Photography Basics: Five Days to Better Pictures | Andrew Hind | Skillshare

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Photography Basics: Five Days to Better Pictures

teacher avatar Andrew Hind, Professional photographer and teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. Educate Your Eye

    • 4. Imagine What You Want

    • 5. Work the Shot

    • 6. Introduction

    • 7. Composition for Fast Improvement

    • 8. The Secret to Great Composition

    • 9. Introduction

    • 10. Two Frequent Problem Areas

    • 11. Back Lighting Secrets

    • 12. The Very best Time for Taking Pictures

    • 13. The Decisive Moment

    • 14. Practice Makes Perfect

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About This Class

This course is for the beginner photographer who wants to learn about the techniques that will give the quickest and most effective results. There is no short cut for hard work and learning but the techniques in this course will yeald the best results for the amount of time spent.

The course is divided into five days or sections (although it doesn't have to be completed over five days) and each day introduces a particular concept or technique. Each concept is explained carefully and in as simple way as possible so that it's easy to understand how you can implement the ideas presented to quickly see an improvement in your photography.

If you work through each day carefully, study the examples and practice the ideas taught you will see a rapid improvement in your pictures. You will feel more confident as a photographer and have a thorough understanding of some of the most important photographic technique. You will be able to use your new skills and apply them in a wide variety of photographic situations and this will help push your work up to the next level.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Andrew Hind

Professional photographer and teacher


I have been a photographer since I was 16 starting with film cameras, processing and printing my own films as a teenager and then becoming a professional photographer in 2003. I have wide experience of shooting weddings, portraits and commercial photography at a professional level both using film and digital equipment and I enjoy shooting street photography on my Iphone in my spare time as well!

I also have a professional teaching qualification from Cambridge University and I have taught photography alongside my other work in schools to a wide age range of children as well as at A level to more mature students.

