Well, my first proper post on this new website of mine; Wonders will never cease! I’m going to leave the test posts up for now as they are currently padding the site out. It will look a bit odd if the site just had this one post.
A point in the right direction
For a while now my camera has sat in my office gathering dust and feeling sorry for itself. That’s totally my own fault for being lazy and thinking I need to get something more expensive and fancy if I want to take this photography lark seriously. It was Mac that spurred me on to dust it off and get out to take some photos with his new photo walk that he arranged. Mac is the guy who shot our wedding photos, and has since worked at the same weddings as Claire becoming a friend rather than someone we just know. He has a wealth of experience so he is certainly worth chatting to, and he’s not shy when it comes to sharing his trade secrets, so I definitely wanted to get involved with this.
After a quick intro-round where we all got to know each other a little, it was time to get moving. We spent most of our time by the river in Worcester, just behind the cathedral. The photos make it look a lot warmer than it was – it was actually pretty cold, our model put on a very brave face.
It was nice to know that everyone was at a different stage of their learning, with some still using auto mode, and others quite happily snapping away in full manual mode, that didn’t make me feel any less nervous though – especially seeing the size of some of their lenses! My nerves soon passed, not only did we have Mac to teach us, but Dan Round (a wedding photographer) and Darren Fellows (from Rotolight, also an awesome photographer) was there to share their tips and help us learn.
The eyes have it
I started off in Aperture Priority mode, but switched to Manual about half-way through the session. Every single time I went to take a photo, I kept reminding myself that you have to focus on the eyes – they HAVE to be sharp. The problem I had was trying to focus, and also framing the picture correctly (rule of thirds and all that). For each shot I tried the good old method of “focus and recompose”, but pretty much all of my shots are not as sharp as they could or should be, so I clearly messed up there. Due to the fact I am shooting with a aperture of 1.8, I had a very small depth of field to play with, and as I recomposed each shot, I lost the focus on the eyes.
I have learnt a valuable lesson though, and whilst I might have messed a lot of my shots up, I know what I need to do to correct that in the future. I think I’ll use my Nikon to practice with, and then when I feel I can move up to the next level, I might invest in something new. Maybe a Sony as they seem to be pretty awesome from what I have seen.
Let there be light
Rotolights are also on the shopping list, they are epic. The amount of light on offer is very impressive. They help you light your scene before you take your shot so you know exactly what it will look like. We were lucky to be able to see them in action and take a few snaps using them. With a flash of course you can get a stronger burst of light, but you need to fire off a number of test shots each time you reorganise your set/scene.
So going forward, I need to learn how to focus and recompose. Maybe I should just use the different focus points the camera has to offer rather than just using the centre point. The rule of thirds also needs to stick in my brain, and although I am aware of the exposure triangle (ISO, shutter speed and apperture), I need to learn my f-stops in order to compose the perfect shot. How many ISO increments is “one stop”? I have no idea. But I’m gonna blinking learn it thats for sure.
Anywhoo, here are some more shots I took, feel free to have a browse, and if you have any help or advice to offer then please let me know in the comments, or drop me a line.