Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Nature Photography Class
I know, I know, I still have one more post from our trip to the Netherlands to get to you. And I will, I promise! But in the meantime...
I took a Nature Photography Class last Saturday at the Loeb School of Communications in Manchester. The teacher was a photo journalist named Bob LaPree. For the first part of the class he showed us his equipment and why he used what he does. Then he showed us a bunch of slides of his photos, along with commentary explaining how he took them and some techniques he used. His photos were beautiful and I picked up some tips. He recommends using a big lens so that you can get closeups of wildlife without being too close to them. I don't have a very big lens, but I do have a 300mm that I don't use very often because I get confused when I try to get closeups with it of small plants. The trick, I've learned, is to obey the macro setting limit on the lens, which is about 5 feet, and then use cropping and zooming post production to get right in there.
For the second part of the class we went over to the Massabessic Audubon Center and he set us loose to take our own pictures. This was great fun. I don't know why I don't do this more often! I got more comfortable with my long lens, had a great time shooting little flowers and fiddleheads, went a little crazy taking photos of leaves backlit by the sun. And I put that 300mm lens to use getting some really great shots of a little barn swallow that was really strutting his stuff for me!
Here's the link to all of my pictures:
After we came back from taking pictures he asked for volunteers to show their photos. I bravely offered up my barn swallows and he put it in Photoshop and showed us what we could do to improve the picture there.
Before that class I've been pretty content with what I can do to my photos post production using Picasa, but now I see there's a lot more I could do if I had Photoshop or Lightroom too. I might even have to try shooting in RAW sometime....