Saturday, March 15, 2008

Photography course review

So this week saw the end of my Digital Beginners photography class. I really enjoyed the class and the eight weeks really flew by. The course covered indoor shooting, portraits, macro shots, night shooting and the rule of thirds.

It was all very interesting and I believe that it has improved my photography skills. I had intended to continue on and do the follow on course, the improvers course. However, it turns out that my Canon Ixus 75 isn't quite powerful enough for the course. I need to have more manual control over the aperture, shutter speed and exposure. Basically this means I need to invest in an dSLR.

My original idea was to do the first two courses before getting a dSLR. I wanted to do the course first so that I could be sure I really was interested in photography before making any further investment in hardware. I guess I will get the dSLR sooner than I thought. I have my eye on the Canon EOS 400D which is supposedly the camera of choice for the amateur. I know that this camera is soon to be replaced by the 450D model but that model will have a hefty price tag. My opinion is that if the 400D is the right model now just because it will be super-ceded next month doesn't make it a bad camera. Plus the price should drop further as soon as the new model comes out.

We finished off the course with a small photo competition. I didn't win but I got a three pictures into the final selection, which I am happy about. One of those pictures I've posed before, the macro shot of M&Ms. The one thing I didn't like about the course was the constant beating of the drum about Google's Picasa program. I agree it is a great piece of software but hearing just how great every week began to grate on me quickly. Still I can't wait for the Mac OSX version to be released.

The picture above is just something I threw together this morning. I saw the technique during the course and I really liked it. I turned the four shots black and white in Picasa and darkened the shadows and raised the highlights. Something that I wouldn't have done eight weeks ago.

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