Alex Sharp Travel Photography: Blog https://www.alexsharp.com/blog en-us Alex Sharp (Alex Sharp Travel Photography) Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:38:00 GMT Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:38:00 GMT https://www.alexsharp.com/img/s/v-12/u966985373-o1030849764-50.jpg Alex Sharp Travel Photography: Blog https://www.alexsharp.com/blog 120 80 Keep Horizon Lines Straight is Today's Photography Tip https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2021/2/keep-horizon-lines-straight-is-todays-photography-tip  

All of the  Tips will all be in the free downloadable PDF available through this website, the e-book will also have a few extras in there to help you along the way, please just message me or contact me through the contact form on this website stating you would like a copy of the Photography Hints and Tips E-Book and I will forward it over.

If you are taking a beautiful landscape, there is nothing worse than realising afterwards that your horizon wasn't straight. If there is a horizon line in your photo and it's meant to be straight, make sure it is. Whilst this can be cropped and straightened afterwards it means you will have to crop the image to straighten it up and so potentially lose part of the beauty and alter the overall image.

The way to try to straighten shots is by looking through your camera’s viewfinder and checking that the image is even both sides - you can even move your camera up and down to see if the horizon line is straight with the edge of the frame and then move the camera back to the framing you want whilst ensuring to keep the horizon line straight.

It really is worth spending the extra moment to check this - you would be amazed at the number of photos I see with horizons that aren't straight - that should be - all because the person wasn't properly looking at the image they were taking - by stopping and really looking at what you want to capture you can ensure you get everything just as you want it and the horizon line is straight.

 

Of course there is always photoshop -  so post production can be done to sort it out if there is a problem of some kind, but getting it right whilst in situ means you wont have to crop the image and change it once you are back home.

Plus the viewfinder or the preview on your LCD is quite small compared to full-screen editing so this is another reason why you may realise it needs adjusting once you see it on a bigger screen. Simply rotate your images in post production software and crop out the empty spaces left once you have straightened it up.

Dusk in the MaldivesDusk in the Maldivesdusk falls in the maldives

If you would like the Free E-Book with all 8 Photography Tips and extras email me through the contact form and I'll get it straight over to you. I hope the Photography Tips have helped you learn a little more about photography and Improved your Photos.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) improve your photography photography photography e-book photography hints and tips photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2021/2/keep-horizon-lines-straight-is-todays-photography-tip Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:38:09 GMT
Today's Photography Tip - Rule Of Thirds - Don't Groan - just try it - it works ;-) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2021/2/tiodays-photography-tip---rule-of-thirds---don-t-groan---just-try-it---it-works I heard you all groan when you read Rule Of Thirds, most people say they know about it and that they understand it - well if that's the case try using it  :-)

Honestly Read on, understand it and try it, if you are one of those people who is saying you use it and understand, but you don't really, then this is your chance to take yourself off for 10 minutes and actually try it and physically see the difference it will make to those badly framed photos you were previously taking :-) I'm feeling some light bulb moments happening today already :-)

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

 The Rule Of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a composition technique that helps you to position your subject in the best spot when taking a picture.

Of course, rules should never be applied blindly, particularly in art, so you should think of it more as a handy "rule of thumb" rather than one that's set in stone. However, it will produce a pleasing photo more often than not, and is an excellent starting point for any composition. So trying this on just a few shots - even with your phone - you should see a marked improvement in your composition.

By positioning your object at one of the points where the lines meet, it can make your image become more balanced, this makes it easier for the eye to roll over naturally - see the hay bale above.

Scientific Studies have shown that your eyes naturally move towards one of these four points when looking at an image, rather than going straight to the centre of the photograph.

When you are taking your picture, imagine the frame as being split up into a grid of four lines as shown.

The points where the lines intersect identify the four important points of your frame. According to the rule of thirds, you will want to position your main subject at one of these points, but even close to one of these points has the same effect to the viewer.(more on this below)

The rule of thirds is one of the most useful composition techniques in photography. It really is an important concept to learn as it can be used in all types of photography to produce images which are more engaging and balanced for the viewer.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

In all honesty I have been taking photographs for over 40 years, I don't think about the rule of thirds as I find that I naturally place objects in this fashion - above the elephant is placed where the lines meet and he also has plenty of looking room in the direction he is facing - also leaving space for us to view the landscape behind him.

How to Use The Rule of Thirds

When framing a scene, imagine that the scene is divided up as below. Think about what elements of the photo are most important, and try to position them at or near the lines and intersections of the grid - you can imagine the grid in your minds eye - and if you can't you may even find your camera has one in it's menu settings ????. Of course, the object/subject doesn't have to be perfectly lined up as long as they're close it still has the same effect.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above, the Pelican is on the far right line with his wing stretching right up along that line - the pelican is flying towards the left hand side of the frame and so I have given him room to move into as this makes a more comfortable image for the viewer to look at - if the pelicans beak was right up against the left hand edge of frame it would not be pleasant to look at. I have also left plenty of blue sky - negative space - this is a topic for another day really.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above the horizon and main subject in this photo have been positioned near lines or intersections for maximum impact/dramatic effect.

You may need to move around to get the best composition. This forces you to think more carefully about the shot you are taking, it is a good habit to get into whether you're using the rule of thirds or not.

Remember to check the menu in your camera settings if you are struggling to imagine the lines as some cameras have a setting which overlays a rule of thirds grid onto your camera screen, thus removing all of the guesswork and helping you get your positioning even more accurate.

Examples

Remember the rule of thirds is very versatile and can be used on any subject, not just landscapes and wildlife, but with animals, people portraits, product photography etc etc. I have put some more examples below for you to look at.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above notice we have a row of poppies at the front that reach the line of the first third, with the horses head hitting the second third line - as well as his neck and bottom hitting the vertical third lines too.

 

Often in landscape shots, it can common to position the horizon right across the middle of the frame, but this can give the photo a "split in two" feel. Instead, if you place it along one of the horizontal lines, you get either more sky or more land/sea - thus creating a more dramatic effect for the viewer.

If you try to include an interesting object, such as the tree in a photo - as per the photo below , and then position it according to the rule of thirds. This provides an "anchor", a natural focal point for the scene - this could just as easily be a person - but if it is a person make sure they are either looking at the camera or looking in towards the centre of the scene - remember to give them looking room in the direction in which they are looking..

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Moving Objects

When photographing moving object - whether it's a bird, your child on a bike or a racing car, position them as normal - as you see below i have placed the birds wings along the far right vertical third line, but also pay attention to the direction in which they are moving. As a general rule you should leave more space in front of them than behind them, to show people where they are going.

 

I know i have repeated myself on a few of the points, but before you decide not to use the rule of thirds - or break the rules as it were make sure you know how to use it, whilst it doesn't need to be applied all of the time, using it will more often than not give you amazing images. Understand it before you decide to break it ;-)

Look out for the next top tip and if you decide you would like to sign up for my monthly newsletters of hints and tips, drop me a message through my contact form, or email me alex@alexsharp.com

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) learn the rule of thirds technique photography photography hints and tips photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2021/2/tiodays-photography-tip---rule-of-thirds---don-t-groan---just-try-it---it-works Tue, 16 Feb 2021 09:00:00 GMT
Foreground, middle ground, background - don't overlook any of these.... https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2021/2/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these When you look at your chosen scene with the naked eye, your brain quickly picks out subjects of interest. The camera  however doesn’t discriminate – it captures everything that is in front of it, which can often lead to a cluttered and messy picture with no clear focal point if you're not paying attention to what is in front of you.

 

So what you need to do, is choose your subject, then select a focal length or camera viewpoint that makes it the centre of attention in the frame.

adam and eve at the top of Tryfan Walesadam and eve at the top of Tryfan Wales  

You can’t always keep other objects out of the picture, so try to keep them in the background or make them part of the story. Sometimes though simply moving a couple of feet - forward backwards or side to side may be enough to remove any unwanted distractions from an image.

 

If you are trying to keep an image simple, then Silhouettes, textures and patterns are all subjects that work quite well as a simple composition.

However, when you’re shooting a large-scale scene it can be hard to know how big your subject should be in the frame, and how much you should zoom in by. Leaving too much empty space in a scene is the most widespread composition mistake. It makes your subject smaller than it needs to be and can also leave viewers confused about what they’re supposed to be looking at. Remember distraction in a photograph isn't always caused by an object - sometimes it's caused by the lack of an object.....

To avoid these problems you could zoom in to fill the frame, or get closer to the subject in question - I prefer the getting closer to the subject option when it is an option - obviously this isn't always possible. The first approach flattens the perspective of the shot and makes it easier to control or exclude what’s shown in the background, but physically moving closer can give you a more interesting take on things and make you see alternative options for framing.

Zooming in may be the easy option, but it's not always the best option for the image.

 

Have a great week and have fun with your camera

Alex

 

alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training photography training online training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2021/2/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these Mon, 15 Feb 2021 09:00:00 GMT
How to make money from your Photography https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2021/2/how-to-make-money-from-your-photography I get lots of people asking me how they can make money from their photography.

I run courses to explain this and help you on the road to doing exactly that. If you are interested please drop me an email and whilst we are in lockdown we can always arrange to do this online - via online meetings and emails etc to get you started and earning some money.

There are lots of options that will cost you very little to get you up and running.

I will give you lots of help and get you started. So this is all about investing some time and energy into You.

If you're ready to take the next step and start selling your work get in touch.

Email me: alex@alexsharp.com

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2021/2/how-to-make-money-from-your-photography Sun, 14 Feb 2021 16:13:42 GMT
Photography Hints and Tips For Snow and Icey Landscapes https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/11/photography-hints-and-tips Today's blog is aimed at those who may never have tried to photograph snow or ice before, or maybe just need some pointers, so here are a few tips to help you get better photographs in the snowy weather, whether you're off skiing or just to colder climes hopefully this will help you to get some great shots.

1. Whilst sunny days make for great photos with the beautiful blue skies against the pure white snow, don't let a lack of sunshine stop you getting out there, just remember that if you have a grey or off white sky and then a snowy foreground, find something to have in the photo to break the image up - a row of trees, a house, mountain peak, whatever you have around you, just use something to stop the scene being one large grey rectangle with nothing of interest to really focus on.

2. Never delete any images in your camera whilst you are out and about, wait until you can get back and look at all of them properly on your computer to see what works for you and what you don't like. Sometimes images that you think don't work, when converted to black and white can become the most dramatic.

French Alps, Morillon, FranceFrench Alps, Morillon, France

3. Other things to remember, carry plenty of spare batteries, cold weather can dramatically alter the operating time of the battery in your camera. Be patient as whilst you are out and about if it is a cloudy day, you may find that as the cloud moves and you get a small bit of sunshine breaking through in small rays, you get the best shots, so look to the sky and see what's happening before you move location.

4. Play with your shutter speed, if you have snow falling and you use a slower shutter speed you will see the blur of the snowflakes, which can be very pretty - you will of course need a tripod for good results. Likewise using a faster shutter speed will stop those pretty snowflakes dead in their tracks and gives a different effect again. The slower shutter speed can also give you movement in the cloud if it's not actually snowing whilst you are out.

It's really about looking around you and working with what you have been offered by the weather Gods :-)

5. You will probably need to over expose your photos by 1 to 1.5 stops - as your camera will naturally want to under expose a snowy scene, however if you don't believe me - make sure you shoot in RAW and you can pull the exposure up to where you are happy before you convert it to a jpeg.

6. Other things to think about are what you are going to be wearing on your hands. I have some silk thermal glove liners that I wear under some more heavy duty gloves, so that when I take my gloves off, my hands are able to use the buttons on my camera and still keep reasonably warm from the cold weather that surrounds you. Never let your fingers get too cold.

7. If you have a polarizer filter this can be very useful,  but be careful not to over use it, the shot at the very top of this blog doesn't have a polarizer filter on it all although everybody assumes it does. Using one can help darken blue skies though, adding definition to clouds and eliminating glare too.

8. The best piece of advice that I have for you though is to charge your batteries, wrap up warm, get out there and have a go at capturing some fabulous wintery scenes and enjoy yourself and remember that if you are looking to capture people whooshing past on skiis and snowboards use a fast shutter speed ;-)

If you are interested in a 1 to 1 experience day get in touch, they can be tailored to your own needs and a 7 hour day is £195.Contact me on 07885472010 or email alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/11/photography-hints-and-tips Mon, 30 Nov 2020 09:00:00 GMT
Ideas for Things to Photograph https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/8/ideas-for-things-to-photograph Some days it may seem like you just don't know what to photograph, maybe you have already photographed the birds on the feeder 100 times or more and maybe the flowers just aren't inspiring you or maybe the weather isn't inspiring you to go outside and photograph the flowers, so here are some ideas for those days, when you just need some new ideas to give you a creative push.

I will start with the immediate things around us that you may be ignoring or choosing not to think about photographing because you think it may be too hard, sometimes we need to photograph something that challenges us as it will push us to understand our cameras more and what we can achieve with them and also help us to seek solutions to our photographic problems.

So if you have dogs or cats, you could start with them, birds - maybe not on feeders, but as they fly in and out of your garden, why not try and capture them in flight, I know this may be harder than whilst they sit at the bird feeder, but it makes you think about what type of photo you want to capture - do you want a slower shutter speed showing the movement in their wings? Or a faster shutter speed freeze framing their movement ?

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Maybe think of projects you could set yourself and try and think outside the box with the themes - so you could have a colour theme - so pick any colour, yellow, red, black, white, blue, think about shades textures objects associated with these colours, it can be food or objects - cars, bikes, toys, etc. or a pet - your dog or cat or horse if you have one.

Look at details too - rather than the entire object - a close up of a section of a face can be truly beautiful.

 

Maybe your chosen topic for your project could be water - so not just a stunning waterfall or lake with fabulous reflection, but maybe the rain, puddles, a tap running - filling a glass of water - dropping things into a glass of water - maybe your pet dog drinking from his bowl of water - water running down a piece of glass - maybe you can see things through the water - reflections of flowers etc.

If you're stuck inside and need something easier to get hold of to inspire you, then how about raiding the cutlery draw - spoons and forks, can make for interesting shapes and use different light sources and backgrounds to add interest, or flowers in a vase - even fruit, you are surrounded by everyday objects that you could put by a window - to use natural light and capture in a way that you have never tried before.

Remember to think about your aperture too and what you want to show people who see your photo.

 

 

Maybe you are fortunate enough to be able to take a whole day to get out and about with your camera - jump on a train and go somewhere new - London, Birmingham, Manchester, a beach somewhere or national park - the lake district or Snowdonia, just enjoy a proper day out with your camera and get inspired again.

Whatever you decide to go out and photograph have fun with it, push yourself and try something new and don't forget to share, show me what you get up to. More ideas coming soon.

If you would like to book in for some one to one tuition Email: alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/8/ideas-for-things-to-photograph Wed, 26 Aug 2020 23:00:00 GMT
Photography Tip Number 8 - Keep Horizon Lines Straight https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-tip-number-8---keep-horizon-lines-straight Today is the last of the 8 Photography Tips.

All of the 8 Photography Tips will all be in the free downloadable PDF available through this website, the e-book will also have a few extras in there to help you along the way, please just message me or contact me through the contact form on this website stating you would like a copy of the Photography Hints and Tips E-Book and I will forward it over.

Tip Number 8 - Keep Your Horizon Lines Straight

If you are taking a beautiful landscape, there is nothing worse than realising afterwards that your horizon wasn't straight. If there is a horizon line in your photo and it's meant to be straight, make sure it is. Whilst this can be cropped and straightened afterwards it means you will have to crop the image to straighten it up and so potentially lose part of the beauty and alter the overall image.

The way to try to straighten shots is by looking through your camera’s viewfinder and checking that the image is even both sides - you can even move your camera up and down to see if the horizon line is straight with the edge of the frame and then move the camera back to the framing you want whilst ensuring to keep the horizon line straight. It's not always easy to get this perfect on the first try, so post production can be done to sort it out, but getting it right whilst in situ means you wont have to crop the image and change it once you are back home.

Plus the viewfinder or the preview on your LCD is quite small compared to full-screen editing so this is another reason why you may realise it needs adjusting once you see it on a bigger screen. Simply rotate your images in post production software and crop out the empty spaces left once you have straightened it up.

Dusk in the MaldivesDusk in the Maldivesdusk falls in the maldives

If you would like the Free E-Book with all 8 Photography Tips and extras email me through the contact form and I'll get it straight over to you. I hope the Photography Tips have helped you learn a little more about photography and Improved your Photos.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) improve your photography photography photography e-book photography hints and tips photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-tip-number-8---keep-horizon-lines-straight Fri, 24 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT
Photography Hint and Tip Number 7 - Leading Lines and How To Use Them https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-hint-and-tip-number-7---leading-lines-and-how-to-use-them Todays' blog is all about leading lines what they are and how to use them.

 

Photography Tip 7 - Leading Lines

So what are they ? Leading lines are horizontal, diagonal or vertical lines that lead the viewers eye through the photograph.

A landscape photographer will often use a leading line to help create depth within a photo and draw the person viewing the photo into the image further.

Make use of leading lines

A photograph with weak composition leaves viewers confused about what they should be focusing on/where they should be looking. Making use of leading lines in photography can help control where a viewer’s eyes move, especially with strong, obvious lines.

Lines that converge create a depth to the image and draw the viewer in, whilst curved lines can take you around the frame and eventually lead you to the main subject.

In the images below I have used the lines of the wooden balustrade to lead the viewers eyes into the middle of the image where the majority of the boats and interest lies. The lines of the hills at each side of the image also all point  the viewer back into the middle of the photo to where the boats sit on the water.

The artist Henri Matisse once said "A line cannot exist alone;it always brings a companion along. Remember that one line does nothing; it is only in relation to another that it creates a volume."

Above the line of the reflection of the sun on the sea leads your eye up to the top section of the photo where the actual sunset is.

A leading line is as you can see - an actual line - it can be a coastline, where rock meets sea or sand meets sea, an actual road going off into the distance, a river trailing off, or footpath into some woods maybe, a row of trees in a park, or lines that cut through a harvested field, I'm sure you get the idea. It is a very simple principle, but a very effective one if used correctly.

There are several leading lines in the image above, they all lead you towards the door at the back of the image and then up towards the amazing ceiling in the passageway of the cathedral. The image below shows how a centrally placed tree lined river, with light shining right down the middle of it has multiple leading lines all leading you the same way through the image.

This image shows how effective lines are for taking the viewers eye through an image, if a line has a slight curve to it then it may slow down the viewer looking at the image, where as the  short leading line of the light on the river above takes you straight in to the centre of the photo. The upward motion of this leading line can be very dramatic, a lot more so than a horizontal leading line.

Multiple diagonal leading lines that converge at a vanishing point in an image are very effective, railway lines or a long road going off into the distance can be some of the strongest ways to show this, although the photo above goes off into the distance, it doesn't quite have a proper vanishing point.

We can discuss vanishing points in another Blog post, I hope this gives you some food for thought though, so next time you are out and about with your camera try and get some leading lines in the image, have a practice, think about where and how you are placing them, think about the rule of thirds too, does it matter where you put the lines within the image - will they stop in the middle? or a bottom or top third of the image ? So much to think about - mainly though I would just like you to enjoy having a go and using your camera and taking some "you" time out of your busy life.

If you would like to send me your images please do show me what you are up to, it's great to share.

Look out for Photography Tip 8 tomorrow, Alex

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography traing worcestershire photography training photography training stratford upon avon training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-hint-and-tip-number-7---leading-lines-and-how-to-use-them Thu, 23 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT
Photography Tip 6 - Focus On The Eyes https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-tip-6---focus-on-the-eyes Today's Photography Tip is quite a short one, I hope you are finding them all useful, we will have a re-cap at the end and then you can see what comes next.

 

Tip Number 6 - Focus On The Eyes

When we are looking at a photograph with an animal or person as the main subject, we are always drawn towards the eyes, as eyes are a natural focal point that we connect with.

Therefore when taking portrait photographs at any aperture, make sure you focus on the eyes and that they are pin sharp. As long as the eyes are in focus, both you and your subject are more likely to consider the picture to be properly shot.

As a viewer of an image we look to the eyes and then our own eyes will move around the image to look at other details, but if the eyes aren't sharp we will be distracted and may not even bother to continue looking at the rest of the image.

So Keep The Focus On The Eyes Sharp ;-)

I will add another quick tip at this point - make sure your lens is clean and always have a lens cloth to hand , whether you have a point and shoot, phone camera or DSLR there's no faster way to ruin a photo than a dirty mark on your lens.

Look out for tomorrows Photography Tip.

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography hints and tips photography tips photography training photography workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-tip-6---focus-on-the-eyes Wed, 22 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT
Photography Tip Number 5 - White Balance https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-tip-number-5 White Balance is today's topic and can be a very quick fix to improve your photos.

5. Learn to Use your White Balance Settings

White balance can really help you to capture colours more accurately, giving a truer reading of what you see, rather than leeving your camera on auto and letting the camera decide.

Different types of light have different characteristics, so if you don’t adjust the white balance on your camera, the colours in your photography may take on a slightly blue, orange or green hue or "temperature" depending on what you are photographing.

Whilst of course your white balance can be fixed in post processing, it can become quite time consuming if you have taken hundreds of photos and you have to alter every one of them, so as always, if you can get it right when you take the photo this is always the best bet. 

The general standard white balance settings you’ll find on your camera will include Automatic White Balance, Daylight, Cloudy, Flash, Shade, Fluorescent and Tungsten, you will also be able to set your own on some higher spec cameras. They are there because they let the camera know what colour balance situation you are taking photos in and help it get the correct colour for your image - so try using them and see the difference it makes.

Each of the white balance settings is symbolised by a different icon, so if you’re not sure which is which you can check your camera’s manual. Automatic white balance works alright in some situations, but it’s generally best to change the setting according to the type of light you are shooting in.

Always remember to check your white balance setting when moving to a new lighting situation though.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training" photography workshops training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-tip-number-5 Tue, 21 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT
Tip Number 4 - Change your Viewpoint https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/tip-number-4 Lesson Number 4 - I can see that there are a couple of hundred of you tuning in each day to read these blogs, so I hope the tips are helping.

 

4. Change Your Perspective

One way to ensure an unremarkable photo is to snap a subject straight-on from eye level.

Everybody knows this particular viewpoint already — we interact with the world from this viewpoint each and everyday. It’s ordinary, it's the norm - so how do we change this ?

Well changing it is easy: shoot from a different view point.

This can mean a few things, the options are plenty:

Change your elevation (e.g. get closer to the ground or get some steps and look from a higher viewpoint)

Change your angle  - so rather than straight on -  try straight up from the ground or skewed from the side, giving the camera a little angle twist.

Change your distance from the subject -  get closer or move further away.

Or you can of course try a combination of all of the options.

You’ll be surprised by how different your shots feel with these changes.

By looking up at the horses head, instead of seeing a green field or yard behind him when we look straight on at him, we see the fabulous blue sky against his dark fur - it really adds another dimension to the image.

Filling the frame by moving closer also makes for a different kind of viewpoint and portrait.

Have some fun with changing your viewpoints.

Look out for Tip number 5 tomorrow.

Alex

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/tip-number-4 Mon, 20 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT
Photography Tip 3 - See The Light https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/tip-3 For today's top Tip I wont go on quite as much as I did yesterday, but hopefully it will have just as much impact on your photography.

Tip 3 - See The Light

Today before you even raise your camera, have a look around you and see where the light is coming from, then use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or whether it is coming from an artificial source like a lamp overhead or on your desk; think about how can you best use it to make your photos better?

How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject ? harsh and bright? diffused by cloud, spot lights?

Is the light highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows ?

These are things you can use to your advantage to make an ordinary photo extraordinary.

If the light is behind you as you look at the scene you want to photograph you may also need to zoom in a little to exclude your own shadow.....this is something else to watch out for, casting a shadow of your own across the image depending on where your light source is placed, you may be able to move yourself or move the light or lamp if possible.

You can see the difference in these four photos, from sun at midday in the first shot, to early sunrise above right, giving a golden glow over Salcombe estuary, to below where on both images the sun is diffused by cloud giving a softer light and more dramatic feel to the images.

If you have a camera that gives you the option to select different white balances, then use it, there will be little images in the white balance menu with shade and bright sun options etc, use these as they give you the correct colour balance rather than leaving your camera on auto, but after you change it - remember to change it again for the next type of light as it may not be the same next time you use your camera.

