Our Photography Courses Blog - Mentoring Service

Selection of Photography Mentoring Service pictures for June 2015, the theme was “holding it all together”

Posted in Mentoring Service on July 9th, 2015 by Phil – Comments Off

A very varied bunch of pictures this month – partly caused by new mentorees sending in pictures that are historical rather than theme related. It was interesting to know how people saw this theme – some people feeling the stress of modern life, some people  noticing direct and straightforward bodging!

This month’s picture of the month is one of three taken by Rob – I wanted to talk about why I chose the one picture I did. As you know we always push for maximum impact and drama whilst not losing sight of the need to be a picture that is natural looking. I think this picture gives us the theme, as well as nice exposure, nice three-dimensional shape, and a slightly elusive quality.   In this second picture, Rob has done a good job of  representing a three-dimensional shape in a two-dimensional image, not giving us too much text to read (which is just confusing),  but giving us enough drama to hold our interest. You will see the slightly lesser versions in the following two pictures.

Sometimes catching the attention is slightly magical – it can feel a bit random which picture “works,” but in reality it will be the one that has enough drama and interest to hold our attention, while not so much that it becomes abstract or artificial looking.

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08-Holding it all together (2 of 3)

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Selection of pictures from the Photography Mentoring Service for May – the theme was “Yourself”

Posted in Mentoring Service, Uncategorized on July 1st, 2015 by Phil – Comments Off

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.

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04-Yourself (3 of 3)

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Selection of pictures from the Photography Mentoring Service for April – the theme was “Busy”

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!

 

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Selection of pictures from the Photography Mentoring Service for March – the theme was “Peace”

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!

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