Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Summary Portmagee Workshop 04/04/2009

Hello photographers,

thank you very much for taking part in the Portmagee workshop. To give you some reminder what we did on Saturday and to enable you to repeat this in your own time, here is a summary.

1.Camera setting

Always have your camera on the best image quality setting, this is very significant as this setting is responsable for the look of your photos, particularly if you order prints or print out yourself.

If your camera supports raw files, take the pictures in raw and convert them later to jpgs with the software that came with your camera .

If you have to shoot jpgs, select the finest quality setting. Look at your camera manual how to change the settings.

Always switch off the flashlight. Natural light is a wonderful source and gives your images this special touch.

We are very lucky to live in a region with changing light, fast moving clouds and clear air, perfect for landscape photography.

2.Going shooting photos

When going outdoors, wear some clothes that keep you warm and the camera dry. Sturdy shoes or boots make you independent in any rough environment.

Make sure you have the batteries in your camera charged and enough space on your memory card or bring spare ones. Remeber that once you have bought the memory card there are no other cost involved in taking the photos so you can try things out as long as you like.

  • Use a tripod, it allows you to take pictures under any light conditions, even in complete darkness. By using a tripod you are slowing down the process of taking the picture. You look more carefully at your composition and the lens and camera settings.

  • Follow the light for strong colours. Have a look where the sun stands, keep the sun behind you but make sure your own shadow is not part of your photo.

  • If you are working with a zoom lens, work in the telezoom mode. This allows you to get closer to your subject.

  • Take a lot of details, they are telling the story and you can bring your personal taste into play. Those photos will make the difference when you compare your work with others.

  • When you compose your image move the main subject of your photo out of the center. Your images will simply look more interesting. Apply the Golden Rule (or Rule of Thirds). That means that you divide your image in three rows and three columns. Place something important where those lines meet or along the lines. (The problem is that you can not see those lines although some cameras have a grid included for the screen. If you have the opportunity - switch it on.

  • Take pictures in landscape and portrait format of the same subject.
  • If you have strong lines in your image make them part of your composition.
  • Go for strong colours. Place the strongest colours where the Golden Rule applies, out of the center of your viewfinder.

  • Bring important objects to the foreground. And keep the horizontal line level.

A word about shape.

Big spheres and round shapes in general can be quite domineering in a picture so crop them in instead of taking the whole.

Have a look at horizontal and vertical shapes in your photo. If you see them repeating include them in your composition.

Make the best of high contrast i.e. light and shadow.

Be carefule not to underexpose - if you point your camera at bright surfaces your camera gets confused when you work in automatic mode.

(You can compensate against over or under exposure with the settings of your camera, look at the manual how to do it.)

I hope you all had a good time at the workshop and feel inspired to take the camera and go out shooting. I`ve enjoyed the day with you very much.