And now for something completely different!

I bought my first SLR camera back in the Summer of 2008, and I’ve tried over those 3.5 years to try new things and really get to grips with using more than just the basic settings.  I’ve come a long way from the early days, never now use Auto mode, and always shoot in RAW.  However, recently I’ve realised that I’ve stalled a bit and I’m taking lots of the same sort of photographs – mainly the animals at Marwell Wildlife because it’s convenient as I volunteer there.  I’m determined to try and learn some more about the functions and features of my camera which I have not yet explored, and try taking photos of something different… although I’ll never give up the big cats!

A while back I joined an online photography group – Talk Photography (TP) – in order to participate in some of their face to face meetings, be inspired and try some new photography.  I’ve been to a few meets in previous years, but not made the time to look again until recently when I discovered the Basingstoke Toggers, who were all people from the group living near here and who seemed to be fairly actively arranging local meets.  Within not long of posting a message I had a couple of friendly welcomes from them and we’d set up a meet down in the Winchester area.

With the exception of a few random, unprepared shots on holidays, and some rather drunken cheesy snaps of friends, I’ve not done any night photography so I was quite excited to be going to try some out.  I armed myself with torch, warm clothes, tripod and my camera and headed to a local Starbucks where I was meeting the others.  After some quick introductions of people who hadn’t met up before, we headed to Bushfield Camp which is an old deserted army ground.  There is little left there but the skeletons of some former buildings, but it made a good location to try some wire wool spinning and light painting.

There are plenty of articles on the Internet that can tell you about wire wool spinning and taking night photography, so I won’t go into details here but I was amazed at what you could do with some wire wool and a whisk!  We were extremely lucky that local pro photographer Andrew Whyte came along on Wednesday and as well as impressing us all with his photography, and sharing many tips, he spent a lot of time helping out and I really appreciate his kindness and assistance.  Check out his amazing star trails here and his blog for hints on how to get started.

My first photo of the evening turned out completely black, despite me thinking I had set everything I had been advised to!  I hadn’t realised that the ‘bulb’ setting of my camera needed me to keep my finger pressed down on the button for the whole time I wanted the photo taking – I had assumed I kind of clicked it to start and clicked it again to finish.  Whoops!  However, after that and some more help from my fellow photographers my next few shots came out reasonably well and I was pleased with my first attempts.

I only came away with a few photos, but had an absolutely amazing evening and learnt a lot.  I really look forward to getting out, meeting others, trying this and other new things again.  I’ve treated myself to a remote trigger too for the camera which should make my next attempt at night photography a little easier!

Light Painting 4

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2 Responses to “And now for something completely different!”

  1. Aaron Cohen Photography Says:

    Oh my, this is a magnificent photo! So much emotion and color! I am a WordPress photographer too, so I was glad to come across this, Keep up the splendid work!

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