If I was not a nurse, I would have been a photographer, Ha! The latter was more of a wishful thinking. Although nursing is my calling, photography has always been one of my passion. I love capturing memories and the captivating the beauty of nature through my photos. Unfortunately, I’m just on what we called “point and shoot” level with my Digital SLR camera, and I have no knowledge about its function and features whatsoever. I just set the camera on full auto all the time, and ended up taking a lot of pictures just to get the image I wanted, more often disappointed as I can never get the outcome that I wanted with using the auto setting alone. I really wanted to learn more about my DSLR camera and make the most out of it, but it’s not just finding the time to do it that’s stopping me, I just find it complicated if not confusing most of the time.
Until I got invited to a photography workshop last sunday by Shaun from Joe Blogs Network, run by Millenium EU Hotels and Resorts as part of their “Toast of theTown” event. The workshop was held in Copthorne Hotel Sheffield, the stylish modern hotel adjacent to Sheffield United Football club stadium. The event was hosted by the talented Sheffield-based photographer, Pandora Maund, who runs the Going Digital Yorkshire Region, specialising in photography workshops.
Have you heard of Diopter? well me neither. But it’s one of the many features I’ve learned that day about my DSLR camera. The workshop started with getting to know the features of our cameras, the fastest way to access it and knowing what each features does. It was a hands-on practice with corresponding straight-forward handouts, and team members going round to help out as well. Basically get off auto mode, and learning to set the Aperture Value, the A or AV on your DSLR camera. Shooting in Aperture Priority will allow you to take control over the way your images look. The Diopter on the other hand, is the tiny knurled know next to the viewfinder. Look at the data through the viewfinder, and turn the knob (Diopter) until the image is sharp. Ensuring that the Diopter is well adjusted correctly for your eye, it help to make sure that the selected focus point was pin sharp when taking shots.
Another feature I’ve learned was adjusting the Light Metering. The image above on the left-hand side was taken using full auto setting, the blinds appeared darker and blurred. Normally, I would of just fix it using Photoshop at home, but still it wont be as good as the photo on the right-hand side. The one on the right -hand side was taken after I’ve adjusted the exposure metering on my camera, and straight away I’ve noticed the difference.
Another cool feature of my DSLR camera that I’ve learned was the Individual Autofocus Points. Meaning, I can now choose which part of an image I wanted to focus on, making it clearer and the rest blurred, by just looking on the viewfinder and pressing the zoom button and adjusting the front dial of my Canon camera at the same time.
We’ve also got sent out for a challenge, basically putting what we’ve learned into practice. We were lucky to have access inside the Sheffield United FC, my first time ever to enter a football stadium and in heels! So that was altogether very exciting.
One of the challenges was to take a Portrait shot. My lovely blogger friend Frances, Then Lets Begin blog, whom I’ve met that day was my model. Tips from Pandora for taking a great portrait shot- face sharp, background blurred. Look for plain, dark background (um sorry, I’ve just got a thing for brickwalls) Oopps! Second, for maximum blurring of background, move your subject well away from anything behind them.
For the Close-ups challenge, I’ve chosen those steps. Changing the focus on each steps, from bottom left clockwise.
The Landscape Shot challenge, not sure how I did but this was my best one. Pandora’s tip, with the sun behind you or over your shoulder, find a subject in the landscape and something in the foreground. Ensuring the foreground and background are sharp.
All in all, it was a great day indeed! I’ve met a lot lovely individuals and bloggers, Pandora’s team are very accommodating and helpful, I’ve learned a lot from the workshop and it makes me even more excited about photography itself. The workshop I must say was addictive, it makes me want to learn more.. more.. more! Thank you Millenium EU, Joeblogs, Going Digital team and @Frances_M_B :)
Of course, we came away with a goodie bag too, the camera cleaning kit was one of my fave.
I took some more photos on my way home, fuelled by the new knowledge and skills I’ve learned, no one is stopping me now LOL! #FeelingLikeaPro ;)
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post, hopefully a helpful one at that. I’ve so much to learn, and it makes me really excited. All I can think of now is to attend more photography workshops, oohh no! #OohhYes!