Week 4: Manual Shooting Gallery

Week 4: Manual Shooting Gallery

I went up to Tate Modern on Friday night. It gave me the chance to try to capture – minus tripod – some shots of the city as the sun was going down.

I had to experiment with different settings to get The Shard to look relatively Shard-like. It also helped me to see just how ISO can dramatically change a shot. These were all taken within a few minutes of each other, so the light wasn’t changing as dramatically as it might first appear…

The Live Exhibition – Ten Days, Six Nights – had just kicked off.  As we were leaving we literally walked into once of the exhibits: Fujiko Nakaya’s, London Fog with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani. As if we were suddenly enveloped in a cloud, it gave me the chance to grab some other-worldly images of other people taking selfies in some most unusual light. They might not be technically brilliant, but I think they captured the moment quite well.

I went out onto one of the upper terraces to snap St Paul’s and The Thames. I managed to keep the ISO relatively low for this shot – so it worked better than some of my other attempts. The three below were all taken through a window – so there were quite a few dire ones where the camera had focused on smudges on the glass versus the view beyond. But in the end I managed to get a shot that was relatively true to the light and not too soft.

I grabbed some other shots both inside the Tate and of the view of the city. I wasn’t really focusing on framing so much as just playing around with the manual setting to see if I could actually take some images that more or less represented what I was seeing.

The next morning, the sun was shining, so we headed out early to West Wittering. I didn’t shoot as much as I had thought I would as there was an almighty wind and sand was going everywhere, and I didn’t want to knacker the camera. But I got some OK shots – although I didn’t manage to get the exposure quite right on the beach huts. I could capture their colour, but I couldn’t get the blue of the sky at the same time. Having the dog with me, I couldn’t spend ages fiddling about with each shot to try to work out what I needed to change to get a better image. It was a grab it now situation as I had to keep one eye on the hound as there were too many small children eating ice-cream to be able to focus just on taking photos. Not exactly war reportage conditions, I know, but still…

That same afternoon I went down to the Thames at Sunbury. I wanted to shoot some greenery that wasn’t just Richmond Park. I was visiting my Aunt who has a huge selection of camera lenses, so I got to play around with a 35-155 telephoto and a 100m fixed prime. The latter was a disaster as I couldn’t seem to get far enough away from anything I really wanted to shoot, but I now seriously lust after a similar telephoto as it seemed to really add something to my shots. I experimented filming the same subject with different aperture settings, ISO, shutter speeds. So forgive me for the repetition!

I caught the end of a beautiful Spring day and I think I managed to capture the light pretty well.

I was still there for the golden hour, and the light was just stunning.

The following day I went up to Richmond Park, as per usual. The light was much brighter and I found it hard to capture the warmth of the day and the colours of Spring. Everything was just too crisp.

Back home, I just played around in the garden. Changing settings and seeing what happened. It’s alchemy, this photography lark.

More photo’s of the park. The blueish one is what happens if you forget that you have used an internal light setting on your camera the night before and then go and try to shoot outside on a sunny day. I couldn’t work out why all the images were coming out with a blue tinge and why the camera was taking so long to fire. Then I remembered I had taken some shots the night before where I had used some setting to compensate for interior lighting and put the camera on a 2-second delay.  A reminder that I need to set everything back to neutral, rather than waste twenty minutes wondering what on earth I am doing wrong…

I also wanted to focus on some manmade detail – these are ok, but the mask is much blacker and only the wide shot shows it in its true colours.

Finally, some truly random shots – part of a tractor and a pile of magazines – that was just me playing around to see if I could capture the colours and clarity. 

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