It started like this yesterday on the photography course:

Hello, my name is Ingrid, I have a Nikon D80 and I shoot in fully automatic mode. (because I am too stupid to understand how to use my camera properly)

In other words I have this great camera with an amazing range of possibilities but I am using it as a point and shoot camera. I am an Anonymous Automaticmode shooter, an AA. Luckily I wasn’t the only one, the whole class was filled with AA’s. People with all possible types of digital SLR camera’s and we were only using 5% of our camera’s capabilities.

Were. Because those days are over.

I bought my D80 because I read the review and it said it was a great camera. I read the manual and did not understand a single word about things like aperture and shutter speed so I never bothered to actually use those settings on my camera. I shot in automatic mode an thought that most pictures looked OK.

2 days on a really great photography course (very recommended) and my camera is no longer in control, I am. We had a fantastic teacher who knew how to teach, who was funny, British (…) and who was very good in explaining all the things I didn’t understand. It was a whole new world revealing itself. Today we went for some photo assignments in Russell Square to practise all we have learned, prints were made of our photos and they were discussed in class. In two days I have changed from an AA to someone who understands shutter speed, aperture and manual focus and my camera. Look how blurry the background is in the above picture – that’s one of the big things I learned – how to blur and make the subject of the picture more prominent. It’s not a great picture but the effect is pretty cool. All that’s left to do now: go out and shoot with this new knowledge. Any decent results will be posted in the photoblog.

For now-uh here is a bit of romance for you.

9 thoughts to “Photography”

  1. I’m an AAer too although I have just started fiddling with apertures etc but have no idea what I am doing. I keep meaning to go on a course or join a club but I think photography clubs are usually full of men who judge each other by the size of their lens!

  2. grigorisgirl – it’s not just men. I once took a photography course for teenagers and some girls looked down on me because my DSLR wasn’t the lastest model! Tut.

    Good job, Ingrid. Hopefully we’ll see more nice photos from you soon :)

  3. @grigorisgirl: I stay away from photography clubs for that exact reason. This
    course however: if you have the time for it (it is in London in a weekend) I can really really recommend it. It will teach you all you need to know in a very practical way and with your own camera, and the people in my class were all AA’s like me, so no talks about big lenses. It was big fun!

    @Dim: the thing I loved about this course was that we didn’t talk about complicated words like that, we called it “zone of sharpness”. Even I understand what that means :)

    @Anna : thanks :)

  4. The use of a DSLR looks easy. You can choose the (easy) automode. I’ve learned already how to use the modes with the face, mountain, flower, runner, night and no-flash on de dial. (Basic use)
    It’s time I get creative and use the other side of the dial. (P, Tv, Av, M, A-DEP)

  5. I bet you have a Canon :)

    I had it exactly the same. The thing is, I needed someone to actually tell me and show me how to use those other modes. I can’t learn from just reaeding a book, I need some practical teaching, which is why I did the course.

    I can tell you one thing though: you won’t believe what possibilities you get when leaving the standard modes, you are going to love your camera for real and you will never go back to them once you made the step,

  6. You’re right, it is a Canon (350D).
    I love making pictures with the camera, but there’s only one problem: I don’t have the time to explore the other settings. :-(
    Maybe in the future.

  7. A course sounds so temping. I think it’s something I’ll be saving up for. I have a new Cannon SLR but seriously am not using it like I should be. Time to learn.

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