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Beginners’ photography class with Captured Light Images [review]

As you’ve probably gathered from our previous posts, we usually use Groupon deals as an excuse to travel round the south-west, stuffing our faces at local restaurants, tea rooms, pubs and cafes. Sometimes, though, we do book a non-food-related activity and recently saw a deal for a photography class in Bath with Tim from Captured Light Images.

 

Tim is a super-experienced photographer who has worked for loads of magazines like Metal Hammer and Kerrang, and now runs his own company, so if anyone could sort out our dodgy snapshot skills, it was him!

A beautifully artistic tree shot.
A beautifully artistic tree shot.

Technical hitch #1

However, it wouldn’t be a Ladies What… jaunt without a few technical hitches! We had to postpone the class a couple of times, so when we got to the night before, we realised we’d forgotten to actually organise any cameras!

We needed one that allowed you to manually control the shutter speed and aperture, so our mobiles just weren’t going to cut it. Luckily, Keri’s camera was suitable for the event and I was able to borrow one, so we were all set!

View of Royal Victoria Park, Bath
View of Royal Victoria Park, Bath

Light, aperture and shutter speed

Around ten of us turned out for the class, which was held in Bath’s Royal Victoria Park. Throughout the session, Tim covered some basic elements of photographic theory such as:

  • Setting shutter speed and aperture size manually.
  • Using shutter priority or aperture priority modes.
  • Using depth of field to change the focus of our pictures.

Between each mini-lesson we were given plenty of time to wander around the park and botanic gardens to put our new knowledge to use.

Technical Hitch #2

The main snag we hit during the session – apart from running out of memory on one of the cameras (mental note – check you take a 16Gb memory card, not 16Mb!) – was the capability of our cameras.

We were using bridge cameras – these are designed to give you more options that with a standard point-and-shoot camera, but without the full features of an SLR.

With our camera though, even when you had it in full manual mode, the number of aperture settings you could select was restricted. The software was trying to be helpful, but it meant that we felt we weren’t able to experiment properly.

The restrictions on bridge cameras are definitely something to bear in mind if you were to ever look at upgrading your camera.

Keri's pigeon masterpiece!
Keri’s pigeon masterpiece!

Photographic geniuses – sort of!

Overall, we had a great time during our class. There were enough people there to create a nice atmosphere and for discussions to take place, but Tim still had time to give everyone some one-to-one support during the session.

The topic were explained clearly, and we felt the right balance was struck between theory and practical issues (i.e. which buttons to press to get what you wanted).

We left the session a bit more confident in our photographic technique, with lots of things to practise further to improve our images (and if they’re still rubbish, we’re going to blame the camera!)

A superb shot of a squirrel.
A superb shot of a squirrel.

Co-editor Emma is LWT's resident history lover and fact nerd. She loves travelling overland - especially by train. Her trips tend to be planned around good food and a little bit of adventure.

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