The phrase above, which also happens to be the title of this article, is an oft used metaphor in photography. It’s used to signify a truth that often is misunderstood, especially by beginners. Ever since DSLR camera and camera lenses came on to the market, it has become ostensibly easy to get into serious photography. Well, at least if you go only by the gear that a photographer wields.
This happened to me and I am sure I am not an exception. I used to think just because I am shooting with a point and shoot camera I will never be able to produce images of the same standard as someone shooting with a professional camera and a bazooka-like lens. Then when I graduated to a DSLR camera, I thought those with medium format cameras are probably shooting even better! Then, when I saw people submitting photos shot with smartphones and getting recognised on National Geographic, my perception changed forever. Now when I think back I feel how naïve I was!
This photography course is held over the weekend, starting on Saturday morning and finishing on the Sunday evening.
Contact us and we can arrange a date for a group, or, we will nominate a date that suits once we have enough numbers.
If you want some training now I would be more than happy for some one on one personal lessons.
Day 1 - theory & technical
Day 2 - practical
You can attend only one day if prefer.
Bring your friends and you receive a discount.
1 Friend = 10%, 2 Friends = 15%, 3 Friends = 20%
You can book up to 4 places using this system. For bookings beyond 4 places, please contact us and we can talk to you about a group booking rate.
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Hit the drop down below to choose days and how many you are booking for and the price will update.
Inspiration is everything
If you are looking for inspiration to shoot great images - get out and get inspired. Don’t just stay indoors watching camera reviews. A digital camera is just a mere box. All it does is capture light the way you dictate it. It can’t and won’t take photos on its own. It does not know whether you are shooting a bush or a rose or the Zhangjiajie forests. It has no brains. It is like an automobile. It might have great features but someone’s still got to drive it.
What about camera lenses?
Now, if you talk about a lens, it is a completely different thing. You may ask why? I don’t suppose a lens has got brains? No it doesn’t. But there is still a significant difference between a lens and a DSLR Camera. The lens is an extension of your eyes. What you see and how you choose to see it translates ultimately into the photo that you make. The lens just helps you to capture that photo. The camera simply records what the lens sees.
So, let’s say you are standing in front of a meadow with bright yellow sunflowers. Now imagine yourself taking a picture from your eye level. Let’s say with an 18-55mm kit lens set to 50mm. What you get is an image that every other passing tourist or nature lover gets – a disappointing composition of nothingness. Rather than using an 18-55mm lens you should have opted for a wider lens, let’s say a 12-24mm lens set to 12mm and f/8. The wider lens gives a much wider coverage, a greater depth of field and a much sharper image because of the general quality of the lens, which is way better than the kit lens. Of course a few more tricks would have to be used. One of them is shooting from a low angle and keeping one of the sunflowers tack sharp as the focal point of the image. Overall the image quality would be much better.
Let’s say you want to shoot a portrait session with a high-key lighting setup. Let’s add to that a requirement to produce an extremely shallow depth of field. One of the best portrait lenses is the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC. Set at its widest aperture of f/2 you can create an extremely sharp focal point, which without any question should be the eyes of the subject and then blur out the rest of the image. With a kit lens like the 18-55mm with a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at 55mm this would be impossible.
Another example of horses for courses could be the need for macro perspectives. Macro lenses basically increases the gap between the focal plane and the optical center of the lens. The optical center of the lens is where the rays of light emanating from the subject converges. I have covered this topic in detail in another article on this website.
With a macro lens the gap between the optical center and the focal plane increases as such the image becomes magnified. The minimum working distance between the lens and the subject also decreases which allows you to get much closer to the subject. This is something that kit lenses or tele-lenses are incapable of achieving.
Photo tips? Here’s the one you really need to get started
As you have just read, each of the above scenarios required a lens that is tailor-made for it. Thus, buying just one lens or for that matter any lens will not suffice. If you are here looking for digital photography lessons, here’s your first. Don’t spend most of your money on the camera body and then get the cheapest lens you can lay your hands on. Instead, get a reasonable body and then spend a majority of your money on the best lens/lenses you can afford. What to do with the balance amount? Well, that bit will be discussed at some other time in some other article on photo tips.