Monday, 13 May 2013

Tuesdays Photography Class ...

Hello there! On Tuesday I attended my Photography Course. We all met at Newlands Corner on the outskirts of Guildford. The object of the lesson was to learn to take landscape shots and also to take good photos in low light conditions such as woods.

We had all just got our cameras out of our bags when the tutor called out, "Quick, some horse riders are approaching, get snapping!"

We were then taught how to spot meter. In truth for weeks, the tutor has been mentioning spot metering and I was too shy to ask what all this meant. For those of you who know, I hope I'm getting this right! Basically, when the camera is on a manual setting, you can direct it to take the photos you want to take. The first photo above was taken without spot metering, see how grey the sky looks. In the second photo the sky is far bluer. The second photo is how the sky looked but when the shot you want to take has both light and dark, the camera doesn't really know what to focus on - it takes several readings and guesses what shot you want to take.

To spot meter all you have to do is point the camera at the lightest thing - usually the sky, half press the shutter and see what shutter speed is recorded. You should then point at the darkest thing in the image you want to choose and again half press the shutter to get the shutter speed.

When you then compose your shot, rather than getting the shutter speed to go to 0 you can ignore this and rely on the readings you obtained earlier by half pressing the shutter.

Of course by the time I came to take photos after doing what the tutor told us, I completely forgot and you can see that the sky has gone grey again because I haven't followed what I had been told - I am a complete nitwit at times!

We then went to the woods and took photos where we had some light and a lot of shadows.

One of the group had brought her dog along and the tutor told us to photograph the dog - as it had the same problem as taking photos in light and shade being black and white.

After the two hour course we stopped at the cafe at Newlands Corner and had a coffee. It was hot and I realized later that my arms had caught the sun and were slightly red!

Three of us on the course arranged to meet up and to go and take photographs on Friday morning - more on this in a later post!

It has been a busy week - on Thursdays KP has a singing lesson followed by a tennis lesson. This Thursday there was also an Arts Festival at the school - KP was singing in the Junior Chamber Choir and in the Senior Choir. She got home on Thursday at 5.45 p.m. and then it was a quick meal of pasta before she had to be back at school for 7.00 p.m. The Festival finished at 9.00 p.m. KP was asked to go to bed straight away when we got home as there was a school trip to Calais on Friday and she had to be at school by 5.50 a.m.!

Until next time,



  1. Some wonderful views. I remember being 'taught' something about spot metering but I didn't get it then and I don't understand it now it seems! Something to read up on I think!

  2. How is it that our children have far better social lives than we do? I hope KP enjoyed her trip to Calais. Love the spotty dog, I know they're Dalmations but I have to call them spotty dogs.

  3. Thanks for sharing the spot metering tips - I'm going to try that. Light and dark is so hard to photograph. I remember that when we had snow the combination of blinding bright snow and shadow was a nightmare to capture. x

  4. June your photos are so fave is the first one with the horses....and spotty light and dark dog.....D x

  5. ~ Ooh the same from me! Lovely pictures, most especially of spotty dog! I never following instructions well. June, either! Call me self a one off! ~ Have a fun day with the extra catch up with the girls..Love Maria x

  6. Well I love how you caught those horses highlighted beautifully against the background and spotty dog so photogenic ! I would be a nit-wit too !
    A busy time for KP hope all goes well.

    Thank you for your lovely comment. I will let you know when we pich Chawton for an outing... only doing one a month so may be a while !

  7. I still use my camera on auto and haven't dared try manual settings yet - I expect a course would be a good thing as it makes you experiment and try these things. I can see the difference spot metering has made in your landscape shots - which are wonderful - the dog is a very good photographic model, funnily enough I photographed a horse with rider and her dog trotting alongside her yesterday:)

  8. I learn so much from you about photography love all your images as always and I didn't know anything about spot meters! It is a lot to remember!
    Sarah x

  9. Beautiful photos of a beautiful dog.
    I hope KP had a fab trip to Calais.
    Lisa x

  10. When I tried using the manual settings on my camera the results were never near as good as yours, I'll try that spot metering tip to see how it goes.


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