Tuesday 21 May 2013

AIF(2): Snaps, photos and camera art

The whole purpose of this trip is to learn about photography or to improve your photographic skills. There is a wide range of skills and experience on the trip, from novices like me to real photography nerds: from those of us with new entry level cameras, to folk with several lenses and some expensive kit. Our guide is really knowlegeable and the group is such that everyone helps and learns from others.

During our first week we had an introduction to the basic principles of photography. For me this was great, starting at the basics and trying to get to grips with the interplay between aperture, shutter speed, ISO settings in order to move away from snapping with   the Auto mode of the camera to using the Manual mode to construct planned photographs and even onto  more  'arty' works using on camera retouch and editing or through using software such as Photoshop, Photo Elements etc

Our first 'supervised' session was on night photography where we shared tripods and took pictures of the stars at our camp on the Orange River. Brett , our guide, took us out in small groups to give individual instruction and assistance.

Our next session was on White Balance: and then on impromptu one on how to photograph around a fire: using our camera's fastest shitter speed and largest aperture it is possible to capture really interesting effects in flames. Using a flash enables a photograph of fire and people to be taken.

In Namibia we visited Deadvlei. This is an amazing place to be let loose with a camera. It is a dried up river basin amongst the dunes and is full of dead trees. Their stark shapes against the sand plain in the bright blue sky of a desert afternoon heat is somewhat other worldly, even a bit  eery, but in the end I could have spent much more time there than the  couple of hours we had. Again our guide was not just on hand but was proactive in spending time with each of us individually to help us with different aspects. For me this meant an introduction to macros, close up photography.

The truck is equipped with  Mac pc  enabling everyone to download all there photos to disk. I can't believe how many I am taking and have filled my 4gb card already, As per Africa in Focus's suggestion I have brought a external hard drive with me and I am already glad I did. Most of the photos I have taken will be consigned to the waste bin ventually as I am experimenting with different settings and am keeping almost all of them for now as I am due a one to one session with our guide to critically review my work and get pointers for improvement.

Pictures will follow later

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