I love blogs that are photo rich.
There are so many bloggers who take interesting, innovative, rich photos to inform their posts.
It's long been an area I've wanted to grow here on my own blog. I'm looking forward to studying up and practising and improving as I have more time to devote to blogging and the many elements which surround it.
Imagine my glee, then, to be invited by Currys and Canon to attend a photography session (the brilliantly hashtagged #lightscameracurrys) this past weekend, to learn all about how to take our cameras off of the auto setting and up a level or nine.
I packed up my diddy 'starter' camera and headed off to Kings Cross, bright eyed and bushy tailed (well, once I'd had my coffee!) and ready to learn. I must admit at first I felt a little out of my depth - several of the other attendees had very swish cameras, gadgets aplenty and tonnes of knowledge - but then I calmed down and threw myself wholeheartedly into the proceedings.
The leader of the sessions was a lovely guy called Paul Hames. He was such a great teacher (and being a teacher myself, I do not say that lightly). He's an incredibly talented and knowledgeable photographer himself, but was also great at breaking down terms and techniques for novices. That'd be me then!
With trepidation I flipped my camera off of auto (felt like taking the stabilisers off my bike for the first time!) and into the unknown, and slightly murky, waters of manual.
Paul patiently took us through time (shutterspeed), light (aperture) and sensitivity (ISO) - all things I had never adjusted on my camera before! I think my food and London photos are going to improve hugely after his expert instruction. He was an absolute fountain of knowledge - from what ISO or shutterspeed to use for different contexts and environments to helpful little tidbits such as when you buy a memory card, looking for one with a '10' in a broken circle on the label (rather than an 8, 6, or 4. Guess who had a 4?). Makes for quicker uploading and smoother shooting, apparently.
I am not kidding when I said I learned a lot!
I was sat with Nayna and Mel for the first part of the session - they were so fun to chat with and learn alongside. Nayna I've met at a few food blog events before and it was lovely to see her again. Mel I hadn't encountered before; she was delightful and so charming. I found it quite funny that the two teachers in the room found one another!
Practising focus and shutterspeed choice.
You should see some of the shots that didn't work.
We were all enjoying playing and finding what worked for us, our cameras and our style.
Paul worked the room, making sure we were all feeling confident and ready to head out 'on assignment'.
All blog events require a quick phone check. Tweet often, tweet well.
After an hour and a half of instruction, it was time to hit the streets and take some pictures. I'm quietly proud of my efforts; having never shot manually before with this camera I think I'm mainly pleased that there are photos to show!
We walked up from Joe Blogs HQ to Granary Square, part of the new development a little north of Kings Cross. There we were sorted into pairs; Haydn and I were one such duo and I immediately used my inherent bossiness to get her posing. She was such a fun model - great face, happy to go with whatever we were trying, and utterly fine with me directing her to turn/move/smize, please.
Amusement at powerstance.
I like this shot - Haydy's so pretty and I like the way her eys are just off Blue Steel. I think that's her reacting to me saying something ridiculous.
Happens a lot.
I liked this with the water between us. It's a big shot but the focus still works, I think.
Then again, I'm a newbie, so may well be totally wrong!
I'm a sucker for jazz hands.
Haydy was so good with instructions. Other people would have been thrown by my directorial commands, I'm sure.
Commands like "Be a FISH!" I love the angles in this shot.
Sara and Jasiminne met this little fellow while shooting. I got this quick paparazzi shot of him preparing for his close up.
There he is, working it for the camera!
It's a dog's life.
I enjoyed directing so much I even started getting Paul involved for a few calendar poses. Here he plays tennis...
...and works that 'watch in a Sunday supplement' vibe.
Our final port of call on our wanderings was to look at the new swimming pool (the Kings Cross Pond) a little further north than Granary Square. It's entirely natural (no chlorine or other nasties!) and filtered by plants. I must confess I fancied a dip - I love swimming when it's cool out - but lack of a swimming cossie precluded such antics...
Loved snapping some of the buildings and sights.
A huge thank you to Canon and Currys for inviting me along for such an enjoyable and informative day. I feel empowered and inspired and will hope to put much of what I learned into play on my blog posts in the weeks and months to come.