This first blog post is just a quick insight into what I’m doing with this site and where I hope to go with it. I have been taking photographs for a long time, my interest in cameras and image capturing goes back to the introduction of digital cameras. I did used to own film cameras but the delay in getting the images published and results that were hit and miss were the main reasons I didn’t continue with that media.
Digital on the other hand gave me the opportunity to practise and delete, practise and delete and then do it some more. I could take a badly exposed picture and fix it “in post”. For those that don’t know the jargon, “in post” means in post-production, or to the complete novice it means I could hook my memory card up to my pc and fix the images using Photoshop or whatever software I could get my hands on.
Then with the advent of the internet, some great teachers emerged in the online photography world and people such as Mark Wallace, Brian Peterson, Jared Polin, Peter Hurley and the list could go on and on.
These people were freely giving out their knowledge on photography, on emerging trends and how to specialise in different types of photography such as wedding, landscape or fashion, how to shoot at a sports event or at a concert or club but most importantly they were confirming my belief that I’d learnt a whole lot about how a camera works, how to compose the shot in my head, how to catch the important moments and how much I love photography. Most important, how to get that shot!
They were also laying aside the snobbery that surrounds some photographers and how getting into the industry is ring fenced for those university graduates. For them it wasn’t what degree in the arts that counted, it was how to work your camera, how to pick the right aperture for each situation, how to pick out the best spots for an awesome picture. They drilled home the mantra of getting out there and doing it and the benefits of learning how to process your images correctly after they were loaded onto the pc, the need to backup and have backups when it comes to your equipment. If I shoot at a wedding, I have at least two cameras, I have them prepared with the most appropriate lenses attached, have spare batteries, have extra memory cards even more spare batteries for the flashes. Don’t take just one flash, take two. Take another couple of lenses just in case. Be prepared for rain, your bride won’t want to get her hair wet, so for the bridal portraits take an umbrella….the list goes on.
The worst ever bit of advice I got from a pro-photographer was the instruction to "set your camera at F6.3 and 1/500 second shutter speed, 200 iso and auto white balance and there you go. Doesn’t matter what you’re shooting, if your outdoors you’ll always get a nice sky and that’s all that matters". (If he or anyone else thats been on his tour reads this I'm sure they'll know for sure who I'm talking about!) When I followed that nonsense I could see that the pictures were under exposed a lot of the time, the sky looked great but the rest of the image was gloomy and I thought if that’s the advice from a so-called pro then I can do better by learning the fundamentals of the exposure triangle and how to use flash, how to process the images correctly and went back to enjoying seeing what came out of my camera.
So, with all that in mind I hope to be able to do some of what those that have gone before me have done. I will happily share my knowledge on DSLR’s, on off camera flash, the equipment I’ve used and hated and the equipment I use now. I will on occasion make video tutorials and upload them here, I’ll also give a narrative on how I took a particular set of shots and what the results were. If just one persons suddenly "gets it" because of this blog then it's a worthwhile project