A few weeks ago I was invited to a photography course in Sheffield. This was great for two reasons:
- I’ve never had any lessons on how to use my DSLR, I just played with buttons and hoped.
- My best blogging friend, India, was also invited.
I picked her up on Sunday morning and we made the hour long journey to the hotel, the Copthorne Hotel. We made our way into the suit where the event was being held.
There were several tables set up and they were all split into camera brands. Something terrible happened – India and I were torn apart by the seems. She made her way to the Cannon table while I held my Nikon in despair, tears and all, wondering if we would ever meet again.
I started making friends with my fellow Nikon buddies and we were told there was coffee outside. CAWFFEEE!!! I was there faster than the flash of my camera.
The course started and Pandora, who was running the course, introduced herself and talked about the agenda of the day.
We were first taken through a 45 minute presentation. This give us an introduction to cameras and how various techniques and settings worked. Then we were given a sheet that instructed us to try out certain functions and went through it all at the same time, taking photos of random things on the table to practice.
We were working in aperture priority mode to control the depth of field and playing with various f/stops and ISO values.
This was weird for me because I usually work in manual mode on my 50mm f/1.8 lens. I’ve never really enjoyed the lens that came with my camera, which is the 18-55mm lens. I use my 50mm for products, food and most blog post. I only use my 18-55mm when doing outfits and general photos, but tend to use an auto function. Bad blogger.
It was nice to fall a bit in love with the 18-55mm lens, because I honestly though that I could never achieve a blurry background with it. Although I had done a few times in the past, it had seemed more of a fluke than an art. I thought I had a good understanding of how to take photos and as this was a basic class, I didn’t think I would learn that much.
I came away with so much more knowledge. There were some functions that I had never even used before which are really going to help me take some fantastic photos with my 18-55mm! I can’t wait to give it a go.
One of the exercises Panda had us do was to line up 3 objects and then focus on each one in sequence, I focused on the last object first, then the middle, then the glass at the front. Look how it turned out!
The first half of the day was done, we were taken down to the hotel restaurant and treated to some amazing food. In true blogger style, we snapped photos of our eats before piling in.
After we had eaten, we were taken inside the Sheffield United Football statium. Not being a fan of football, this was the first time I’ve been in a stadium so it was a bit exciting! We had a series of tasks to do, so spent an hour snapping away.
I took some photos of various focal points and also of India, trying to get the blurred background look – which I was convinced I’d never be able to get on this lens before today!
At the end, we had a group photo taken, a lovely memory of the day!
I’m going to play with my new techniques now and then do a few posts about what I’ve learnt.
Pandora does various photography courses throughout Yorkshire, you can find courses throughout the UK on the Going Digital website. The course we did was ‘Get off Auto’.
A massive things to Shaun from Joes Bloggers and the Copthorne Hotel for organising and hosting this event! Check out this post by Millennium for further information about the day plus some tips from Pandora!