The final day course for the year was last Saturday and after thinking that rain would be my biggest problem, we were blessed with bitterly cold but dry weather. Thanks go to the Chris H, Steve, Chris W, Nigel and Sue for braving snow and ice to make the course and making it a great final course.

I’ve now had some time to think about the courses, 1-2-1 tuition?and workshops over the year and have started to develop some initial thoughts on what I have observed. They are listed below in no particular order:

  1. Most photographers are not maximising the use of the equipment they have
  2. With digital, exposure can now be taught and mastered in a few minutes with the use of the histogram
  3. Composition is the weakness for most photographers – they are normally trying to get too much in the image and loose the?main point of interest
  4. “Seeing” or finding images to take can be harder for some more than others
  5. Trying to teach how to “see” images is difficult
  6. Using the basic building blocks of composition – rule of thirds, leading lines etc. really starts to help people build images
  7. Learning not to use the basic building blocks of composition to get a good image is difficult – a lot of Gower images don’t follow the rule of thirds to get a good composition
  8. Most photographers rush their photography?- it is not a race, spend time building one good image than making 20 average ones
  9. All photographers lust after better equipment in the secret belief that they will make better photos (me included!)
  10. Most photographers need better tripods and heads and then need to use them more often
  11. You need to move around to find a composition before setting up your tripod
  12. The satisfaction of seeing a course participant develop their photography over a few hours and see them get “it” as they progress can never be beaten
  13. Most camera manuals haven’t been read fully
  14. If your images aren’t good enough, you are not close enough – Robert Cappa founder member of Magnum, true for landscape as well as war photography
  15. Not all landscape photographs need to be taken with a wide angle lens – you don’t have to try and get it all in the frame
  16. The human zoom is often overlooked – walking forwards and backwards can help if your lens isn’t quite wide or telephoto enough
  17. You need some form of levelling device with landscape photography – get a bubble level, they even make them for Sony/Minolta hotshoes now (www.speedgraphic.com)
  18. Dedicate specific time for “real” photography, trying to do it with family around won’t allow you to focus enough – just take snaps then

I’m sure there are a few more reflections that should be here, but I can’t think of them at the moment!

(all images made on my phone)

Nick

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