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1. Introduction: Hi there. Welcome to the course. It's divided into five easy to follow sections. I've called them the Five days of the week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Now you don't have to do them on consecutive days, obviously. But if you wanted a week of photography to really, really improve, then then that would be a nice way of doing it. I do suggest, however, that you do one section at a time. They're very short and sort of bite size. Take your time to digest the information there on to perhaps do a little bit of reading around and thinking about what's covered in each of the sections. One of the sections at the beginning has some sort of homework or some quiz work to do. I'm some tasks to Dio. The other sections are pretty obviously a fairly self explanatory in that they give you skills to practice. So it's well worth doing a section at a time, practicing the skills in each section, sort of in isolation so that you're working on a particular technique or a particular aspect. One at the time don't do what's really, really common and easy to do, which is to watch the whole course from beginning to end and then think your practice because it won't work like that. I've done courses like that myself, but it's not. It's not a great way of doing it. So if I can encourage you to literally do one block at a time to think about digest on practice, that block all that day, that section on, then go onto the next one, then that's the best way to do the course under the best way to actually see you really improvement in your photography. Okay, here we go, Then let's get started with Day one. 2. Introduction: hi there. And welcome to Day one of the course they one's called pre envisage because pre envisaging your photographs is a great ways a photographer to improve from a beginner to a much more advanced level, We're going to look at ways of educating your eye or educating your thinking. If that makes sense, really, because photography's about what goes I know on in your mind's eye and in your imagination . It is little to do with the amount of pixels your camera has or what lens you're using. It's about your creativity. It's about your imagination. It's about your inspiration. So we're going to look at educating your I for the first first part of that today. Andi, look at ways that you can really really start to think about what your photographic goals are, what your photographic identity might be. We're then going to go on and look at ways of imagining what you want. So preempt. This is the rial pre envisage bit, imagining the photograph before you take it. Imagine so. Also sort of think, if you're on a journey, is really difficult to get to your final destination. If you don't know where your final destination is it's good to have something in your mind . Have an end product in your mind so that when you start trying to take a picture, you've got your sort of end point, you know, sort of clearly in your in your head. That may May, may well changes you as yours. The photographs taken or is the photographic process is underway. But that's absolutely fine. You have to start with something. Starting from a clean sheet or a blank slate is terrifying. It's really, really hard. It's very difficult to go out and say, Okay, well, I'm going to take photographs today. I'm going to take better pictures today. You need to know what you're looking for and then you can put some things in place to actually increase the chances of you being able to do that. Well, then look at ways of actually taking the shot, using this pre envisaging idea in your mind as well and ways that you can manipulate the subject ways that you can shoot in several different ways ways that you can sort of refine and under just your photography to get to that end result. And of course, the end result. As you do this, your imagination and your your creative thinking may well change. And, you know, the end result you're looking for might be something completely different. But at least you're going through a creative process. You got it. An end sort of unending mind. You go, you're going along a journey rather than just turning up somewhere with camera taking pictures. Okay, let's get started. I'll see you in the next video. 3. Educate Your Eye: we're going to start off by looking at ways of developing your creative I or your photographic personality. I'm all of our sort of actions are born out of our experience, really, whether it that through photography or in life in General Onda, we all have a really rich bank of experience often to draw upon. And this sort of informs our thinking and on our world of you as a photographer, it's really important that you start developing a library or a bank of photographic experience from which to draw inspiration on from which to try and decide to try and work out what your photographic view of the world is. One way of doing this is to look through photography books on guy, say, look through in a very loose way. I think it's almost a sort of soak up photography books is the thing that you need to do, and books have on immediacy and and Itandje ability that seeing the photographic print on the on a blogger or on on the Internet just really doesn't have something very special about holding something in your hand. There's need necessarily be expensive. It's often possible to get second hand photography books on Amazon obviously is really, really good for this sort of thing. And the eBay you confined things really, really cheaply. Second hand bookshops and so so and so forth. Libraries often also have a good photography section, where you can access books quickly and cheaply or practically fought for nothing. The next thing. To get some real first hand experiences to go two photography exhibitions with some research, you're rarely going to be far away from a photographic exhibition of some description. It may not be something that you're necessarily interested in, but but in a way that doesn't really matter that something about seeing photography for a purpose on the wall and being seen out in public. That could be really, really, really, really inspiring and talk magazines or another obvious place to look for inspiration and ideas again. It could be quite expensive to have a magazine subscription, but there's no reason why you know the order monthly purchase can't be can't be done. It's also obviously possible to buy magazines online as well. Also, get them on a tablet or something similar like that, which is a little bit less expensive. Back issues of magazines also again, second hand bookshops and so on so forth. Looking on eBay photography in a way, in terms of his visual appeal, doesn't go out of fashion. Obviously, the techniques of the digital of digital photography in digital photography world do you change on our very quickly sort of on a day to day basis. But the fundamentals of photography, the visual aspects of photography, are exactly the same now as they were 10 years ago. Say you may well find that even some sort of relatively out of date for talking to magazines can be got in bulk for relatively little money and could be very, very inspiring. The talk of the blog's are also another great place. That's a fantastic resource is online in terms of photography training in terms of photography inspiration. I'll put some of these Resource is in the worksheet at the end of this of this particular section, so that you can see some of the girls and go straight to them. I personally described a number of photography blog's on guy use something called Feed Lee , which works rather nicely. Teoh conglomerate them all together. This is essentially a block feeder on you can see down the left inside. Here there's there's a list of the photography blocks that I subscribed. Teoh here on