Saturday, July 11, 2009

Heritage and Photography Workshop on Church Island

After a very rainy night I
opened my eyes in the
morning to see the
sun shining,what a day.
Greatest photography
weather,blue sky,
clouds that move and
a slight breeze,just right.
Our boat man,
Neil O´Shea, brought
us safely to the island
where the tripods
and the cameras had
a rest, while Paddy Bushe
gave an
interesting and detailed
talk about the history
and heritage of
Church Island,
or Oileàn an Teampaill,
the Island of the Nobles.

Most interesting are the
tomb stones,leachta and
of course the two main
buildings,St.Finians Church
and St.Finians Cell.
I liked the small
walls and steps
that are there after
all those hundreds of
years exposed to
the weather.

Here are a few tips
how to take images of details,
stone crosses and

Set image quality to high or fine, or take the images as raw and jpg-files, so you will get more details in your images, particularly if you want big prints later on.
Also set ISO to 80 -100, for best results.

Use a tripod,it slows your movement down and makes you think about the image you are going to create.
Some of the tripods were a bit light for outdoor photography, but can always steady them with some kind of weight. Some tripods have a hook at the bottom of the center column where you can hang e.g.your camera bag as a weight or some fishing net filled with stones...

Follow the light. Look where the sun is and take pictures in the opposite direction. Most cameras on automatic settings get confused if you shoot in the direction of the sun, the sky will be pale or too dark,you won´t get this if you point the other way. Just make sure your own shadow is not in the picture.
You will get nice detailed images of inscriptions and carvings if you get the sun at an angle of 45 degrees or less.

Take images of details, a lot.
To tell the story about the things you have seen, take as many photos of details as possible. Use portrait mode for details and get close to your subject or zoom in. For whole buildings landscape mode with a wide angle setting is better especially inside rooms.

Experiment with aperture!
If you like your images a bit different reduce your aperture from for instance f/13 down to f/6.3 or f/5.6
this will give you a nice blurred background and helps you focusing on your subject.
On the other side you can get some nice shots when you stay in wide angle mode and take pictures with apertures 16 or 22. Everything will be sharp and crisp.

If you are having a slr camera, try the mirror lock and a remote control. You will be surprised how much less camera shake you get. This is in particular great for long exposures, night shots or macro photography.
Better again if you put your camera on to a tripod.

Carry a second battery ,enough memory cards and your camera manual with you. A plastic bag weighs nothing and keeps your camera bag dry in the seldom event of some soft Irish rain.

Thank you all for taking part in the workshop, especially Peggy O´Shea who sent in these three pictures.