Auto to Manual in an afternoon's photography workshop
I might have had a slight alterior motive in purchasing a photography workshop voucher for my son’s girlfriend, but knew she would love it and it was only a few quid extra to add an extra person to an afternoon’s landscape photography workshop with Gary King Photography
For Christmas I bought a voucher for the both of us to do a one to one (one to two in this case) workshop. We spent some time with our cameras over christmas and struggled to get anything decent apart from on Auto, so we were both pretty excited about this one.
I think we both thought it would have been quite technical and possibly a generic based lesson, but Gary was incredibly intuitative to what we wanted to get out of the session and it was straight into Manual Mode. A very experienced photographer and currently ambassador and promoter of the new Samsung cameras, he quickly gave us some great tips on using the tripod and finding our way around the camera.
We both have a reasonable eye for composition, but needed help on how to deal with the light and give the picture more atmosphere. We learnt the basics of aperture and shutter speeds and how to check our pictures for sharpness and then went on to introduce Neutral Density Graduated Filters. These take the glare and brightness out of the sky and increase the depth, tone and colour in the sky with quite dramatic effect.
There was a biting easterly wind which seemed to follow us wherever we went but it was bright and a perfect February day.. We hoped to get a slight glimmer of sunset and set ourselves up on the tideline waiting for the sun to drop and catch the ripples as the tide came in. We were frozen to the bone, the sunset never happened, but we learnt the technique for slowing down the water and composing a good shot so it was worth staying on.
One tip I can definately pass on, is check your white balance and experiment. Auto isn’t always best and neither is bright sunlight. We discovered that cloudy and shade settings instantly put warmer colours into the composition.
And do a course like this with someone else. Stephie and I are planning sessions together and between us stand more chance of remembering what we have been taught. It was a great afternoon. Just need to put it into practice now.