this brings up in the main window. Ah ah, whole daily list of new block posts for me, Teoh, Peru's and read. So it's bringing all of these blog's into one place. Really, This is free to sign up to its feed li dot com on It works really nicely on a tablet and on the phone as well, and it really makes This is sort of very browsing sort of magazine experience whereby you can quickly looked through a lot of information. See what takes your fancy in a really easy and manageable way. Also, it's worth starting to explore the works of some great photographers as well. I've put some examples here for you to think about now. There's a number of other photography genres I've put landscape Street Talk Free Wildlife took report rate in fashion here that my name means exclusive and you may well be interested in other aspects of photography, but it is really, really good to look at. Look at master photographers, incredibly inspiring to see, to see the work of a photographer who's who's obviously light years ahead of you here in terms of technique and vision. Andi, just think you know how they actually got to where they were in visually and how they how they created the pictures can be incredibly inspiring, an extremely good for sort of building up your photographic vocabulary. Now, with all this research, it is very easy to get overwhelmed that I think particularly if you're in an exhibition or looking through books and things of hundreds of pictures, it could be very, very easy to sort of just flick through. And you sort of get to photographic overload if it if you like, and and you you can sort of see the wood for the wood for the trees, I find this sort of thing. When you go to an art gallery, I find it really quite overwhelming. Going to not go. There's just so much stuff to look at. I find it quite stressful in a way, and it sort of switches me off to what I'm seeing because there's too much information to take in, take your time and analyze some individual pictures, find something that really appeals to you find a picture that really appeals to you that you really like that it really spend really speaks to you. When you go through three point processes you can see in front of you. Hear what? Work out what's actually in the picture so physically. What's there? Say it to yourself. You know, I can see these different elements in here. I can. You know what? What things are in there that make the picture, What it is, thinking a little bit more depth about how it was taken so you could talk the talk to yourself or think to yourself about the technical aspects of the picture. Perhaps what shutter speed was used anything to do it, Maybe the depth of field or after Chucho, our approach here, literally. Where was the photographer when he or she took the picture? Was it a studio photograph? Was and wasn't set up was It's a street photograph, which was literally taken by, you know, on on the flight fly of a minute. Um, try and work out exactly how the picture came into into being possibly also. Why it was taken as well could be a really important thinking point at this point, how does it make you feel, what appeals about it? And how could you use that information to improve your own work? So how does the picture make you feel? Why? Why does it make you feel that? Do you think? What is it about the actual in elements in the picture or in the frame that actually makes that happen? Is that the colors is that the emotion of the pictures is the expression of somebody's face ? This leads to do with the light? Is it something to do with storytelling aspects of the image? What appeals about it to you? But most importantly, how could you use that information to improve your own work? So what ideas could you get from that picture that that you could actually apply to your own photography? Onda could make your work sort of similar quality or your work have a sort of similar sorts of fields. Who is okay? Take some time over. This is really, really important, I think, and it does take a lot of time to soak up, and it's an ongoing process. It's a lifetime process in many ways, exploring and finding and building a photographic vocabulary like this. And there's going to be some things on the worksheet at the end of the section for you to do on this just to sort of get you started. But for now, go on to the next video and we'll talk about what to do with this information. 4. Imagine What You Want: The next stage is to imagine the pictures that you want to go out with with a purpose with a photographic purpose. Now that might be a general sort of idea of the type of photographs that you want to take. You might, for example, be going out. Photograph your your son or daughter to sporting events, or you might be taking some family photographs on holiday. But it's really good to in your mind at least, to put some boundaries around the type of photography that you're going to do to just focus your thinking and to give you a goal. Now, that's not to say that you can't change that as you go along. And, of course, you'll see different opportunities but is much, much better than literally just walking out of the camera and hoping for the best. Also, having some sort of purpose and some sort of focus will hopefully link into some of the previous research that you've done in the in the last few lectures about your photographic high and your first graphic thinking in your photographic personality. It's also really important that you planned beforehand to maximize your chances of success if you know that you want to go out and take a particular type of photograph, then you really need to work out the best sort of locations for that. Where is that type of photograph most likely to occur? Where you, Moz likely to be able to get that type of image? You may be abscond. Drive that and set it up. Or you may need to go to the mountains to take landscape photographs, but it takes planning. It's a simple concept, but something that can save a huge amount of time of frustration and again can really focus your thinking before you even bring the camera to your eye and go out and start taking pictures. Finally, and most importantly, and imagining the pictures that you want is thinking before you shoot. It's very, very easy to pick up the camera. Pop it on your I press the shutter down and hope for the best. You're never going to improve your photography doing this way. The process of taking a picture should well, it should be within the context of knowing what your general purposes, but every individual picture you need to try and imagine in your mind before you take it, What do you want it to look like? Think before you shoot. Think in terms of composition. Think in terms of the timing of what you want to happen in front of you think in terms of the lighting, think in terms of the mood of the picture, and it also in terms of what the actual emotion or the message of the picture might be. If you have some of some of the answers to some of those questions in your mind before you press the shutter and you literally have a picture in your mind before you take the photograph, you stand a hugely much higher chance of actually getting the photograph in the camera than you do then random, you know, then randomly, sort of picking the camera and hoping for the best, which is quite hard. The chances are that if you can get to the state where your pre envisaging photographs like this, that's the only thing that will be getting in your way, is your technique Experience photographer will be able to pre envisage what they want the picture to look like in their minds. They will be able to adjust the camera really, really quickly. Teoh. However there you know the settings that's needed to get that type of picture on, then well, they will be able to photograph it and pretty much get what they want. I'm not going to suggest that