Below, during my time photographing in Svalbard the light was always soft, it was October and although we had some amazing sunsets the days were also almost like dusk with the sun behind soft clouds all day. In these conditions you need a tripod and longer shutter speed - Note - a flash will not help you with such a large landscape.

Here you can see I'm on the North face of the mountain - with the sun catching the snow as the wind wisps it about on the mountain peak, the back light effect i think is quite beautiful.

So wherever you are today remember to look around you and see where the light is coming from and use it to your advantage, move around a little until you have it just where you want it if necessary, have fun with it.

More tips tomorrow and remember all of the top tips will be available in pdf format by the weekend.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photo hints and tips photography photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/tip-3 Sun, 19 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT
Tip Number 2 - Rule Of Thirds - Don't Groan - just try it - it works ;-) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/tip-2 I heard you all groan when you read Rule Of Thirds, most people say they know about it and that they understand it - well if that's the case try using it  :-)

Honestly Read on, understand it and try it, if you are one of those people who is saying you use it and understand, but you don't really, then this is your chance to take yourself off for 10 minutes and actually try it and physically see the difference it will make to those badly framed photos you were previously taking :-) I'm feeling some light bulb moments happening today already :-)

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Tip Number 2 - The Rule Of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a composition technique that helps you to position your subject in the best spot when taking a picture.

Of course, rules should never be applied blindly, particularly in art, so you should think of it more as a handy "rule of thumb" rather than one that's set in stone. However, it will produce a pleasing photo more often than not, and is an excellent starting point for any composition. So trying this on just a few shots - even with your phone - you should see a marked improvement in your composition.

By positioning your object at one of the points where the lines meet, it can make your image become more balanced, this makes it easier for the eye to roll over naturally - see the hay bale above.

Scientific Studies have shown that your eyes naturally move towards one of these four points when looking at an image, rather than going straight to the centre of the photograph.

When you are taking your picture, imagine the frame as being split up into a grid of four lines as shown.

The points where the lines intersect identify the four important points of your frame. According to the rule of thirds, you will want to position your main subject at one of these points, but even close to one of these points has the same effect to the viewer.(more on this below)

The rule of thirds is one of the most useful composition techniques in photography. It really is an important concept to learn as it can be used in all types of photography to produce images which are more engaging and balanced for the viewer.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

In all honesty I have been taking photographs for over 40 years, I don't think about the rule of thirds as i find that I naturally place objects in this fashion - above the elephant is placed where the lines meet and he also has plenty of looking room in the direction he is facing - also leaving space for us to view the landscape behind him.

How to Use The Rule of Thirds

When framing a scene, imagine that the scene is divided up as below. Think about what elements of the photo are most important, and try to position them at or near the lines and intersections of the grid - you can imagine the grid in your minds eye - and if you can't you may even find your camera has one in it's menu settings ????. Of course, the object/subject doesn't have to be perfectly lined up as long as they're close it still has the same effect.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above, the Pelican is on the far right line with his wing stretching right up along that line - the pelican is flying towards the left hand side of the frame and so I have given him room to move into as this makes a more comfortable image for the viewer to look at - if the pelicans beak was right up against the left hand edge of frame it would not be pleasant to look at. I have also left plenty of blue sky - negative space - this is a topic for another day really.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above the horizon and main subject in this photo have been positioned near lines or intersections for maximum impact/dramatic effect.

You may need to move around to get the best composition. This forces you to think more carefully about the shot you are taking, it is a good habit to get into whether you're using the rule of thirds or not.

Remember to check the menu in your camera settings if you are struggling to imagine the lines as some cameras have a setting which overlays a rule of thirds grid onto your camera screen, thus removing all of the guesswork and helping you get your positioning even more accurate.

Examples

Remember the rule of thirds is very versatile and can be used on any subject, not just landscapes and wildlife, but with animals, people portraits, product photography etc etc. I have put some more examples below for you to look at.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above notice we have a row of poppies at the front that reach the line of the first third, with the horses head hitting the second third line - as well as his neck and bottom hitting the vertical third lines too.

 

Often in landscape shots, it can common to position the horizon right across the middle of the frame, but this can give the photo a "split in two" feel. Instead, if you place it along one of the horizontal lines, you get either more sky or more land/sea - thus creating a more dramatic effect for the viewer.

If you try to include an interesting object, such as the tree in a photo - as per the photo below , and then position it according to the rule of thirds. This provides an "anchor", a natural focal point for the scene - this could just as easily be a person - but if it is a person make sure they are either looking at the camera or looking in towards the centre of the scene - remember to give them looking room in the direction in which they are looking..

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Moving Objects

When photographing moving object - whether it's a bird, your child on a bike or a racing car, position them as normal - as you see below i have placed the birds wings along the far right vertical third line, but also pay attention to the direction in which they are moving. As a general rule you should leave more space in front of them than behind them, to show people where they are going.

 

I know i have repeated myself on a few of the points, but before you decide not to use the rule of thirds - or break the rules as it were make sure you know how to use it, whilst it doesn't need to be applied all of the time, using it will more often than not give you amazing images. Understand it before you decide to break it ;-)

Look out for tomorrows Tip. and if you decide you would like to sign up for my monthly newsletters of hints and tips, drop me a message through my contact form, or email me alex@alexsharp.com

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) learn the rule of thirds technique photography photography hints and tips photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/tip-2 Sat, 18 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT
Tips To Instantly Improve your Photography - Number 1 https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/tips-to-instantly-improve-your-photography---number-1 Having run photo workshops for several years now, I have noticed some familiar traits that many people share with their photography. So I thought I would put together some hints and tips that will help you to improve your photography – pretty much straight away.

These few small ideas have the potential to make a huge impact on your photography. Today 1 offer number one in a series of 8.

If you would like to sign up for the downloadable PDF file of all 8 this will be available by this weekend and will be free.

1. Have patience

“Genius is patience. – Isaac Newton

Patience is the main skill that I think many amateur photographers lack. This matters so much because photography is often a waiting game – you could be waiting for the subject to get into position, waiting for the light to change/clouds to pass etc, or working the elements of your photo into the perfect composition. If you are not prepared to be patient, then you’re not going to get very many shots that you really like.

Many amateur photographers are so focused on trying to have a full memory card at the end of the photo shoot or end of their day out, that they don’t take the time to set up or wait for that actual great shot - therefore normally missing it.

This could involve a number of things - e.g. recognizing that the light isn’t right at that moment in time, but that it might change in an hour or so. Or it may be setting up a smashing photographic composition and then waiting until somebody stands in exactly the precise spot that you want them to, to make the shot complete. It could be photographing a person or landscape/scene over and over until you get an expression or angle that reveals something unique and interesting, thus creating the more impactful photo. The key to all of this as you can probably now see - is the waiting.

sunset over svalbardsunset over svalbardsun setting with the noorderlicht schooner silhouetted in foreground new lifenew lifenew penguin is born

You need to think about what you are expecting from your photo shoot - do you have a particular shot in your head beforehand that you know you want ? I think that a lot of it comes down to people’s expectations. Sometimes getting just one fabulous photo in a day’s shooting is a good result. Sometimes you can go out and if the light isn't right and you can see that it's not going to work that day then I can come home with nothing, other times you can come home with a dozen wonderful photos, the key is to look around you, make sure you are happy with the position you have chosen - that you are not in anybody's way - you don't want to set yourself up and have a train load of people jostle you about ruining what you have composed, and then, wherever you are and what ever you are trying to achieve, be patient and wait for the right moment to achieve the glorious shot you hoped for.

Look out for number two in the list of 8, tomorrow. If you have any questions, please just drop me an email alex@alexsharp.com and we can discuss them right here on the Blog.

Whether you are waiting for a perfect sunrise, sunset, a train to go by or cars to pass giving light trails in a night town scene, patience is the way forward. Relax and Enjoy, especially if you are still on furlough or just have more time on your hands - use the opportunity.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) free free photography tips pdf" photography photography hints and tips photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/tips-to-instantly-improve-your-photography---number-1 Fri, 17 Jul 2020 08:00:00 GMT
Photography Tips To Help Get You Started with a New Photography Project https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-tips-to-help-get-you-started-with-a-new-photography-project A lot of people look at their photographs and compare them to all of the hundreds of others that we see daily on Instagram, Facebook and plenty of other social media and Professional photographers websites and whilst it's fine to look at other peoples work for inspiration, comparing your photos to theirs can have the adverse affect if you're not careful.

It can start to make you think that maybe you're not good enough and that you can't compete with these people and eventually you pick your camera up less and less until you realise you haven't taken a photo for months.....

Don't be that person.

If you can't get out, or have limited time, then try something different, I mean if you usually take landscape images try something very different , grab a bunch of flowers in the house, try some macro shots of the flowers, use the light from a window - and if it is too harsh for you, then soften it with some soft, thin fabric at the window if need be.

If that doesn't inspire you then why not try revisiting some old images from a trip somewhere, have a look at the RAW/Original images again and see if you would process them any differently to how you did the first time around.

If you're looking for inspiration look on Instagram, but don't compare your work to other peoples. If there is somewhere you can go locally to take photos, then why not Google the place first, look at the images others have taken and try and look for a new or different viewpoint.

The Idea really is to put yourself outside of your usual comfort zone with the subjects that you take and try something completely new, birds in flight can often be a real challenge for people, so if that's something you've never tried, get yourself down to your nearest patch of water and have a go, with whatever flies passed. The main trick if there are a lot of birds- is to pick one and stay with it.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

A fast shutter speed - higher ISO if you need to let more light in, and pan with the bird to keep the bird sharp in focus.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Don't give up if you don't get great results the first time, keep trying, challenge yourself to get it right.

If you've never tried wildlife photography and you can't afford a safari or wildlife trip to Alaska or Canada, then why not just take yourself off to your local safari park for a couple of hours and see if you can great some great animal portraits - take a long lens with you though as you can't always get that close to the animals. Remember - set yourself a challenge and don't give up on it until you have achieved a few results that you are happy with.

Most safari parks and zoos are open again now and will let you book time slots to keep everybody safe during these difficult times.

galapagos tortoisegalapagos tortoiseclose up of tortoise face

If you would like any one to one training, I offer half day and full day sessions, so please just get in touch.

Otherwise watch out for the next set of top tips and ideas coming at the end of the week.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training photography training 2020 training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/7/photography-tips-to-help-get-you-started-with-a-new-photography-project Thu, 16 Jul 2020 10:30:46 GMT
Foreground, middle ground, background - don't overlook any of these.... https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/6/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these When you look at your chosen scene with the naked eye, your brain quickly picks out subjects of interest. The camera  however doesn’t discriminate – it captures everything that is in front of it, which can often lead to a cluttered and messy picture with no clear focal point if you're not paying attention to what is in front of you.

So what you need to do, is choose your subject, then select a focal length or camera viewpoint that makes it the centre of attention in the frame.

You can’t always keep other objects out of the picture, so try to keep them in the background or make them part of the story. Sometimes though simply moving a couple of feet - forward backwards or side to side may be enough to remove any unwanted distractions from an image though.

If you are trying to keep an image simple, then Silhouettes, textures and patterns are all subjects that work quite well as a simple composition.

However, when you’re shooting a large-scale scene it can be hard to know how big your subject should be in the frame, and how much you should zoom in by. Leaving too much empty space in a scene is the most widespread composition mistake. It makes your subject smaller than it needs to be and can also leave viewers confused about what they’re supposed to be looking at. Remember distraction in a photograph isn't always caused by an object - sometimes it's caused by the lack of an object.....

To avoid these problems you could zoom in to fill the frame, or get closer to the subject in question - I prefer the getting closer to the subject option when it is an option - obviously this isn't always possible. The first approach flattens the perspective of the shot and makes it easier to control or exclude what’s shown in the background, but physically moving closer can give you a more interesting take on things and make you see alternative options for framing.

Zooming in may be the easy option, but it's not always the best option for the image.

If you would like to sign up to the monthly online class please just get in touch. It is £75/month and you get weekly emails with ideas for subjects to photograph,plus projects to set yourself that will help you to improve your photography. Whatever the weather you will have things to try with your camera.

It also includes two monthly reviews - one in the middle and one at the end of each month of your work and what you have achieved throughout that month and then pointers to move forward.

This can also be purchased as a gift for somebody, please just email for details.

alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training photography training online training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2020/6/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these Thu, 25 Jun 2020 10:23:23 GMT
12 months of Photography Projects and Ideas - Great Christmas Stocking Filler https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/10/12-months-of-photography-projects-and-ideas---my-new-little-book My new book is now available, full of great ideas to try each month with your camera, whether you are out and about or at home, plus it really doesn't matter whether you shoot on a DSLR, point and shoot, or even your phone camera, it's about getting out there and having a go, being creative and trying new things, there's something in there for everybody. It's A6 in size, so just the right size to fit in your pocket, or pop in with your camera.

There are 32 pages with the cover, two pages for each month, plus 3 pages for you to write your own notes too, so you can jot ideas down whilst you're out and about with it, or as inspiration strikes.

The book is just £10 and including a couple of keyrings to put your own photos in once you've started your projects.

You can contact me to buy a copy or buy one through the shop.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography book photography project book photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/10/12-months-of-photography-projects-and-ideas---my-new-little-book Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:30:00 GMT
Wet weather and Rain Photography https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/9/wet-weather-and-rain-photography What can we do when it keeps raining and we still want to go out taking photographs???

Well you can put your camera into an underwater housing and turn a normal walk through the woods into a different kind of view of the woods.

I got quite wet - but the camera stayed beautifully snug in it's Ikelite Housing. I have the Canon 5D MarkII with the Ikelite housing and get some great shots with it.

Don't let the weather stop you getting out there taking photos, rain and water can get you some great effects.

So go out and have a play, whether you have a GoPro that you can put underwater or a housing for your camera or even if you're just getting shots of the floods, remember to have a play with capturing the motion of the water, be it freeze frame or fluid, and feel free to share some of your shots, it's great to see what you all get up to.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/9/wet-weather-and-rain-photography Thu, 12 Sep 2019 08:00:00 GMT
Foreground, middle ground, background - don't overlook any of these.... https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/9/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these When you look at your chosen scene with the naked eye, your brain quickly picks out subjects of interest. The camera  however doesn’t discriminate – it captures everything that is in front of it, which can often lead to a cluttered and messy picture with no clear focal point if you're not paying attention to what is in front of you.

bailed hay, Englandbailed hay, Englandbaied hay in field  

So what you need to do, is choose your subject, then select a focal length or camera viewpoint that makes it the centre of attention in the frame.

You can’t always keep other objects out of the picture, so try to keep them in the background or make them part of the story. Sometimes though simply moving a couple of feet - forward backwards or side to side may be enough to remove any unwanted distractions from an image though.

If you are trying to keep an image simple, then Silhouettes, textures and patterns are all subjects that work quite well as a simple composition.

However, when you’re shooting a large-scale scene it can be hard to know how big your subject should be in the frame, and how much you should zoom in by. Leaving too much empty space in a scene is the most widespread composition mistake. It makes your subject smaller than it needs to be and can also leave viewers confused about what they’re supposed to be looking at. Remember distraction in a photograph isn't always caused by an object - sometimes it's caused by the lack of an object.....

To avoid these problems you could zoom in to fill the frame, or get closer to the subject in question - I prefer the getting closer to the subject option when it is an option - obviously this isn't always possible. The first approach flattens the perspective of the shot and makes it easier to control or exclude what’s shown in the background, but physically moving closer can give you a more interesting take on things and make you see alternative options for framing.

Zooming in may be the easy option, but it's not always the best option for the image.

More next week.

Have a great week and have fun with your camera

Alex

 

alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training photography training online training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/9/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these Mon, 09 Sep 2019 08:00:00 GMT
The Tripod - why use a tripod?????? https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/9/the-tripod---why-use-a-tripod If you’re serious about your landscape photography you need to use a tripod, a decent one. A tripod carries many benefits to landscape photography - The most important of these is that it keeps the camera absolutely still so you’ll produce sharper images, even at ‘safe hand-holding shutter speeds’.

When you’re shooting with a small aperture at a low sensitivity setting, the shutter speed is often likely to be on the borderline or lower than a safe hand-holding speed, which makes a tripod essential. You can get a tripod on ebay and the like from just £15, so if you don't want to jump straight in to an expensive tripod this may be the way to go - to help keep it more stable - as tripods at this price tend to be quite light and often flimsy you can hang a weight - your camera bag for example off the centre of the tripod to help keep it steady whilst shooting with it - you may also find that a shutter release cable can help - as then you are not having to touch the camera or tripod at all whilst taking the photo.

Shutter release cables can also be found quite cheaply on Ebay and other similar sites - but make sure you buy the correct one for your model of camera.

Another benefit of using a tripod is that it holds the camera in the same place while you take shots at different exposures or with different focus points, so if you want you can create composite images with wide dynamic range or extensive depth of field this is the way to do it.

People often see this last point as being more of a disadvantage rather than an advantage,but a tripod often slows you down. The benefit of slowing down is that you tend to give more consideration to image composition. It makes you stop and think a bit more about what you are putting in the image and what you are cropping out of the image.

If you would like one to one camera tuition please get in touch via email alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010, vouchers are also available as gifts.

Dusk in the MaldivesDusk in the Maldivesdusk falls in the maldives

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography workshops in the west midlands learn photography in birmingham photography training worcestershire photography workshops workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/9/the-tripod---why-use-a-tripod Sat, 07 Sep 2019 10:19:14 GMT
12 months of Photography Projects and Ideas - my new little book https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/9/12-months-of-photography-projects-and-ideas---my-new-little-book My little photography book is full of great ideas to try each month with your camera, whether you are out and about or at home, plus it really doesn't matter whether you shoot on a DSLR, point and shoot, or even your phone camera, it's about getting out there and having a go, being creative and trying new things, there's something in there for everybody. It's A6 in size, so just the right size to fit in your pocket, or pop in with your camera.

There are 32 pages with the cover, two pages for each month, plus 3 pages for you to write your own notes too, so you can jot ideas down whilst you're out and about with it, or as inspiration strikes.

The book is just £10 and including a couple of keyrings to put your own photos in once you've started your projects.

You can contact me to buy a copy or buy one through the shop, which will appear shortly if not already there when you read this.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography book photography project book photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/9/12-months-of-photography-projects-and-ideas---my-new-little-book Tue, 03 Sep 2019 20:07:15 GMT
Photography Tip Number 8 - Keep Horizon Lines Straight https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-tip-number-8---keep-horizon-lines-straight Today is the last of the 8 Photography Tips.

All of the 8 Photography Tips will all be in the free downloadable PDF available through this website, the e-book will also have a few extras in there to help you along the way, please just message me or contact me through the contact form on this website stating you would like a copy of the Photography Hints and Tips E-Book and I will forward it over.

Tip Number 8 - Keep Your Horizon Lines Straight

If you are taking a beautiful landscape, there is nothing worse than realising afterwards that your horizon wasn't straight. If there is a horizon line in your photo and it's meant to be straight, make sure it is. Whilst this can be cropped and straightened afterwards it means you will have to crop the image to straighten it up and so potentially lose part of the beauty and alter the overall image.

The way to try to straighten shots is by looking through your camera’s viewfinder and checking that the image is even both sides - you can even move your camera up and down to see if the horizon line is straight with the edge of the frame and then move the camera back to the framing you want whilst ensuring to keep the horizon line straight. It's not always easy to get this perfect on the first try, so post production can be done to sort it out, but getting it right whilst in situ means you wont have to crop the image and change it once you are back home.

Plus the viewfinder or the preview on your LCD is quite small compared to full-screen editing so this is another reason why you may realise it needs adjusting once you see it on a bigger screen. Simply rotate your images in post production software and crop out the empty spaces left once you have straightened it up.

Dusk in the MaldivesDusk in the Maldivesdusk falls in the maldives

If you would like the Free E-Book with all 8 Photography Tips and extras email me through the contact form and I'll get it straight over to you. I hope the Photography Tips have helped you learn a little more about photography and Improved your Photos.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) improve your photography photography photography e-book photography hints and tips photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-tip-number-8---keep-horizon-lines-straight Fri, 25 Jan 2019 09:00:00 GMT
Photography Hint and Tip Number 7 - Leading Lines and How To Use Them https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-hint-and-tip-number-7---leading-lines-and-how-to-use-them Todays' blog is all about leading lines what they are and how to use them.

 

Photography Tip 7 - Leading Lines

So what are they ? Leading lines are horizontal, diagonal or vertical lines that lead the viewers eye through the photograph.

A landscape photographer will often use a leading line to help create depth within a photo and draw the person viewing the photo into the image further.

Make use of leading lines

A photograph with weak composition leaves viewers confused about what they should be focusing on/where they should be looking. Making use of leading lines in photography can help control where a viewer’s eyes move, especially with strong, obvious lines.

Lines that converge create a depth to the image and draw the viewer in, whilst curved lines can take you around the frame and eventually lead you to the main subject.

In the images below I have used the lines of the wooden balustrade to lead the viewers eyes into the middle of the image where the majority of the boats and interest lies. The lines of the hills at each side of the image also all point  the viewer back into the middle of the photo to where the boats sit on the water.

The artist Henri Matisse once said "A line cannot exist alone;it always brings a companion along. Remember that one line does nothing; it is only in relation to another that it creates a volume."

Above the line of the reflection of the sun on the sea leads your eye up to the top section of the photo where the actual sunset is.

A leading line is as you can see - an actual line - it can be a coastline, where rock meets sea or sand meets sea, an actual road going off into the distance, a river trailing off, or footpath into some woods maybe, a row of trees in a park, or lines that cut through a harvested field, I'm sure you get the idea. It is a very simple principle, but a very effective one if used correctly.

There are several leading lines in the image above, they all lead you towards the door at the back of the image and then up towards the amazing ceiling in the passageway of the cathedral. The image below shows how a centrally placed tree lined river, with light shining right down the middle of it has multiple leading lines all leading you the same way through the image.

This image shows how effective lines are for taking the viewers eye through an image, if a line has a slight curve to it then it may slow down the viewer looking at the image, where as the  short leading line of the light on the river above takes you straight in to the centre of the photo. The upward motion of this leading line can be very dramatic, a lot more so than a horizontal leading line.

Multiple diagonal leading lines that converge at a vanishing point in an image are very effective, railway lines or a long road going off into the distance can be some of the strongest ways to show this, although the photo above goes off into the distance, it doesn't quite have a proper vanishing point.

We can discuss vanishing points in another Blog post, I hope this gives you some food for thought though, so next time you are out and about with your camera try and get some leading lines in the image, have a practice, think about where and how you are placing them, think about the rule of thirds too, does it matter where you put the lines within the image - will they stop in the middle? or a bottom or top third of the image ? So much to think about - mainly though I would just like you to enjoy having a go and using your camera and taking some "you" time out of your busy life.

If you would like to send me your images please do show me what you are up to, it's great to share.

Look out for Photography Tip 8 tomorrow, Alex

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography traing worcestershire photography training photography training stratford upon avon training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-hint-and-tip-number-7---leading-lines-and-how-to-use-them Thu, 24 Jan 2019 09:00:00 GMT
Photography Tip 6 - Focus On The Eyes https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-tip-6---focus-on-the-eyes Today's Photography Tip is quite a short one, I hope you are finding them all useful, we will have a re-cap at the end and then you can see what comes next.

 

Tip Number 6 - Focus On The Eyes

When we are looking at a photograph with an animal or person as the main subject, we are always drawn towards the eyes, as eyes are a natural focal point that we connect with.

Therefore when taking portrait photographs at any aperture, make sure you focus on the eyes and that they are pin sharp. As long as the eyes are in focus, both you and your subject are more likely to consider the picture to be properly shot.

As a viewer of an image we look to the eyes and then our own eyes will move around the image to look at other details, but if the eyes aren't sharp we will be distracted and may not even bother to continue looking at the rest of the image.

So Keep The Focus On The Eyes Sharp ;-)

I will add another quick tip at this point - make sure your lens is clean and always have a lens cloth to hand , whether you have a point and shoot, phone camera or DSLR there's no faster way to ruin a photo than a dirty mark on your lens.

Look out for tomorrows Photography Tip.

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography hints and tips photography tips photography training photography workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-tip-6---focus-on-the-eyes Wed, 23 Jan 2019 13:28:47 GMT
Photography Tip Number 5 - White Balance https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-tip-number-5 White Balance is today's topic and can be a very quick fix to improve your photos.

