Our Photography Courses Blog

Wide-angle lens at the British Museum

Posted in Camera Cafe, Central London on May 23rd, 2013 by Phil – Comments Off

It’s not just small terriers that benefit from the interesting perspective you get close up with a wide-angle lens. one of the problems of shooting in a crowded environment like the British Museum is that there is an awful lot of clutter in your picture, and the objects are so large that you have to stand back to get them in, so you get him lots of Japanese tourists, bemused teenage foreigners, and Greeks have come to see their own marble statues. A wide-angle lens enables you to get in very close, cut out a lot of the clutter in the background and still fill the frame with the object you’re after. Trying to teach a photography course in London in tourist season, this can be very useful.

Bronze statue from Pompeii, obviously!

Bronze statue from Pompeii, obviously!


Lichfield called the difference between a wide-angle and a telephoto lens the difference between using a big net and a high-powered rifle. It’s a different view, but quite a useful one in a tricky situation and the fisheye effect when not overdone can make an interesting picture.



If you go here you can buy one of these lenses on Amazon. There is a similar version of the Tamron lens for Canon cameras. In terms of bangs for your buck, this is one of the best lenses for changing the way your photographs look for not much money.

Flower Photography

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

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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!