A year ago, after having been writing this blog for 7 years, I realised that maybe (just maybe) it was time to upgrade my camera so I could take some better photos. I’d previously been using either my iphone camera (which I still do use at times) or a small Sony Bloggie (which worked great for quick videos but wasn’t good for still photos). It was time to bite the bullet and buy a DSLR camera and become a bit more professional about this photography thing I do on occasion.
I bought myself a great Canon EOS 600D which is all I really need, it allows me to take photos, videos and change the lenses depending on what I’m doing. I read a bit of the book that came with it, but still couldn’t quite figure out how to do everything I wanted and I hadn’t yet had the time to do a photography course. I did a photography unit many, many, many years ago while I was at university, but that was more about darkroom skills which are really irrelevant these days now that everything is digital.
I was pretty excited to take up the opportunity to do a short photography workshop held by Canon Collective at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne this past week.
And now I can share with you some of my photos and a little of what I learned.
Firstly we learned about getting the camera off the completely automatic setting and learning to change some of the settings to get the effects we wanted. We learned all about F-stops, ISO and where the camera was focusing.
I played with creating a focal point and where that is in a photo – you can see the differences between the above photo and the one below even though I took them from exactly the same place.
Then we can play with perspective and angle. Most people just hold up the camera to their eyes and take a photo from that perspective. You can squat down (like I did in the photos above) or change the angle of your camera like I did by taking the photo from directly above like in the photo below.
And we were doing macro photography too, so getting right up close allows you to access detail you don’t notice when you’re further away.
We learned about lighting and how a bit of sun can make a huge difference to the photograph, and sometimes waiting for that bit of sunlight can breathe life into a picture.
And of course then there was the aspect of framing the subject. You can make it completely symmetrical or work with the rule of thirds and take the subject away from the centre of the frame.
The workshop was a great way of getting to know my camera better and I had plenty of time and opportunity to pick the brains of the photographers who were teaching. If you’re looking at learning to use your camera better and take a finer photo, then check out the Canon Collective website and see what workshops are available in your area.