I was given a new camera as a birthday gift last November and I realised I was able to take better photographs than I was on a phone, mainly due to higher zoom and more pixels, but I wasn’t using anywhere near the capability the camera could offer me. So today I went on a digital photography course at London South Bank.
I have what’s known as a bridge camera which means it has more functions than a standard camera but less functionality than a Digital SLR camera. So it allows me some flexibility to take more creative photographs than I would normally be able to take with a handheld camera, but only if I know how to use the functionality.
Here I took the shot from a height and used high zoom to achieve the detail. I liked the way the shadows formed. I also liked the sense of calm the picture gave me in what was a crazy busy afternoon. I used a very low ISO of 100, a fast shutter speed and a low aperture because it was a very sunny day. This was my attempt at a landscape shot. The focus should be a third of the way into the photograph, the aperture should be medium – high and the shutter speed fast due to the bright light. All of these factors allow the whole photograph to be sharp. This is a bit too close up – due to too much zoom – but it’s a half decent attempt!
We learnt about using the aperture setting to allow us to take depth of field shots. These aren’t particularly exciting photos – it’s actually very tough to find three similar objects at which to take different depths of field – but I’m pleased with the results.
I wasn’t sure about this shot when I took it, but it’s turned out to be one of my favourites. Back in the class, our tutor said it reminded him of a giant’s foot stamping on a crowd of people! It has a crisp foreground with a focus on the foot and a very soft background where it’s possible to tell there are people but the viewer in unable to make them out. This made me think differently about photo creativity!
This is another example of depth of field but this time the foreground is soft, and the focus is on the background. Again this isn’t the most exciting shot but I think it shows the skill well.
This is another of my favourite shots; it shows one of the street performers about to do an acrobatic jump. These guys are awesome, and I was so happy I managed to catch this shot in a split second moment. I also love the lighting and shadows in this shot.
Last but not least, another of the performers insisted I take his photograph! He posed for me, and I must say he’s quite a chiselled character! I think I took a good shot; sharp focus on the performer and a slightly softer background.
The course was great; we had a couple of hours of theory in a classroom at Kings College and then two hours shooting on the South Bank. Since I’m leaving London in a few weeks for the shores of Connecticut, and this is one of my favourite areas of London, this was particularly poignant for me. The final two hours we talked through the shots and what made some of our favourites work. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and I came away with some great new skills. I’d highly recommend it for any budding photographers!