Thursday afternoon we had a call from Dex who lived in Trowbridge and wanted to discuss workshop options as well as options locally. After chatting for 20 minutes or so we came to the conclusion that our “Getting to know your camera” workshop was pretty perfect for him and that we could meet at the Hawk Conservancy in Andover which was perfectly placed between us both and would offer some great opportunities for photos both in AV mode to shoot through cages and S mode to capture the flying raptures.
Dex has a Nikon D5200 camera and a few lenses starting with the kit 18-55 but also a 55-300 so it looked suitable for the Hawk Conservancy. We planned to meet at about 09:30 so that we could have our classroom part sat in the sun which thankfully worked a treat although the wonderful staff also said we could go into the cafe early if we wanted to. We spent about an hour or so chatting over a cuppa about the various features of the camera as well as setting up his camera for today which to be fair would suit 99% of environments and situations.
We then headed into the park and it looks like we chose the perfect day for it, not quite as hot as yesterday thankfully but still bright and sunny which is perfect because it adds a few challenging lighting situations. We started with the caged Owls which bizarrely we do at Marwell too. Just like any of our days we start off explaining and demonstrating the advantages of Depth of field and how with correct use it can make or break a photograph. We spent an hour or 2 photographing the caged birds and then Sue and I headed off to watch the flying display and we set Dex a challenge which was to walk the park and take 10 new images, easy enough ? well each image had to be taken controlling the camera rather than point and shoot.
We met Dex for Dinner a little later and reviewed his photos and I was impressed so after a gold star we had a recap about shooting faster moving objects, we normally demonstrate this on the motorway, well not literally ! but today was ideal because up in the top field the staff were teaching an owl to fly by command and Sue had asked if we could photograph it and they were more than happy, we actually knew one of the staff members which helped but I genuinely think the staff there love there jobs so much they are always happy to help. Dex started clicking away and the one thing we teach is to “click” responsibly haha, I see no place in this world for machine gun shooting, our cameras can take 10 photographs a second but as I always say if #1 is crap all 10 will be 🙂 I watched and guided as Dex got more and more excited but I am pleased to say stayed on single click mode. We then watched the next bird flying show together and Dex continued to love his camera.
We then headed back into the cafe for some serious editing, I had no internet so could not post any but I was uber impressed with what Dex took, I uploaded them to a memory stick for Dex to take home and after yet another coffee we said our goodbyes and Sue and I headed home. We had only been home for about 20 minutes and Dex’s partner called and booked him on a Landscape day, This was probably one of the happiest and most welcome phone call’s I have ever received, Its such an awesome thing that after a day with us he wanted another so soon. We cant wait to see you again fella and I hope your prepared to slow down when we head out 🙂 you will kill me running around all day again.
As I am sure you will see the photos Dex took today show off the advanced features of the camera well, we taught him how to shoot using depth of field to avoid things in the photograph that you dont want like wire cages, this is something Dex was mesmerised by and could have spent all day showing off with it 🙂 he actually called his partner to explain which was quite a nice feeling. We also used S or TV mode to capture the moving birds which although is tricky to start with, once you get the hand of panning its quite simple. We used a variety of different focus modes. Auto focus modes can vary between different digital camera brands. Nikon’s two most popular modes are called AF-C (short for auto focus continuous) and AF-S (short for auto focus single). Many Nikon models also have AF-Aand MF (manual focus) modes to choose from as well although I prefer the first AF-C and AF-S.
AF-C is good use when photographing moving objects. When your camera is set to AF-C and you focus on a moving subject, the focus will stay on the subject so long as your shutter button is held half way down. In other words, the camera will keep re-focusing as the subject moves. That is, so long as you keep your shutter button held half way down.
AF-S is good for photographing subjects that don’t move, such as flowers or portraits etc. It locks the focus on the non moving object that you want to photograph.
I would like to say that the Hawk conservancy made us very welcome especially the cafe staff who could not do enough for us and were uber excited watching Dex edit his photos, I am pretty sure they lost a few customers watching us haha.
We had a lot of fun today and personally I am chuffed to know that we can take our workshops 100% mobile with a little work. This will be a bonus for anyone who wants us to travel to them for a workshop knowing full well that the education and experience will not change, I will point out that it cost me a fortune in coffee and cake today haha.
We hope that you enjoy these photographs from todays Hawk Conservancy workshop, we are very pleased with them and we feel they show off using your cameras AV and S mode very well and also the various focus and metering modes all of which are interesting to learn about and will take your photography to a new level.
The last couple were taken by us to demonstrate what we teach, I hope you enjoy them.
Please contact us if you are looking for a photography workshop of any-kind 02380 767084 firstname.lastname@example.org or txt 07720325336