5. Learn to Use your White Balance Settings

White balance can really help you to capture colours more accurately, giving a truer reading of what you see, rather than leeving your camera on auto and letting the camera decide.

Different types of light have different characteristics, so if you don’t adjust the white balance on your camera, the colours in your photography may take on a slightly blue, orange or green hue or "temperature" depending on what you are photographing.

Whilst of course your white balance can be fixed in post processing, it can become quite time consuming if you have taken hundreds of photos and you have to alter every one of them, so as always, if you can get it right when you take the photo this is always the best bet. 

The general standard white balance settings you’ll find on your camera will include Automatic White Balance, Daylight, Cloudy, Flash, Shade, Fluorescent and Tungsten, you will also be able to set your own on some higher spec cameras. They are there because they let the camera know what colour balance situation you are taking photos in and help it get the correct colour for your image - so try using them and see the difference it makes.

Each of the white balance settings is symbolised by a different icon, so if you’re not sure which is which you can check your camera’s manual. Automatic white balance works alright in some situations, but it’s generally best to change the setting according to the type of light you are shooting in.

Always remember to check your white balance setting when moving to a new lighting situation though.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training" photography workshops training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-tip-number-5 Tue, 22 Jan 2019 09:00:00 GMT
Tip Number 4 - Change your Viewpoint https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/tip-number-4 Apologies, I've had a few website/internet problems the last few days and it has made a couple of the posts vanish... so I'm just putting it all back together :-)

Anyway, I can see that over 100 of you are reading these everyday, so I will get on with lesson number 4 straight away for you.

 

4. Change Your Perspective

One way to ensure an unremarkable photo is to snap a subject straight-on from eye level.

Everybody knows this particular viewpoint already — we interact with the world from this viewpoint each and everyday. It’s ordinary, it's the norm - so how do we change this ?

Well changing it is easy: shoot from a different view point.

This can mean a few things, the options are plenty:

Change your elevation (e.g. get closer to the ground or get some steps and look from a higher viewpoint)

Change your angle  - so rather than straight on -  try straight up from the ground or skewed from the side, giving the camera a little angle twist.

Change your distance from the subject -  get closer or move further away.

Or you can of course try a combination of all of the options.

You’ll be surprised by how different your shots feel with these changes.

By looking up at the horses head, instead of seeing a green field or yard behind him when we look straight on at him, we see the fabulous blue sky against his dark fur - it really adds another dimension to the image.

Filling the frame by moving closer also makes for a different kind of viewpoint and portrait.

Have some fun with changing your viewpoints.

Look out for Tip number 5 tomorrow.

Alex

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/tip-number-4 Mon, 21 Jan 2019 23:02:27 GMT
Photography Tip 3 - See The Light https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/tip-3 For today's top Tip I wont go on quite as much as I did yesterday, but hopefully it will have just as much impact on your photography.

Tip 3 - See The Light

Today before you even raise your camera, have a look around you and see where the light is coming from, then use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or whether it is coming from an artificial source like a lamp overhead or on your desk; think about how can you best use it to make your photos better?

How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject ? harsh and bright? diffused by cloud, spot lights?

Is the light highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows ?

These are things you can use to your advantage to make an ordinary photo extraordinary.

If the light is behind you as you look at the scene you want to photograph you may also need to zoom in a little to exclude your own shadow.....this is something else to watch out for, casting a shadow of your own across the image depending on where your light source is placed, you may be able to move yourself or move the light or lamp if possible.

You can see the difference in these four photos, from sun at midday in the first shot, to early sunrise above right, giving a golden glow over Salcombe estuary, to below where on both images the sun is diffused by cloud giving a softer light and more dramatic feel to the images.

If you have a camera that gives you the option to select different white balances, then use it, there will be little images in the white balance menu with shade and bright sun options etc, use these as they give you the correct colour balance rather than leaving your camera on auto, but after you change it - remember to change it again for the next type of light as it may not be the same next time you use your camera.

Below, during my time photographing in Svalbard the light was always soft, it was October and although we had some amazing sunsets the days were also almost like dusk with the sun behind soft clouds all day. In these conditions you need a tripod and longer shutter speed - Note - a flash will not help you with such a large landscape.

Here you can see I'm on the North face of the mountain - with the sun catching the snow as the wind wisps it about on the mountain peak, the back light effect i think is quite beautiful.

So wherever you are today remember to look around you and see where the light is coming from and use it to your advantage, move around a little until you have it just where you want it if necessary, have fun with it.

More tips tomorrow and remember all of the top tips will be available in pdf format by the weekend.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photo hints and tips photography photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/tip-3 Fri, 18 Jan 2019 09:00:00 GMT
Tip Number 2 - Rule Of Thirds - Don't Groan - just try it - it works ;-) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/tip-2 I heard you all groan when you read Rule Of Thirds, most people say they know about it and that they understand it - well if that's the case try using it  :-)

Honestly Read on, understand it and try it, if you are one of those people who is saying you use it and understand, but you don't really, then this is your chance to take yourself off for 10 minutes and actually try it and physically see the difference it will make to those badly framed photos you were previously taking :-) I'm feeling some light bulb moments happening today already :-)

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Tip Number 2 - The Rule Of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a composition technique that helps you to position your subject in the best spot when taking a picture.

Of course, rules should never be applied blindly, particularly in art, so you should think of it more as a handy "rule of thumb" rather than one that's set in stone. However, it will produce a pleasing photo more often than not, and is an excellent starting point for any composition. So trying this on just a few shots - even with your phone - you should see a marked improvement in your composition.

By positioning your object at one of the points where the lines meet, it can make your image become more balanced, this makes it easier for the eye to roll over naturally - see the hay bale above.

Scientific Studies have shown that your eyes naturally move towards one of these four points when looking at an image, rather than going straight to the centre of the photograph.

When you are taking your picture, imagine the frame as being split up into a grid of four lines as shown.

The points where the lines intersect identify the four important points of your frame. According to the rule of thirds, you will want to position your main subject at one of these points, but even close to one of these points has the same effect to the viewer.(more on this below)

The rule of thirds is one of the most useful composition techniques in photography. It really is an important concept to learn as it can be used in all types of photography to produce images which are more engaging and balanced for the viewer.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

In all honesty I have been taking photographs for over 40 years, I don't think about the rule of thirds as i find that I naturally place objects in this fashion - above the elephant is placed where the lines meet and he also has plenty of looking room in the direction he is facing - also leaving space for us to view the landscape behind him.

How to Use The Rule of Thirds

When framing a scene, imagine that the scene is divided up as below. Think about what elements of the photo are most important, and try to position them at or near the lines and intersections of the grid - you can imagine the grid in your minds eye - and if you can't you may even find your camera has one in it's menu settings ????. Of course, the object/subject doesn't have to be perfectly lined up as long as they're close it still has the same effect.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above, the Pelican is on the far right line with his wing stretching right up along that line - the pelican is flying towards the left hand side of the frame and so I have given him room to move into as this makes a more comfortable image for the viewer to look at - if the pelicans beak was right up against the left hand edge of frame it would not be pleasant to look at. I have also left plenty of blue sky - negative space - this is a topic for another day really.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above the horizon and main subject in this photo have been positioned near lines or intersections for maximum impact/dramatic effect.

You may need to move around to get the best composition. This forces you to think more carefully about the shot you are taking, it is a good habit to get into whether you're using the rule of thirds or not.

Remember to check the menu in your camera settings if you are struggling to imagine the lines as some cameras have a setting which overlays a rule of thirds grid onto your camera screen, thus removing all of the guesswork and helping you get your positioning even more accurate.

Examples

Remember the rule of thirds is very versatile and can be used on any subject, not just landscapes and wildlife, but with animals, people portraits, product photography etc etc. I have put some more examples below for you to look at.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Above notice we have a row of poppies at the front that reach the line of the first third, with the horses head hitting the second third line - as well as his neck and bottom hitting the vertical third lines too.

 

Often in landscape shots, it can common to position the horizon right across the middle of the frame, but this can give the photo a "split in two" feel. Instead, if you place it along one of the horizontal lines, you get either more sky or more land/sea - thus creating a more dramatic effect for the viewer.

If you try to include an interesting object, such as the tree in a photo - as per the photo below , and then position it according to the rule of thirds. This provides an "anchor", a natural focal point for the scene - this could just as easily be a person - but if it is a person make sure they are either looking at the camera or looking in towards the centre of the scene - remember to give them looking room in the direction in which they are looking..

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Moving Objects

When photographing moving object - whether it's a bird, your child on a bike or a racing car, position them as normal - as you see below i have placed the birds wings along the far right vertical third line, but also pay attention to the direction in which they are moving. As a general rule you should leave more space in front of them than behind them, to show people where they are going.

 

I know i have repeated myself on a few of the points, but before you decide not to use the rule of thirds - or break the rules as it were make sure you know how to use it, whilst it doesn't need to be applied all of the time, using it will more often than not give you amazing images. Understand it before you decide to break it ;-)

Look out for tomorrows Tip. and if you decide you would like to sign up for my monthly newsletters of hints and tips, drop me a message through my contact form, or email me alex@alexsharp.com

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) learn the rule of thirds technique photography photography hints and tips photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/tip-2 Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:50:24 GMT
Tips To Instantly Improve your Photography - Number 1 https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/tips-to-instantly-improve-your-photography---number-1 Having run photo workshops for several years now, I have noticed some familiar traits that many people share with their photography. So I thought I would put together some hints and tips that will help you to improve your photography – pretty much straight away.

These few small ideas have the potential to make a huge impact on your photography. Today 1 offer number one in a series of 8.

If you would like to sign up for the downloadable PDF file of all 8 this will be available by this weekend and will be free.

1. Have patience

“Genius is patience. – Isaac Newton

Patience is the main skill that I think many amateur photographers lack. This matters so much because photography is often a waiting game – you could be waiting for the subject to get into position, waiting for the light to change/clouds to pass etc, or working the elements of your photo into the perfect composition. If you are not prepared to be patient, then you’re not going to get very many shots that you really like.

Many amateur photographers are so focused on trying to have a full memory card at the end of the photo shoot or end of their day out, that they don’t take the time to set up or wait for that actual great shot - therefore normally missing it.

This could involve a number of things - e.g. recognizing that the light isn’t right at that moment in time, but that it might change in an hour or so. Or it may be setting up a smashing photographic composition and then waiting until somebody stands in exactly the precise spot that you want them to, to make the shot complete. It could be photographing a person or landscape/scene over and over until you get an expression or angle that reveals something unique and interesting, thus creating the more impactful photo. The key to all of this as you can probably now see - is the waiting.

sunset over svalbardsunset over svalbardsun setting with the noorderlicht schooner silhouetted in foreground new lifenew lifenew penguin is born

You need to think about what you are expecting from your photo shoot - do you have a particular shot in your head beforehand that you know you want ? I think that a lot of it comes down to people’s expectations. Sometimes getting just one fabulous photo in a day’s shooting is a good result. Sometimes you can go out and if the light isn't right and you can see that it's not going to work that day then I can come home with nothing, other times you can come home with a dozen wonderful photos, the key is to look around you, make sure you are happy with the position you have chosen - that you are not in anybody's way - you don't want to set yourself up and have a train load of people jostle you about ruining what you have composed, and then, wherever you are and what ever you are trying to achieve, be patient and wait for the right moment to achieve the glorious shot you hoped for.

Look out for number two in the list of 8, tomorrow. If you have any questions, please just drop me an email alex@alexsharp.com and we can discuss them right here on the Blog.

Whether you are waiting for a perfect sunrise, sunset, a train to go by or cars to pass giving light trails in a night town scene, patience is the way forward. Relax and Enjoy.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) free free photography tips pdf" photography photography hints and tips photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/tips-to-instantly-improve-your-photography---number-1 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 09:00:00 GMT
Photography Tips To Help Get You Started with a New Photography Project https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-tips-to-help-get-you-started-with-a-new-photography-project A lot of people look at their photographs and compare them to all of the hundreds of others that we see daily on Instagram, Facebook and plenty of other social media and Professional photographers websites and whilst it's fine to look at other peoples work for inspiration, comparing your photos to theirs can have the adverse affect if you're not careful. It can start to make you think that maybe you're not good enough and that you can't compete with these people and eventually you pick your camera up less and less until you realise you haven't taken a photo for months.....

If you can't get out, or have limited time, then try something different, I mean if you usually take landscape images try something very different , grab a bunch of flowers in the house, try some macro shots of the flowers, use the light from a window - and if it is too harsh for you, then soften it with some soft, thin fabric at the window if need be.

If that doesn't inspire you then why not try revisiting some old images from a trip somewhere, have a look at the RAW/Original images again and see if you would process them any differently to how you did the first time around.

If you're looking for inspiration look on Instagram, but don't compare your work to other peoples. If there is somewhere you can go locally to take photos, then why not Google the place first, look at the images others have taken and try and look for a new or different viewpoint.

The Idea really is to put yourself outside of your usual comfort zone with the subjects that you take and try something completely new, birds in flight can often be a real challenge for people, so if that's something you've never tried, get yourself down to your nearest patch of water and have a go, with whatever flies passed. The main trick if there are a lot of birds- is to pick one and stay with it.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

A fast shutter speed - higher ISO if you need to let more light in, and pan with the bird to keep the bird sharp in focus.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Don't give up if you don't get great results the first time, keep trying, challenge yourself to get it right.

If you've never tried wildlife photography and you can't afford a safari or wildlife trip to Alaska or Canada, then why not just take yourself off to your local safari park for a couple of hours and see if you can great some great animal portraits - take a long lens with you though as you can't always get that close to the animals. Remember - set yourself a challenge and don't give up on it until you have achieved a few results that you are happy with.

galapagos tortoisegalapagos tortoiseclose up of tortoise face

If you would like any one to one training, I offer half day and full day sessions, so please just get in touch.

Otherwise watch out for the next set of top tips and ideas coming at the end of the week.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/photography-tips-to-help-get-you-started-with-a-new-photography-project Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:51:58 GMT
One to One Training Around Worcestershire and the West Midlands https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/one-to-one-training-around-worcestershire-and-the-west-midlands Lots of you had cameras for Christmas and are getting in touch about having some one to one training. It's really great that so many people are taking time for themselves to start doing something they love. Photography is great as you can lose yourself for hours and be as creative as you like.

Taking the time out to learn something new and have a little "you" time is great for many good reasons - as well as learning something new and achieving new things in the New Year, which always makes us feel better about ourselves, I truly believe it is good for the soul and good for ones mental health. 

It takes you away from your everyday routine and gets you thinking about something completely different - even if it's just for an hour or two. If you can get out in the fresh air with your camera too then this is even better, fresh air added into the equation adds to make you feel so much better about yourself and your day.

When I start teaching somebody new, we start at the very beginning, I like to see how you use your camera, how do you frame images, how do you show people what you are capturing, once I can see where you're at then we can make a plan to get you moving forward and achieving all of the things that you want to be able to do.

Whether landscapes are your thing, or you want to tackle night time photography or macro photography, all you have to do is let me know what your long term goal is - if you have one and we can head towards it, if you want to learn just as much as possible then we can set some goals for that too. Most people find a whole day can be too much and like to do half days (3.5hrs), so they can learn new things and practice what they have learnt and then we meet up a few weeks later and I can see your progress and we tackle some more new challenges.

The whole idea though is that I make it as fun as possible for you, we do not sit at a desk writing things out, we use your camera and you can make notes as we go along, but you are learning by taking photos. We may sit at my laptop to see how the photos look from time to time, but then we are back off photographing again :-)

Escaping the world and enjoying a new hobby or potential new business is a marvellous way to spend a day or a half day.

I can cover whatever topics you wish, including how to make money from image libraries if this is something you are interested in.

To book in a half or full day session please just drop me an email or give me a call;

Email: alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010

There will be Blog posts every day now until the end of the month full of top tips and ideas to help you get out there and start enjoying your camera more and more, so stay tuned in.

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) camera training have fun learning to use your camera learn to use your camera one to one photography training photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/one-to-one-training-around-worcestershire-and-the-west-midlands Wed, 02 Jan 2019 09:00:00 GMT
Happy New Year Everybody https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/merry-christmas-and-a-happy-new-year-to-you-all I hope you have all had a fabulous Christmas and I hope the New Year brings you some amazing adventures.

For those of you who have been lucky enough to have new camera kit, I hope you also have plenty of time to get out there and play with it, and for those of you who have been bought photography training vouchers - I'm really looking forward to meeting you all.

 

If you would like one of my pocket sized books of ideas to get you motivated, then you can buy them via this website or email me for details if you prefer.

Have a fabulous New Year and I will have plenty of news of what's going on next for you all at the start of 2019.

Best Wishes

Alex

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training photography training stratford training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2019/1/merry-christmas-and-a-happy-new-year-to-you-all Tue, 01 Jan 2019 09:00:00 GMT
Photography Tips to end the year with https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/12/photography-tips-to-end-the-year-with As the end of 2018 is fast approaching many of us start to think about how we might want to make some changes in the coming year, we have to decide what we want to stop doing, plus of course what we want to start doing to make life better, or more interesting and of course we start to think about the things we want to improve on. 

French Alps, Morillon, FranceFrench Alps, Morillon, France mountain peaksmountain peakstop of les deux alpes

Many creative folk can suffer from a loss of inspiration as the year goes on. And with the last few weeks before Christmas not being as quiet and peaceful as you might like them to be you can head into the New Year and have yourself a list of New Year's Resolutions that seems crazy and out of control, that you know as you write them down you will never be able to stick with them.

So before Christmas is right on top of us, why not take out ten minutes to yourself and have a think about what you would like to achieve with your photography next year, don't write a long list of resolutions you'll never stick to, try and make it real/achievable, make it a list of things that you can stick to in either small projects at a time/needing just small amounts of time, don't overwhelm yourself with crazy ideas, make it workable, manageable. If you make it too hard or too much/too difficult for yourself you will give up before you have even started.

Here are some Ideas to get you started; (I sell a book with a project for every month for just £10 if you need some help).

Set yourself a project - it can be that you are going to take one photo everyday for a month, or it could be documenting a place from a different angle/viewpoint - somewhere that you see all the time maybe ?

Maybe choose a colour as your theme - or textures, you could choose a prime lens to try and use for a whole project maybe?

We are surrounded by thousands of photos every moment of the day with all of the social media today, and whilst seeing all of these images can be inspirational, don't feel intimidated by other people's work, don't compare your work to others, find your own style, be yourself and enjoy your photography, enjoy learning and trying new things. Remember any mistakes you think you make are all helping you to learn and progress in your craft.

If you want to learn more, look out for my online classes starting in the New Year.

You will be able to learn at your own pace, no pressure.

If you would like to book some one to one photography lessons, email me for more information

alex@alexsharp.com

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/12/photography-tips-to-end-the-year-with Tue, 18 Dec 2018 09:00:00 GMT
One to One Photography Training Gift Vouchers - Available as vouchers until 23rd Dec https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/12/one-to-one-photography-training-gift-vouchers---available-as-vouchers-until-23rd-dec If you are still looking for the perfect gift for the photographer or budding photographer in your life, what not buy them a voucher for some one to one training. You can book them a half day or full day and I tailor the courses to suit each person, so whatever it is they would really like to learn, that's what we cover, plus some basics too.

We can visit any local town or country park, I travel all over, but often spend days in Stratford upon Avon teaching photography as well as Worcester - town centre and around the countryside too, Birmingham City Centre is another popular location. If you would like to book a session for a group of you then please just get in touch. I bring my laptop along too, so that you can look at your work as we go along and you can see what is working and what didn't go so well.

There are notes for the time we spend together too, for you to take away and remember what we covered, but let's face it, you can't beat getting out with your camera and having a go for learning what works rather than sitting behind a desk :-)

If you would like to buy a voucher for a friend or loved one, or for yourself, please just get in touch. When you buy a voucher for somebody to give as a gift they are valid for 12 months and if the day we arrange is lashing with rain, then we can always arrange a different day.

Just call or email to get in touch for a voucher

Tel: 07885472010 or Email: alex@alexsharp.com

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography traing worcestershire photography training photography training stratford training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/12/one-to-one-photography-training-gift-vouchers---available-as-vouchers-until-23rd-dec Mon, 17 Dec 2018 21:26:40 GMT
Photo Challenges for December 2018 https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/12/photo-challenges-for-december-2018 I hope you're all well and have been enjoying the magnificent Autumn that we have had, we have been so lucky this year with all of the magnificent colours of the trees and the gorgeous blue skies and sunshine. We haven't set you lot a project for a while and so why not show me what you have been photographing throughout October and November.

Whether you have been out spotting wildlife, or in the woods as those Autumn leaves fall, I love to see what you're all up to.

So what should you look out for in December - there's just so much :-)

Here's a list of things you can photograph in December that are all close at hand - I'll post some of my December photos through the month so we can compare.

December Photo List

1.Christmas baubles

2. Christmas tree

3.Log Pile - inside or out

4.Robins/birds - put some food out to encourage them to your garden

5. A Winter Morning - frost or snow

6.Wrapping Gifts

7. Tree decorations

8.The Weather

9.Clear starry nights

10.Frozen water

11.Christmas Food

12. Loved ones unwrapping their presents.

13.Christmas lights

14.Bare trees showing the shapes of their branches against the sky.

15. Try some long exposure sparkler shots with the dark nights we have.

The list is endless.

To learn how to do any of the above properly and more you can have one to one training - a half day to get you using your camera in more creative ways is just £100. Training sessions can take place at my studio or out and about depending on what you want to achieve. A full day is £195.

If you have any questions about the training days please just get in touch by email or phone, alex@alexsharp.com or call me on: 07885472010

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography training water weather west workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/12/photo-challenges-for-december-2018 Sat, 01 Dec 2018 09:00:00 GMT
One to One Photography Training Gift Vouchers - Available as Christmas gifts until 18th Dec https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/one-to-one-teaching-vouchers---available-as-christmas-gifts-until-10th-dec If you are still looking for the perfect gift for the photographer or budding photographer in your life, what not buy them a voucher for some one to one training. You can book them a half day or full day and I tailor the courses to suit each person, so whatever it is they would really like to learn, that's what we cover, plus some basics too.

We can visit any local town or country park, I travel all over, but often spend days in Stratford upon Avon teaching photography as well as Worcester - town centre and around the countryside too, Birmingham City Centre is another popular location. If you would like to book a session for a group of you then please just get in touch. I bring my laptop along too, so that you can look at your work as we go along and you can see what is working and what didn't go so well.

There are notes for the time we spend together too, for you to take away and remember what we covered, but let's face it, you can't beat getting out with your camera and having a go for learning what works rather than sitting behind a desk :-)

If you would like to buy a voucher for a friend or loved one, or for yourself, please just get in touch. When you buy a voucher for somebody to give as a gift they are valid for 12 months and if the day we arrange is lashing with rain, then we can always arrange a different day.

Just call or email to get in touch for a voucher

Tel: 07885472010 or Email: alex@alexsharp.com

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography traing worcestershire photography training photography training stratford training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/one-to-one-teaching-vouchers---available-as-christmas-gifts-until-10th-dec Thu, 29 Nov 2018 09:00:00 GMT
Photography Hints and Tips For Snow and Icey Landscapes https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/photography-hints-and-tips Today's blog is aimed at those who may never have tried to photograph snow or ice before, or maybe just need some pointers, so here are a few tips to help you get better photographs in the snowy weather, whether you're off skiing or just to colder climes hopefully this will help you to get some great shots.

1. Whilst sunny days make for great photos with the beautiful blue skies against the pure white snow, don't let a lack of sunshine stop you getting out there, just remember that if you have a grey or off white sky and then a snowy foreground, find something to have in the photo to break the image up - a row of trees, a house, mountain peak, whatever you have around you, just use something to stop the scene being one large grey rectangle with nothing of interest to really focus on.

2. Never delete any images in your camera whilst you are out and about, wait until you can get back and look at all of them properly on your computer to see what works for you and what you don't like. Sometimes images that you think don't work, when converted to black and white can become the most dramatic.

French Alps, Morillon, FranceFrench Alps, Morillon, France

3. Other things to remember, carry plenty of spare batteries, cold weather can dramatically alter the operating time of the battery in your camera. Be patient as whilst you are out and about if it is a cloudy day, you may find that as the cloud moves and you get a small bit of sunshine breaking through in small rays, you get the best shots, so look to the sky and see what's happening before you move location.

