Sunday, 1 September 2013

Photography tutorials in the Surrey North Downs

A lot of people run photography tours/tutorials. However, I think mine are probably a little different, as my goal is not to take you to beautiful areas in order to take pretty pictures, but to make you a better photographer.

A lot of tutorials seem to forget that. They think, "stick some people in front of a landscape at sunset and let them snap away and afterwards tell them about the rule of thirds" passes for teaching. It doesn't..

When I started photography, I learned how a camera works, and how to use it. Over the years I have learned all kinds of tricks (some large, some small), and learned what features on a camera are useful, and what I can ignore.

For those just getting into photography, I want to teach you what your camera does, and how you can quickly learn to make it do what you want. For those already comfortable with their camera, I am a fairly versatile and pragmatic photographer, and can advise on most techniques and subjects (and if I can't, I'll tell you).

What you get (and don't get):

For £150, you get my time, for the day. That means I will make sure that by the end of the day you have progressed in the areas you wanted help with. That means, if you want to learn how to take macro photographs, that's what we'll do. Or portraits. Or star trails. Or infra red. Or waterfalls. Or whatever it is you want to do: it's your time.

My aim is to help you improve from a technical perspective, and this is how I largely differ from other teachers: my feedback and help is not going to simply consist of a description of the "rule of thirds". While I will give my opinions on framing and composition etc, those things are very much up to individual taste. Therefore, I think it's far more helpful for me to give feedback and assist in improving the technical areas, so by the end of the day you will certainly know all about apertures, depth of field, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and all those other little things which need to be understood in order to take really good photographs.

What you need to bring:

You need to bring yourself, obviously. And make sure you pack your willingness to learn.

Also, you will need a digital SLR camera. No compact or bridge cameras; only an SLR camera provides the kind of flexibility and control needed for most photography beyond the "point and shoot" level.

Depending on what kind of photography techniques/subject you are interested in, you may need other equipment, which can be discussed. However, for most photography, all you will need is the camera itself (and batteries and a memory card).

Wearing appropriate clothing for the location/weather/season, and packing something to eat would also be advisable.

How much, where, and when?

As mentioned, it's £150 for one person. If multiple people are coming then it is £100 for each person after the first, but it would be best if they all have roughly the same photographic experience and goals for the day.

As the course can be tailored to provide instruction in the techniques you want, then the location and time are not set in stone. For introductory "learn how to use the camera" tutorials, the location would be in my local forests in the Surrey North Downs, which change with the seasons to always provide an interesting subject.

For more bespoke requirements, we would be wherever we needed to be at whatever time was required. (Please provide your own transport.) If that means we start at 10pm in Trafalgar Square, then that's fine with me. Anywhere in the South East/London region is possible.

So, get in touch and let me know what you want to improve, and I'll make sure you do, and have a good time doing it!