Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: fill in flash

7 daily exercises that will make you a better photographer

This is an article on Digital Camera World that completely fits with my ethos of being a photographer and more importantly being a teacher of photography.

There is no better alternative than practise. That does not mean practising taking great pictures, it means practising with your camera so that when the moment comes you know how to get the result. I suggest in class this is like learning to drive. At some point a friend or parent took you to a supermarket car park at a quiet time and you practised doing a 3 point turn (this is now called Turning in the road by using forward and reverse gears apparently)  Anyway the point is obvious. I think learning to use a camera is very much like learning to drive a car. For you to be able to drive competently you cannot think about brake, accelerator, clutch, gears etc, you have to be a part of the car and do those things without thinking about them. The reason being there is so much else to concentrate on when you are driving you couldn’t do both. If you have to think about how to use your camera you will never be a competent photographer because your brain will not have enough spare capacity to think about the creative side of the exercise.

I agree with the principle laid out here in DCW but I have to say I would have a different list of things to practise, or at least an additional list. I think focus point selection is really important, and given it’s location on the camera so do the manufacturers; I also think exposure compensation is really important; thinking hard about depth of field and practising with your lenses so that you know intuitively how much will be in focus at an given aperture for the related focal length of the lens; what shutter speeds do you need to freeze different types of action or what speeds to enable motion blur; I would also throw in the idea of practising with fill in flash. I haven’t got started on the use of compositional devices either yet. So Practise is hugely important, and so is what you practise.

The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is as valid for photography as any other activity, so in their latest guest blog post the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventureput together a collection of exercises that will help you become a better photographer.

7 daily exercises that will make you a better photographer


See the rest of the article here

Master fill-in flash in 4 easy steps

Fill in flash is the thing that makes professionals able to work in even the harshest light, check out this very useful tutorial on Photoventure

This time of year, many photographers like to shoot outdoor portrait photography, but one of the challenges with this is coping with strong overhead sun and harsh shadows on your subject’s face.

Many a sunny-day portrait has been ruined by dark shadows creeping into the eyes and other facial areas, and fill-flash is good and very convenient solution.

On gloomy days, flash can be equally useful for warming up colour rendition and breathing life into skin tones. The trick is to balance the flash with daylight to obtain natural-looking exposures.

DSLRs and flashguns often make a good stab at this, even in Programme AE mode, but the results can vary. READ MORE HERE