4. Play with your shutter speed, if you have snow falling and you use a slower shutter speed you will see the blur of the snowflakes, which can be very pretty - you will of course need a tripod for good results. Likewise using a faster shutter speed will stop those pretty snowflakes dead in their tracks and gives a different effect again. The slower shutter speed can also give you movement in the cloud if it's not actually snowing whilst you are out.

It's really about looking around you and working with what you have been offered by the weather Gods :-)

5. You will probably need to over expose your photos by 1 to 1.5 stops - as your camera will naturally want to under expose a snowy scene, however if you don't believe me - make sure you shoot in RAW and you can pull the exposure up to where you are happy before you convert it to a jpeg.

6. Other things to think about are what you are going to be wearing on your hands. I have some silk thermal glove liners that I wear under some more heavy duty gloves, so that when I take my gloves off, my hands are able to use the buttons on my camera and still keep reasonably warm from the cold weather that surrounds you. Never let your fingers get too cold.

7. If you have a polarizer filter this can be very useful,  but be careful not to over use it, the shot at the very top of this blog doesn't have a polarizer filter on it all although everybody assumes it does. Using one can help darken blue skies though, adding definition to clouds and eliminating glare too.

8. The best piece of advice that I have for you though is to charge your batteries, wrap up warm, get out there and have a go at capturing some fabulous wintery scenes and enjoy yourself and remember that if you are looking to capture people whooshing past on skiis and snowboards use a fast shutter speed ;-)

If you are interested in a 1 to 1 experience day get in touch, they can be tailored to your own needs and a 7 hour day is £195.Contact me on 07885472010 or email alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/photography-hints-and-tips Tue, 27 Nov 2018 09:00:00 GMT
Photography Hints and Tips - Things to think about before you next head out. https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/photography-hints-and-tips---things-to-think-about-before-you-next-head-out Before you go out and start shooting there are things that you need to always do:

Make sure your batteries are all charged are ready to go.

Camera cards are empty, formatted and ready for the photography session that is ahead of you.

Remember to always check your camera settings before you start taking photos, don't just point and shoot without thinking, as what you were photographing yesterday and how your camera settings were left, may be vastly different to what you are planning on shooting today, so always check your camera settings before you start to shoot something new.

Also make sure that your camera lens is clean, it's the simple things make a huge difference, ensure you always carry a lens cloth with you, you never know when a spot of rain or something may just drop on to your lens or camera.

When you set up to take a landscape - make sure that your horizon is straight.

Sometimes it can be the textures and patterns that you come across that make the beautiful and interesting images.

When you set up for your first photo, think about the angle you are taking it at, - if you take a few steps to the left or right, backwards or forwards will it improve your shot - don't get lazy and just point and shoot - think about what you are looking at - what is it that you are trying to capture and show your friends and family - if there's an empty can of pop - or other piece of litter ruining your image move it - or move yourself, stand somewhere slightly different if the item ruining your image can't be moved.

Whilst photo shop can be used to remove such annoying things when you return, getting it right in camera initially makes life a lot easier.

Whatever you are planning and going out to photograph, make sure you take your phone and let somebody know where you are going and when you think you might be back. Staying safe is always important, don't start a long hike if you haven't checked the weather, carry some water and small snacks too - as well as your charged up mobile phone.

If you would like to book in onto one of my training courses, please click on the workshop tab and see what I have currently have available, alternatively I offer half day and full day one to one courses.

 

If you would like to have a chat about your exact photography needs please call or email me at:

alex@alexsharp.co.uk  Tel: 07885472010

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) and hints photography photography hints and tips tips training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/photography-hints-and-tips---things-to-think-about-before-you-next-head-out Sat, 24 Nov 2018 09:00:00 GMT
Foreground, middle ground, background - don't overlook any of these.... https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these When you look at your chosen scene with the naked eye, your brain quickly picks out subjects of interest. The camera  however doesn’t discriminate – it captures everything that is in front of it, which can often lead to a cluttered and messy picture with no clear focal point if you're not paying attention to what is in front of you.

So what you need to do, is choose your subject, then select a focal length or camera viewpoint that makes it the centre of attention in the frame.

You can’t always keep other objects out of the picture, so try to keep them in the background or make them part of the story. Sometimes though simply moving a couple of feet - forward backwards or side to side may be enough to remove any unwanted distractions from an image though.

If you are trying to keep an image simple, then Silhouettes, textures and patterns are all subjects that work quite well as a simple composition.

However, when you’re shooting a large-scale scene it can be hard to know how big your subject should be in the frame, and how much you should zoom in by. Leaving too much empty space in a scene is the most widespread composition mistake. It makes your subject smaller than it needs to be and can also leave viewers confused about what they’re supposed to be looking at. Remember distraction in a photograph isn't always caused by an object - sometimes it's caused by the lack of an object.....

To avoid these problems you could zoom in to fill the frame, or get closer to the subject in question - I prefer the getting closer to the subject option when it is an option - obviously this isn't always possible. The first approach flattens the perspective of the shot and makes it easier to control or exclude what’s shown in the background, but physically moving closer can give you a more interesting take on things and make you see alternative options for framing.

Zooming in may be the easy option, but it's not always the best option for the image.

Another top tip tomorrow. If you would like to sign up to the monthly online class please just get in touch.  You get weekly emails with ideas for subjects to photograph,plus projects to set yourself that will help you to improve your photography. Whatever the weather you will have things to try with your camera and get feedback on your images each week.This costs just £80/month.

It also includes an end of month review - and some pointers to help you move forward.

This can also be purchased as a gift for somebody, please email for full details. This is open to a maximum of 12 clients at any one time.

alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training photography training online training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these Thu, 22 Nov 2018 09:00:00 GMT
One to One Photography training Vouchers https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/one-to-one-photography-training-vouchers It's that time of year again :-)

I love Christmas :-) and I love the John Lewis advert..... maybe because many years ago somebody bought me a gift that shaped my life... a camera :-)

If somebody has bought you a camera and you're not sure how to get them most from it - or you are too worried to take it off auto and use the other settings, it's often it's easier to have somebody show you what to do.

I offer a half day (3.5hr) one to one training session for £100 or a full day (7hr) for £195.

Vouchers can have a personal message on for your recipient and come with a small book of photography hints and tips for them to keep and make notes in.

If there is something specific that you would like to learn  - night time photography maybe - how to photograph fireworks or maybe you want to improve your composition, low light photography, or how to photograph water - either getting crisp splashes or the flow of the water so that it looks like fabric :-) we can do all or any of that.

Whatever it is that you would like to learn how to do with your camera please just let me know and I can hep you learn.

Buying somebody a camera is an amazing gift, but most people don't realise that they then need to learn how to use it to get the amazing photos that they want to achieve. You're never to old to learn :-)

To buy a voucher as a gift or book a session in for yourself you an either email: alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010

adam and eve at the top of Tryfan Walesadam and eve at the top of Tryfan Wales

bailed hay, Englandbailed hay, Englandbaied hay in field

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) one to one photography training in Stratford Upon Avon one to one photography training in Worcester photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/11/one-to-one-photography-training-vouchers Tue, 20 Nov 2018 10:20:35 GMT
Quick Tips To Improve Your Photography https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/8/quick-tips-to-improve-your-photography How to Improve Your Photography Quickly

 

One of the quickest ways to improve the look of your photography - especially if you're still shooting on Auto is to master composition. Looking at how you compose your photographs can help improve your photography very quickly.

Whatever camera you have, DSLR, Bridge camera, point and shoot - even your phone camera, always spend some time to think about what it is you are trying to capture in the photo you are about to take, what is your thought processes when it comes to framing your subject? Do you just lift your camera and take the photo without thinking? If so you can really easily improve the results you are achieving by getting into some good composition habits.

Format - Portrait or Landscape ?

Before you click the button and take your photo, think about what format you want your photograph in - which way round best suits the image you want to capture and which way round you are holding your camera, so is landscape, portrait or square going to suit the shot best ?

Look at the whole scene in  - if something is potentially going to be distracting within the image then leave it out, if there is a piece of rubbish on the floor where you are taking your photo, spend a moment to pick it up and remove it from your frame. so have a proper look in front of you, look at what you are planning on putting in the photo, what do you want to include & what you want to leave out. 

If you are unsure and have the time, you can always shoot more than one format and choose your preferred image later. If you do have time, do this anyway as when you get home you can look at how the scene looks in the different formats and see the images next to each other to see what works best.

 

Viewpoint

Viewpoint is the strongest way to control the composition. I tell my students this all of the time, moving left, right, up or down will change the effect of background objects on your main subject. If you do not feel you are getting the shot you are really looking for, try just moving a couple of feet left or right or if you're close to your subject look at it from below or above. Moving forward and backwards changes perspective. A small change in viewpoint can make a good photo become a great one.

Horizons

Always make sure your horizons are straight, there is nothing worse than a wonky horizon, they can of course be fixed with cropping the image afterwards, but if you get it right when you take the photo, you wont need to crop it afterwards.

Use these tips as starting points and practice your composition, if you are going on holiday to somewhere you have been before, then take photos there again, and see if you can improve on what you previously achieved, try new angles and look for different view points, don't stick to wide landscapes, try looking for close up details of a place that will also give the viewer of the image more of a feel for where you visited.

If you are stuck for ideas, I have my book available for just £10, it has 12 months of ideas for you to try and is full of hints and tips on how to get more form your camera and it is pocket sized so easy to take anywhere with you.

If you would like a book, you can email me for one, if you would like some one to one training, drop me an email and we can work out where you are with your photography and what we can do to progress you as quickly and easily as possible.

Photography should be fun for you, email me: alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photo training photography photography hints and tips photography training photography training west midlands training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/8/quick-tips-to-improve-your-photography Sun, 12 Aug 2018 21:34:46 GMT
Tripod - Do you really need A Tripod ? https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/tripod---do-you-really-need-a-tripod If you’re serious about your photography you need to use a tripod, a decent one, not all of the time, but there will be many occasions when it is so useful and makes the difference between having an amazing photo or a big blur that you can't make out.

A tripod carries many benefits to landscape photography - The most important of these is that it keeps the camera absolutely still so you’ll produce sharper images, even at ‘safe hand-holding shutter speeds’.

When you’re shooting with a small aperture at a low sensitivity setting, the shutter speed is often likely to be on the borderline or lower than a safe hand-holding speed, which makes a tripod essential. You can get a tripod on ebay and the like from just £15, so if you don't want to jump straight in to an expensive tripod this may be the way to go - to help keep it more stable - as tripods at this price tend to be quite light and often flimsy you can hang a weight - your camera bag for example off the centre of the tripod to help keep it steady whilst shooting with it - you may also find that a shutter release cable can help - as then you are not having to touch the camera or tripod at all whilst taking the photo.

Shutter release cables can also be found quite cheaply on Ebay and other similar sites - but make sure you buy the correct one for your model of camera.

Another benefit of using a tripod is that it holds the camera in the same place while you take shots at different exposures or with different focus points, so if you want you can create composite images with wide dynamic range or extensive depth of field this is the way to do it.

People often see this last point as being more of a disadvantage rather than an advantage,but a tripod often slows you down. The benefit of slowing down is that you tend to give more consideration to image composition. It makes you stop and think a bit more about what you are putting in the image and what you are cropping out of the image. If you want to shoot night time photography - stars, northern lights or fireworks - guess what - yep you will also need a tripod ;-)

For more top tips tune back in tomorrow ;-)

Dusk in the MaldivesDusk in the Maldivesdusk falls in the maldives

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) phootgraphy training west midlands photography photography hints and tips photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/tripod---do-you-really-need-a-tripod Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:00:00 GMT
Ideas for Things to Photograph https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/ideas-for-things-to-photograph Some days it may seem like you just don't know what to photograph, maybe you have already photographed the birds on the feeder 100 times or more and maybe the flowers just aren't inspiring you or maybe the weather isn't inspiring you to go outside and photograph the flowers, so here are some ideas for those days, when you just need some new ideas to give you a creative push.

I will start with the immediate things around us that you may be ignoring or choosing not to think about photographing because you think it may be too hard, sometimes we need to photograph something that challenges us as it will push us to understand our cameras more and what we can achieve with them and also help us to seek solutions to our photographic problems.

So if you have dogs or cats, you could start with them, birds - maybe not on feeders, but as they fly in and out of your garden, why not try and capture them in flight, I know this may be harder than whilst they sit at the bird feeder, but it makes you think about what type of photo you want to capture - do you want a slower shutter speed showing the movement in their wings? Or a faster shutter speed freeze framing their movement ?

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Maybe think of projects you could set yourself and try and think outside the box with the themes - so you could have a colour theme - so pick any colour, yellow, red, black, white, blue, think about shades textures objects associated with these colours, it can be food or objects - cars, bikes, toys, etc. or a pet - your dog or cat or horse if you have one.

Look at details too - rather than the entire object - a close up of a section of a face can be truly beautiful.

 

Maybe your chosen topic for your project could be water - so not just a stunning waterfall or lake with fabulous reflection, but maybe the rain, puddles, a tap running - filling a glass of water - dropping things into a glass of water - maybe your pet dog drinking from his bowl of water - water running down a piece of glass - maybe you can see things through the water - reflections of flowers etc.

If you're stuck inside and need something easier to get hold of to inspire you, then how about raiding the cutlery draw - spoons and forks, can make for interesting shapes and use different light sources and backgrounds to add interest, or flowers in a vase - even fruit, you are surrounded by everyday objects that you could put by a window - to use natural light and capture in a way that you have never tried before.

Remember to think about your aperture too and what you want to show people who see your photo.

 

 

Maybe you are fortunate enough to be able to take a whole day to get out and about with your camera - jump on a train and go somewhere new - London, Birmingham, Manchester, a beach somewhere or national park - the lake district or Snowdonia, just enjoy a proper day out with your camera and get inspired again.

Whatever you decide to go out and photograph have fun with it, push yourself and try something new and don't forget to share, show me what you get up to. More ideas coming soon.

If you would like to book in for some one to one tuition Email: alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/ideas-for-things-to-photograph Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:00:00 GMT
What To Photograph on a Wet February Day https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/what-to-photograph-on-a-wet-february-day What can we do when it keeps raining and we still want to go out taking photographs???

Let's face it February has been a little damp so far, but don't let that stop you from enjoying your love of photography.

Well you can put your camera into an underwater housing and turn a normal walk through the woods into a different kind of view of the woods. You could also use a Go pro for this or get a splashproof pack for your phone camera - on Ebay they cost just a few pounds.

I got quite wet - but the camera stayed beautifully snug in it's Ikelite Housing. I have the Canon 5D MarkII with the Ikelite housing and get some great shots with it.

Don't let the weather stop you getting out there taking photos, rain and water can get you some great effects.

So go out and have a play, whether you have a GoPro that you can put underwater or a housing for your camera or even if you're just getting shots of the floods, remember to have a play with capturing the motion of the water, be it freeze frame or fluid, and feel free to share some of your shots, it's great to see what you all get up to.

Raindrops on spider webs, reflections in puddles, crashing waves and rock pools - rain on your swimming pool ? Depending on where you live, use whatever water source you have around you to capture some truly fabulous watery moments.

For more ideas I still have some copies of my pocket photography left, they are just £10 and full of ideas to keep you busy every month of the year, contact me for details or to purchase one.

Email: alex@alexsharp.com

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photo training west midlands photography photography workshops worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/what-to-photograph-on-a-wet-february-day Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:00:00 GMT
Where to Focus and what Aperture to choose for Landscape Photography https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/where-to-focus-and-what-aperture-to-choose-for-landscape-photography Hello Again,

I hope you are enjoying these February Blogs, there will be one a day for the rest of the month to try and help as many of you out there get out and enjoy getting some great results.

Today is all about Landscape and Aperture, what Aperture do you use Do you experiment?

To get a great landscape photograph there are plenty of things to think about, but today we are looking at aperture and focus.

Not all landscape images require the image to be pin sharp, but a lot of images do require pin sharp focusing. An example of a photo that doesn't require pin sharp focusing is when you have a long shutter speed and your overall look of the sea or sky in the photo is full of movement and so blurred rather than everything being pin sharp.

However in the majority of situations a beautiful landscape photograph needs sharp detail in the foreground and also in the background. This means that you need to have plenty of depth of field, so small apertures are the way to go. Remember a small aperture is a larger number - so an aperture of f/16 or f/22 is going to give you more of the image in focus than an aperture of f/4 which will give you a small amount of the image in focus.

However, its not enough to select your aperture of f/16 or f/22 and expect an amazing result, you also need to focus on the right point of the scene to get the full benefit of your chosen depth of field – (the zone of acceptable sharpness that extends in front of and behind the point of focus).

The general rule is that the depth of field extends roughly twice as far behind the point of focus as it does in front.

Most people select a small aperture and then focus on the horizon - this isn't going to do you much good - as this means that if you focus on the horizon, a small area in front of the horizon will be sharp, but a lot of depth of field will be wasted because it extends beyond the horizon - and you don't see it.

So instead you need to focus at a point that’s roughly one third of the way into the scene as this makes a good approximation of something called hyperfocal distance focusing.

It means you will get a good majority of your image good and sharp, which is what you are looking for in a good landscape photograph.

When you are looking at your landscape before you that you have decided that you want to capture to memory and share with other people, think about what it is within the image that you are trying to share - where is your point of focus going to be ?

what is the important part that needs to be your point of focus?

This should give you something to think about when you take your next Landscape photograph.

 

Look out for tomorrows top tip. If you would like to have a one to one session and learn more about how to use your camera please just get in touch. you can email me alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010 to book in.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography workshops training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/where-to-focus-and-what-aperture-to-choose-for-landscape-photography Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:00:00 GMT
Foreground, Middle ground, Background - don't overlook any of these.... https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these When you look at your chosen scene with the naked eye, your brain quickly picks out subjects of interest. The camera however doesn’t discriminate – it captures everything that is in front of it, which can often lead to a cluttered and messy picture with no clear focal point if you're not paying attention to what is in front of you.

So what you need to do, is choose your subject, then select a focal length or camera viewpoint that makes it the centre of attention in the frame.

You can’t always keep other objects out of the picture, so try to keep them in the background or make them part of the story. Sometimes though simply moving a couple of feet - forward, backwards, or side to side may be enough to remove any unwanted distractions from an image.

If you are trying to keep an image simple, then Silhouettes, textures and patterns are all subjects that work quite well as a simple composition.

However, when you’re shooting a large-scale scene it can be hard to know how big your subject should be in the frame, and how much you should zoom in by. Leaving too much empty space in a scene is the most widespread composition mistake. It makes your subject smaller than it needs to be and can also leave viewers confused about what they’re supposed to be looking at. Remember distraction in a photograph isn't always caused by an object - sometimes it's caused by the lack of an object.....

To avoid these problems you could zoom in to fill the frame, or get closer to the subject in question - I prefer the getting closer to the subject option when it is an option - obviously this isn't always possible. The first approach flattens the perspective of the shot and makes it easier to control or exclude what’s shown in the background, but physically moving closer can give you a more interesting take on things and make you see alternative options for framing.

Zooming in may be the easy option, but it's not always the best option for the image.

Another top tip tomorrow. If you would like to sign up to the monthly online class please just get in touch. You get weekly emails with ideas for subjects to photograph, plus projects to set yourself that will help you to improve your photography. Whatever the weather you will have things to try with your camera.

It also includes two monthly reviews - one in the middle and one at the end of each month of your work and what you have achieved throughout that month and then pointers to move forward.

This can also be purchased as a gift for somebody, please just email for details.

alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training photography training online training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:00:00 GMT
ISO - What it is and how to get the best results using it https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/iso---what-it-is-and-how-to-get-the-best-results-using-it What is ISO?

Your camera’s ISO setting is its' sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive it is. This is measured according to international standards, so ISO100 on one camera will be exactly the same as ISO100 on another.

Each ISO setting is double the one before: if you increase the ISO from 100 to 200, you double the camera’s sensitivity; and if you increase it from 200 to 400, you double it again. This carries on through the ISO scale.

This is deliberate. The ISO settings are designed to double (or halve) the exposure in the same way that the lens aperture settings & shutter speed settings are, and this is why the lens aperture, shutter speed and ISO are often described as the ‘exposure triangle’.

For example, if you wanted to use a faster shutter speed without changing your aperture, you can increase the ISO instead.

The relationship between lens aperture, shutter speed and ISO can quickly get complicated, but if you take time to understand and practice you will soon get to grips with it.

There are drawbacks to changing the ISO which mean that in practice you tend to change the ISO only when you have to. Drawbacks to upping your ISO depend on your camera, but the higher the ISO number the grainier your photograph may start to appear, this is something that will differ from camera to camera depending on the newness and quality of your camera.

An example of when you may use a high ISO could be if you are somewhere dark and either can't use a flash or if you don't have a tripod and need to let extra light in to the camera and don't want camera shake - you can up your ISO to maintain a faster shutter speed.

In a church for example or a cave maybe. Some historical buildings wont allow use of flash so if you have no tripod with you - having a higher ISO will give you the extra light on the sensor that you need.

However is you are trying to capture the best Landscape image possible - remember to take your tripod and use the lowest ISO that the camera naturally offers without being enhanced - most cameras offer ISO 100 as their lowest ISO - this will give you the best quality image from the camera as it will have the least amount of noise in the image. To understand this fully, next time you go out with your camera, take the same shot using all of the different ISO settings and when you get home look at them all next to each other on your computer and see the difference.

I used High ISO's inside the cathedral, as it let more light in when I didn't have my tripod and so wasn't able to use a slower shutter speed without getting camera shake.

On the image below I used an ISO of 100 - it is a bright sunny day so there was plenty of available light.

bailed hay, Englandbailed hay, Englandbaied hay in field

Watch out for the next top tip.

Vouchers for photography tuition are available for gifts. Please call or email for details.

alex@alexsharp.com

Tel: 07885472010

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography lessons west midlands photography photography lessons photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/iso---what-it-is-and-how-to-get-the-best-results-using-it Sat, 17 Feb 2018 09:00:00 GMT
What Are Leading Lines and How To Use Them in Your Photographs https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/leading-lines-and-how-to-use-them-in-your-photographs Todays' blog is all about leading lines what they are and how to use them.

So what are they ? Leading lines are horizontal, diagonal or vertical lines that lead the viewers eye through the photograph.

A landscape photographer will often use a leading line to help create depth within a photo and draw the person viewing the photo into the image further.

In the images below I have used the lines of the wooden balustrade to lead the viewers eyes into the middle of the image where the majority of the boats and interest lie. The lines of the hills at each side of the image also all point  the viewer back into the middle of the photo to where the boats sit on the water.

The artist Henri Matisse once said "A line cannot exist alone;it always brings a companion along. Remember that one line does nothing; it is only in relation to another that it creates a volume."

Above the line of the reflection of the sun on the sea leads your eye up to the top section of the photo where the actual sunset is.

A leading line is as you can see - an actual line - it can be a coastline, where rock meets sea or sand meets sea, an actual road going off into the distance, a river trailing off, or footpath into some woods maybe, a row of trees in a park, or lines that cut through a harvested field, I'm sure you get the idea. It is a very simple principle, but a very effective one if used correctly.

There are several leading lines in the image above, they all lead you towards the door at the back of the image and then up towards the amazing ceiling in the passageway of the cathedral. The image below shows how a centrally placed tree lined river, with light shining right down the middle of it has multiple leading lines all leading you the same way through the image.

This image shows how effective lines are for taking the viewers eye through an image, if a line has a slight curve to it then it may slow down the viewer looking at the image, where as the  short leading line of the light on the river above takes you straight in to the centre of the photo. The upward motion of this leading line can be very dramatic, a lot more so than a horizontal leading line.

Multiple diagonal leading lines that converge at a vanishing point in an image are very effective, railway lines or a long road going off into the distance can be some of the strongest ways to show this, although the photo above goes off into the distance, it doesn't quite have a proper vanishing point.

We can discuss vanishing points in another Blog post, I hope this gives you some food for thought though, so next time you are out and about with your camera try and get some leading lines in the image, have a practice, think about where and how you are placing them, think about the rule of thirds too, does it matter where you put the lines within the image - will they stop in the middle? or a bottom or top third of the image ? So much to think about - mainly though I would just like you to enjoy having a go and using your camera and taking some "you" time out of your busy life.

If you would like to send me your images please do show me what you are up to, it's great to share.

