Yesterday I went to my first bloggers event: a photography workshop for Brighton bloggers organised by Currys PC World. The idea of the workshop, led by professional photographer Dade Freeman, was to instil us with the knowledge and confidence to leave the auto setting of our DSLR cameras behind. I don’t even have a DSLR, but instead use my iPhone! I thought it did the job, but I now think I owe it to the development of my blog (and my own creativity) to learn how to use a DSLR, and learn how to do it properly. So I figured that this workshop made sense so that I could not only learn from a professional but also find out what type of camera to buy – and as a bonus, meet lots of other lovely bloggers!
I had no idea there would be so many of us: about 30 bloggers joined together at the Media Centre near the seafront in Brighton, every one (except me!) equipped with their DSLRs. I think we were all a little nervous, but everyone was very friendly and chatty, so I enjoyed speaking to those around me while we waited to get started.
Dade started by explaining to us why the auto button of a camera doesn’t allow you any creative freedom or voice. There was a collective feeling that everyone was a little scared about using manual settings, whether it be for a fear of missing the shot, or breaking the camera!
He went on to discuss the technical elements of a DSLR camera and what different effects could be achieved by adjusting the right settings. He explained the aperture, ISO and the shutter speed, otherwise known as the exposure triangle. As a former film student, these were terms I was familiar with and had previously experimented with before, but such a long time ago that I welcomed the refresher.
He showed us examples of some of his own photos, created by adjusting the elements of the exposure triangle and to explain how you’d recreate each effect.
After a short lunch break (I must note I was impressed with the team’s attention to dietary requirements as there was something for everybody – vegan, vegetarian and gluten free!) we regrouped and Dade set us a few tasks in which we’d have half an hour to deliver.
At this point everybody started fiddling with their cameras, trying to find the right settings. Luckily, the organisers were kind enough to lend me a spare camera for the day so I went to collect mine. I managed to find the ‘on’ button. Finding the rest of the settings I needed quickly became a struggle.
Feeling severely disadvantaged, I quickly spoke to Dade before we all set off on our missions to make sure I could actually find the buttons I need them (before then figuring out how to use them!). Very overwhelmed but excited at having a play with the camera, I took to the seafront armed with my new toy and notebook.
Although I borrowed the camera, the team shared my ‘creations’ with me so that I could post them on my blog. Here are my attempts some of the tasks set:
1. Frame your shot/use a shallow depth of field*
*I combined two of the tasks into one
This is probably my favourite picture of the day – it gets the depth of field so that the foreground is in focus and the background is blurry. It’s clear it’s Brighton despite the iconic pier being out of focus.
2. Freeze fast action
I have two versions of this one and thought I’d include both because it was so difficult to get both the framing and the timing right!
3. Photograph symmetry
I took two versions again, neither are quite symmetry but they’re almost there.
I actually really like this one of the bins on the beach too – it shows the dirty side (quite literally) of Brighton on a hot sunny day.
Not too shabby for a first timer!
Here are some of my fellow Brighton bloggers.
We also had a lovely group shot by the carousel on the beach!
The Currys PC World team wrote up a piece about the day too, which you can read here.
I had such a great day and strutted home with a big grin on my face, eager to start shopping around for a new DSLR. All in all, it was a really interesting workshop and I really enjoyed the time spent with fellow bloggers.
This is a sponsored post.