Photography Lesson 10: Low light Manual Photography

In this lesson I started introducing Low Light and Manual Photography to Lizette. I want to prepare her for every situation that she will have to face some time in her photography career. Manual Mode is very useful when you need to take photo’s in very low light and are not allowed to use a flash.

I did not have someone to help me so I had to learn the hard way and by practicing and still practicing to perfect  my own photography.  Once you get the hang of Manual mode you will see a big difference in your photography. I used to shoot in AV but now a days I only shoot in Manual mode.

Here are some practice shots of my trusted studio “models”.

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Photography Lesson 9: Capturing in RAW

Lizette did a photo shoot for her niece and some of the photo’s were very over exposed and others under exposed. I know from experience that in Jpg you can only correct the exposure a little bit that was when I decided that I needed to teach Lizette about RAW. Some people don’t like using RAW because you have a few extra steps of editing to do, but I love RAW and the quality of your work really takes a step up.

I took Lizette outside and Ruby and Tekkies played our models. Then I showed her the difference in quality of the photo and how to work with your RAW file.

Here are some of the photo’s I took during our lesson.

Lizette busy editing some photo's for her blog
Lizette busy editing some photo’s for her blog
Lizette busy editing some photo's for her blog
Lizette busy editing some photo’s for her blog

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Tekkies the thinking Lizette is going to play with her...
Tekkies the thinking Lizette is going to play with her…

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Lizette capturing her first photo's in RAW
Lizette capturing her first photo’s in RAW
Ruby my faithful model. She loves the attention and the camera
Ruby my faithful model. She loves the attention and the camera
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Ruby playing with a small branch while we take photo’s of her.

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Tekkies posing for some photo's. I realy don't have a shortage of models...
Tekkies posing for some photo’s. I really don’t have a shortage of models…

Photography Lesson 7: Birding

Our 7th lesson was on 31 July 2013. Lizette bought herself a new camera and lens so I decided we could do some birding and get her practicing on her new camera. When one upgrade your camera it’s like starting your whole learning process from the beginning. The up side is that at least now you have a basis to work on and it makes the getting your new gear easier.

I also put my Sigma 70-300mm lens on my Canon EOS 7D.  We went to the field around the corner to see if we could spot any birds but that was a lost case. so I took photo’s of some things that caught my eye and of Lizette….

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After waiting for more than 45 minutes we went back to my house and took some photo’s of the pigeons in the trees. I did not use my tripod and my close ups did not come out as it suppose to.  Somehow I changed the settings on my camera and my photo’s came out under exposed, normal and then over exposed. It ‘s mind boggling  because I have no idea how on earth it happened. I lost allot of great photo’s due to this.  I also had a record load of blurry photo’s out of the 78 photo’s I took I could only use 21…. This is new to me…. I need to master my Sigma 70-300mm lens before I go on holiday on 9 September.

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Lesson 4: Being Creative…

Our Fourth Photography Lesson was on 26 June 2013. It was raining outside and I thought while we are working with Depth of field we might as well be creative.

I went through my props and try to get all the objects that one can use while photographing a wedding. Sometimes one have to make do with very little.  The whole idea was to let Lizette be creative and I wanted to see what layouts she would come up with. I gave her some ideas and then she had to do her own layout.

Here are some of my photo’s I took that morning.
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Photography Lesson 3: Landscape Photography

For Lizette’s third photography lesson I decided that a field trip will be the practical thing to do. I took her to Melkbos, Blaauwberg, Table View and on our way back we stopped on the Vissershok Road and at Clara Anna Fontein.

At Melkbos Lizette had to take some landscape photo’s using her tripod and  her 18-55mm lens.  She had to move around and capture the area from different spots.  She also had to play with her ISO and her Aperture Priority.  She had to make sure that the photo are in focus and also at the right exposure. To get this right she had to play with her ISO and F-Stop settings.

Here are some of my photo’s taken at Melkbos also using my Takara Tripod, My Canon EOS 7D and my Canon 18-200mm lens.

Melkbos_2048 Melkbos_2052 Melkbos_2059 Melkbos_2067Melkbos_2068 Melkbos_2074 Melkbos_2083 Melkbos_2090 Melkbos_2093Melkbos_2101 Melkbos_2111 Melkbos_2112 Melkbos_2134 Melkbos_2139 Melkbos_2145 Melkbos_2147It was freezing cold and we moved on to our next destination Blaauwberg. Here I borrowed Lizette my Sigma 70-300mm.  She was in love with the lens. The main reason I think is because she could zoom in. Again she had to use her tripod and also do some free hand shots of birds in flight.  We also had to test our patience to get some nice splashes against the rocks.

Here are a few of my photo’s taken at Blaauwberg.

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After our shoot at Blaauwberg we went to Table View were we had a light lunch and the I went and took some photo’s of the ship wreck. I’ll post a series of the ship wreck over the years one of these days.

Table View_2396 Table View_2398 Table View_2402 Table View_2404We then went home via Vissershok Road.

Vissershok Road_2406 Vissershok Road_2407 Vissershok Road_2411 Vissershok Road_2412Our last stop before heading home was at the fence of Clara Anna Fontein a Private Game farm not far from us.

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A Girl, A Dream and Me….

A while back my husband told about this girl/lady who really want’s to be a photographer and if I would be willing to help her make her dream come true. At first I thought how can I teach her anything then I remembered how difficult it was in the beginning. My friend gave me a quick crash course in Aperture and ISO and the rest I had to learn and master  by myself.  I do not have a degree in photography, but the knowledge and skills I do have and acquired over the past 4 years I am willing to share with her. Photography is my passion and for a long time a dream that I never thought would even come true.  Now I am living my dream and enjoying every second of it.

The first day that met Lizette was in early May I explained to her that you do not become a photographer over night. It is hard work and in the beginning the exercises seems silly and don’t really make sense but later when you are doing your first birthday party or even a wedding you will remember these silly shoots.  I told her that there are different types of photography and it takes time to master the different techniques. We had our first official lesson on 29 May 2013 since then we have a lesson every Wednesday scheduled from 9:00 till 12:30.

In our first two lessons I’ve covered the basics with her like ISO, Aperture, Depth of field, Shutter speed and exposure. What is very important to me and my goal is to help her to get to know her camera and to master ISO and Aperture combinations. For now we will only focus on AV mode. I don’t believe in just sitting and reading the information I believe in practice and practice so after we worked through the paperwork we went outside to practice…

Last week we went on a field trip and we focused on landscape photo’s and I wanted to see if she would be creative. I will post Lesson 3 in separate post. I took  allot of photo’s and will post it then.

Today’s lesson was all about editing… She took photo’s of her niece her little boy over the weekend and I showed her how to do the basic editing of these photo’s.  When she told me about the shoot over the weekend I gave her some guidelines and told her to use a tripod.  When I worked through the first lot of photo’s I must say I was a bit disappointed she did not apply what she learned in the first two lessons. If she had remembered to increase her ISO she would have gotten some stunning photo’s. I hope she learned from her mistake. Something that really took me by surprise was when she said all the photo’s blur when she uses a tripod.

The next few weeks we will be focusing on portrait photography, composition and how to use a tripod.

Here is two collages of photo’s I took with our first two lessons.  Love this getting back to basics. I can’t believe all the stuff I had forgotten good to refresh my brain again.

Lesson 1: Depth of field. Playing around with Aperture settings
Lesson 1: Depth of field. Playing around with Aperture settings
Lesson 2: Depth of field.  Experimenting with Aperture and ISO settings. Also some creativity.
Lesson 2: Depth of field. Experimenting with Aperture and ISO settings. Also some creativity.