More soon, Alex

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography traing worcestershire photography training photography training stratford upon avon training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/leading-lines-and-how-to-use-them-in-your-photographs Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:00:00 GMT
One to One Training Around Worcestershire and the West Midlands https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/one-to-one-training-around-worcestershire-and-the-west-midlands Lots of you had cameras for Christmas and are getting in touch about having some one to one training. I love that so many people are taking time to themselves to start doing something they love.

Taking the time to learn something new and have a little "you" time is great for all kinds of reasons - as well as learning something new and achieving new things in the New Year, I truly believe it is good for the soul and god for ones mental health.

It takes you away from your everyday routine and gets you thinking about something completely different - even if it's just for an hour or two. If you can get out in the fresh air with your camera too then this is even better, fresh air added into the equation adds to make you feel so much better about yourself and your day.

When I start teaching somebody new, we start at the very beginning, I like to see how you use your camera, how do you fame images, how do you show people what you are capturing, once I can see where you're at then we can make a plan to get you moving forward and achieving all of the things that you want to be able to do.

Whether landscapes are your thing, or you want to tackle night time photography or macro photography, all you have to do is let me know what your long term goal is - if you have one and we can head towards it, if you want to learn just as much as possible then we can set some goals for that too. Most people find a whole day can be too much and like to do half days (3.5hrs), so they can learn new things and practice what they have learnt and then we meet up a few weeks later and I can see your progress and we tackle some more new challenges.

The whole idea though is that I make it as fun as possible for you, we do not sit at a desk writing things out, we use your camera and you can make notes as we go along, but you are learning by taking photos. We may sit at my laptop to see how the photos look from time to time, but then we are back off photographing again :-)

Escaping the world and enjoying a new hobby or potential new business is a marvellous way to spend a day or a half day.

I can cover whatever topics you wish, including how to make money from image libraries if this is something you are interested in.

To book in a half or full day session please just drop me an email or give me a call;

Email: alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010

There will be Blog posts every day now until the end of the month full of top tips and ideas to help you get out there and start enjoying your camera more and more, so stay tuned in.

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) camera training have fun learning to use your camera learn to use your camera one to one photography training photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/2/one-to-one-training-around-worcestershire-and-the-west-midlands Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:07:20 GMT
Photography Tips To Start the New Year off Well https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/1/photography-tips-to-start-the-new-year-off-well A lot of people look at their photographs and compare them to all of the hundreds of others that we see daily on Instagram, Facebook and plenty of other social media and Professional photographers websites and whilst it's fine to look at other peoples work for inspiration, comparing your photos to theirs can have the adverse affect if you're not careful. It can start to make you think that maybe you're not good enough and that you can't compete with these people and eventually you pick your camera up less and less until you realise you haven't taken a photo for months.....

If you can't get out, or have limited time, then try something different, I mean if you usually take landscape images try something very different , grab a bunch of flowers in the house, try some macro shots of the flowers, use the light from a window - and if it is too harsh for you, then soften it with some soft, thin fabric at the window if need be.

If that doesn't inspire you then why not try revisiting some old images from a trip somewhere, have a look at the RAW/Original images again and see if you would process them any differently to how you did the first time around.

If you're looking for inspiration look on Instagram, but don't compare your work to other peoples. If there is somewhere you can go locally to take photos, then why not Google the place first, look at the images others have taken and try and look for a new or different viewpoint.

The Idea really is to put yourself outside of your usual comfort zone with the subjects that you take and try something completely new, birds in flight can often be a real challenge for people, so if that's something you've never tried, get yourself down to your nearest patch of water and have a go, with whatever flies passed. The main trick if there are a lot of birds- is to pick one and stay with it.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

A fast shutter speed - higher ISO if you need to let more light in, and pan with the bird to keep the bird sharp in focus.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

Don't give up if you don't get great results the first time, keep trying, challenge yourself to get it right.

If you've never tried wildlife photography and you can't afford a safari or wildlife trip to Alaska or Canada, then why not just take yourself off to your local safari park for a couple of hours and see if you can great some great animal portraits - take a long lens with you though as you can't always get that close to the animals. Remember - set yourself a challenge and don't give up on it until you have achieved a few results that you are happy with.

galapagos tortoisegalapagos tortoiseclose up of tortoise face

If you would like any one to one training, I offer half day and full day sessions, so please just get in touch.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2018/1/photography-tips-to-start-the-new-year-off-well Thu, 04 Jan 2018 09:00:00 GMT
A New Project for January https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/a-new-project-for-january If you are still looking for something different to try in January, then why not try something very different - and rather than a choosing a different subject to photograph why not try using a different lens - if you have a prime lens - or lenses pick one - maybe the 50mm for example and set yourself the challenge of taking all of your photos during January with just that one lens. It will make you think quite differently about how you use your lens and the way you photograph things.

If you don't fancy the prime lens challenge, then how about shooting everything in black and white ?

If you don't have a prime lens and worried that you will cheat if you try and set your zoom lens to 50mm for example, then why not hire a lens for a long weekend, lens-hire.co.uk have some great offers for lens hire and it means that you don't have the expense of buying a lens, their rates are very reasonable.

 

If the local woods don't inspire you anymore, look slightly further afield - Slimbridge is a great alternative, have a little mooch on Goggle and look for other local days out for something different to spice up a photography day out.

There are many options for days out with your camera that will get you excited about your photography again.

Maybe you choose to shoot a series of dusk and dawn images, or actual sunrise and sunset images. Whatever you choose, stick with it for the whole month and try a produce a really interesting series of images to start your year off with.

Have fun and let me know how you get on - and if you still need more inspiration I have my Book of Photography Ideas for just £10 to give you monthly inspiration.

Have fun

Alex

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/a-new-project-for-january Sun, 31 Dec 2017 09:00:00 GMT
A Happy New Year to You All https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/merry-christmas-and-a-happy-new-year-to-you-all I hope you have all had a fabulous Christmas and I hope the New Year brings you some amazing adventures.

For those of you who have been lucky enough to have new camera kit I hope you also have plenty of time to get out there and play with it, and for those of you who have been bought photography training vouchers - I'm really looking forward to meeting you all.

If you would like one of my pocket sized books of ideas to get you motivated, then you can buy them via this website or email me for details if you prefer. More books will soon be following in the series, some will be downloadable, some will be little paperbacks.

Have a fabulous New Year and I will have plenty of news of what's going on next for you all at the start of 2018.

Best Wishes

Alex

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training photography training stratford training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/merry-christmas-and-a-happy-new-year-to-you-all Wed, 27 Dec 2017 16:23:51 GMT
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/merry-christmas-and-a-happy-new-year I would just like to wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and a Fabulous New Year.

I hope you all have a wonderful time with your friends and family and of course that Santa brings you all of the things you wish for, including maybe a camera, or a tripod, or a new camera bag,Mac - if you've been really good -  or anything else photography related ;-)

Stay Happy and safe and have a wonderful time.

Merry Christmas Everybody.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/merry-christmas-and-a-happy-new-year Sun, 24 Dec 2017 09:00:00 GMT
Gift Ideas for the Photographer in your Life https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/gift-ideas-for-the-photographer-in-your-life People often ask me what they can buy a camera crazy person in their life that wont cost the earth :-)

There are lots of smaller gifts you can buy that will be of great value to a photographer and that only cost a few pounds.

If they don't have a tripod and want to start trying night photography, you can get a reasonable tripod from Ebay or amazon or the like for not a huge amount of money, they start at just £7.95, but I've seen some on there for around £23 and they look quite a bit more substantial and would make a great gift for the photographer in your life.

Next on the list would have to be some really much cheaper products - things such as lens cloths, having a few of these handy is always great, plus a really sneaky gift that will impress the photographer in your life is a UV filter for their lenses. If you have a look at their DSLR when they're not around, have a look to see if they have a UV filter, these come in handy for several reasons, but the main one is, having one of these screwed onto the front of your lens means if you knock your lens against anything it is the filter that gets scratched and not their lens. To make sure you get the right size filter for their camera-  take their lens cap off the camera and you will see a size in mm - it might say anything really - 49mm, 52mm, 67mm but then you can buy the correct size filter for their lens :-) you can also buy these on Ebay and Amazon and all good photo shops at a variety of prices, but they start from around £5.00.

You could also check to see if they have a polarizer filter too :-)  you can buy these online too, once again check the filter size on the front of the lens you want to buy it for and they start at the same price as UV filters.

There is of course also my new book - 12 months of Photography Ideas and Projects that you can find in my shop for just £10.

Mountains, AustriaMountains, Austria

If you want to spend a little more money on them, I sell vouchers for one to one training from £95 for a half day.

I hope whatever you decide to buy for them they enjoy using, I'm sure they will :-) maybe a subscription to their favourite photography magazine would go down well too ?

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training worcestershire photography training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/gift-ideas-for-the-photographer-in-your-life Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:00:00 GMT
One to One Photography Training Gift Vouchers - Available as Christmas gifts until 18th Dec https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/one-to-one-teaching-vouchers---available-as-christmas-gifts-until-10th-dec If you are still looking for the perfect gift for the photographer or budding photographer in your life, what not buy them a voucher for some one to one training. You can book them a half day or full day and I tailor the courses to suit each person, so whatever it is they would really like to learn, that's what we cover, plus some basics too.

We can visit any local town or country park, I travel all over, but often spend days in Stratford upon Avon teaching photography as well as Worcester - town centre and around the countryside too, Birmingham City Centre is another popular location. If you would like to book a session for a group of you then please just get in touch. I bring my laptop along too, so that you can look at your work as we go along and you can see what is working and what didn't go so well.

There are notes for the time we spend together too, for you to take away and remember what we covered, but let's face it, you can't beat getting out with your camera and having a go for learning what works rather than sitting behind a desk :-)

If you would like to buy a voucher for a friend or loved one, or for yourself, please just get in touch. When you buy a voucher for somebody to give as a gift they are valid for 12 months and if the day we arrange is lashing with rain, then we can always arrange a different day.

Just call or email to get in touch for a voucher

Tel: 07885472010 or Email: alex@alexsharp.com

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography traing worcestershire photography training photography training stratford training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/one-to-one-teaching-vouchers---available-as-christmas-gifts-until-10th-dec Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:00:00 GMT
What to Photograph In December https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/what-to-photograph-in-december Whilst we have all of this fabulous snow try and get out with your camera at some point if you can.

If you can find a pristine untouched area, get in there and grab some shots before it has foot prints all over it.

Stay warm, your batteries wont last as long in this weather, so make sure you carry spares and also wrap up warm yourself. Keep your spare batteries in an inside pocket near your body to keep them warm.

Light can change quite quickly as it bounces off the snow and as sun comes out and then heads back off behind a cloud, so you may have to wait a little while for that perfect moment, but the moody light that you get from the cloudy snowy days is well worth photographing

Remember if you are shooting in Autofocus, your camera will struggle if everything is white - try and find something in the frame for it to focus on, otherwise put it into manual focus and set the distance you want to focus to on the lens.

If you are out taking photos whilst the snow is still falling, just try to keep it off your lens so as not to get blurred specs in your images.

If you are wanting to photograph the snow at dusk, you will need a tripod with a slower shutter speed - as above. You can up your ISO to get more light to hit the sensor and this will also enable you to have a faster shutter speed, but really to get a good quality image, put your camera on a tripod and use a slightly slower shutter speed and if you have a shutter release cable use one as this will stop any camera shake whilst you press the shutter. Below I focused on the trees and let the snow that was falling blur.

If your pets enjoy the snow,get out there with them and capture them in the snow too. (This is Eli, one of my huskies)

If you shoot your images RAW remember you can always brighten them a little in raw when you edit, if you prefer you can brighten the images whilst taking them - as your camera will try to darken the snow down, so up your exposure compensation by a stop or two if need be to stop it looking too grey.

If you are shooting the snow on a sunny day, you may want to try spot metering or partial metering to see if it handles the light better with the white of the snow.

Once you come back inside leave your camera to warm back up slowly, DON'T put it on a radiator or near the fire to warm back up.

Don't delete any of your images until you get back too, have a look at everything on your computer before you start deleting photos, so take plenty of memory cards out with you too - plus have fun :-)

The other things is always take a fully charged mobile phone with you and be careful not to wander onto any frozen water by accident.

If you would like to sign up for my monthly hints and tips newsletters, please email me through my contact form and let me know and I can add you to the free email Newsletters.

Thanks, Alex.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography hints and tips photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/what-to-photograph-in-december Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:00:00 GMT
12 months of Photography Projects and Ideas - Great Christmas Stocking Filler https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/12-months-of-photography-projects-and-ideas---my-new-little-book My new book is now available, full of great ideas to try each month with your camera, whether you are out and about or at home, plus it really doesn't matter whether you shoot on a DSLR, point and shoot, or even your phone camera, it's about getting out there and having a go, being creative and trying new things, there's something in there for everybody. It's A6 in size, so just the right size to fit in your pocket, or pop in with your camera.

There are 32 pages with the cover, two pages for each month, plus 3 pages for you to write your own notes too, so you can jot ideas down whilst you're out and about with it, or as inspiration strikes.

The book is just £10 and including a couple of keyrings to put your own photos in once you've started your projects.

You can contact me to buy a copy or buy one through the shop.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography book photography project book photography training training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/12/12-months-of-photography-projects-and-ideas---my-new-little-book Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:39:12 GMT
Photography Hints and Tips for July - Don't Blame Your Gear https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/6/photography-hints-and-tips-for-july---dont-blame-your-gear Lots of people I've spoken to recently have said to me,

" If i had a better camera I'd take better photos",

I don't take offence - I do always laugh at them though - it shows such a lack of understanding of photography, if you put a great camera in the hands of somebody who does not know how to use it - they will not turn into a great photographer anymore than putting somebody into an engineering workshop with lots of machines and expecting them to be able to manufacture precision items for industry.

Having an expensive camera does not make you a great photographer - knowing how to light, compose and use the settings on a camera to get the result you want ,makes you a great photographer. Seeing the image and being able to capture it exactly as you want others to see it, that makes you a great photographer.

I've taken some great photos on my iphone - which cost a lot less than my professional camera kit.... My point is, if you bother to learn how to achieve the results you want with your camera - and of course you need to know what you are trying to achieve - that is the key.

Before you take the photo, think about what you are looking at and what you are trying to capture to show people, spend a moment looking to see if you need to slightly change your angle to make it more interesting - or maybe make it look a bit different to that view that everybody else has taken 1000 times before. If you're photographing an animal - your horse or dog, don't look down at the dogs head, try lying on the floor and looking up at your dog maybe??? If your in the field with your horse get down in the long grass and have a few pieces of grass in the foreground of the photo out of focus with the horse in focus behind ??

Think about the lighting - is the sun out? or is it a dull day - dull days offer soft light, sunny days offer harsh light and sharp, black shadows. Is it dusk or early morning? Think about where the light is coming from and where your subject is standing. If your subject is a building, there is not a huge amount you can do, but you can think about the angle of the photo, can you move even a few feet to get a better angle or perspective that will then put the sun in a better position if need be ? Some people like to get some sun glare in the frame it's a bit retro and can be nice if done well.

Once you have the question of available light sorted and where you need to be to get what you require from the available light, look at your framing - is there anything in the frame that you would rather wasn't there ? - If you're outside somewhere check to make sure that there's no bins in the photo or other unsightly objects that if you just reframe slightly can be lost from the image ? If you're on the beach and lying in the sand for a low down shot - does the sand in the foreground have any big sticks or cigarette buts or rubbish that needs removing ? If you get it right when you take the photograph then when you get home you wont wish you'd paid more attention.

Learn how to use light and get the exposure right, learn how to be happy with your composition and framing, look for interesting angles and these few things can change your photography dramatically. If you want to practice, don't look outside and think " it's a dull day there's nothing I can do today", use the dull days with the flat white sky to have a go at some macro work outside - or go to the woods and shoot textures and think about framing and composition with all of those tree trunks and straight lines to play with.

There is always something to photograph and some fun to be had, just have fun and use your imagination.

If you would like some one to one help learning how to get more from your camera please get in touch, I do short two hour sessions for 1 person for £80. You can call 07885472010 to book in.

Alex Sharp Photography. Full Time Professional Photographer based in Worcestershire, England.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training photography training in worcestershire and the west midlands training worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/6/photography-hints-and-tips-for-july---dont-blame-your-gear Fri, 30 Jun 2017 11:11:43 GMT
How to get More from your Camera and your Day Out with it https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-get-more-from-your-camera-and-your-day-out-with-it Things to think about before you start taking photos; Starting with the basics and the very first thing - spare batteries, always have at least one spare battery - you don't want to have spent a long time either trekking up a mountain, hill, or through a national park somewhere to find that your only battery doesn't work, sounds simple, but I've had people turn up to learn how to use their camera only to find that their only battery is dead.....

Next on the list - memory cards - ensure that you have either one large memory card, or if you have smaller ones - several, this means that you wont have to delete images whilst you are out and about due to running out of memory. I always tell people not to delete images whilst they are out and about anyway - wait until you get back and can look on your computer at what you have shot before you get rid of any of your images.

Next - whilst we are talking about memory and this is really something to think about..... do you shoot jpg or RAW, remember that if you set your camera to jpeg you are saving a file that is reduced in size by reducing the picture quality.... something for you to think about...

bailed hay, Englandbailed hay, Englandbaied hay in field

There are pros and cons to shooting RAW, but if you want to be able to blow your images up larger, or edit them at all then you are better off shooting RAW - it means you can save less images to the memory card, but memory cards are so reasonably priced these days that this is not such a big issue. It does mean that you will need more space on your computer though for storing your images - I have many external hard drives that I save my images too. However, if you are not planning on doing any editing afterwards - or blowing all of your photos up to large sizes then a good quality jpeg will be absolutely fine for you, like i said - it's something to think about, and remember that if you change these settings for different shoots, always remember to change them back if you need to before the next photo shoot.

Let's run through a few of the modes that most cameras have, a lot of people don't want to start using their camera in manual mode it worries them, so they would rather use the presets on their camera - that's fine too - just make sure you use the right one for the right scene, otherwise your photos wont turn out well - and once again, you also need to remember to change the setting when you move to a different scene type as it were.

For instance - your camera will probably have a "sunset" option - this option will ensure that your camera maintains the rich and beautiful colours of the sunset before you - however - if you decide to put a person in front of that sunset remember to add flash to light up the person or they will be a silhouette.

Your camera will also most likely have a macro or close up setting too - often dipicted by a small flower - although it shows a flower, it can of course be used for all kinds of macro subjects - insects, jewellery and other small objects. This camera setting keeps the subject sharp, but throws the background out of focus for you. As you see below it means that the grass behind becomes softer meaning that the viewer of the image will focus on the flower.

If you are going to be shooting macro images you will also want to think about having a tripod with you to keep camera shake at bay. there are various types of tripod available, you can pick up a reasonably priced one on ebay or other such sites for not much money at all, they may be quite lightweight but if you hang a weight - such as your camera bag from the centre of them - there is often a hook - you will find this helps to stabilise them very well - plus if you are still worried about camera shake then you can either use the timer on your camera - meaning that you are not actually touching your camera whilst taking the photo, or get yourself a shutter release cable - these do not cost a lot and are available for most mid cameras upwards.

Wherever you are going with your camera - if you are going alone - make sure you let somebody know where you are going and when you intend to be back - and when i say going alone that doesn't include the dog, your dog wont be able to call somebody for help... well some can, but you know what I mean, dress appropriately and carry water if you're going off the beaten track and ensure that your mobile phone is fully charged.

I'll write more about using your camera and its' different settings later this week, but in the meantime if you would like to have a chat or if you would like to have a 1 to 1 tuition session then please just get in touch, I offer a variety of options from email/project tutoring to out and about sessions with the camera and laptop so we can see your results whilst we're on the move.

 

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-get-more-from-your-camera-and-your-day-out-with-it Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:12:17 GMT
A year in Africa https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/4/a-year-in-africa My next Journey to Africa lasted for a year.... in the days of no internet or mobile phones this was a long time to be from home with little contact - I left my family a list of poste restante addresses - post offices in major cities I was planning on stopping at a long the way - so that they could write to me if they wanted to - I would also try and call home from these places too - often it was a couple of months between phone calls..... Life has changed so much since then. That was 1992.

I flew out to Gambia and travelled across the Banjul river  and into Senegal. The first night in Banjul everything felt a bit worrying - with no real plan of where to stay - I ended up renting a room of a local family for the evening. They were very friendly and intrigued by travellers as they didn't get many coming through.

I stayed in a square concrete room - with no furniture and no glass in the window - they were still building it - but it had a roof to keep the rain off and so that was all that mattered really.... next morning I jumped on a local bus and headed off to cross the Senegal border.

African borders were always interesting places - mostly because i was never sure how much I would have to bribe the guards to let me through.... I had been advised to buy cheap watches and things to "aid" the speed of crossing and also dollars in small notes helped tremendously....

sunset over the sahara desert, Moroccosunset over the sahara desert, Morocco

West Africa is French speaking, and although a few words differ - it's quite easy to get by when you manage to recall your French form school.

West Africa wasn't the friendliest place I have ever been I have to confess, it may have changed now of course, but 25 years ago I had stones thrown at me and all sorts, it wasn't a welcoming environment back then.

In Senegal I visited Dakar, then travelled inland to Tambacounda and headed for the border to Mali - across another river and on to Kayes, from Kayes I followed the river by road - south towards Bamako - the capital of Mali. The clothes that the women in Mali wore were fabulous, really brightly coloured fabrics with big bold patterns that just leapt out at you demanding their attention.

Things that really stick n my mind about Mali - as well as the brightly coloured clothing of course was the red of the earth, and so many of the buildings there are made from mud, the colour of the thatched mud huts was incredible. As I travelled through even tiny villages in the middle of nowhere you would see signs for Coca Cola and Guiness - it seemed to be the one part of the western world that had reached them.

Whilst I was there Mali was just coming out of 23years of being in a military dictatorship and was having a democratic election, so there were lots of hand signals that it took me a while to work out what they meant  - they were simply to show how they were voting to passers by I discovered.....

Asian BuffaloAsian BuffaloAsian buffalo

Mali is of course also home to the famous Timbuktu - which if ever you get the chance to visit you should go.

There are lots of rivers to cross as you travel through West Africa and their condition is variable - but mainly they are not good, some have many planks of wood missing and so if you are in a car, bus or the back of a truck you need to help find replacement wood so that the vehicle can get across - life was never dull....

Bamako was my first contact with home from the post office in the capital city - at this point I had been gone around 4 weeks. it was nice to find some post waiting for me at the post office too.

From Bamako I travelled to Mopti, which used to be a small fishing village, I'm sure it has changed dramatically over the last 25 years, back then it was all mud built buildings, lots of small wooden boats on the rivers and lots of horse drawn carts taking goods around town.

From Mopti, I travelled through Bandiagara and Koro and crossed the border in Burkina Faso.

West Africa is also home to voodoo - they are believers and in the next chapter when I get to The Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin I will share  a couple of very different experiences that I had with some local families off the beaten track.

From a photography point of view, I carried 3 cameras all film cameras - this was way before digital came along - and at every border crossing they charged me a camera fee - 5 dollars per camera and a couple of cheap watches from the local market seemed to be the fee......

The rules were the same then as now - no photography at borders - border guards even in small outposts have guns and aren't worried about using them.... mostly they carry AK47'S always pay any toll charges that you need to pay and always always check that they stamp your passport correctly..... i have too many horror stories to share really - that my family still don't know about, but being careful in West Africa is vital, i can't imagine that rural Africa has changed too dramatically.... when you travel stay safe and enjoy the journey.

 

more soon.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/4/a-year-in-africa Sun, 02 Apr 2017 19:03:17 GMT
Photo Experience Days https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/2/photo-experience-days If you would like to spend a day with me learning more about your camera and how to get more creative with it and get more from it, then get in touch.  A day out doing something you enjoy, with somebody who is as excited about photography and cameras as you are.

bailed hay, Englandbailed hay, Englandbaied hay in field

We can have a chat a choose a place to go that will help you to have a go at some new challenges that you may not feel comfortable having a go at on your own, so if we need to go to the seaside and tackle some seascapes, or try some night time photography - or maybe we're going somewhere more exotic for a day or two, the choice is yours, the adventure is out there waiting for you.

Where will your camera take you this year?  If you have questions about what you can learn in a day and what can be achieved why not get in touch for a chat - I'm very friendly and no question is ever a stupid question....

