Half term began with 3 days at The Photographers Gallery, London. Students could sign up to 1, 2 or all 3 days, which each covered different techniques and themes.
Day one was focusing on Colour. This session was all about capturing the colour in the world around us. We looked at the work of famous photographers such as Andreas Gursky, Martin Parr and William Eggleston. These photographers are very well known for their use of vivid colour.
We talked the students through various different camera settings to help them achieve the best possible photograph. Aperture was the main focus for today’s session, learning how to control the light and focus to make their colourful images really pop. The first challenge of the day was to use what they had learnt about depth of field to creatively photograph fruit and veg. Believe it or not, they make really great still life photographs! Here’s a few examples of photographs taken by the students:
We then head out to Carnaby Street so the students could practice their new skills in a different setting. Here are some of their colourful photographs:
So that’s day one, Colour!
Day two’s theme was all things Action. The most important thing to learn about when photographing moving objects or people, is Shutter speed. Using a fast shutter speed captures action sharply, like water falling in small droplets. Using a slow shutter speed means those water droplets would appear blurred.
The first task the students did was use technique called light drawing. Putting their camera on a slow shutter speed in a dark room, and using torches to draw words or patterns. This is something simple but really effective, and is easy to try at home! You can also use the slow shutter to capture multiple images in one shot, like the hands and feet in the images below. Here are some examples from the group:
Next we went outside to use faster shutter speeds to capture running and jumping and hair flicking!
We also tried out a technique called panning, where you put your camera on a shutter speed of about 1/30th of a second and follow a moving object to capture them sharp, but the background blurred and moving. It’s not the easiest technique and it can take some time to perfect but the students did brilliantly!
Another cool thing to try is ghosting. This is where a slow shutter speed is used to capture ghost-like figures walking across the photographs. Here are some examples from the class:
So many fun techniques to try!
Day 3 was all about portraits and people. Today we were learning about using the portrait and aperture (A or AV) settings on the camera to take great portraits. Composition and thinking about where the light is is really important when it comes to taking portraits. Will you use natural light or flash? How about a natural background or a backdrop? Will you direct your model or let them decide on poses themselves? Colour or black & white? There is no right or wrong, just lots of different things to consider!
Here are some of the inside shots that were taken:
Here are some of the outside portraits:
Where you place your model and where they are looking can totally affect the look of your photograph. So experiment as much as you can and see what you prefer! Why not use gels to colour your flash or props to help your model pose?
We had a really great three days at The Photographers Gallery this half term. The students were extremely talented and the photographs were amazing!
Here’s what our students had to say:
“[The workshop was] a very open space to experiment with the techniques taught. [The staff were] very aware and helpful, they gave great feedback and suggestions.”
“I really liked it when we went outside and were able to photograph using different backgrounds. I also liked getting to know the technical bits of the camera.”
“It was really helpful and lots of fun”
“The workshop was good and entertaining and I learnt a lot. The staff were really good because every one of the staff was really nice.”
“They made it really fun and easy to learn – I’ll be telling all my friends about it!”
“I liked how much freedom we had to go out and take photographs.”
“I really enjoyed working with torches and slow shutter speeds in the dark.”
“The workshop was really enjoyable. The staff were really friendly, helpful and let you choose things for yourself.”
“I have learnt so much today, Lilli and Harriet really helped me to understand my camera.”