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Architectural Photography Workshop

Last Friday, I attended an architectural photography workshop, run by Line+Light via the Royal Photographic Society. Line+Light also ran the astrophotography workshop I attended recently, so I’ll use them again as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both of the workshops. The teacher was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, which is what I found on the astrophotography course as well.

Again, the weather was a bit grim but I’ve lived in this country long enough to take the good weather when I can get it and make the best of the rest of the time.

The day had some theory in the morning, which was fascinating, and we had a number of buildings to visit during the rest of the day that were interesting in different ways.

The professional images that were being shown off by the teacher sometimes used tilt-shift lenses which can make buildings look straight and correct and not distorted as is normal with normal lenses. If I was seriously into photographing architecture, I’d look at that type of lens.

I had a 10-24mm wide angle in my bag along with an 8mm fisheye – so I went the way of doing the opposite of professional. Because my images were really just for me, rather than a client, I used a fisheye in some of them to enjoy the distortion. The 10-24mm shots were more sensible.

So the photos here are just aesthetically pleasing to me, and not how a proper architectural photographer would do them at all.

All of the buildings were in Nottingham city centre. So my intention is to go back in nicer weather and have a go at some of the exteriors and actually use some of the knowledge picked up from the day and try and create some images that do represent what a building is about.

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Astrophotography Workshop

I attended an astrophotography workshop yesterday at the Sherwood Observatory run by Line+Light.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. The typical British weather put paid to an outdoor practical segment, but that was more than compensated for by the talks inside the observatory.

The people on hand from the observatory and the workshop company were all really knowledgeable and enthusiastic and the whole thing was crammed full of useful information. And they had Jaffa Cakes.

I had, in my ignorance, assumed that astronomy in most cities and towns was largely a waste of time due to light pollution but the images on display were often breathtaking. Photography has the advantage over direct human viewing in that a final image can be constructed by taking the light from lots of photos and combining them. That combined with techniques to reduce the effect of light pollution means that urban astrophotography shouldn’t view it as a barrier at all. Peter Jenkins was one of the speakers (http://www.pjastro.co.uk); he uses a telescope in his back garden in what looks like a well lit urban area. I wouldn’t have imagined that was possible before yesterday. Have a look at some of his images, they’re amazing.

I definitely want to give this a go, so I’ve drawn up a list of some simple starter projects: A star trail landscape and a moon shot to start with – using equipment I already have – so nothing specialist. From there we’ll see…

 

Workshops, Camera Clubs and 365 Projects

I attended a landscape photography workshop at the end of last month. It was very interesting dedicating a whole day to taking photographs around various locations in the Peak District. One shot from that session is in the attached set of photos – it’s the only one with the blue sky – we were very lucky with the weather.

In my quest to try and improve my photography, I looked for photography club to join and went to one as a guest a couple of times before becoming a member. I’ve seen 3 very good inspiring talks so far and I’m looking forward to taking part more.

I’ve started a 365 project. The goal to take a photo every day for a year and share it. Today is day 20. Those images make up the rest of the ones attached to this post. Some days have been harder than others – but I hope to get into the swing of it and start planning shots more.

Tracking improvement

I’ve been taking photos for around fifteen years but how can I measure the quality of my photographs or my ability and quantify any change?

I recently watched a video by Scott Kelby about critiquing your own work and one of his suggestions was to create a portfolio of your best images – with a maximum of around 24 images in there. Then try to be taking photographs better than that selection and only put better ones in there and remove older ones as you go.

That seemed like a good idea. I’ve started creating mine at http://portfolio.davewild.com – I’ve not completed my first pass of photos yet so it’ll take me some time to build up a starting selection. It is definitely not finished – it’s barely started!

What was apparent when starting this task though is that my 2018 eyes can see a lot more faults with my photos than I could see when I took them.

A lot of my photos are primarily memories and quality wasn’t the first thing on my mind when I took them.

I’ll continue to share photos with friends and contacts on Facebook, Flickr and Instagram, but I’m going to be thinking more and trying harder to take photos that are worthy of pulling out into a portfolio.

As an aside, I use Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan and that comes with a portfolio site. I could have done it on WordPress, but the Adobe site has the benefit of syncing with Lightroom (actually Lightroom Classic or CC – both use Adobe’s cloud) – so it keeps it all visible and easy to change.

Learning / Changing

I’m a self-taught photographer and I’ve been using digital cameras since 2001.

In 2018 I decided to dedicate some time to learn more about photography and to try using that knowledge to create better images.

Clumber

I’ve signed up for a photography course that should last about a year and starts with first principles.

My landscape photographs up until now have been hand held and taken while doing another activity. The only filter I’d ever used more than a few times was a polarizer and my tripod remained at home.

The photographs here were taken at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. They were a deliberate attempt to spend time taking photographs, use a tripod and use some ND filters to extend exposure times.

Clumber

During the next six months, I’ll be doing a number of photography workshops – picked mostly to cover areas outside of my comfort zone and to learn from people who care about their areas.

Upcoming Workshops:

  • Landscape photography in the Peak District.
  • Astrophotography in Nottinghamshire.
  • Architectural photography in Nottingham.
  • Street photography in London.
  • Safari Park photography in the West Midlands.

I’ll post progress and images here over the year.

Clumber

If anyone here has any suggestions for areas of photography I should have a go at, then please let me know.