this will happen easily or quickly or first time. And in the next lecture, we're going to have a look at some work by some very famous photographers that just actually prove that point. It doesn't happen instantaneously. It doesn't happen every time on it's not. A simple is that there is often, often a lot of reworking and re framing and sort of working the subject in working the photograph until you get the actual frame that you want that takes place. We'll have a look at that in the next sector. In the next lecture, See you there 5. Work the Shot: Finally today in this section, I wanted Teoh show you some contact sheets. Bison, Really well known photographers. I've just gone to Google images and put in the words Magnum contact sheets. If you put in contact sheets like up here, you will find a similar sort of thing is well worth looking through this sort of thing. Just take it just to really bring home the message that actually, very rarely do you get the great shot. First time you have to work with your subjects as we were talking about in the previous in the previous lecture. A good example of this here is the contact sheet here by this is Diane Arbus on the picture up here is a very famous picture of her that she took of ah boy in the park. It looks, if you see it close up, it looks like he's holding a grenade. Um, and you can see that there's what's that? Is that this several? There's 12 photographs here. Mawr 123456 years, 12 photographs here, Um, some of which a good, some of which aren't some of which are meaningless, you know, some of which have very, very different sort of expressions. This one here being the one that she chose, she worked the subject. She spent time with the subjects. This may have only being, you know, a fraction of a minute it could only taking 30 seconds to take these. It's a child, for goodness sake. But it wasn't the first shot that she got. You know, first time wasn't necessarily right. If we just go through here, you say the same. Same idea here. The famous picture, every lama out of a taxi window. And you know, there's 12345 or six attempts of that. Actually, that road there, probably as well. It's point. Another example, Chairman Square. Okay. Here. A little bit more. Clearly. So we've got We've got the guy here with that with the pigeons. Actually, thing is taken in the same the same sort of area, isn't it? Within the same. Probably within the same couple of minutes or so. There's nearly a whole roll of film here on the photographers. You can see the photographer is working. They're getting closer here, changing the angle here. The cameras on the you know that right here it's landscape here. The timing's different, obviously, is as the guys throwing the food what Everything's the pigeons, Onda. And it's a case of waiting for the moment, waiting for the shot and the photographers circles. If you hear that are okay and then gone for this one here, I think, as being the being the one that is there is the right thing said digitally. You can you can go much more wild than this. I mean this, you know, a roll of film here. There's no reason why you can't shoot, You know, 50 frames of the of the same thing in a short amount of time. Now that's not to say that you should be machine gunning Onda literally just holding your camera shutter down continually because that's really not going to get the result that you want. But by moving around the subject waiting for the right time, changing your angle over and over again and just, you know, working until you do get them something that you really, really want. Your chances of success are much, much higher, greatly increased. So this hundreds of examples of this if you have a look, as they say in Google Image is a very famous famous picture here by Philip Housman. This is a portrait off Salvador Dali called Dolly Atomic, because I think if I remember rightly on this several attempts that this a Z it's a complicated photograph, a complicated set up involving throwing cats and water and Darley jumping up in the air and things being suspended. It was never going to go right first time, and I think that there's more than this. I think if I remember the several sheets of the several rolls of film on, then the one final image, So I hope that's that's useful and encourages you. You know failure in many ways is good. You will take hundreds and hundreds of not great pictures before you do finally take the, you know, the magic one on that. That's a frequent experience with photographers. Aziz, you can see here, so don't be afraid to shoot. Shoot as much as possible. Um, trying to pre envisages. We've talked about in the previous lectures which will help your success rate. It will help focus you, but but really shooting and working of subjects is also a really important thing. T do as well, to a certain extent, the mortar photographs you take, the higher your chances of successful, the higher your you know that the odds are it's possible. Teoh, take hundreds of photographs of rubbish. If you're not thinking about it, of course, but working your subjects on being patient really is the key. Now the next lecture I've created little worksheet, and it essentially sums up what we've talked about this. A more recent resource is on there, and it's suggested it suggests some actual things that you can do. So go to the next lecture download that I should just probably printing it out might be a good idea. Do the exercises on their on. Then we'll move on today too. Okay, Thanks. Bye bye. 6. Introduction: hi there, and welcome to Day two of the course. Today we're going to look at three compositional rules or guidelines that will make a dramatic difference to improving the quality of your pictures. There's a lot of stuff written about composition Onda, a lot of training on composition, and it can seem very, very complicated. But these three basic ground rules will yield the most most impressive and quickest results . If you follow them in terms of improving your photography, we're going to look out the rule of thirds leading lines on using framing. Also, when we've done that, I'll talk to you about a really, really fantastic technique that will rapidly and dramatically improve your composition almost instantaneously. Okay, let's get on to look good to the next lecture on. We'll start to talk about the rule of that's 7. Composition for Fast Improvement: So let's kick off with the rule of thirds. Or she's probably one of the most important on sort of commonly known compositional photographic tips or tricks, Really, and using this will will radically improve your composition. First of all, the picture here with some lines across it on this whole thing about the rule of thirds, is to do with you dividing the photograph or the viewfinder into threes. And so we've got three sections down here, divided by two lines on along here as well. 12 and three. Some cameras, in fact, the majority of cameras thes days. It is possible in your settings menu to set up these lines in the viewfinder so that you can see them now. The view that the rule of thirds is all about trying to avoid not all the time that maybe most of the time putting things bang in the centre of the frame, it's visually quite boring. There's no sort of visual tension to a subject that's right bank smack in the middle of the frame. Sometimes this is can be quite difficult because a lot of cameras focus right in the middle of the frames that you are sort of by default, sort of drawn to putting your subject in the middle of the frame by the technology of a lot of cameras. You can move the focus point from side to side says it's sort of over here, over here with a little bit of thought. But by default, a camera will often encourage you t put the thing in the middle, and it's often visually not the most exciting. So the great thing to Dior, the best