2

This is just a small sample of the delightful images we’re sent from all over the world and we’d love to see yours! If you fancy signing up for mentoring service, it’s £12 month (that’s about $1 or 2 euros these days) and you can start and quit any time. Go here to sign up. If you attend one of our courses, we’ll give you a month free. What’s not to like?