Week four of the night class

I returned, several times, to my night class following my crap terminology quiz – hell man; I want to learn!

So, a very quick recap of the gems of knowledge I have picked up…

I am very ashamed to say that I’ve probably had my camera (a ‘compact’ they call it – canon IXUS 9515) for about five years and I haven’t taken it off auto in all this time – well except when I slid the wrong button down and I wonder why it was not taking pix – yeh, it’s on video… It was quite a revelation to slide it into auto and find out what effects can be had without my trusty Phototoaster app.

To those aficionados among you, this may be very old news; but it was revolutionary to me!

Week two – flora and fauna. We headed into the garden to take close ups – well I never; there’s a close up button on the camera – the ‘tulip’. I also found out that the +/- button is my new best friend. I like intensity and contrast in my pix; I don’t have a delft touch. When you press this button there’s wee sliding scale from -2 to +2 (in the trade they call it the EC exposure compensation). I think it just lets you control how much light comes in, so you can make the shots lighter or darker. And, if you press the DISP button you can review what conditions (or buttons you pressed) for each and every pix taken. Rock n roll 🙂

Moving swiftly on, week 3, we set up a Flickr account – there’s a group set up for the course so the tutor and others can critique your pix. I’ve always shyed away from Flickr much preferring instagram and I think the reason why is that you have to set up a yahoo email account (another email account! I must have about 8 now!) job done and we were able to play on photoshop elements. It’s been a long time since I’ve edited pix on here (again, I’m a girl of habits and settled with Phototoaster), but I must admit the functionality and things you can do are much more sophisticated. Now, if I was organised I’d have my Flickr URL to hand and post it here, alas not. So, onto last night.

The course runs 6-8pm, but last night we didn’t meet until 8.30pm and we were on location (slash field trip) at Newcastle’s Quayside. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of venturing this far up North, it is a treat to behold – yeh, of course I’m biased! I’m quite partial to a wander down to the BALTIC (mostly to visit its fab book store) and a wee cake in the slug (aka The Sage), but I haven’t been down with my camera.

Although punctional, I was the last to arrive. I approached my group with some trepidation; not only did they have their big cameras (SLRs i beleive) in their big bags, but there was a host of tripods to add to the equation.

Sunset wasn’t scheduled until 9.20pm and we were told the water wasn’t high enough and it was cloudy evening. For those of us with compacts; that’ll be me and the two other ladies (mum and daughter – sweet!) we were to experiment with the flash. The flash? Doesn’t that come on automatically? No, not if you are on auto and a flash only illumiates a few metres ahead of you which isn’t ideal if you are doing landscaps (yes, im learning!) we also got a quick lesson in composition, get something to lead your eye into the pix or think of noughts and crosses (if you think of the centre square, the area of interest should sit on one it’s corner points). Plus, it was spitting! Hood up, off I trotted.

Here’s some pix of my beautiful city; I’ve edited them in my ole trusty Phototoaster, but next sess we are going to be in elements mode so no doubt (hopefully) I’ll share with you some new photoshop tops tips and some better pix. Until then, enjoy Newcastle at dusk 🙂

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