                                        Email your question to alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010

                      Whatever you would like to photograph, wherever you would like to go, just call and let the adventure begin.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/2/photo-experience-days Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:00:00 GMT
Photography Hints and Tips For Snow and Icey Landscapes https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/2/photography-hints-and-tips Today's blog is aimed at those who may never have tried to photograph snow or ice before, or maybe just need some pointers, so here are a few tips to help you get better photographs in the snowy weather, whether you're off skiing or just to colder climes hopefully this will help you to get some great shots.

1. Whilst sunny days make for great photos with the beautiful blue skies against the pure white snow, don't let a lack of sunshine stop you getting out there, just remember that if you have a grey or off white sky and then a snowy foreground, find something to have in the photo to break the image up - a row of trees, a house, mountain peak, whatever you have around you, just use something to stop the scene being one large grey rectangle with nothing of interest to really focus on.

2. Never delete any images in your camera whilst you are out and about, wait until you can get back and look at all of them properly on your computer to see what works for you and what you don't like. Sometimes images that you think don't work, when converted to black and white can become the most dramatic.

French Alps, Morillon, FranceFrench Alps, Morillon, France

3. Other things to remember, carry plenty of spare batteries, cold weather can dramatically alter the operating time of the battery in your camera. Be patient as whilst you are out and about if it is a cloudy day, you may find that as the cloud moves and you get a small bit of sunshine breaking through in small rays, you get the best shots, so look to the sky and see what's happening before you move location.

4. Play with your shutter speed, if you have snow falling and you use a slower shutter speed you will see the blur of the snowflakes, which can be very pretty - you will of course need a tripod for good results. Likewise using a faster shutter speed will stop those pretty snowflakes dead in their tracks and gives a different effect again. The slower shutter speed can also give you movement in the cloud if it's not actually snowing whilst you are out.

It's really about looking around you and working with what you have been offered by the weather Gods :-)

5. You will probably need to over expose your photos by 1 to 1.5 stops - as your camera will naturally want to under expose a snowy scene, however if you don't believe me - make sure you shoot in RAW and you can pull the exposure up to where you are happy before you convert it to a jpeg.

6. Other things to think about are what you are going to be wearing on your hands. I have some silk thermal glove liners that I wear under some more heavy duty gloves, so that when I take my gloves off, my hands are able to use the buttons on my camera and still keep reasonably warm from the cold weather that surrounds you. Never let your fingers get too cold.

7. If you have a polarizer filter this can be very useful,  but be careful not to over use it, the shot at the very top of this blog doesn't have a polarizer filter on it all although everybody assumes it does. Using one can help darken blue skies though, adding definition to clouds and eliminating glare too.

8. The best piece of advice that I have for you though is to charge your batteries, wrap up warm, get out there and have a go at capturing some fabulous wintery scenes and enjoy yourself and remember that if you are looking to capture people whooshing past on skiis and snowboards use a fast shutter speed ;-)

If you are interested in a 1 to 1 experience day get in touch, they can be tailored to your own needs and a 7 hour day is £195.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/2/photography-hints-and-tips Sun, 26 Feb 2017 21:44:11 GMT
Away for a little while - with the camera of course :-) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/1/away-for-a-little-while---with-the-camera-of-course Hello Everybody,

Just a quick blog to say that I'm off to the mens downhill in Kitzbuhel, followed by a week of skiing for myself, with the camera of course..... Upon my return I will share some of the photos and also write some blogs about photographing in the snow as I know a lot of people never get it quite right and so i will share photos and settings which hopefully will help you all. I will check my email whilst I'm away, so if anybody has any specific snow scene questions please send them over and I will tackle them all upon my return. I will be back at the mac on 30th Jan to share pictures with hopefully nothing broken.

This will be the view from my balcony for the next week - I'm really looking forward to the mountain air, the skiing and being able to shake a cowbell at the downhill, but I am really going to miss my fluffy boys :-( I know they'll be in safe hands though.

I'll share photos soon. Bye for now and send your snow scene questions to me at alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/1/away-for-a-little-while---with-the-camera-of-course Thu, 19 Jan 2017 22:25:28 GMT
Happy New Year https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/1/happy-new-year Hello Everybody,

I hope 2017 is a fabulous year for you all and that you have some truly magnificent adventures with your cameras this year.

 

Remember that camera adventures can happen anywhere and everywhere, you can create your own or come across them by accident, so make sure that your batteries are always charged and you always have a memory card at the ready in your camera.

This year there will be plenty of hints and tips and in a couple of months time there will be new workshops available too.

If you are interested in a 1-2-1 photo day these are £195 and can be tailored to suit your own personal needs.

For full details drop me an email or give me a call, vouchers are also available to give loved ones as gifts.

Email: alex@alexsharp.com  or call: 07885472010

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) courses midlands photo photo training west midlands) photography photography courses photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2017/1/happy-new-year Sun, 08 Jan 2017 20:23:47 GMT
Travel and Photography Part One https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2016/4/travel-and-photography-part-one I get asked quite a lot about places I have traveled to - what's my favourite place, what kit do I take with me - does traveling as a woman on my own not bother me etc etc. So I thought I would cover off these questions with a series of blogs.

I started traveling without my parents when I was 17 - it was just a ski trip to Austria with a friend - nothing fancy, but it made me realise how easy travel was - even in the 1980's with no internet or mobile phones.... wow do you remember those times ?????

The first proper travel adventure was in 1989 - I was 19 and wanted to see some of Africa, so I had a 5 week adventure down the East coast of Africa and traveled from Nairobi in Kenya, into Tanzania - where I headed out to Dar es Salaam and caught a ferry over to Zanzibar - this was not a big tourist resort back then, there weren't many hotels or tourists really, just a few backpackers - myself included. From Zanzibar I talked a local fisherman into taking me to Prison Island in his little boat for a few dollars - what an amazing place. This was where I first met some very old and very large tortoises..... they were just huge... I should probably add, that I met some lovely people along the way, I like to think I am pretty streetwise and can judge situations fairly well - I have gotten myself out of some crazy situations that I will mention in the following blogs, but on this particular trip - the worst thing that happened, was on the return journey from Prison Island to Zanzibar the small boat broke down..... too far to swim and no mobile phone to call for help - I pulled out my trusty Swiss army knife and we took the engine apart and fixed it whilst bobbing up and down in the sea, screwed it all back together and carried on back to shore. I never leave home without it.

I spent a few days exploring Stone town and Zanzibar before heading back to mainland Tanzania on the ferry and continuing my journey south.

I used to carry a Polaroid camera with me back then too, so that I could leave photos with people I met - I would take photos with my then Nikon film camera for myself and then leave people with photos of them and their friends from my Polaroid, which everybody seemed to love having.

Travel is a great way to broaden the mind and experience the world and all it has to offer and whilst the world is a changing place, I remember my travels of pre-internet times and pre-mobile phone times with very fond memories, you truly were away from it all - thrown into a foreign land and it was so easy to immerse yourself with their culture and absorb all of the experiences that you had every moment of every day as there really was no easy way of contacting the outside world once you were out of a main city.

I continued south through Tanzania and visited villages and National parks along the way. The lion photograph below was taken on my Nikon with Fuji Velvia film in Ngorongoro National Park - yes in 1989......

scarred lionsscarred lionslions by lake in ngorongoro crater

I have been back to Ngorongoro Nat Park several times since, it is a lot busier now than it was back then - there are a few too many tourists there for my liking these days, when you're down there you almost feel like you're in a zoo.

Reaching the lesser visited regions in today's world entails more planning and money than it used to, as travel has improved it means people can go anywhere they like a lot easier than 20 or 30 years ago - there are pros and cons to it all, I wont go into them here today.

From Tanzania I continued down into Malawi camping next to the Lake for a week and exploring and enjoying the area at a place called Salima Bay. I also visited Kande Beach and Cape McClear before a visit to Lilongwe the capital. I explored several nature and forest reserves in Malawi before heading slightly north again to cross the border into Zambia.

I crossed the border somewhere near a town called Chipata as I recall and headed to South Luangwa National Park, caught a bus to Lusaka and then headed out to Lake Kariba, which was another beautiful place. I then followed the main route that everybody takes out that way - from the lake back up to the main road to Choma and then down to Livingstone. To my then end goal - Mosi Oi Tunya - The smoke that Thunders - Victoria Falls.

Back then you could Microlite over the falls - I'm not sure whether they have started doing it again now, it was stopped for many years due to the amount of crashes and deaths, but I did it and it was amazing, seeing the falls from above was truly magnificent, the following day I rafted down them - which was another fabulous experience - although to find out the day after that somebody lost a limb to a crocodile brings home the true danger of these sports.

In the 5 weeks that I had taken off work, I had reached Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, which was my plan and so I flew to Harare (capital of Zimbabwe for two days and booked my flight home. I loved Harare, it was a wonderful city - I'm sure it is much changed these days, I have never been back, even though I have been back to Zimbabwe several times since.

I travel - now as then on these trips, with a light rucksack - I try and keep my rucksack to 15 or 16kg, but my camera bag over the years has increased in size and weight, especially when I started taking underwater photographs, but that too is a whole other story.

The problem with Travel Photography is that it becomes a little addictive to say the least - I have traveled to over 100 countries and there are many more that I still want to go and explore and enjoy. I also learned along the way how to make my trips pay for themselves, this becomes more important the more you travel, with rising costs of flights and the further afield you start wanting to go - Africa for example can be traveled across quite cheaply if you are prepared to bush camp, where as getting to Antarctica, Tibet or the Galapagos Islands is at the other end of the price spectrum.

That is where the internet becomes incredibly handy, these days you can find local companies in the place you are going to and book directly with them - missing out an agent and their fees, often getting taken on extra visits to places that you wouldn't even know about on trips if you had booked with a big holiday company. For me it's about getting off the beaten track when I go to most far flung places and getting off the tourist trail to see what else is out there, what might I be missing. Don't get me wrong, diving in the Maldives is a wonderful thing, but so is bush camping in Zaire :-)

My camera kit is now all Canon, with canon lenses and an Ikelite underwater housing, but I will cover exactly what is in my kitbag another day.

You don't need to jump on a plane to Africa for a year to have an adventure, sometimes a day out in the woods can be just the break you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and put a zing in your step and get some great photos too.

Being Creative feeds the soul, go and look for unicorns, you never know what you might find.

Look out for the next chapter - of where me and my camera went next in the next week.

Dusk in the MaldivesDusk in the Maldivesdusk falls in the maldives

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) femal travel photographer photography training travel photography worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2016/4/travel-and-photography-part-one Sun, 17 Apr 2016 17:06:32 GMT
April Update https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2016/4/april-update Hi, I hope you are all having a wonderful April and everything that it is throwing at us weather wise - I woke up to 2 inches of snow this morning - although it didn't last long - it was very pretty and now of course we have beautiful sunshine - literally 4 seasons in one day today.

I am not up and about quite as usual - I'm having a little time out - after a quick knee op - many thanks to Mr Bell, Mr Phaktar and all of the wonderful nurses that looked after me. I'm recovering well and will be running around again in no time - or so my dogs hope anyway ;-)

So - that's why there haven't been any mountain photos so far this year - I haven't been able to ski or climb those beckoning peaks - but fear not - I already have my mountain trips booked for next year - so keep looking back.

Things to try out in April. If you are looking for inspiration for your work this month - there are the 1000's of blooms bursting from the ground that you can try your hand at photographing - maybe the tadpoles in your pond or local pool in some woods can give you some opportunities - it may not be winter, but I still

I have robins in my garden everyday at home - maybe you can set up some bird feeders and try your hand at capturing the birds that come into your garden ?

 

    

If you don't get may birds coming to your garden, why not get down to your local town where there is a river, near us we have Stratford, Worcester and Bewdley with plenty of birdlife on the rivers - anywhere with a lake or a river gives you a great place to get close up to birds and also have a go at capturing birds in flight. If birds aren't your thing, then how about a trip to your local woods - whilst there are landscapes to frame  - think about the detail too - look to the bark and the forest floor and see what you find.

When you are taking your photo, think about how you are framing it - what are you including and excluding from the frame - move if you're not completely happy. Plus although you may take the photo in colour, you may be thinking that when you get back to your computer it will be magnificent in black and white instead???

This about the time of day that you are going out - make sure you dress appropriately. Late in the day as the sun is going down - you may not be able to see a great sunset from where you are, but it may give you some wonderful long shadows, which can add great drama to an image. If you're new to landscape photography, why not practice your rule of thirds.

                           Try placing your horizon in the different thirds of the frame and see the way it alters the photo.

If you have any questions about any photos that you have taken, why not send them in to me along with your problem/question and we can discuss them on here - often sharing a problem can help others learn. If you would like to book a half day or full day session with me for one to one tuition please just drop me an email I have dates available from mid May.

Have a great April.

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) courses hints midlands photo photography photography training tips training travel west worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2016/4/april-update Sat, 16 Apr 2016 15:18:45 GMT
Exhibition at Slimbridge WWT 10th Feb until 18th April 2016 https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2016/2/exhibition-at-slimbridge-wwt-10th-feb-until-18th-april-2016 Hi Everybody, well it's been a very busy start to the New Year.

My first exhibition of the year starts in a coupe of days at Slimbridge WWT where you will be able to view a collection of my bird photography from around the globe, including penguins from Antarctica - I mention it as they are popular and i always get asked if there will be penguin photos - yes there will :-)

So if you have any questions about it please just drop me a line or if you are down that way please pop in and have a look.

 

 

 

There are also bird photos from Morocco, the Galapagos and England included in the exhibition. More blogs soon with hints and tips for your photography for the year ahead.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) exhibition photo photography slimbridge workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2016/2/exhibition-at-slimbridge-wwt-10th-feb-until-18th-april-2016 Tue, 09 Feb 2016 11:01:33 GMT
Foreground, middle ground, background - don't overlook any of these.... https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/11/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these When you look at your chosen scene with the naked eye, your brain quickly picks out subjects of interest. The camera  however doesn’t discriminate – it captures everything that is in front of it, which can often lead to a cluttered and messy picture with no clear focal point if you're not paying attention to what is in front of you.

So what you need to do, is choose your subject, then select a focal length or camera viewpoint that makes it the centre of attention in the frame.

You can’t always keep other objects out of the picture, so try to keep them in the background or make them part of the story. Sometimes though simply moving a couple of feet - forward backwards or side to side may be enough to remove any unwanted distractions from an image though.

If you are trying to keep an image simple, then Silhouettes, textures and patterns are all subjects that work quite well as a simple composition.

However, when you’re shooting a large-scale scene it can be hard to know how big your subject should be in the frame, and how much you should zoom in by. Leaving too much empty space in a scene is the most widespread composition mistake. It makes your subject smaller than it needs to be and can also leave viewers confused about what they’re supposed to be looking at. Remember distraction in a photograph isn't always caused by an object - sometimes it's caused by the lack of an object.....

To avoid these problems you could zoom in to fill the frame, or get closer to the subject in question - I prefer the getting closer to the subject option when it is an option - obviously this isn't always possible. The first approach flattens the perspective of the shot and makes it easier to control or exclude what’s shown in the background, but physically moving closer can give you a more interesting take on things and make you see alternative options for framing.

Zooming in may be the easy option, but it's not always the best option for the image.

Another top tip tomorrow. If you would like to sign up to the monthly online class please just get in touch. It is £40/month and you get weekly emails with ideas for subjects to photograph,plus projects to set yourself that will help you to improve your photography. Whatever the weather you will have things to try with your camera.

It also includes two monthly reviews - one in the middle and one at the end of each month of your work and what you have achieved throughout that month and then pointers to move forward.

This can also be purchased as a gift for somebody, please just email for details.

alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography training online midlands photography photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/11/foreground-middle-ground-background---dont-overlook-any-of-these Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:00:00 GMT
The Tripod - why use a tripod?????? https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/11/the-tripod---why-use-a-tripod If you’re serious about your landscape photography you need to use a tripod, a decent one. A tripod carries many benefits to landscape photography - The most important of these is that it keeps the camera absolutely still so you’ll produce sharper images, even at ‘safe hand-holding shutter speeds’.

When you’re shooting with a small aperture at a low sensitivity setting, the shutter speed is often likely to be on the borderline or lower than a safe hand-holding speed, which makes a tripod essential. You can get a tripod on ebay and the like from just £15, so if you don't want to jump straight in to an expensive tripod this may be the way to go - to help keep it more stable - as tripods at this price tend to be quite light and often flimsy you can hang a weight - your camera bag for example off the centre of the tripod to help keep it steady whilst shooting with it - you may also find that a shutter release cable can help - as then you are not having to touch the camera or tripod at all whilst taking the photo.

Shutter release cables can also be found quite cheaply on Ebay and other similar sites - but make sure you buy the correct one for your model of camera.

Another benefit of using a tripod is that it holds the camera in the same place while you take shots at different exposures or with different focus points, so if you want you can create composite images with wide dynamic range or extensive depth of field this is the way to do it.

People often see this last point as being more of a disadvantage rather than an advantage,but a tripod often slows you down. The benefit of slowing down is that you tend to give more consideration to image composition. It makes you stop and think a bit more about what you are putting in the image and what you are cropping out of the image.

For more top tips tune back in tomorrow ;-)

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography workshops in the west midlands learn photography in birmingham photography training worcestershire photography workshops workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/11/the-tripod---why-use-a-tripod Sun, 01 Nov 2015 09:00:00 GMT
ISO - What it is and how to get the best results using it https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/10/iso---what-it-is-and-how-to-get-the-best-results-using-it So what is ISO?

Your camera’s ISO setting is its sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive it is. This is measured according to international standards, so ISO100 on one camera will be exactly the same as ISO100 on another.

Each ISO setting is double the one before: if you increase the ISO from 100 to 200, you double the camera’s sensitivity; and if you increase it from 200 to 400, you double it again. This carries on through the ISO scale.

This is deliberate. The ISO settings are designed to double (or halve) the exposure in the same way that the lens aperture settings & shutter speed settings are, and this is why the lens aperture, shutter speed and ISO are often described as the ‘exposure triangle’.

For example, if you wanted to use a faster shutter speed without changing your aperture, you can increase the ISO instead.

The relationship between lens aperture, shutter speed and ISO can quickly get complicated, but there are drawbacks to changing the ISO which mean that in practice you tend to change the ISO only when you have to.

OK, so an example of when you may use a high ISO could be if you are somewhere dark and either can't use a flash or if you don't have a tripod and need to let extra light in and don't want camera shake - you can up your ISO and maintain a faster shutter speed.

In a church for example or a cave maybe. Some historical buildings wont allow use of flash so if you have no tripod with you - having a higher ISO will give you the extra light on the sensor that you need.

However is you are trying to capture the best Landscape image possible - remember to take your tripod and use the lowest ISO that the camera naturally offers without being enhanced - most cameras offer ISO 100 as their lowest ISO - this will give you the best quality image from the camera as it will have the least amount of noise in the image. To understand this fully, next time you go out with your camera, take the same shot using all of the different ISO settings and when you get home look at them all next to each other on your computer and see the difference.

I used High ISO's inside the cathedral, as it let more light in when I didn't have my tripod and so wasn't able to use a slower shutter speed without getting camera shake.

On the image below I used a lower ISO.

bailed hay, Englandbailed hay, Englandbaied hay in field

Watch out for the next top tip.

Vouchers for photography lessons are available for Christmas presents. Please call or email for details.

alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography lessons photography lessons west midlands photography photography training training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/10/iso---what-it-is-and-how-to-get-the-best-results-using-it Sat, 31 Oct 2015 09:00:00 GMT
Where to Focus and what Aperture to choose for Landscape Photography https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/10/where-to-focus-and-what-aperture-to-choose-for-landscape-photography So to get a great landscape photograph there are plenty of things to think about, today we are looking at aperture and focus.

 

Not all landscape images require the image to be pin sharp, but a lot of images do require pin sharp focusing. An example of a photo that doesn't require pin sharp focusing is when you have a long shutter speed and your overall look of the sea or sky in the photo is full of movement and so blurred rather than everything being pin sharp.

However in the majority of situations a beautiful landscape photograph needs sharp detail in the foreground and also in the background. This means that you need to have plenty of depth of field, so small apertures are the way to go. Remember a small aperture is a larger number - so an aperture of f/16 or f/22 is going to give you more of the image in focus than an aperture of f/4 which will give you a small amount of the image in focus.

However, its not enough to select your aperture of f/16 or f/22 and expect an amazing result, you also need to focus on the right point of the scene to get the full benefit of your chosen depth of field – (the zone of acceptable sharpness that extends in front and behind the point of focus).

The general rule is that the depth of field extends roughly twice as far behind the point of focus as it does in front.

Most people select a small aperture and then focus on the horizon - this isn't going to do you much good - as this means that if you focus on the horizon, a small area in front of the horizon will be sharp, but a lot of depth of field will be wasted because it extends beyond the horizon - and you don't see it.

So instead you need to focus at a point that’s roughly one third of the way into the scene as this makes a good approximation of something called hyperfocal distance focusing.

It means you will get a good majority of your image good and sharp, which is what you are looking for in a good landscape photograph.

When you are looking at your landscape before you that you have decided that you want to capture to memory and share with other people, think about what it is within the image that you are trying to share - where is your point of focus going to be - what is the important part that needs to be your point of focus? So there is something for you to think about when you take your next Landscape photograph.

Look out for tomorrows top tip. If you would like to have a one to one session and learn more about how to use your camera please just get in touch. you can email me alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010 to book in. In the new year I will be offering monthly online classes and also monthly group meet ups with a maximum of 3 people in a group, watch out for more details.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography workshops training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/10/where-to-focus-and-what-aperture-to-choose-for-landscape-photography Fri, 30 Oct 2015 19:17:02 GMT
Travel Photography Tips https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/7/travel-photography-tips If you have your Summer holiday planned and your camera is included in those plans, then there are plenty of things to think about before you leave home.

The more obvious, but often most overlooked, are things like battery chargers, don't forget to pack them and also pack a travel plug for them if you are leaving the country. Mains leads - for lap tops and your phone.

Memory cards, formatted and ready to go. Charge your batteries before you leave home to and put a fresh one in your camera a long with a fresh memory card so if you need to quickly grab your camera and capture a moment you are ready for action.

When I travel, I take my lap top as it means I can upload my images whilst I am away and I also take an external hard drive too - secondary back up - ensures images are safe even if something happens to either the laptop or the external drive.

By having the laptop with me it also means I can review what I have photographed as I go along.

I know you're on holiday, but it's worth getting up early and going out with your camera - for two reasons - firstly to miss the hustle and bustle of having other tourists around - and if you are in an area with a market getting stall holders setting up in morning light can be beautiful, and the other reason that no matter where you are the morning light is stunning, whether you are in a city, beach or other location, it is worth getting up early even on one morning of you holiday if that's all you can manage.

If you are going to a location for the first time, Google it - do your homework and find out where the best spots are, what time the sun rises and sets, tide times - you don't want to get caught on the rocks trying to grab that fabulous shot when the tide is coming in at you quicker than you can get off the rocks. There are some great guide books out there too to help you, Lonely Planet and Footprint guides all keep their books very well up to date with hints and tips of where to stay and great places to go in any destination world wide.

They will also give you an idea about what weather to expect at different times of the year and if you are going to see wildlife then the best time of year to see different activities in different locations - the migration in East Africa for example or penguins hatching in Antarctica.

When you are at your chosen location, try to find new viewpoints, so if you are at a market for example - is there a rooftop cafe around that you could have easy access to that will give you an aerial view of what's happening in the market square, if you then also get close up shots of the products and some interesting shots around the market these aerial style shots can help to complete the story of the place you have visited, giving the person viewing the images a really good overall view of where you have been.

And if you are fortunate enough to be going to the Caribbean or Maldives then don't forget the polariser filter for the sky and water. Whilst you may think having such beautiful skies and sea can make it easy to get a great shot,  you need to get the composition of the image right or it will be just another blue sky with blue water.

Dusk in the MaldivesDusk in the Maldivesdusk falls in the maldives This shot above was taken in the Maldives at dusk with a slower shutter speed to get a soft motion across the water.The shot below was taken with the camera in the water so that I could get the raindrops actually hitting the top of the pool and capture the splash.

The next step of course is going underwater with your camera, but I think that's a whole new blog, enjoy your holiday wherever you go and remember the sunscreen too.

