Just last week, I was in Melbourne on a short sojourn away from the thrills and spills of my Mon-Fri occupation.
It was refreshing to wander around a different city, exploring every alley way, and getting blissfully lost. Getting my bearings around such a grid-like city was fun, and sometimes frustrating. I was attempting to free myself from the mindset of traditional natural landscapes, and apply them to urban scenes. There’s some really interesting subject matter around, but you have to be willing to get lost to find it… More about the results from the trip in future posts….
One night, unable to sleep, I packed my bag and tripod and went for a walk. It turned into a rather long walk as I lost track of time, but I learnt something important that night.
I had been poking around South Bank, probably the only place I’d dare go at night. It was busy, there were people there, even really late at night. I was heading back to the hotel when I stopped and looked into the sky, more curiously than before. There had been a mention on the weather forecast for possible “fog patches” the following morning. The sky was getting hazy, it was getting thicker and thicker. I stopped walking to head to the waters’ edge and begin taking photos. Getting shots such as:
Only to realise that it wasn’t fog. It was actually smoke. A city car yard had caught on fire and was blanketing the city with the stench of burning wood, fuel and metal. Joy!
Anyway, as this was occuring, I was aware of a Photographer behind me with a compact. I had walked past him earlier, not giving him a second thought. As I was packing up, the boy approached me. He asked me, in broken english, how he can get a photo like mine. He was attempting to shoot hand-held at low ISO on Auto and was getting blackness with a few lights.
I briefly discussed with him the importance of changing the ISO, and turning off the flash to suit night scenes, and using whatever infrastructure was available (ie, concrete walls) to use as a solid rest in lieu of a tripod., Lo and behold, he got a shot, at least with the “fog” now visible. He was happy. But before I left, he had one more question, he wanted a photo with himself in the frame. The Auto flash mode he had on before wasn’t going to do. Advising him to use a different mode – slow or rear sync (can’t remember which now) got both. He was so happy. He thanked me for stopping to help him and said he had learnt alot. Cue warm fuzzy feeling.
Imagine what he might have gotten had I not been there. He would have tried and tried, failed and had a holiday where he had shots he remembers, but couldn’t translate that into images. Just because you spend the money on a good camera, doesn’t mean it’s going to automatically translate into shots that are keepers.
Here’s where I can help.
I’ve become a Landscape tutor for One Stop Photo Workshops for the Brisbane, Queensland area. Not a problem if you’re not in Brisbane, we have Tutors all over the country. Hop onto the site, search your capital city. OSPW also tutors in Portraiture.
Are you going somewhere exotic and want to remember it forever? I can help teach you the compositional skills, camera modes – anything you want to know about.
Do you want to brush up on the basics of Landscape photography, or, do you want some more advanced help with post-processing? I want to help.
Need a gift for the photographer in your family? Look no further. Enquire, Ask! Let’s get talking!
If you’re stuck in that middle ground, want some guidance, or have a question, you can find our friendly group of tutors and fans, over on Facebook
Welcome one and all.