thing to do is to avoid the middle and try to put the important things on these lines. You can see here. The horizon line is roughly on this line of the third here, but most importantly, the subject here is off off, centering on the side. Also, the sort of secondary subjects of the sun similarly, is in the in the third quadrant here, same thing worked with portray. It's if the girl was right in the middle here it will be quite a boring photograph. It has a certain sense of sort of dynamic nous dinos ism dynamic. Yes, I think, is the word I'm looking for by having her essentially where the rule over the line of the third is again if you think back. So how that picture would divide up here. You can see that her face is bang on the third. You have 1/3 there on the third there roughly It was for landscapes as well. It was for all source of photographs. Imagine the lines here. We've got the horizon roughly. Look here on the third. So you got a line there, roughly online here, roughly so the horizon is on the third. So that works compositionally well in this strong and the main sort of subjects. As with all the main focal point really is on the third here. And I suppose that's sort of brightness and color over here as well. There's not a lot in the middle here. It's very much sort of on the third, which gives it it's strength. Similarly, here is well, third, roughly third here is well, it's worth pointing out that these points here where the lines intersect. Here, here, here and here the intersection of the thirds are really strong points in the frame. This rock is roughly on the intersection of the thirds have very seasoned. Quite If it was a bit lower here or here. Her eyes, particularly this sort of is here. Where you're looking is Nets. This is the sort of focal point, isn't it? Where the water's moving? Is it roughly the intersection of the thirds that more or less is here the little lighthouse here? Obviously, the rock here. Okay, so that's the rule of thirds. Great. A great technique, but really, really, you need to be using it practically in every single sort of photographs that you use unless you are deliberately putting things in the middle of the frame. Leading lines are eyes read photographs generally in the West from left to right. We like to follow things. Our eyes will travel through pictures we like. Lines. Try and incorporate lines. This has got lots of lines, and it's leading through here. Looking through here. Your eye travels up here. It's a shame there's nothing more exciting here. Maybe a couple of people walking or something, or a herd of cows, awesome sheep or something. But you can see how you read your eye follows. Look for lines, per preferably leading to your subjects, preferably not bang in the middle of the frame like that is similar sort of thing Here. Look instantly. Inevitably, your eye goes along here to the buildings here. Really? Line there on the line there. Maybe you read it along here, but essentially we're going from left to right here on our I reads and follows the picture . Same thing here. This is sort of the other way around. But again, pretty much as soon as you see that picture, you would inevitably go like that. You might go like that, but your eye reads In this sort of shape, these shapes were really sort of satisfying for our eyes to follow. We really like this sort of thing, particularly if it culminates and something of interest at the end here, whether some color and some shape so leading lines or lead in lines again really, really important. Give compositional strength and continuity on sort of tell you or lead your eyes to sort of move along in the picture. It gives you the three i something to do. Some sense of dinos ism. It gives it a gives your eyes a direction to go in framing. Very boring. Just to leave a picture with something just in the center. This one here is you see, is framed by leaves. Here we've got the monks framed by trees and things on the outside that be a very boring picture if they were in the middle here. But the frame is really interesting, putting them in an interesting space in the frame. Not a lot to look out here, but you can see how it's framed by the leaves again. You got the trees here on the foliage down here, forming a frame. So you're sort of looking through your looking through something to something else, which gives the picture a sense of three dimension. This is fairly closely related to using foreground middle ground on background. So using a sort of front in the middle in the back, if there was one in here to give the set that the pictures sense of three dimensions using framing really creatively here this'll would be a very dull picture without the lamp in the foreground here, just a very over of a church tower. But by having that sort of like particularly the the actual lightbulb lit up here framing, framing it and the angles quite interesting, it gives the picture a real sense of energy, uninterested. That's if you didn't. You know if this was just a boring sky and and the church steeple would be very, very dull. So three really important compositional techniques, though, that which, if you use them and apply them in all or most of your photographs and in combination will really massively improve the strength of your pictures on the sort of that the impact that the viewer has on them. So I think about them really carefully, the rule of thirds using leading lines or lead in lines and also using framing. 8. The Secret to Great Composition: okay. And here we are with the big final secret. And this really is an absolute top tip. Because I guarantee if you do what it says on this slide, that your composition will improve tenfold on the big top tip is to get into use a tripod. Now, that's it may seem really straightforward in your right thing world. Okay? Yeah, but I can handhold on dual this or to think. Incidentally, you actually do. Try this and you take every single photograph that you take on a tripod tripod for a predetermined amount of time. You won't realize what a powerful technique this is on what a great way it is. Too Slow your photography down and to make you think about your positioning and your composition for every single picture. Um, a tripod is a fantastic tool. It makes you think so. If you imagine that you got your camera sitting on the tripod on dure, setting up a photograph, you and that you inevitably looked through the viewfinder and you and you tweak and you adjust. It really makes you look. And it really makes you slow down. You think of the height depending on how you got the tripod legs set up. You could also think of the rotation of the tripod head with you pointing the camera slightly up or slightly down. The only thing I try put slightly restricts you in is that by default, it's very easy to take a photograph on a tripod with your camera in in landscape mode, saying your sort of normal sideways mode. It's a little bit more difficult to turn the camera around into portray. So if I encourage you to try and used both on your tripod, work out how the head works and make sure you cameras firmly fixed to the tripod head before you flip it over compositionally. It could be really, really good to experiment with both of those and to take a picture. You know the same picture in landscape and portrait and see how you can change the composition and change the look off. So slow down, get a tripod and use it. Use it for a number of pictures. Use it for a number of days, a number of weeks on. Just really see how it makes you think about your composition and improves your photography . Now there's three different pictures on here. Three different sorts of tripods. This type can slot in your camera bag. They're very, very inexpensive. Quite flimsy. Andi, I would probably be still holding the camera if I'm using one of those. This type here is, I