If you would like to sign up for my monthly newsletter please just use my contact form and let me know.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) and hints hints and tips photography tips" travel https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/7/travel-photography-tips Fri, 17 Jul 2015 08:00:00 GMT
Things to Photograph This Summer https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/7/things-to-photograph-this-summer So if you are looking for some ideas of things that you can photograph this summer. Why not have a day out and go somewhere new for the day. I went to New Quay for a day and got some great photographs of dolphins and seagulls too.

Taking time out from your normal day to day activities with your camera can force you to try new techniques. So whether you want to try photographing moving objects maybe - cars, birds, bikes, motorbikes, animals running, the principle is the same - you need to decide whether you want to freeze the object so that you see it pin sharp or whether you are going to have a slower shutter speed and see some movement.

Once you have chosen your subject you then also need to think about your framing, these images are straight out of the camera, they are not cropped at all. I shot them on my Canon 70-200mm lens - so the image above was shot at 70mm - and the one below at 200mm.

I like the framing on both, I think it's a personal choice - it's about what you want to share with the person viewing the image - with this close up I really wanted to share the seagulls face - the eye in particular. I also like the way the light shines through the edge of the feathers. Remember when you have a moving object like this to give it space in front of it  - room for it to move into as it were - looking room. If you framed this image so that the seagulls beak was at the edge of the left hand side of the frame it would look quite strange.

Also to explain the aperture of this photo was f4. this means that only a small amount is in focus - so if you look - the wing at the front and the birds head and body is in focus, whilst the far wing is slightly softer and then the background - sea and sky are just a blue blur - thus making the viewer of the image look at the seagull without any background distraction. So this is something else to think about when you are taking your photograph, if you wanted the entire background in focus you would need to have an f stop of f16 or f22 for instance.

The easiest way to remember what f stop you need is to think of it like this - the larger the number the more of the image will be in focus. so f2.8 will give you a tiny amount of your image in focus where as f 32 will give you an entire landscape in focus.

So moving along - finding new things to photograph can push you out of your comfort zone, but trying to photograph new things and practice new techniques will help to push you forward and improve your photography and of course a couple of things to remember - don't delete any images until you have seen them on your computer screen and use the file info to learn from any mistakes you may make.

Other things to think about are - when you are out in the sun and you can't see the image on your camera screen properly try using your histogram instead to check for correct exposure.

Make sure your batteries are well charged and that you have plenty of memory for your camera too, as well as a lens cloth in case you get any dust or water splash your lens.

Think about what you want to show the viewer and how you want to show the person viewing the image - are we capturing the motion or letting it blur to show some movement.

You can see the droplets of water in this wave as it crashes along freezing its' motion - a slower shutter speed would give you a soft white blur of water showing movement - as seen below.

If you would like to get my hints, tips and photography ideas newsletter each month, just drop me your email and I will add you to the newsletter list, you can unsubscribe from it at any point in time.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photo photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/7/things-to-photograph-this-summer Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:40:55 GMT
Ideas for Things to Photograph https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/4/ideas-for-things-to-photograph Somedays it may seem like you just don't know what to photograph, maybe you have already photographed the birds on the feeder 100 times or more and maybe the flowers just aren't inspiring you or maybe the weather isn't inspiring you to go outside and photograph the flowers, so here are some ideas for those days, when you just need some new ideas to give you a creative push.

I will start with the immediate things around us that you may be ignoring or choosing not to think about photographing because you think it may be too hard, sometimes we need to photograph something that challenges us as it will push us to understand our cameras more and what we can achieve with them and also help us to seek solutions to our photographic problems.

So if you have dogs or cats, you could start with them, birds - maybe not on feeders, but as they fly in and out of your garden, why not try and capture them in flight, I know this may be harder than whilst they sit at the bird feeder, but it makes you think about what type of photo you want to capture - do you want a slower shutter speed showing the movement in their wings? Or a faster shutter speed freeze framing their movement ?

Maybe think of projects you could set yourself and try and think outside the box with the themes - so you could have a colour theme - so pick any colour, yellow, red, black, white, blue, think about shades textures objects associated with these colours, it can be food or objects - cars, bikes, toys, etc.

Maybe your chosen topic for your project could be water - so not just a stunning waterfall or lake with fabulous reflection, but maybe the rain, puddles, a tap running - filling a glass of water - dropping things into a glass of water - maybe your pet dog drinking from his bowl of water - water running down a piece of glass - maybe you can see things through the water - reflections of flowers etc.

If you're stuck inside and need something easier to get hold of to inspire you, then how about raiding the cutlery draw - spoons and forks, can make for interesting shapes and use different light sources and backgrounds to add interest.

If you have a pond, get out there and look for toads or frogs or frog spawn hanging about.

Maybe you are fortunate enough to be able to take a whole day to get out and about with your camera - jump on a train and go somewhere new - London, Birmingham, Manchester, a beach somewhere or national park - the lake district or Snowdonia, just enjoy a proper day out with your camera and get inspired again.

Whatever you decide to go out and photograph have fun with it, push yourself and try something new and don't forget to share, show me what you get up to. More ideas coming soon.

If you would like to book onto one of my workshops just get in touch alex@alexsharp.com

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/4/ideas-for-things-to-photograph Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:25:56 GMT
Apologies for the lack of blogging https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/4/apologies-for-the-lack-of-blogging Apologies for the lack of blogging over the last month, I have been caught up with some family issues, but everything is now sorted and so I promise to get back with the blogging to help you all with your camera questions and moving your photography forward.

Going-to-the-Sun Mountain From Hidden Lake TrailGoing-to-the-Sun Mountain From Hidden Lake Trail

Firstly I will mention that I have the Snowshill Lavender dates listed for you - please see the workshop page and you can see the available dates and spaces available for each date. The courses last for 4 hours and cost just £50 per person.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) hints photo photography photography training snowshill lavender fields photo training tips training west workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/4/apologies-for-the-lack-of-blogging Wed, 22 Apr 2015 15:58:01 GMT
Things to photograph in Spring https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/3/things-to-photograph-in-spring So Spring is upon us and flowers are blooming in our gardens, snowdrops and daffodils and lots of plants are coming to bud, we have some sunshine and some rain - so it's a great time to get outside and photograph all of the wonderful things that are going on outside. Our natural world is springing into action and so you need to do the same with your camera ;-)

There are lots of things to think about, the sun light and where you would like it within your image, in front of you creating a bit of lens flare or maybe as it cuts through the trees in a dappled fashion.

Remember if you want to catch first light on a lovely Spring morning you will need to check what time sunrise is and ensure you are there in plenty of time to capture that magical moment, checking the weather the night before is also important, there's no point getting to your chosen location to find that the cloud and rain are obscuring the sunrise you wanted to capture.

In a couple of days I will write a specific post about photographing flowers in spring, which lenses to use and how to get the most form the backgrounds you have available and what to do if the backgrounds aren't great.

Don't forget, if you plan to go out with your camera and it's raining, there are plenty of alternative options, cathedrals, churches etc all make great places for photographs, especially if you want to practice your low light photography or for thinking about new angles and points of view.

If you're Spring day turns rainy, visit somewhere local that you walk passed all of the time and have never been inside maybe? You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

The main thing is that you keep moving forward and keep trying new things, new angles, new subjects to photograph that you wouldn't normally challenge yourself with, it doesn't matter how well the initial results are - but that you try something new and challenging.

Look out later this week for the flower hints and tips.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography tips training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/3/things-to-photograph-in-spring Sun, 08 Mar 2015 18:31:42 GMT
Week away https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/2/week-away Hello Everybody, I'm off on my travels again, off to the mountains for a week of fresh air and hopefully some great photography in the snow.

 

mountain peaksmountain peakstop of les deux alpes

I'll try not to brake anything and if anybody has any questions or wants to book onto the Stratford upon avon photography course, drop me an email and as soon as I am back at my mac on 2nd march I'll get right back to you. I am not taking it with me this time, i have decided to have a full break from email life - it's just me, my camera and the mountains.... can't wait.

Have a great week everybody.

More photography tips will follow as soon as I get back, along with a competition and ideas for things to photograph in march.

More soon,

Alex

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/2/week-away Fri, 20 Feb 2015 21:34:27 GMT
Photography training in stratford upon Avon https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/1/photgraphy-training-in-stratford-upon-avon My next Photo training day will be in Stratford upon Avon on Friday 6th March. The course will run from 11am to 3pm and during the course we will be reviewing your work to ensure that you are learning and getting better and better results. This can be great fun in a group as you can see how others look at things and although we are all in the same place everybody views the world differently and so everybody's images will be different which is great when we look over what everybody has achieved.

 

The sessions last for 4 hours and have a maximum of 6 people on them, all ages and abilities are welcome.

The cost is £60 per person and this includes a worksheet - (emailed to you at the end of the day) to remind you of everything that we have talked about and gone through.

If you would like to book on please email me your details to: alex@alexsharp.com

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photo traing stratford photography training worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/1/photgraphy-training-in-stratford-upon-avon Sat, 31 Jan 2015 09:00:00 GMT
Photo Ideas for Winter https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/1/photo-ideas-for-winter On cold winter days it is easy to stay inside and not want to explore the cold outdoors, but so long as you are wrapped up well - and appropriately for the weather, then there's plenty to get outside for and photograph.

The Quality of the Winter Light

The first thing to think about is that the angle of the sun on the horizon is smaller during wintertime, this creates numerous really pleasing effects, such as a prolonged period of the magic hour.

The magic hour is the time around sunrise or sunset, when most of the light is reflected and the direct light of the sun passes through a lot more atmosphere, therefore filtering out the harsh neutral or blue cast.

Throughout the entire day the sun remains low in the sky, meaning the sun will never reach a high zenith, always illuminating our subjects at a more pleasing angle. Summer sun can often cause harsh shadows (really hard and extreme) where the contrast and the lighting shifts more towards blue tones.

In winter due to the low angle of the sun, textures that you find in nature and in city scapes will look three-dimensional and become alive and shadows will be long and deep. We can use the shadows to support our main subject, to hint at the presence of a subject by only showing its shadow or to create a sense of scale by comparing shadows. Shadows are copies of our subjects with different qualities that can greatly enhance our composition, often the shadow in winter when it can be so elongated is more interesting than the real object and so you may want to just try photographing the shadow and omit the cause of the shadow, for an interesting twist.

Weather

They keep giving us snow warnings here in the UK, and I know certain parts have already had plenty, in the midlands/worcestershire we don't seem to have had too much yet, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for even a bit of the white fluffy stuff. You can't beat getting out and photographing a crisp clean snowscape, maybe there are just some bird prints or fox prints tracking though it, with first light and rays of sun glistening across it, there is nothing as beautiful on a winters day.

 
Things to think about when shooting in the Snow

Here are some technical tips for you to help you all get better results in the Winter season.

Cameras tend to underexpose white and overexpose black as they gravitate toward neutral grey. You need to overexpose snowscapes by up to 2 stops to allow for this. If you are shooting sunrises, you will not have much time to figure things out as the light changes quickly, so it is good to know this. Always remember to keep an eye on your histogram. Your histogram will give you a true idea of what you are capturing and if you have vastly over or underexposed your shot.

Other things to Remember when you go out in the Winter

Shoot RAW at least during those times so you will not have to figure out the white balance. RAW lets you correct your exposure too if you do not get it right and run out of time with the sunrise.

Remember that once your camera clips your highlights, you cannot recover them. Expose for the brightest spots that you want to be visible.

Batteries do not last as long when it's cold, so carry plenty of spares and keep them warm - maybe in your coat so they get your body warmth and don't get cold in your camera bag.

Also depending on where you are in the world, and just how cold it is where you are, remember that if your tripod does not already have some foam around the legs, you may want to put some insulation foam on it. Avoid touching metal with your bare skin in freezing conditions.

Last tip of the day is that when you return from your winter outdoor photo shoot in the freezing cold temperatures they tell us we are due, let your equipment get warm slowly to avoid condensation inside your lenses. Resist reviewing your photos right away, leave your gear to warm up for a couple of hours first. Wherever you live in the country - snow or no snow, get out there are get the early morning rays of sunlight, it is such a peaceful time of day to shoot at.

 

Remember

Do not miss all the opportunities winter hands you, get out there and have some fun. Take advantage of the warmer light that the low sun offers you, the deeper shadows and the favorable weather patterns and your images can look better than ever. Enjoy.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photographer photography travel photographer winter photography tips worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/1/photo-ideas-for-winter Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:00:00 GMT
Photography Tips https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/1/photography-tips Here are some handy tips to take on board before you go out with your camera.

So we will mention the usual, ensure your batteries are charged, clean your lenses, ensure you have plenty of memory cards and extra batteries if the weather is cold as we all know batteries do not last as long in the cold.

 

Think about what you are going out to photograph, whilst taking all of your gear with you - just in case can be handy - sometimes carrying every single bit of kit you have can be a burden, so think about whether you really need to take everything that you own with you.

Take a look at you sensor, if you are not happy to clean your sensor yourself, take it in to your local photography shop and have it done professionally. Don't go out with a dirty sensor though.

So you've cleaned your sensor, your lenses are dust free and so are any filters that you may use, don't forget to put the lens cloth in your bag and take it with you - just in case. Make sure that if it's cold you dress in layers, so you can remove a layer if you get warm walking through woods etc, or likewise add an extra layer should the temperature drop further.

As far as your hands go, i tend to wear a thin pair of gloves with a larger pair over the top - the larger pair can be removed when taking photos, but the thin pair ensure that my fingers remain reasonably warm.

Once you are out in the field and you start taking your photos, other things to think about include - if you have a zoom lens on - do you need to use the zoom lens or are you able to walk closer to the object you are photographing ?

Think about the composition and what you can see in the frame. If you move to the left or right will you improve the photograph ?

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight If you are shooting a landscape and you feel that it is not working as well as you had envisaged, try turning you camera the other way - from horizontal to vertical or vice versa, it may be that it just works the other way better with the way the objects in the image are positioned.

Don't forget, you can turn your camera the other way or move yourself to a different spot and see what works. It may be that the light isn't right though, so this can mean going away and trying something else and coming back just before the sun starts to go down to get those final golden soft rays of light on your subject.

Whatever you decide to go out and photograph this winter, remember to let somebody know where you are going and when you plan on being back, and take your charged up mobile phone with you, have fun and get some great shots - and last but not least - Never delete any images whilst you are out in the field. Have fun.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography photography training worcestershire training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/1/photography-tips Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:10:58 GMT
Did you get a DSLR for Christmas - well here's some hints and tips https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/1/did-you-get-a-dslr-for-christmas---well-heres-some-hints-and-tips If you got a DSLR for Christmas and you are worried about taking it off the green square - Auto mode, then maybe you should sign up for one of my courses. I run one to one classes - either half day or full day or group courses - which is a great way to meet some like minded people too.

The first thing I say to people about their new camera is make sure you fully charge your batteries - buy a spare battery if you only have one - there is nothing worse than being out and about and running out of power. Make sure you have plenty of memory cards - or a couple of large ones - I buy mine from 7dayshop.com but you can buy well priced memory cards from an assortment of shops.

Always carry a cleaning cloth, you never know when you may get a rain drop, fingerprint, dog lick - or anything else on the lens of your camera and so carry a proper lens cloth to clean it off straight away. Other things to think about - I have a clear filter on my lens to protect from scratches - it's cheaper and more convenient to replace than my lens after all.

So we have batteries charged, memory card in place and lens cloth on standby, what next. Go out and have some fun, whatever the weather, have a think about what you would like to try and photograph - maybe some flowers in your garden? OK so you may have seen shots where the flower is crisp and sharp and the background is soft - this is done with the aperture - the F stop  - to keep the flower sharp and the background soft you need to pick a small number - an F stop/aperture of 2.8 or 4 will keep your chosen bloom sharp and the background soft so as not to distract from main subject-the flower in this case. If you would like to learn more about your camera and have your questions answered about how to get the shots you want then please just get in touch and we'll get you booked in. Whether you want to have a half day session or full day session or onto one of the courses, just drop me an email or give me a call 07885472010 or email alex@alexsharp.com

 

From May onwards I will also be running courses from my new studio in Dodford.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2015/1/did-you-get-a-dslr-for-christmas---well-heres-some-hints-and-tips Sun, 04 Jan 2015 20:11:48 GMT
Things to Photograph this Autumn https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/11/things-to-photograph-this-autumn I have some more hints and tips for your Autumn photography. The main thing to remember is to get out and enjoy the fabulous colours that autumn offers us, if you can get out early to get the morning mist that's great, but if not don't worry, there's all sorts of exciting colours and textures just waiting to be photographed whatever time of day you have free.

Think about the angles you are photographing from, if your in the woods and wanting to fill your frame with leaves from above that's fine, you can look straight down over the top of an assortment of leaves, but it may be that you will get a more interesting photograph if you lie down on the floor so that your at ground level with them, and using a shallow depth of field and looking through a curled leaf - you may get some very interesting effects.

Whilst your down there if you roll onto your back and look up through the trees that are now above you, with a wide angle lens you will also get a different point of view that you are not used to seeing.

Things to think about before you go - as it's quite damp on the ground now, you may want to take something to lie on/sit on so that you don't get wet, or wear some waterproof trousers/jacket. Wear layers as it's easier to take off a single layer of clothing if you start to warm up too much from walking etc and easy to add thin layers again if you're sitting or lying in one spot for any length of time.

Other things to try - well with all of the windy weather we are having at the moment, if you go out and see some fabulous cloud around, why not pop your camera on its' tripod and go for a slow shutter speed - maybe 20 or 30 seconds and try capturing the movement of the clouds in the sky - you may need to use an ND filter to do this to balance the sky and land. If you have a go at this you will also want to think about how much sky you put in the shot - think about the rule of thirds and if the sky is interesting and this is going to be the main feature of your image then hand over two thirds of the frame to the sky to add real drama, shot on a wide angle lens with some motion from cloud movement will give you amazing results.

If you are fortunate to have water by you when you are out and about with your camera, if it's moving water think about whether you want to freeze it or see the movement in it, or if it's still - a lake or pond - can you get the reflections of the trees and they're stunning foliage in the reflection? take several shots - for example just the reflection - and the reflection with the real tree above, once you have your shots, look for a different view point - is there a hill or bank you can climb to change your point of view, often it's not the first viewpoint you find that is the best, so even if you have photos you are happy with - take a few minutes to look for an alternative - you may be pleasantly surprised.

Wherever you go with your camera this autumn in whatever weather, look for the colours and textures that autumn offers us, from the macro life of leaves and barks and the insects living within, to the wide shots of as many trees as you can fit in one photograph. If you have any questions please just ask.

I will post more course dates tomorrow. I am hoping to have some exciting new studio news in the next couple of weeks.

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) autumn hints midlands photo photography tips worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/11/things-to-photograph-this-autumn Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:52:32 GMT
Bradgate Deer Park https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/10/bradgate-deer-park Today I have been photographing deer at Bradgate Park Trust, the weather was mixed, but I had a great day and got some lovely shots, if you get the opportunity to go I highly recommend it. Here are a few shots from today. More will follow shortly.

I will have more hints and tips for you over the next few days for taking photos during Autumn and Winter and will also offer some project ideas for those of you who have been asking for ideas.

What a fabulous day I had, get out there whatever the weather and get photographing our Great British Wildlife.

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/10/bradgate-deer-park Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:55:46 GMT
Photographing Mountains https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/9/photographing-mountains Hello,

This blog is all about photographing mountains - I know we haven't quite reached winter yet and all things cold, but I've had a couple of people ask me about photographing mountains and so whether you want to photograph them in the winter or summer, here are some hints and tips and also I've had a few people ask me if i would share my camera settings of the photos that I share - so I will of course ;-)

So I'm going to start with safety because I can't help myself - if you and your kit are going off into the hills/mountains etc - please check the weather - tell somebody where you are going and when you are planning on being back. Have a fully charged mobile phone with you. Also take snacks and a flask of something warm and a bottle of water, proper clothing for your environment.

Then for the camera - comfortable camera bag, spare batteries and plenty of memory cards, lens cloth, tripod, filters lenses etc etc.

                       Camera info: ISO 100, f8, 1/800th sec, I shot this on my canon 5D Mark II using my canon 24-105mm lens at 24mm

I shoot everything in colour and convert any that I choose to be Black and white whilst in the Raw stage back home on the mac.

Remember that when you are photographing mountains you don't always need to be at the top of them, sometimes being at the bottom can give just as fabulous a shot - plus putting something in the photograph apart from just the mountain and its' surrounds can also add scale to the photograph. I took the  above image in Svalbard and included our schooner, not a large vessel - it slept 16 people as i recall, but with the moon, the glacier, the small mountains and the boat, it all adds to the effect. I shoot everything on Canon cameras, either my 5D Mark II or my 1DS Mark II, I have all canon lenses too. Settings for this were ISO 1000, 1/200sec, F 5.6 I had no tripod with me on this particular landing and it was getting quite dark hence the higher ISO.

mountain peaksmountain peakstop of les deux alpes

You don't always need to climb the mountains, but when you do and you're above the cloud line..... OMG   WOW It brings on a whole new perspective to life, mountains are magnificent, being up in the clouds will add a whole new dimension and sense of size to the image, just remember to be prepared for all weather changes.

Other Things to think about

Filters - don't forget to take good quality filters, a polarizer for beautiful skies, plus sunglasses for yourself.

Take a good wide angle lens as to get a mountain range in can also make for a beautiful panoramic - or alternatively if you place your camera on a tripod take several images of the range of mountains that can be "stitched" together when you return home.

If you are climbing through trees or woods to reach a good viewpoint of some mountains - it may be that you can use them to frame an image which can work very well.

If there is a lake in front of the hills or mountains that you are photographing use it - reflections can be fabulous- especially in a calm body of water

ok these aren't mountains they're hills - but you get the idea.

Below, is Torres Del Paine.

The glacier water of the lake doesn't make for a great reflection, but it picks up the snow highlights which I quite like. This was shot on my Hasselblad by the way - so I have no record of settings, sorry.

Likewise, adding a person for a sense of size or drama can make a huge difference to an image, see below this is at the top of Tryfan in Wales where people jump from one stone to another - Adam and Eve - this is not for the feint hearted....

adam and eve at the top of Tryfan Walesadam and eve at the top of Tryfan Wales

Don't forget - if you do take the time and trouble to climb, scramble or walk to the top - photograph the view around you along the way and at the top if possible photograph the whole way around for a 360 degree stitched view when you get home.

However you decide to photograph mountains, whether as a background, or the main focus of your image there are many ways to do it, whether on skis, in walking boots or in climbing gear, stay safe and enjoy the fresh air and marvelous scenery.

View from one mountain top across a valley in Austria to whole other mountain range.

I know mobile phones don't always work up mountains, but if you can tell somebody where you are going and when you are expecting to be back at least if you don't show up and your phone doesn't work they will be able to tell rescue people the right info and they will then know where to look for you.

That brings me to the end of this mountain photography blog, other than to say that for those of you who know me - know there is usually a trip planned for the end of the year... sadly not so this year, because we will soon be moving house, and with that comes a new studio ;-) exciting times lie ahead. However i already have 2 snowy mountain trips booked in for the start of next year and I also have some trips in the UK for the end of this year, which include rutting stags - so watch this space. I will try to blog more frequently and if you do have any questions please feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer them as quickly as I can. ;-)

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/9/photographing-mountains Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:59:53 GMT
If you go down to the woods Today https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/9/if-you-go-down-to-the-woods-today Well maybe not today as here it's having a bit of a drizzle, but if you make the effort to go out to your local woods or forest you will find some fabulous photographic opportunities. It's not just about sweeping landscapes, but the devil can be in the detail too, fallen pine cones can fill a frame beautifully.

 

This is genuinely how I found them, I like the bits of grass poking through it adds a tiny splash of green and almost a slight memory of summer - as Autumn is now upon us. Remember when you go to the forest, you can get some great light falling through the trees, so you may want to use longer shutter speeds and so take your tripod with you. Also remember the wet weather gear just in case you do get caught in a shower. - Plus lens cloth, charged batteries and mobile phone - letting somebody know where you are going before you go off too. Sorry can't help myself - safety first.

So when you're out and about, remember to look up as well as down as you can get some stunning shards of light dropping through tree branches and lovely fairytale-esque pathways appearing through trees. Plus you never know what sculptures you may come across too, so keep your eyes peeled.

You may of course also find some local wildlife if you're lucky enough and quiet enough too, so if you have a long lens you may want to put that in the camera bag too.

