Being a blogger, and focusing a lot on food, photography is one of the most important elements that makes up the perfect blog post. I don’t own a dSLR and it has only been in the last few months that I’ve finally come out of using auto-mode on my Olympus XZ-2 Bridge Camera and am trying to master how to use my camera properly. I want to be able to take amazing photos, I want to be better but sometimes it’s hard to find the time to sit down and properly learn.
That is where Joe Blogs comes in and rescues me from eternal auto-mode! Joe Blogs invited me to a photography workshop called “Toast of the Town” aimed at teaching fellow bloggers the ins & outs of manual photography all whilst learning to celebrate Glasgow. The workshop was hosted by and held at the Millennium Hotel next to George Square with Stuart and Hamish from Dreghorn Photography Studio giving us much-needed tips & tricks as well as being on hand for one on one help if needed.
Our day started with finally switching off the auto-mode and turning our dials to ‘P’ (programmed mode). This was so we could control the object we wanted to be in focus, in this case, my thumb. I then started photographing random objects on the table just so I could get comfortable with this before moving on. One of the biggest tips we were given was the rule of two-thirds. Why keep photographing objects in the centre when things can be more interesting off centre? To do this perfectly, position your object in the centre of the frame, press the shutter button gently to focus and with the shutter still pressed, move to the side a little then take your shot. I agree that it does make your photograph more interesting. We then moved on to taking portrait photographs of another blogger we were partnered up with, ensuring you used the rule of thirds. Luckily for me, my camera has a snazzy LCD screen which will show you a grid line split into three separate parts to break it down for you.
We then stopped for lunch and caught up with other bloggers you knew along with meeting some new ones. It was also the ideal time to chat away to Stuart and Hamish regarding photograph and their own careers. The Dreghorn Photography Studio carry out a range of photography classes from novices to the more professional snapper, something that I’m definitely thinking about. I really want to learn more about lighting and aperture.
After lunch, we learnt all about shutter priority and how numbers can affect how the photograph is taken. Our prop to highlight the differences was a remote control helicopter high in the air. Firstly using a high shutter speed, we were able to freeze the blades so it looked like it was static. We then changed to a much slower shutter speed which allowed us to capture the blades moving and made for a more interesting photograph. Perfect for capturing people walking, water flow and moving cars.
After being overloaded with theory, we ventured out into the mean streets of Glasgow putting everything we learnt to the test. We headed to George Square, Royal Exchange Square and Buchanan Street to capture our favourite sights. I think I managed to capture some great shots, even getting the courage to ask some strangers if I could take their photograph.
It was a lovely day full of learning more about a subject I love, inspired me to learn more and to start taking better photos. Do you stick to auto-mode or have you been able to conquer the dreaded manual settings? What is your favourite thing to photograph? What camera do you use to take the perfect photos?
Disclaimer: I was invited to this free photography masterclass at Millennium Hotel by Joe Blogs in partnership with Millennium Hotels. Thanks again for the invite! To read more, check out this blog post.