This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “teaching

Clicking with the Subject

“the most important thing is not clicking the shutter, it is clicking with the subject”

                                                                                                               -Alfred Eisenstaedt

This quote has really struck a cord with me recently and made me analyse the way I take photographs. I noticed that a lot of the time I tend to hold my finger down on the multi-shot feature and just take continuous photographs, especially when shooting fast moving people or objects, but this is most definitely not the best practice.

Alfred Eisenstaedt is thought by many to be the father of photojournalism and one of the greatest photographers of all time. He was the master of candid photography and usually only carried around one camera.

This image of children imitating a drum major really shows his skill in really capturing the moment, perfectly showing it to it’s full potential.

Drum Major, Ann Arbor by Eisenstaedt.

I decided that I need to step up my game and really start working with the subject I see through my lens, as Eisenstaedt suggests, and I got the perfect chance to try this out a few weeks ago at Cantelowes skatepark in Camden.

Ashley and a few friends chose a wonderfully sunny day to go there and skate, i’m not comfortable with bowls and know that it gets busy there so  I decided to try out my camera instead.

At the beginning I was only taking simple shot like this one successfully.

To begin with I followed the skaters around the bowl with my camera but, although my pictures weren’t bad, couldn’t seem to get any impressive shots. The sunshine wasn’t helping as the stark contrast between the over exposed sunlight and dark shadows in the bowl made it really hard to find the right exposure levels.

After a while I started to watch the skaters more closely and understand their movements and where I could get the best shots of each individual skater. Luckily I’ve skated with and watched Ash and Milan a lot and found it really easy to predict their movements making for plenty of good photographs but, as much as I love to shoot them both, I really wanted pictures of everyone there.

Milan with some sweet moves

Ashley received some good lessons from Newtons Shred. This was the first time he dropped in successfully!

I even managed to capture the celebrations afterwards and a rare smile! Well done Ash!

I noticed there were certain areas of the bowl where every skater would get high or try something interesting and so decided these would be the best areas to train my camera on. I also noticed that certain skaters, particularly the more experienced ones, were practicing certain moves over and over so that they could perfect them. This was exactly the information I needed to really improve my photographs!

I trained my camera on these sections, depending on the skater, which meant I could set my shutter speed and focus ready for the subject to make their appearance into frame.

It took a bit of practice to really get the timings but eventually I managed to get some shots that I’m really proud of, not only that but all the shots I was taking started being useable rather than having a lot that i would never use.

I’m really proud of myself for the improvements i’ve made from just one day, and not just me, Ash learnt to drop in too with help from a good friend from Newtons Shred. A very successful day!

I am trying to be a lot more aware of my surroundings from now on, and not just when I have my camera on me. I really think that learning to recognise memorable moments will help improve my photography immensely.

I think there is a lot to learn from other photographers, both old and current, and so plan to do lots of research into others, particularly other nature photographers. I’ll be sharing my research with you all in future blog posts, probably once a month, and use their influences in my own photoshoots. I think it could make for some very interesting results!

You can see the rest of the photographs for this shoot right here on my facebook!

Claire x

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Alphabet Dating – B is for Bowling and Bonfire Night

Ash was in charge of date B and no matter how much I tried to guess, he wouldn’t let me know where we were going.

I was pretty shocked when we got there as it turned out to be bowling, something Ash really does not enjoy but he knows I love it.  It’s so sweet that he would even think of taking me to something he hates so much!

The reason he doesn’t like bowling is because he’s not exactly good at it, and no one likes things they’re not good at. However, after a little bit of teaching from me (despite also not being all that accomplished myself), he soon got into the swing of things and even scored a strike or two!

He also bought us some food from the diner there. He got a burger and I got a hotdog with some extra onion rings and breaded cheese. Unfortunately, although my hotdog was yummy, the rest was just so so. Ash wasn’t particularly impressed with his burger and the onion rings and cheesy bites weren’t really cooked enough. I don’t think we’ll be eating there again if we ever go bowling in future, would have been better to go to McDonalds.

A little underwhelmed…

But it was still a very fun date. Bowling is always a winner in my opinion. It gets you up, active and breaks the ice (if there’s ice to break).

After we finished bowling we had one game in the arcade (we only had a pound on us). The air hockey table was the winner and we both got rather too into it until Ash became victorious (obviously I was just too tired from the bowling…)

However the day was not over as it was also the 5th and we had already planned to go to a fireworks display in Walthamstow. Ash had actually never been to a fireworks display before and I knew this had to be fixed as this is one of my favourite nights of the year!

We got there not too long after the gates opened and decided to go have a look at the fairground. We were both looking forward to some good rides but as we got there we realised all the rides were the practically the same…Usually you find theres at least a good variety but these were all the same ride just with a part that span a slightly different way each time. There wasn’t even a ‘Hollywood’ or ‘UFO’ sort of ride.  Still, we paid £1.50 (cheap!!) to go on the one we decided looked the most fun and had a few fun minutes spinning around and waving our legs around in the air.

We then spent some time wondering around and buying candy floss, toffee apples and some cadburys hot chocolate with baileys in it! There was also a hog roast, paella and the usual burger vans. It was a very good and varied selection.

We wondered around for a bit before going to ask when the fireworks were starting. Apparently it wasn’t for another 2 hours (we’d already been there for around an hour) so we went to a nice little cafe and bought some mochas so that we could sit in the warmth for a bit.

When the fireworks did finally start we were certainly not disappointed. They were definitely the best fireworks i’ve ever been to see, although that isn’t saying much as these were on a slightly bigger scale and it was a lot busier so it’s bound to have more money put into the event. They were timed to the various music perfectly and really built up to a great finale!

It was definitely a fun day out and the fireworks were a spectacular end to a good day.

Now I just have to figure out what to do for date C….

‘Till next time!