suppose what a number of photographers will have their there again. Relatively inexpensive. I'm in the UK here, and you can get this sort of thing for 20 to £30 which I guess is sort of, what, 40 50 U. S. Dollars? Um, they are. They are okay, they are quite flimsy. They do break. I know that they're also quite lightweight, and they don't hold your camera particular steel, particularly still. And they can be quite fiddly to use on. If you have a really high quality camera and a cheap try, Paul, it can be a sort of recipe for disaster because you don't want to just save a few pounds on a tripod for your expensive camera to fall off it. If it's all possible, I would go for a much more sturdy looking model like this. And this is going to cost you, you know, up with upwards of £100 in the UK or 150 to $200 but it will last a lifetime is pretty much indestructible. Won't fall over on will be much, much better, ergonomically designed and easier to use. So you sort of take your pick each each of these three. Possibly with the exception of this, this one certainly will help improve your composition. A good quality tripod. Also there they're fairly indestructible. A good eBay purchase, I think, probably obviously with your usual source of taking care about descriptions and things on eBay. But a good if you find a good quality make of tripod on eBay. A second hand one, you know, that was originally quite expensive and is quite solid. They are fairly indestructible. And that, I think, is the route that I would go down if I was going to buy one today. Another one today se today. Then there's no work she today because I don't think you really need it. You need to go out, take photographs, use a tripod gettin user Tri port Andi, I want you to take photographs using the rule of thirds. So try and track this take Take a set of photographs, all using the rule of thirds putting. You're putting your subject on one of those lines, putting the horizon on the line and putting that subject on there and thinking about those intersections where the lines intersect. I also think about framing. Take a set of pictures using framing, used that tripod and get it accurate and really think about that. Combine it with the rule of thirds. If you can do looking through a frame and then look for some lead in lines, often you need to get low down. It might be looking along a pathway, or it might be looking along offence leading to something interesting again. If there's something interesting can be on the intersection of the thirds or on one of the line of the thirds, and it could be framed as well. That will be absolutely fantastic. It might be possible to combine all three. See how you how you get on. But the tripod thing is key. It's absolutely vital it will improve your photography. No end really, really quickly 9. Introduction: okay, Today's all about exposure, and we're going to start off by having a look at a picture of my pretty little friend here on my desk exposures. Something that's against vitally important and getting it absolutely right makes a massive difference to your photography. Yes, very. It's very simple, and it's one of those absolutely crucial issues that can make a really, really big difference. How many times have you haven't taken a photo that's like this, which is really, really dull and under exposed and un interesting? Or maybe it's come out like this where it's just a little bit too bright or like super super bright like that, which is just way, way over the top. You can see that exposure is absolutely critical. Um, the way that you adjust the exposure on your camera is by using three the well. The simplest way is by using the exposure compensation button on. There's two examples of this here, one on the nick on camera and one on a canon camera. It's okay, suppressing the busted down and then rotating the little dial at the back. Oh, I think it's on the back on accounting cameras well and you can either increase the exposure or decrease the exposure you can, but the way to judge it is there's a number of ways of doing it. The obvious one is to look on the screen on the back of the camera to take a test shorten to see whether the picture to looks too light or too dark. That's not always the most reliable. It could be difficult to see clearly, particularly if you're outside. You're sort of pointing the screen upwards towards the sky, and it gives you a an incorrect impression, really. Of what of what's there a much, much better way Teoh work out whether you got the correct exposure or not, least he'd have a look at the history Graham of the picture on the back of the on the back of the screen. Onda correctly exposed picture should have have a history Graham that looks something like this, whereby the a majority of the of the peaks are in the middle. You've got black right the way down to the edge here, more or less on Dwight, more or less down to the edge. Here, in a picture that is severely over exposed, the peaks or the mountains. He will be too far to the right. Inside. It'll be bunched up at this side in a picture this under exposed. They'll all be bunch down to the left hand side. And with some experience you'll be able to look at the history graham and work out pretty accurately. Whether or not the photograph that you just taken is correctly exposed, which that one more or less is, or whether it's too far under or too far over, you'll be able to make the adjustment here or here on Consequently, Actually, the consistency of your pictures will improve dramatically. Now we're going to look in the next lecture at a on instance, where this is a little bit more difficult, Teoh to get right and something that is the real sort of crux of this, that that frequently goes wrong. Eso Let's let's home wrap this one up and I'll see you in the next lecture 10. Two Frequent Problem Areas: as we saw in the last lecture exposure is absolutely vital to getting a really good and clear and punchy photograph that looks good on your screen or good when it's printed. Generally speaking, modern camera sensors are quite good, reasonably good at judging exposure. And a lot of the time, if you're photographing under good light on the camera, will make a correct judgment. It might be occasionally that you need to like we were talking about in the previous green of the previous lecture. You may need to compensate why they're over exposed or under exposed by, and to check the exposure with hissed a gram. But in good light. And in most most of the situations, most modern cameras do a pretty good job themselves. There's an exception to this, which pretty much confuses all camera sensors Orel camera explosion meters. And that's when you're trying to photograph something that's very light or something that's very dark. I photographed a book here, a TSA book of plants and index of a plant menu in a reasonably bright window light on its It's come out a little bit too dark. As you can see, it's sort of fooled with cameras meter in that the There's a lot of lights bounced back from the whiteness of the page into the camera, and it's full the camera into slightly under exposing. And this has come out a little bit too dark by dialing in a little bit of exposure. Compensation. It's brightened up considerably, as you can see here. So this is about to stop a stopover. Thio, Thio Brighton this up and that that has actually made it pretty much as it should be. It's possibly a little bit too bright, but you can see there's a big difference between those two. So things that are white things is a bright, often confused, the camera meter on cameras pretty consistently well under exposing this sort of situation . Conversely, where your first graph is something that's essentially dark, this is the site of an old antique gramophone. The camera again really finds this sort of thing, or the meter finds it