Learning the basics

Saturday I attended the dSLR Photography workshop run by Shaun and Steve from 36exp. The aim of the course is to help move you from the camera-stabilsers of the ‘auto’ mode and learn to use manual function to control the images you take – and at the same time very much to have fun while on the workshop.
Despite the snow the day started with a lovely warm welcome at the Mercure Hotel in Southwark and a concise overview of the basics of photography. What was great about this session was that it was perfectly pitched and perfectly timed. It covered the important elements of ISO, shutter speed, aperture and exposure in enough detail for the information to sink in and make sense. We were able to ask questions and the examples to demonstrate specific points were well explained and clear. Shaun and Steve obviously wanted us to get the most from the day and ensured they found out what we knew already and what we wanted to learn more about. So to work ….
statue5We headed outside and started with practising light exposure on a statue. Different angles, different lighting. Sometimes the statue was in silhouette, othertimes fully lit.
TateModern3Then round to the Tate Modern. More practice of exposure and composition in the main Turbine Hall then the challenge of a room with minimal lighting which was also constantly changing. This nicely demonstrated the point of, when you are learning, the best way to discover how your camera functions is simply to play with it and take lots and lots of images.
Quick attempt to capture St Pauls and the Millennium Bridge from the Tate Modern as it snows lightly and we are then ready for some lunch at the Expresso Bar. This was a chance for us to chat to each other and to pick the brains of both Shaun and Steve.
padlockAfter lunch we had a stop to understand the challenges of capturing an iconic shot of St Pauls from the Millennium Bridge. Lighting, positioning of those walking across the bridge in addition to the cold weather meant this wasn’t as easy as it may at first appear! We then walked across the bridge learning the capabilities of our cameras by using manual focusing. Finishing off at a statue across the road from St Pauls we were all thoroughly enjoying getting some last shots before the falling temperature finally drove us back indoors to the conference room at the hotel for a round up of the day. During the workshop there was just the right balance between theory, practice and general discussion.
Shaun and Steve make a great team and have a wealth of knowledge which they are only too happy to pass on to photographers at all levels. They are both extremely approachable, friendly and patient with questions which I am sure they have probably been asked many many times before. Throughout the workshop we were encouraged by their constructive comments  – and with a dash of humour too there was a continual focus on enjoying the day. Their passion and talent for the subject means this workshop is not only great value for money in terms of what you learn but genuinely good fun at the same time. Highly recommended.

This entry was published on January 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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