Sunday, 13 March 2011

Camera Skills

I decided not to take any more Thai lessons this term. I haven't completely given up on the beautiful language, but I felt I wasn't learning any more with our particular teacher. I've have put my language ambitions on hold until I can find someone else to study with.

However, I did enjoy studying on a Wednesday night, so decided to enroll in the Sydney Community College Camera Skills course instead this term. We've taken our cameras off auto and so far have been learning the basic functions of shutter speed, aperture and ISO. As well as some other things I never knew my camera could even do. Having bought the cheapest DSLR on the market last year there are one or two functions I don't have which everyone else does, but it reassuringly seems to have been a good purchase overall.

Each week we get given homework to take some photos around Sydney. Variously over and under exposing different shots. Trying them with different ISO settings etc... Essentially playing around and seeing what happens.

I wouldn't say that it has made me a better photographer yet. I need to learn a lot more about composition before that happens. But I have become a lot more aware of some of the different functions of the camera and how to adapt to different lighting conditions.

For my homework last week I took a few photos of people on the train. Unwittingly I sparked a bit of controversy in the lesson as several people thought I shouldn't have been taking photos of strangers without permission. My teacher however thought it was perfectly acceptable as I was in a public place. I hadn't given it any thought as I snapped away, I was just trying to play with depth of field!

If I manage to fluke a lucky shot before now and the end of term there's an outside chance that I might get one of my pictures in an upcoming exhibition.

P.S. Has anyone in Sydney got a tripod I could borrow?


  1. Awesome! Well, taking photos of people, yes public place and if it's not a direct photo of them I think it should be fine. I know exactly what you mean by having a cheaper camera that was missing a few functions! That's why I love my new Canon, though I can't say I know how to use it to it's full capability and know how to take photos yet. Look forward to more of your photos =)

  2. Legal issues arise when taking photographs of children (even in public places) and various other "public" items, including limited-duration artworks and privately-held events in the public (including, say, forums and speeches).

    The more experimentation, the more you learn. Try the differences in A vs S mode, as well as ISO variation (if you haven't already) - lighting and exposure experiments are often the most rewarding.

  3. you can shoot whoever you want in a public space (children are always questionable subjects obviously).

    whether people get upset or not is a different story. asking permission though can ruin a shot if it is a candid street style you're after.

  4. the bird Ritchie, like the bird.


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