really difficult to read. The darkness of the wood here is sort of soaking up the light really on to compensate for that. The camera is over exposing, and this is this has come out to light in real life. This looked a lot more like that. So here there's I'm a good stop and 1/2 of exposure compensation underneath. And actually, that's a pretty accurate representation of what was in front of me when I took the photograph. You see, that's actually quite right, bright and orange. So this, this is this is absolutely vital. All cameras are confused by scenes that are really dark and seems to really light a light seen they will tend to under EC space. On a dark scene, they will tend to over expose again. You need to check your the hissed a gram, and you'll be able to, with a little bit of experience, see that this is happening by where the mountain is. It'll be either too far to the right for over exposure, or it'll be pushed towards the left for under exposure. Andi, with a little experience on dial twiddling, really, you'll be able to work out how to extra it might do. Do an exposure compensation on your camera. Now, if you really, really life examples of this, I'm a wedding dress here to photograph ready recently this originally when the camera was reading it, this sunlight on the bottom here was, was incredibly bright, incredibly dark, rather because it's really bright. It was reflecting a lot of light back and the camera dude expos quite considerably. There's There's almost two stops of exposure. Compensation on here, which has brought his up, says he doesn't actually look white and bright. Conversely, this is the other way around. This was taken a dusk. It was quite dark. The camera made a real meal of this in terms of its exposure, and over exposed this by a long way, a good to stop storm or losing all the detail in the sky and the color in the clouds and the sun set here and is a very sort of washed out photograph by judging by the cameras meter. But by checking the hissed a gram and just looking what was on the back of the screen and dialing in a good two stops of exposure compensation, I was able to get something that looked pretty close to this in camera. This is how the little bit of post production work on it, but essentially, this is what I saw on the back of my screen. Having having a tweak the exposure. This is all vitally important, and it's the difference between a Knave Ridge photograph in the first graph that looks fantastic. In the next lecture, we'll have a look at how you can use exposure compensation in the final scenario that is really, really frequent and that you may well, senor photographs on again. If you can really get to grips with this this third and final concept in terms of quite exposure, you'll be a long way to really, really make your photographs look fantastic. 11. Back Lighting Secrets: Finally, we have an example here of a backlit subject, a little car with the window behind it here, and this is really, really common. And it doesn't matter whether it's a little car on the desk like this, or whether it's the person standing in the light Andan experience Photographer Will will almost consistently and all the time find that the picture comes out too dark on. Did you see down here? The the wheels and everything are in heavy shadow. The camera really can't cope with this sort of situation. It's meeting for the brightness. Back here is being fooled by the brightness here, and it's under exposing. If you had a person standing in a window, you would have the same issue of the light outside, fooling the camera and the person being in silhouette. And you may not want that. So in this instance, it's another. It's another instance where exposure compensation works absolutely brilliantly for this here, I've brought it up about to stop also, and you can see the detail. Here is much, much better again, going too far, that actually that's sort of the color that the thing is in real life. But it's it's a it's overdone less, and the lighting isn't in the best position here. But you can see the difference that by using that exposure compensation dial you get from a fairly unusable photographed or something that looks reasonable very, very quickly again by reading the history Graham and bye bye movie and dining in the exposure compensation. So backlit subjects. If you have the light behind your subject and you leave the camera to his own devices, the chances are that the subject will come out really, really dark. You won't be able to see any detail just as we can see here at the front. You, Joe cameras exposure, compensation dial, dial in a stop also of exposure. Compensation, possibly mawr overexposed, essentially. And it will brighten up this area here. Of course, it will bleach out some of the back, but the actual important part of the subjects of the front here will be correctly exposed on the first draft will be will be hugely better. Okay, now what you need to do is you need to spend some time finding some dark objects and some dark things and some very bright things, and putting this into practice. First of all, look for some dark, some dark things in some dark corners or some dark places. Or try photographing where the light is relatively subdued, then have a go it, alternatively, doing it. Dude, the bright first, find something white and bright and something that may be in sunshine and sunlight and is reflecting a lot of light back. It needs to be white, because cameras will Kate with sunshine quite well, but it needs to be something white, and something is going to kick in a lot of sun. A lot of light back photographing in snow in the sun, for example, is really, really difficult for this very reason. In each of those exit examples, use your compensation dial and see if you can get a correct exposure and look at the history Graham also, and see how that looks as you get as you as you change the the exposure and use the compensation button. Thirdly, find a backlit subject like I did here find, find a little object and put it in front of a window or a person stunned them in front of the window. Take photograph with the camera just doing its own thing and you'll find that is probably under exposed. Used the exposure compensation dial on, move it and move that hissed a gram to the right until it's looking correctly exposed and you've got a great photograph. 12. The Very best Time for Taking Pictures: Hi there. And welcome to Day four. It's Thursday, Possibly if you've been following this through in date, order or day order. Today is all about timing, and this is one of the most important things that you can master Teoh. Really bring your photographs from the ordinary to the to the fantastic or the extraordinary. There's two things to think about here and the fact we're going to think about first of all , timing in terms of lighting and in terms of weather. Um, and we're also going to talk about in the next. The next lesson. I'm timing in terms. Off split. Second time, you'll watch her. The famous photography on photographer Enrique Cartier Bresson called the decisive moment so split second timing, usually of people or movement. The paintings on the screen at the moment are by Manet Andi, very famous, that pictures of wrong cathedral just really because money was was, was interested in in how a lot of the of the importance of light and essentially he did through this series of paintings of their first child or the front of Rouen Cathedral at different times of day, over a huge period of time from exactly the same. Some points and you could see that you've got a different mood each time, and this is really good. Teoh emphasized the importance in photography of how how important the light is. Um, the worst time you can photograph really is in the middle of the day. Often we find ourselves inevitably doing this is when we sort