Last weekend, I was invited to attend a photography workshop with Paul Hames. We met up bright and early on Saturday morning to learn all about the basics of manual photography. Paul took us through the three steps to a perfect photo: time, light and sensitivity. We learned all about aperture and shutter speed, ISO settings and how to capture star trails.
I’ve found manual photography a particularly hard skill to learn and after no less than six previous workshops, I still couldn’t get my head around all the settings. I like to joke with people that I might be an accountant who works with numbers for a living but try to get me to understand the Sunny 16 rule and my mind implodes.
But an interesting thing happened in the workshop with Paul. Not only was what he was saying finally starting to make sense but after I followed through each of the steps, I put my eye to the view finder for the photo below and was surprised to see that the exposure level indicator was exactly in the middle. Now the photo isn’t perfect, Paul suggested that I should have reduced the shutter speed slightly, but this is the first time that I have ‘made’ a photo as opposed to taking one. I’m really excited and confident about working more on my manual photography skills in future.
What was the reason for the workshop? The talented team at Joe Blogs blogger network were faced with a unique conundrum. How do you create brand awareness for a brand like Simply Health in a way that is engaging and dare I say, sexy? The team got together and brainstormed. Simply Health has a dental plan, dentals plans are all about the perfect smile and perfect smiles are incredibly hard for photographers to capture! And so they invited a group of London bloggers to attend the workshop and once Paul had taught us the basics, we headed off to the nearby KERB Market in nearby Granary Square for some food, street photography and guidance on how to capture the perfect smile.
None of these photos have been touched up and all were taken in manual. I’m hoping that this will become my ‘before’ post so that I can look back in a couple of months to see how far my manual photography skills have come. I think many of them are overexposed but hopefully that is something I can correct in future.
We first gathered on the grassy steps of Granary Square to learn how to capture the perfect smile. Paul suggested we not say smile but rather something else to elicit a true smile from our subjects.As you can see from the photo below, Kat and I soon realised that saying “Michael Fassbender” elicits a true grin from me! I normally dislike photos of myself but this is one of my favourites. Thanks Kat!
We’d certainly worked up an appetite by the time the photography part of our day was over and soon it was time to eat!
KERB Market is a daily food market that takes place in locations across London. We went to the King’s Cross market but you can also find them at Spitalfields and Southbank amongst other locations. The markets usually run every weekday from 2 to 5pm and occasional weekends so be sure to check the KERB Food website for times and vendors.
Kat and I decided on a delicious slow braised ‘bulgogi’ ox cheek Korean burrito and while we were waiting for that to be made, I watched some children having the time of their lives skipping through the fountains.
We also opted for a Japanese Katsu curry rice.
Sadly we ran out of money before we could buy any lovely cakes but we managed to get an iced tea from the lovely, friendly people at the Good & Proper Tea Co.
Yeah, I SO need to work on my fast food in bright, direct sunlight photography! I know it doesn’t look very appealing but that burrito was spectacular and the chicken Katsu curry was so good that I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be able to return to Wagamama. The tea was fantastic too and was lovely and refreshing and not at all too sweet.
All in all it was a fantastic day out and I’m definitely going to try hunt down more KERB locations. Paul was telling me that he offers Photoshop courses too so I am hoping to join him on one of those soon.
Daily: 12pm – 2pm (check website for weekend opening times)