Friday, 5 December 2014

Day 5: A little photography with Gavin Forster...

Hello you lovely people!

I hope you're enjoying the Coco's advent series!  Here is day 5...

A few months ago, I noticed a twitter feed that said local photographer Gavin Forster was offering out a course solely to bloggers to aid them with their photography.  And the best bit?  The course was completely free!  Well never a one to turn down a freebie, before I knew it I had signed up!  I am OBSESSED with the photography of other bloggers and am always so envious of how their images look, feeling that no matter what I do I can never get it right!  So it was nice to hear that Gavin would be offering tips for improvement!  Regular readers of my blog will remember that just before I took my summer holiday to Paris, I bought myself a Fujifilm Bridge Camera.  Whilst I absolutely love it, I've barely taken it out of automatic mode (although it has some amazing presets that I've played around with!).  But, with the promise of showing us how to take a good photograph even with our phones, I couldn't wait to get started!

The course took place at the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead.  I met up with my lovely pal Chloe beforehand and she led the way.  As well as myself and Chloe, there were six other bloggers on the course.  We all had different photography interests and different cameras, from amazing DSLR's to smaller point and shoots, but the first thing we were taught was no matter what the technology, the photography could still be brilliant!

Gavin greeted us warmly, then sent us away with a random object to photograph.  Mine was a metal ladle, which was much harder to photograph than you would think.  Preferring the light outdoors, I went outside and tried to be arty with my pictures.  I'm not sure it worked or not, but you can be the judge, as here are my photos...
 Photo taken by Chloe

Random Fuji Ladle-y photos!
After the fun snapping, we got down to the business of the course and in a couple of hours I felt as if I'd learned loads!  Gavin taught us the importance of context and light, and how to use certain settings on our cameras to control the aperture, the ISO settings and the shutter speed (all terms I knew existed, but didn't really understand before doing the course!).  I have to confess, some of it did go over my head a little bit, but Gavin explained it really simply and likened each setting to examples of where we would use it, whether photographing people or products.  He also gave us some really good tips of how to use the light best indoors, and my favourite one, to use the inside of the bath to take pictures of products to create a light-box effect (I've been playing around with this one the most!).  Gavin was really friendly and approachable too; no question was too stupid and I felt like I took in loads of information from the questions asked by others.

Overall, I was really impressed with the course.  It was fun and accessible, even for photography amateurs like me!  Gavin is going to be offering it out as part of a small business course he's going to be running, and if you're interested in photography, I'd really recommend it!  You can find Gavin on his website here or on twitter here.

I haven't had much chance to put my new found photography skills into practice yet, but am planning to do so in my Christmas holidays.  Family, prepare to be photographed!!  I can't wait to play with my camera!

Look out for door 6 tomorrow...where I put some of my photography skills into practice!

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