Hello lovely blog followers. Alex is on half term and has a week off from teaching, so I thought I’d put him to good use and asked him to guest post here. Enjoy x
It had been some time since a Groupon voucher had caught my eye, but a couple of weeks ago, an offer for a ‘Walking Night Photography Course’ landed in my inbox. Zoe persuaded me to attend on her behalf, so we had some tips for our trip to San Fran – She doesn’t like to leave the house much in the cold weather!
I’ve been a keen amateur photographer for some time, but my more or less failed A level in photography didn’t really kickstart my skills enough and the quality shots just don’t come that often. The bargain price of £29 for three hours intensive training in Westminster (with Onevision Studio) seemed like a darn good idea.
It didn’t start all that well as I was ill and had to cancel my original date, but Onevision were great and allowed me to reschedule for the following week.
We met at 7pm next to the London Eye. There were six of us in total, each with a little knowledge of DSLR photography (which wasn’t necessary for the course), but all with a similar lack of ability to be able to master the ‘nighttime time shot’. Our tutor Adrian started by taking us through a few of the basics – Aperture, ISO and shutter speed, as well as a little useful (and fascinating history). We then set up our cameras and tripods before heading up to Westminster Bridge. Here’s how it went…
Here, I used a 30 second exposure at ISO 100 and f22. White balance is set to sunlight, giving a slight yellow tint.
After 20 minutes of experimentation (with the occasional push in the right direction from Adrian), we all made our way to the second stop, opposite the London Eye. Now familiar with the workings of my camera, I tried a few different settings. For this shot, I used a 30 second exposure and ISO 100 and f18, again with a sunlight white balance.
I then experimented with a 2 minute exposure at ISO 100 and f22. Keeping still was crucial here, as I didn’t have a shutter remote and had to keep my finger on the button. I unfortunately didn’t manage it, so you’ll have to imagine the blurry shot! At just a fiver, I’ll now be getting myself one of these so I won’t need to touch the camera.
I also tried zooming in mid-shot (a little idea of my own). This gave quite an interesting effect!
On to stop three – Blackfriars. It had got a little chilly by now (-3 degrees) and the skies, which until that point had been kind to us decided to open up, but we covered up our cameras and trundled on to take the shots below. On the way, Adrian kept us fuelled with interesting photographic ideas including an unusual underwater technique using toilet roll and condom!
This was a 20 second exposure at ISO 100 and f18. Here, the white balance is set to shade.
20 second exposure at ISO 100 and f16
So despite the rain and bitterly cold weather, I was immensely impressed by the three hours with Onevision Studio. Adrian was helpful and full of ideas and the other ‘students’ were great company. I’d certainly recommend this to any budding photographer with an interest in nighttime shots and/or cityscapes. I certainly leant a lot and have been practising my new skills since.
For anyone interested in a Onevision photography course for themselves, here is a voucher to help save a few pounds. This offer is open to all Seebyzoe blog readers. Simply save the image below and
Email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org mentioning Alex Parsons & Seebyzoe when taking up the offer.