November 28, 2012

Learning to take the Perfect Picture

It is always nice to learn from someone on how to operate the camera instead of reading the manual and books :)  I too have tried asking family/friends, reading the manual and going through many many photography books, which didn't work well for me.  

When asking family members most of the time I tend to say, "Yes Yes I know!" and that doesn't help ;)  Reading the manual is down right boring! and somewhat confusing especially when the terminology doesn't make sense.  Going through photography books is fun in the beginning, but over time it becomes frustrating when we don't get the results mentioned in the books. 

I tried taking my pictures on automatic mode in the beginning when I got my camera and felt bad about not using the costly DSLR to its fullest potential.  I learned a lot by experimenting and taking pictures.  Sometimes this was extremely frustrating, as I didn't understand what was wrong and why the pictures were not turning out well.  

Horse at Sunset
Horse at Sunset Cavendish PEI 
Although, some pictures I have taken have been decent and impressive, this is only because of correct timing with the natural lighting.  However, in autumn and winter when there is no sunlight and I need to take a picture it frustrates me.  I couldn't figure out how to fix this problem of taking pictures in low lighting until I attended the one-on-one training session at Henry's School of Imaging.

This one-on-one lesson with the Henry's instructor helped me to ask questions that are specific to what I wanted to learn.  My session with the knowledgable instructor was 2 hours long, just enough time to learn everything I wanted to know about low lighting and some specifics about the different camera modes. 

I liked that I was able to tell what I already knew to the instructor and to ask specifically about the things I didn't understand.  The Henry's instructor that taught me used easy to understand language instead of technical jargons, so I was able to understand and take notes the way I wanted.  The instructor also asked me what I understood after each new part he taught before moving on, this helped me to stay calm and not feel overwhelmed.  Since the training was one-on-one and not in a group setting I didn't feel shy to ask the instructor for clarification.

I took this training at a Henry's store close to home, we can also request for one-on-one training at our home or office.  These private training sessions are designed for people who are looking to learn a wide range of skills in an organized step-by-step approach.  For this hands-on training session I took my lenses and camera, so I can learn about them more and practice using my camera. 

We can also take these lessons from Henry's in a group setting along with our family or friends.  If you are interested in taking lessons check out the details online or at any of the 32 Henry's store across Canada.     
Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
I truly believe that pictures capture memories and learning how to do it properly allows us to enjoy the hobby and see the world in a positive way. 

When I first held my DSLR camera that we bought a few years ago from Henry's I was very excited and started taking pictures of everything small and big.  I spent many evenings leisurely sitting on the porch taking pictures of birds, flowers, our children, grass, sky etc...  After I got into photography I started appreciating even the smallest things God has created from a different light and felt a sense of respect even for a small bug or a dew drop that started to look pretty and amazing :)
Gladiolus after the rain
A few tips about learning photography...
  • Plan, be patient and practice!
  • Make sure to have all the gear i.e. batteries, charger, power convertor and outlet adapter before going on a trip.
  • Get a bag that will fit all this gear and keep them safe
  • Keep the camera lenses clean and prevent it from getting dirty, when not taking pictures keep the lens cap closed.
  • Transfer images and delete it off the camera.
  • Try not to view pictures on the LCD screen too much as it reduces the battery
  • Learn hands-on about all the nitty gritty topics of photography from an instructor at Henry's School of Imaging.
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  1. I really struggle with getting decent pictures. If I don't have natural lighting the picture always fail. I didn't know they had one on one training. They told me they have a course but I believe it was downtown. Good to know that the training is good!

  2. I usually take tons of pictures in order to get the perfect picture but sometimes that doesn't always work. Looks like this could help me.

  3. This is such a great post because I too struggle with getting decent pictures in proper lighting from time to time. I don't know all the tricks and easily get bored reading the manual lol. This sounds like a great class to take and very worthwhile!! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I agree that reading the manuals can be frustrating and training is the better way to go. I often feel incompetant when taking photos. My camera was an expensive automatic but is now obsolete because it takes film. I borrow a digital camera for my blog.

  5. This is a great idea! I didn't know they did that! I would love a SLR but didn't know how I would learn to use it! Love this post thanks!

  6. First of all, lovely photos! :)

    It's amazing what a difference a quick hands-on course can make to one's understanding of photography and corresponding skill set, isn't it? Not sure if you saw but I recently posted a WW on a photography walking tour and Photoshop class I attended myself. Check it out here if you're interested!

  7. I didn't know you could take courses from Henry's! Congrats on some awesome photography skills you have there! In my circle of friends, I am the one who never takes photos, largely because there are some pretty skilled photographers among us -- and I'm not one of them. I'd love to learn though, and I'm going to check out Henry's!


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