about it about. But the sun is usually. If you're outside, the sun is usually high, it's Ah, there's no shadows or three sort of dimensions to the to the light on the sunless, unlike and also be very, very harsh at that time of day. I also quite cold. Strangely enough, even though it may be physically quite hot, the temperature of the lights could be quite cold and not particularly interesting. Photographers referred to something called the Golden Hour. On this occurs asses they did in the are also round about sunset on in the hour or so roundabout sunrise on you will find that morning light, early morning light and particularly afternoon light a much, much more interesting Teoh, particularly landscape photography, but not all but not all to talk family wherever you're photographing, even for people. Photography is not very flattering. Photograph in person during the middle of the day, having some side lighting coming from either some morning or evening light, which will be a little soft during a little warmer, will be much, much more flattering. So consider really, really carefully about when you're going to photograph what light is going to be available in the quality of that light. If you're outside and out and about. Think about the weather, even even if you're not a specifically a landscape photographer. But you're going out and photographing. Try and avoid if you can do often bright sunshine. Actually, rainy weather could be really interesting. This photograph in overcast conditions can be, but particularly morning and evening, where you got this really, really lovely warm, often warm light. Urman is much more directional. It's higher in the sky, and it cast shadows. Okay, in the next lesson, we're going to have a look at Cartier Bresson on the decisive moment 13. The Decisive Moment: Secondly, we come to what some the famous photographer Henri Cartier Bresson termed as the decisive moment, which is there, Um, very often used and sometimes, I think, misinterpreted term. Essentially, he was saying that every photograph needs a particular particular moment. There is a decisive moment when the shutter is pressed, where everything in the frame comes together in coherence to make a picture. I think many people have thought that this is a sort of magic, sort of. I don't have a sort of sixth sense about doing this. I'm thinking mainly in terms of photographing sports, maybe photographing people, kids playing this sort of thing. Almost. There's an imagination that there's like, you know, always the six things where you know where to press the shutter. This really is not not true and even looking at Cartier Bresson's contact sheets, and we had Lucas from those earlier on, he would play the scene. If that makes sense, he would take 68 10 different approach, grassing fairly quick succession of the same thing, discard most of those and then pick the one where everything's would have has come together in the frame. Now the decisive moment could be a fraction of a second where there's a glance exchanged where somebody hits the ball or the ball goes in the goal, or something like something like that to increase your chances of getting the decisive moment correct. You need to obviously anticipate and and this is a great skill that takes some learning anticipation, trying to think ahead, trying to work out what is going to happen in the next few seconds so that you're ready to photograph it. If you could have the mindset of anticipating all the time, your hit rate in terms of actually getting that decisive moment in the bag or nailed as it as it is will increase dramatically. Now, even with the most anticipation in the world, it's impossible to get it right every single time. Andi. It's a perfectly permissible technique Teoh to shoot several quick frames of the same thing in quick succession. Now this might mean on your camera, pressing the shutter as quickly as it can do. Some cameras have a rapid fire or quick shutter speed quick shutter release function whereby you can hold the shutter down. It'll take six or eight frames per second, something like that that's a perfectly you know, perfectly reasonable thing to do. Camera phones even heard that these days, where you can take a Siris of stills for five stills per second, although particular amount, and then choose the very best one. This is that I think a lot of people think that you have to be there and press the shutter bang at the right time and that that will happen every time. It won't use the technology and shoot around the moment. If you combine that with anticipation. So with with thinking beforehand and thinking about where a decisive moment may happen, then the chances of you actually getting one of those pictures in the bag is greatly improved on your photograph. Your photographs in your photography would have improved no end with that particular skill in that particular realization. 14. Practice Makes Perfect: well done. You've made it a Friday. This is the last day of the course ons you've done. It's you've done the previous four days presumably, and hopefully you will be able to see some really great ways in which to really sort of turbo bistro photography and to improve quickly on defectively. Now, today's lesson is very, very simple and in a way very, very obvious. And that is to say, order to actually say to you that you need to practice like any skill. Photography needs practice, and the more you do, the better you get. To a certain extent, it was on re Cartier Bresson again, who said that you needed to take 10,000 photographs. Teoh become a reasonable photographer. There's a sort of common knowledge that can be really good, become really good at something you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice. Photography is no difference, and 10,000 hours with a hand in your camera and your hand is a lot, and I'm not suggesting that it could be done quickly. But photographing a little bit and often pretty much every day, if you can do really, is the way to improve on photographing thoughtfully as well, working out what you're going to photograph, which goes back to Day one, and about pre envisaging coming back home and looking at what you've got and learning from your mistakes. Looking at what's worked and what hasn't works and moving forward is a great way to you out to to really improve. The other thing that's really important is there will be many days. If you do get into a product habit of photographing every day where you really don't feel like taking pictures, you won't feel inspired. You might feel like you have got the time, and those are the days where you really really do. Progress in many ways is very easy to produce photography in the sunshine on Holiday on holiday, where the photographic opportunities left, right and centre is much harder on a rainy day in your lunch hour when you have a camera in your hand, t find that creative spark. If you can do that and you have to dig deep inside yourself very often to do that, if you can do that, it can be a great learning experience. You find out what sort of makes you tick creatively how your creative brain works and that really is the key to improvement. So on the days where you're not feeling inspired, those are the ones where the climb up sisters a photograph can be really tough. But the rewards could be really, really great, even though it might not feel like it at the time. So regular practice. Take a few pictures every day, if possible for Try a photograph regularly on a daily basis or two or three times a week, and you will really see your photography improved in leaps and bounds. Thank you very much for taking the course. I've hope you relieved that you've really enjoyed it. If you want to get to talk to me, please feel free to message me. Get in touch with any questions on Enjoy your photography. Thanks a lot. Bye bye.