Ilya's Course Blog - Week 4

02 July 2015

Region: London

4th Blog piece, week 3 of the course.

This week was Exposure Week. The lessons were excellent and the Lightroom videos definitely excellent too. Starting with how to assess exposure in an image, learning how to see if an image is under, over or perfectly exposed with examples and exercises. We were then introduced to ‘The Stop’ and went into more depth for aperture, shutter speed and ISO in relation to exposure and their relation to each other via stops.

I just love the little tables and charts they make for us and this week we got a lovely illustrated list on typical shutter speeds for various situations, but as it isn’t really mine to share you will have to sign up to see it. I’ll say one thing though; I’ll be starting at 1 second next time I’m at a firework display and 0.3 seconds next time I’m looking to soften waves on rocks. A lovely little graph apparently based on an exposure value table invented in Germany in the 1950’s shows all the different aperture and shutter speed combinations for different exposures. Maybe this course will turn me into a geek or does simply holding a camera do that?

Lightroom videos were really good. They don’t point you in the direction of YouTube or Adobe’s own material. They have made their own tutorial videos. They have a wonderful BBC2-like old fashioned charm, nothing gimmicky or American accented just excellent clearly explained and to the point. This week was really vital –histograms and the Basic LR panel, all those whites, highlights, blacks and shadows using the sliders and the histograms to control them. And one on B&W conversion using presets. I’m getting excited for the next session and the reassuring guy’s lovely clear teaching.

I’m beginning to find the pace quite tough though and find I am slowing down. The course is getting more useful, covering more things new to me but at the same time there is a lot else happening in my real world too and I find myself running out of time. It is the photography assignments that are losing out and I am getting behind on –they require longer periods of consecutive time. It is easy to spend spare half hours or late nights online doing the course, checking out discussions in the forums (These are getting more intense, more people posting so more to read, some of it very useful technically, some of it chatty, one or two awkward moments) and looking at and commenting on the photos of others.

So getting time to work on photo assignments is harder and to be honest, thinking of what to do for the assignment is hard, photos to order rather than come across . And of course not every session I spend photographing for an assignment produces images I want to share with anyone. Fortunately we don’t have to keep to a strict timetable.

This week’s assignments are about capturing movement blur, something I haven’t tried before other than the car light trails in the night everyone tries early on, low light photography and high contrast photography. All ways to stretch our thinking about exposure. I want to try panning but how to make it interesting? To make better light trails I need to go further than the end of my road at night. Oh, it’s wonderful to have such things to worry about! This week’s image is one I took at Victoria Station, it was my example attempt at movement blur.

Image © Ilya Fisher


Comments (1)

24 July 2015

Would love to practise panning too, especially at the back of a devilish tuk tuk somewhere in crazy India.

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