Category Archives: London life

London Life: Beginners Photography Course

How hard is it to get up in the morning on a Saturday? How hard is it to get up early on a Saturday (I mean, before 9)? How hard is it to get up at 7.30am on a cold wet Saturday morning?

I know, I know that’s not early but I am not known for being a morning person and I have the luxury of not having any kids at the moment.  Well, shall we say I wasn’t particularly enthralled with the idea of getting up but I had booked myself on a Paul Hames photography course through Living Social and needed to be at Trafalgar Square dressed and with at least one eye open by 10am. As you know I have been practicing away on aperture mode since I tried Emily’s Photography for Bloggers workshop and now I wanted to take myself all the way to manual… in 4 hours…in the rain… on a Saturday morning…early. Not happy.

Cameras and notepads at the ready

When I arrived under Nelson’s column I was relieved to see that, like me, most people had a camera in their hands that seemed pretty alien to them and were keen to understand not only why there were so many buttons but also what each of them did! Paul is fantastic at breaking down the theory of photography to make it snappy and stick.  He made sure we applied it straightaway and made time for everyone as each person had a different camera. By the end of our time together we were all able to take pictures with the correct exposure with only two buttons in manual mode.  Happy Days!

As it was pouring down (have I mentioned that it was raining? ;) ) we stood under a tree waiting for our subjects to come to us.  When, lo and behold, along came a goose that seemed to be more than happy to pose for 9 snap happy beginner photographers. The idea was to just try to make something simple a little more interesting.  As we all tried to stumble over each other to snap this one goose the phrase  ”never work with animals or children” came to mind.  The exercise was great though and here are a couple of my shots:

Goose Model

A-ha here he is my goose model and doesn’t he know it

A model strut down the catwalk

Goose preening in St James Park

Preening? Really? You poser!

We were then paired off to practice playing with over and under exposing photos as well as depth of field.  My human model, Ketan, was so enthusiastic it really helped as we explored the best spots to snap whilst trying to keep ourselves and the cameras dry.  I must look into installing a gallery on this blog in the meantime here are a few more snaps with human models this time:

Wet photographer London

My lovely wet photo buddy and the beginnings of his Movember

Soggy London Tourist

The time really did fly by but what I have learned is invaluable…  I am now more comfortable to fully take myself off automatic on a DSLR.  Enthused by the course. the people that I had met and desperate to dry off I decided to head to an exhibition that Paul had mentioned.  The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is an exhibition of “sixty new portraits by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers from around the world”, is on at the National Portrait Gallery and starts on the 14th November.  I was 5 days early ;)

Oh well, I was due to meet Em at The Wolseley for Afternoon Tea anyway (more about this later!) and the sun came out so I took the opportunity to put my new-found skills (ok that’s pushing it… a little… “the things Paul had just taught me”) into practice and really enjoyed taking a different look at monuments and parts of London that I see on a daily basis.  Take a look at these few, but there are more on my Silent Sunday post (I am especially pleased with this one), my flickr photostream and my pinterest boards:

Donald Duck- just hanging out…

Ready for London in October

Feed the birds, Trafalgar Square, LondonDid you know that there is now a large fine for feeding the birds in Trafalgar Square? I love a rebel!!