Monday, 5 November 2012

Unplanned photo class

I went out for a walk on Sunday to try and catch some Autumn colours but things didn't go quite as planned.

Accompanying me and my wife and son were a friend and her twin daughters. 

I was travelling light and only had an EOS 5d MKII coupled with a 28 - 135 lens.

I took a few pics and was reviewing them on the monitor when one of that twins (I think it was Lera) asked if she could take a picture. "Sure" I replied and handed the camera over. Bringing the camera up to eye level she snapped three images in quick succession of her sister, Jeniya. One thing that I noticed was that she didn't hold the camera at arms length to look for an image on the rear monitor.

 Lera takes aim at Jeniya

 The resulting image

Lera then handed the camera over to her sister, who before I could say a word proceeded to take some pictures of her sister. This continued with the girls snapping away at each other and striking various poses.

 Now it's Jeniya's turn

Jeniya's portrait of Lera

They stopped after a few minutes and reviewed the images. The questions came thick and fast:

Reviewing the images

"Why is she not sharp?", "How can I make the background look soft?", "How can I delete that one?" "Why is it too dark / too light?".

I tried to answer as best I could in a non technical way and was surprised at how readily the twins absorbed the information. After each clarification, one of them would start taking a few pictures and eventually they would master that little bit of technique. The most difficult proved to be the focus lock, although that only took about five minutes (and maybe ten attempts) for them to master. After about forty five minutes, I had given up on taking pictures for myself and let the girls have free rein. With the basic techniques mastered, they snapped happily away for the next hour or so.

I didn't want to come away empty handed so I decided to snap a pic of the two girls jumping. They both readily agreed, threw off their coats and began jumping at my command!

My pic safely onboard, I handed the camera back and let them get on with it.

Here are some of the girls' images.

Jeniya by Lera:

 Lera shoots Jeniya

Two hundred and twenty six images later I was sat back on my PC for the download process. The girls had done well. Of 

the 226 images, 27 were rejected due to being unsharp. These were mainly from early in the day when the girls were getting to grips with the (admittedly heavy) camera.

I learnt three things that day: 

  1. Switch off the continuous shooting mode. The girls don't need two or three nearly identical images.
  2. Shoot RAW and JPG. Editing a couple of hundred images from RAW is time consuming and many of the images didn't need anything else done to them.
  3. Take a spare camera for myself next time!

Luckily I had my Samsung with
me to record the day!

I think that photography now has two new converts!

Thanks for reading.

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