Our Photography Courses Blog

Flower Photography

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21st, 2013 by Phil – Comments Off

Sunday July 14, 2013 – Sunday July 14, 2013

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Wideangle lens at Henley

Posted in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire on May 20th, 2013 by Phil – Comments Off

Stanley the Lakeland terrier looks for rabbits at HenleyWide angle lenses are not just for wide landscape views. There are lots of situations where a wide-angle lens can give a more interesting perspective. Stanley the Lakeland terrier came to the photography course at Henley, and as usual with small dogs made a good subject for a wide-angle lens. this picture was taken with a Tamron 10 to 24 mm wide-angle at about 12 mm, giving 16 mm of actual focal length on the crop sensor camera.

 If we had taken this picture with a standard 18 to 55 mm kit lens, that you would have been 27 mm at its widest, and would have included considerably less sky, dog owner and background and would have been a much more boring picture.

We hear all the time, particularly from older people who are used to film cameras, that their wide angle shots of disappointing compared to what they remember from using film. This is because the crop sensor camera gives you a bit of extra zoom – in this case 50% more on a Nikon D3200.   The end result is that kit lens pictures are often not very wide and don’t show the wide view that we expect from a wide angle lens. We are big fans of the Tamron 10-24 mm  – there are versions for both Nikon and Canon cameras for about £300 new. The Canon and Nikon equivalent lenses are about £600, and not worth the extra money. If you like landscapes, or quirky detail shots, this might be the lens for you!  If you go here you can see this fantastic lens on Amazon. We also hear good things about the Sigma version.

Personal photography tuition in Bristol

Posted in Ashton Court, Bristol on May 18th, 2013 by Phil – Comments Off

Phil had a varied day teaching one to one photography at Ashton Court on Friday. Sometimes, personal photography tuition is a much more efficient way of learning, particularly for non-beginners.


Pedro had a lot of questions about white balance and using RAW files, with all the extra workflow and storage issues that come with it.  As always, we recommend using Picasa for basic work and Adobe Lightroom when you want more control.  For many beginners, Picasa (which is a free google download) is all they ever need, and it does not need to be connected on-line to Google in order to work.


White balance can be adjusted at will in post production with RAW files,  but for your personal morale you need to use a reasonably accurate white balance on the camera, or your strangely-coloured pictures will sap your creative energy!


Ian does this kind of thing well!

Ian does this kind of thing well!

Ian is a highly experienced fashion/boudoir/glamour photographer, but rarely shoots outdoors, and wants to understand the lighting outside, where you don’t always have the control of a studio set up.  (ISO too low?  Just turn the lights up!)  His website is http://www.ian-james-photography.co.uk/


He has some amazing looking work (much of it captured with our old favourite lens – the 50mm f1.8 (here acting as a 75mm f1.8). Glamour is not really our thing – but it’s good to see it done well!


Pictures from photography course at Charlecote

Posted in Charlecote House, Warwickshire on May 16th, 2013 by Phil – Comments Off

We have a soft spot for Charlecote as photography venue. The fact that it’s so close to the M40 and and Birmingham, while being in the countryside and convenient for Stratford-upon-Avon doesn’t hurt!

These pictures are from Rachel’s DSLR course a few weeks ago – once again showing that you don’t need to take boring pictures even if you know that they have been taken lots of times before.

Picture from photography course at  Charlecote

This river regularly floods and completely submerges the Capability Brown waterfall. There are a couple of waterfalls which make for great long and short exposure pictures.

Picture from photography course at Charlecote

Picture from photography course at Charlecote

Picture from photography course at Charlecote

They even have lambs!

We try to run all our different courses at Charlecote, as well as running some courses for the National Trust. It also benefits from a really nice cafe and extremely friendly staff. Have a look at the upcoming courses here.