If you go out early or late in the day you may be fortunate enough to catch the good light - if there's no cloud and get some dramatic long shadows, these with trees in black and white can add drama and atmosphere to an image like nothing else. So before you grab your kit and head out, think about what the weather is doing and what time you are going to go, late afternoon the light can be soft and beautiful, where as a lovely sunrise through the trees is an amazing way of welcoming the day in, whilst getting some wonderful photographs.

So, tripods, long lenses, warm clothing, phone, charged batteries and a lens cloth to go with plenty of memory cards and maybe a flask of something warm and have a fabulous day out. I look forward to seeing some of your images.

I have added some more dates to the workshops if anybody is interested in joining me on a half day session to learn how to get more from their camera please just get in touch.

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/9/if-you-go-down-to-the-woods-today Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:29:45 GMT
Summer Photography Hints and Tips https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/8/summer-photography-hints-and-tips Things to remember when you're away on holiday or out for the day with your camera this summer.

Remember that using a polarizer filter will eliminate water reflections and improve colour contrast of sky and clouds.

Use the lens hood that came with your lens - they give them you for a reason ;-) they help prevent lens flare.

If you're walking through woods or forests the light will be more diffused and so if taking photos of people in this situation, the overhead canopy of leaves will be reducing the amount of light you have and so you will want to over expose your images by a stop or a stop and a half, and maybe use some fill in flash for peoples faces if the overhead canopy is quite dense.

If you're going away camping and want to photograph the campfire and get natural ambient non flash photos - then use a wide angle lens I have a Canon 17-40mm wide-angle lens, but anything similar will do or a 50mm standard lens would also be fine. Make sure you use a sturdy tripod if you have one, as this will prevent camera shake. If you don't have a tripod, use your bag or another steady surface to support the camera for the photo. A bag with sand or soil in it can do as a make shift beanbag to steady your camera with too.

The open the aperture wide, around f/2 – f/8 to allow enough light in. If you're not comfortable shooting manually, then you can always choose aperture priority (AV) as this is a great way to take this kind of shot as this lets the camera choose its own shutter speed.

Also it's a good idea to use your camera’s self-timer or a shutter release cable to take the photo with absolutely no blurring.

Don’t use flash because it will ruin the natural glow of the fire and any stars/moon that are in the sky.

Don't forget to share your results.

For those of you that are wanting to capture landscapes, remember that if you are photographing on a bright sunny day - like the ones we are getting up and down the UK at the moment, use a wide angled lens for your landscape photo and to achieve a sharp image shoot at f16, remembering that if it is a bright sunny day you may need to underexpose your photo by up to 2 sops to ensure that you retain all of the details in the highlights and shadow areas.

I hope these tips help and I look forward to seeing some for your results.

I have added a few more dates to my training courses if anybody would like to sign up to any of them please just get in touch.

Also remember a hat and suncream ;-)

Happy Photographing, more soon.

Alex

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/8/summer-photography-hints-and-tips Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:32:36 GMT
Photo Projects for the Summer https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/7/photo-projects-for-the-summer I have been asked by a few people about ideas for photo projects for the Summer.

There are many things that you can try over the summer quite easily, whether you go and have a day out in your local town or city

and take time to look at the architecture, or whether you have a day in the woods and spend time looking at all of the textures around you that you would normally walk by with the kids or the dog and not even notice.

Think about your composition and also think about what you will be able to do with your images at the end of the session, you can make a montage of your images, you can make books calenders, or maybe you'll just choose your favourite photo for a screen saver. So long as you are pushing your creative boundaries when you are out and about - thinking about what you have in the frame of the photograph and if you are not 100% happy, move to the left or right, move closer to the subject or further away, don't be a lazy photographer and just zoom in on everything, change your position, croutch down if you think you'll be able to get a better angle.

Try getting up early on holiday before the hustle and bustle of the day starts and capturing the sun coming up, or maybe you will be somewhere where there are fabulous sunsets, get yourself a series of sunset shots, they can make great montages.

Not everybody is going away, maybe you have a couple of days off work over the summer and you just want to try a day out somewhere with your camera, you don't need to spend lots of money, try going to your local woods, find a stream and try a series of water shots - with movement and without and see the difference it creates to the mood of the photograph,

or a local arboretum and get some macro flower photos or fields of flowers if that's what you have locally to you,

Look around you and see what you have that will fit in with your time schedule - whether it's a day or a weekend, but whatever you decide to try, make sure that you are trying something new and pushing your creativity, by trying new things you will continue to learn and get more and more enjoyment from your camera.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/7/photo-projects-for-the-summer Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:52:51 GMT
Arley Arboretum Photography courses https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/6/arley-arboretum-photography-courses I will be running a series of Photography courses at the beautiful Arley Arboretum throughout the rest of the year.

My first one is on Sunday 6th July, I already have 3 people booked on for this date, if you would like to book on to one of the remaining 3 places they are priced at just £25 each, plus the £5.00 entrance fee.

The course runs from 11am-3pm

We will go through shutter speeds, ISO, aperture and also cover framing/composing photographs and the rule of thirds. There is plenty to keep us occupied there and also lots to do for the rest of your family if they would like to come along and have a wander round whilst you are learning how to get more from your camera.

Arley Arboretum is just a few miles outside of Kidderminster and makes a lovely day out for all the family as dogs are allowed in the arboretum too - although I don't recommend bringing your dog when trying to learn how to use your camera ;-)

If you would like to book onto one of the remaining 3 places please drop me an email on alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010

thanks

Alex

 

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) arboretum arley midlands photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/6/arley-arboretum-photography-courses Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:03:37 GMT
Histograms Explained https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/6/histograms-explained Huge apologies, for some reason the post about histograms didn't publish and so here it is - thank you to Edward - from one of my training courses at Spetchley gardens for letting me know, much appreciated.

Histograms Explained

You probably know that you can check the exposure of the shots you have taken simply by reviewing them on your camera’s LCD screen. The problem is that often by looking at the picture alone on your LCD screen you can be mislead and so you may think it looks ok, but there is a better way to check. If you know how to read the Histogram on your camera it is the most important thing you can do to ensure a good exposure.

Your camera gives you the option to show the range of brightness in your image as a graph, which plots the light levels from jet black, on the left, midtones in the middle and pure white, on the right.

A ‘perfect’ histogram rises gently from the left, rises in the middle and drops on the right, indicating a full range of tones but no loss of detail in shadows or highlights.

If shots are too bright, the graph will look all bunched up at the right hand side, suggesting burnt-out highlights.

However, if the shot is underexposed, the graph will be all over to the left. In both cases, such patterns suggest exposure compensation might be necessary.

Remember when you burn out highlights there is no information for that area saved and so this is not something you can pull back in photo shop, and likewise if the image in underexposed there will also be no information to pull out in photoshop. If it is bright sunshine on your camera LCD looking at your histogram can be easier as you will see if there is a nice gentle curve on the histogram or if everything is extreme to one side or the other.

So when you look at your histogram, the left hand third of the graph shows the shadows, the middle third shows your midtones and the right hand third shows your highlights.

Not all scenarios give a histogram that fits perfectly along the width of the graph. With low-contrast scenes, the histogram won’t reach both extremes of the graph.

With high-contrast scenes, the graph will look squashed towards both sides. In these cases, expose so that the right-hand side of the histogram is placed as far right as it can go without being ‘clipped’ – you’ll retain detail in the brightest highlights.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/6/histograms-explained Fri, 20 Jun 2014 17:24:49 GMT
Top Tips for Better Holiday Photos https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/6/top-tips-for-better-holiday-photos We are getting close to that time of year when people start going off to sunnier climes for a couple of weeks, so i thought I would make today's Blog all about top tips for better holiday photos and make sure that you get the best photos you can whilst you are away on holiday this year.

1. before you go, make sure you have plenty of memory cards - you don't want to be having to delete images because you have run out of space. Memory cards are available at reasonable prices from ebay, Amazon and www.7dayshop.com

2. This goes for camera batteries too, remember high and cold temperatures will effect the length of time that your battery will last, so get a spare from any of the above places to ensure you don't miss the magic moments.

3. Get a lens cloth - when was the last time you cleaned your lens - wiped away the kids mucky finger prints or the dog nose print form it - having muck on your lens is never going to be good for the lovely photos.

4.Think about how you can use your new surroundings to frame your subject, windows, or doorways, branches from trees can add interest, archways or promenades that will have good lines to use in a photograph.

5.If you want to take a photo of your loved one in front of the lovely sunset,make sure your flash is turned on, then focus your camera on the persons face - then whilst keeping the same button half depressed and focused on the persons face, without moving your feet, reframe the shot so that their face is off to the side and we can see the sunset as well withing the frame of the photo, and take your photo. The camera will expose for the sunset, but by having the flash turned on it will will go off and light up the persons face - making sure that your photo is well exposed for sunset and person.

6.Quite oftenthe difference between an amazing photo and an average photo is often your focus. Ask yourself what you intend the focus of your image to be.  If you need to move - a few steps to the left or right - or get in closer, then have a move around until you are happy.

What you decide to focus on should be the most interesting thing in the photograph, even if you then frame it off to the side as we explained in the tip above. If you had done the sunset shot and the persons face wasn't in focus, it would look awful as the person, is the main point of interest within the frame, if they are not the main point of interest - then just take the sunset on its' own and move them out of the way.

Photographs that have lots of things going on can also work well too, as long as your idea behind the photo is to show how busy the environment is, like a city shot, market place etc. Where as some photos that are busy for no apparent reason, you are maybe just trying to get too much in one photo can end up distracting the person looking at the photo so that it distracts the viewer from what you were really trying to show them.

7. If you are photographing your kids or pets, think about the level you are at - if they are small, kneel down to get at the same level that they are at, this will mean you get a more intimate photograph as you will be on their eye level rather than looking at the top of their heads.

8. My last tip for today is enjoy - and remember to take the camera away from your eye so that you can sit back and enjoy the moment without just seeing the moment through the lens of your camera ;-)

 

 
 
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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) holidays photography photos tips top training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/6/top-tips-for-better-holiday-photos Fri, 13 Jun 2014 09:30:22 GMT
Photography courses https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/6/photography-courses I currently run Photography training courses at a variety of locations and they are mainly aimed at people who have had a camera and want to get the camera off the auto setting and learn how to use the other buttons, whet they are for - what aperture, shutter speed and ISO do and what to use them for and when.

In the next few days you will see a triple event course go onto the workshop list, for those of you who do the first course and then would like to come along a couple of weeks later  and learn a bit more and then a couple of weeks after that and learn a bit more. So watch this space for the updated workshops.

 

 

 

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/6/photography-courses Fri, 06 Jun 2014 17:14:59 GMT
Choosing your Metering mode https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/5/choosing-your-metering-mode Your camera has Matrix/Evaluative, Centre Weighted and Spot metering modes.

Which mode to pick?

Matrix/Evaluative metering - this measures light across the whole scene that your camera is looking at - so makes it ideal for photographing Landscapes.

Centre-weighted Metering - This reads the light in the centre of the frame, which is useful if you are shooting subjects  - so if you have a group of people in and around the middle of the shot.

Spot Metering - This will read the light for the focus point - so remember if you select a particular focus point the camera uses this point when spot metering your shot.

 

Remember - Matrix/Evaluative Metering is great for landscapes.

The main thing to remember with your photography is that practice is the key, if you want to see how the different metering modes work, take a  photo of the same scene on all 3 different metering settings and compare them on your computer and you will see the difference.

If you're out and about and you're not sure if your image is exposed correctly also remember to use your histogram, sometimes it can be difficult to see the image on your LCD if you are in the sunshine - histograms can be easier to read in these conditions.

I will blog more about histograms tomorrow.

An easy project to have a go at while the kids are at home off school during half term is the wildlife in your own back garden. i have half a dozen feeders and being just a few feet from my kitchen window means I can get some great shots of all of the different birds that come to my garden. why not dust off your camera and see what wildlife you have in your own garden this week.

Happy photographing.

pelican in flightpelican in flightpelican in flight

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/5/choosing-your-metering-mode Wed, 28 May 2014 15:11:42 GMT
Things to Remember before you go out on your photo shoot https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/5/things-to-remember-before-you-go-out-on-your-photo-shoot Today I wanted to keep it simple, but as a lot of you have the week off with the kids, I wanted to remind you of a few things that will ensure you get great photos.

1. Don't forget to clean your lens, having sticky finger prints, fluff from the dog and dust all over it will not give you clear photos, so always carry a lens cloth.

2. For around £25 you can buy a UV filter to protect your lens from scratches and a circular polariser to use on your lens in the sunshine.

You DO NOT have the two filters on your lens at the same time - you use one or the other. When not using your polariser on our lovely sunny days, take it off and put your UV filter back on - why? because it costs less to replace than your lens if it gets scratched - and yes there are cheaper options on Ebay and Amazon etc. But if you go too cheap they will fall apart before you even put them on your lens properly.

3. Have extra memory cards. They don't cost a lot of money these days and it means you don't have to worry about having enough space on your card to capture all of the fab moments and so you can keep everything on your memory card until you can download it onto a laptop and see the images properly - never delete images when you are out and about - you can mistakenly delete them all or delete ones that you maybe should have kept - so no deleting until you get home and carry plenty of memory with you.

4. Batteries - make sure they are fully charged and kept out of the sun. Also remember to have spares - whether they are rechargeable batteries or not, always have spares with you, being in the middle of somewhere beautiful and running out of battery power is never a good thing.

These are the things that you need to remember this week before you go out and about with your camera.

More tomorrow

Have fun.

adam and eve at the top of Tryfan Walesadam and eve at the top of Tryfan Wales

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/5/things-to-remember-before-you-go-out-on-your-photo-shoot Tue, 27 May 2014 08:33:53 GMT
Photography Workshops in Worcestershire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/5/photography-workshops-in-worcestershire Please note the workshops for Spetchley gardens are booking up quickly and so if you want to do your training course there the next course with available dates is 20th June.

So if you have bought or been given - or have given somebody else a camera and you would like to either book them onto a course or give them a voucher for one to one tuition, or book onto a photography course yourself, please click on the workshop tab in the top right hand corner and you will be able to see the dates and places I am running courses and the times they run and also how many spaces are still available.

Happy Photographing

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/5/photography-workshops-in-worcestershire Thu, 22 May 2014 10:42:01 GMT
Top Photography Tips to help get you started https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/5/top-photography-tips-to-help-get-you-started Before you go out and start shooting there are things that you need to always do:

Make sure your batteries are all charged are ready to go.

Camera cards are empty, formatted and ready for the photography session that is ahead of you.

Remember to always check your camera settings, what you were photographing yesterday, and how your camera settings were left may be vastly different to what you are planning on shooting today, so always check your camera settings before you start to shoot something new.

Also make sure that your camera lens is clean, it's the simple things make a huge difference, ensure you always carry a lens cloth with you, you never know when a spot of rain or something may just drop on to your lens or camera.

When you set up to take a landscape - make sure that your horizon is straight.

Sometimes it can be the textures and patterns that you come across that make the beautiful and interesting images.

When you set up for your first photo, think about the angle you are taking it at, - if you take a few steps to the left or right, backwards or forwards will it improve your shot - don't get lazy and just point and shoot - think about what you are looking at - what is it that you are trying to capture and show your friends and family - if there's an empty can of pop - or other piece of litter ruining your image move it - or move yourself, stand somewhere slightly different if the item ruining your image can't be moved.

Whilst photo shop can be used to remove such annoying things when you return, getting it right in camera initially makes life a lot easier.

Whatever you are planning and going out to photograph, make sure you take your phone and let somebody know where you are going and when you think you might be back.

If you would like to book in onto one of my training courses, please click on the workshop tab and see what I have currently have available, alternatively I offer half day and full day one to one courses.

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) and hints photography tips training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/5/top-photography-tips-to-help-get-you-started Thu, 15 May 2014 15:11:39 GMT
Depth of field, focus point, f stops - photography hints and tips https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/4/depth-of-field-focus-point-f-stops---photography-hints-and-tips The aperture is the hole in the lens – it is a variable diaphragm that can be made larger or smaller, controlling how much light reaches the sensor in your camera.

You can control the aperture size using the dial on your SLR (or it can be set for you by the camera). The aperture size is measured on the f-stop scale. The relationship between the numbers on the scale can be hard to grasp. If you think of the f/stops as fractions, with f/4 being twice as large as f/8, f/8 twice as large as f/16, and so on.

Your choice of aperture will vary depending on the lens you use, but it will most lenses range from a widest setting of around f/4 to a narrowest setting of around f/22.

Aperture size is also divided into stops – f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, and so on – with each stop effectively halving the amount of light reaching the sensor. You can compensate for the amount of light reaching the sensor by doubling the exposure time if needed.

Depth Of Field

As well as helping to control the exposure, your choice of aperture also affects the ‘depth of field’ (or DoF).

The depth of field is a measure of how much of your photo is in focus, both in front of, and behind, the point you’ve actually focused on. Depth of field is more apparent when your image contains elements at varying distances from the camera, and is particularly noticeable in the background. Whether your background is sharp or out of focus depends on your aperture choice.

For  example:

This image of the poppies - if you look at the image, just the poppy standing out from the crowd and the poppies in line with it are in focus - this image has a small depth of field - it has an f/stop of F4. If I had used an f/stop of say f22 the poppies going off into the distance would also be in focus. To give you an idea of how you can use depth of field/ your f stops for creative effect here is another image.

Once again here I have used a small depth of field - meaning that I have a small area of the photograph in focus this was shot at f4 again, which means that just the Sally lightfoot crab is in focus and the volcanic rock behind and in front goes into soft focus so that we are not distracted by it, but our attention is kept on the crab and it's amazing colours.

Tomorrow we will cover some more ideas about composition and the rule of thirds.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photography training worcestershire workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/4/depth-of-field-focus-point-f-stops---photography-hints-and-tips Sun, 27 Apr 2014 09:55:34 GMT
You can practice photography wherever you go https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/4/you-can-practice-photgraphy-wherever-you-go Here are a few photos that I took whilst out in the woods walking Eli - so even out with a 2 year old husky it is still possible to grab a few nice shots.

The point I'm trying to make is that you can take your camera out and about with you in your everyday life and practice your photography whenever you want to, even if it's just ten minutes here and there, the more photos you take the better you get, practice, practice, practice.

 

Things to think about when out with your camera include - composition - what are you looking at that you want to share with the rest of the world?

Think about exactly what you are putting in the frame of your image - Digital cameras have LCD screens - these have a couple of great uses - firstly you can see the image you have just taken straight away, thus enabling you to then see if there are distracting objects in your photo that you would rather not have there, so instead of having to crop them out later or trying to photo shop them out later, you can see immediately and re-shoot the image minus the distracting element.

The second good thing about your LCD screen is that you can view the histogram of the image on it. Sometimes if you are in bright sunshine or under trees and the LCD is hard to see - making you question whether or not the photo is correctly exposed, the best thing to do is check your histogram - do this whilst you are still by the scene you photographed - once again if the histogram is telling you it is over or under exposed you then have the opportunity to re-shoot with altered settings - get it right in the camera whilst on location and then you wont hate yourself later for coming home with disappointing images. Remember in the world of the digital image - you can take a dozen photos of the same view and different settings - it doesn't cost anymore - you don't have film to worry about and when you get home you can always delete the bad ones - but at home you can always look at the file info on your images and see what worked best - this also helps with your learning curve for camera settings and understanding light.

If you would like to learn more why not join one of my photographic workshops, we cover some great locations with more being added all of the time. Just call me or email for more information.

Tomorrow I will discuss f/stops, what they do and why and when to change them.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/4/you-can-practice-photgraphy-wherever-you-go Sat, 26 Apr 2014 08:54:15 GMT
My new E-Book discussing different types of Natural/available light and shutter speeds https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/4/my-new-e-book-discussing-different-types-of-natural/available-light-and-shutter-speeds My new E-Book, discussing light and shutter speeds will be available at the start of May, so watch this space, full of photos to illustrate the points it is making and useful tips on how to get around difficult light situations, it is also full of ideas for future projects to try out to help improve your photography, it will only be £7.95 - and because it's an e-book it will come to you as a PDF and so you can carry it with you where ever you go on your laptop or ipad.

 

I will also be adding more Photography Training course dates shortly for different venues around the UK.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) courses photo photography training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/4/my-new-e-book-discussing-different-types-of-natural/available-light-and-shutter-speeds Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:08:36 GMT
Do I need a Tripod ? https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/4/do-i-need-a-tripod I have been asked quite a lot recently about tripods.

Do I need a tripod is the question of the week this week.

The answer is simple, if you want to do macro photography or landscape photography, then yes you need a tripod.

You do not need to spend hundreds of pounds on a tripod, you can get them for £20 from Ebay or the like and start there.

When you are out shooting water - if you want to see the movement in the water you need a longer shutter speed, this means you need something firm to rest your camera on - and if there is not an appropriately placed rock - you will need a tripod.

Star trails are the same - if this is something you would like to try - you will need a tripod.

Landscapes -  when you want as much as the scene to be in focus, if you are shooting at f16+ and you are using filters - or not - use a tripod.

Using a tripod ensures that you will have a good steady camera which means a good sharp shot. If you have a shutter release cable this helps even more - also available for just a few pounds online. However if there is just one thing that you can afford to buy - treat yourself to a tripod.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) cameras midlands photography training tripods workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/4/do-i-need-a-tripod Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:06:36 GMT
Photography Projects https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/3/photography-projects I have had a few people ask me about projects they can set themselves to give them something to think about with their photography.

So here are a few ideas depending on what you are looking for and what may fit in with your lifestyle the best.

"Through the Seasons" can be a great idea for a project. All you need to do is find a local spot that appeals to you - a nice landscape that has trees or riverside etc that you know will show plenty of changes through the year and every month set yourself a day - say the first Saturday in every month - or whatever day suits you, to go back to the same spot and from the same spot get a shot of the location throughout the year, from frosty mornings to summer evenings and every weather change in between. This can make a great project.

Another great exercise can be to get a prime lens - say a 50mm lens - most people have one, and take a photo each day for a month with the 50mm lens, using prime lenses forces us to be more creative when taking the photo as you can't zoom etc. thus making you move around more than you probably do when you use a zoom lens. You will end up with 30 great photos that you have captured during the month and a mind full of creativity to take you into your next project.

You can pick whatever kind of project works for you - a day in the life of your dog, or you could spend the month photographing numbers in our every day life , maybe you could spend the moth photographing shadows or skylines, or textures, there is a whole world out there for you to photograph.

If you are interested in learning more about your camera or coming along on one of my workshops click on the tab above and see where we are on different days over the next few months.

Just call or drop me an email alex@alexsharp.com or call me on: 07885472010

Thanks

Alex

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photo photography training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/3/photography-projects Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:08:18 GMT
Exposure Modes Explained https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/3/exposure-modes-explained Choosing the Correct Exposure Mode

Today we are going to discuss exposure modes, as i get asked about this from time to time.

To a certain degree exposure depends on what your camera has to offer, most DSLR's though have the same options:

Fully Auto,

Program AE,

TV - Shutter priority,

AV - Aperture Value

M - Manual

Then there are the basic modes which are symbolised by small pictures.

If we start with Fully Auto - The Green Square option - this sets everything for you, giving you no creative flexibility at all it restricts all options. You can compare this option to a point and shoot style of photography.

Next on the list is P which stands for Program AE- in this mode the shutter speed and the aperture are set for you automatically, but by turning the main dial on the camera you can easily alter these.

TV - Shutter Priority - When you select TV you set the shutter speed on the camera that you want to use, and the camera sorts out all of the settings for you.

AV - Aperture Priority - This is often considered one of the most useful settings on the camera, you set the Aperture that you require and the camera selects the appropriate shutter speed for you.

M - Manual mode - Manual is what it says, fully manual, you can select the aperture and shutter speed, but your camera will show you what it thinks of the choice of settings you have selected.

 

I have also been asked about camera shake  - if you are struggling with camera shake and you are using the IS setting already on your lens then have a look at the shutter speed you are using as we all hate to admit it, but as we get older it is harder to get a shot as steady as we could maybe 20 years ago and so if you need that slow shutter speed because of a low light situation and using the IS function on your lens still isn't enough - then use a tripod.

More camera hints and tips tomorrow and remember if you have any questions please just get in touch.

Please note I have also added more training sessions to my workshop page.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/3/exposure-modes-explained Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:00:19 GMT
Kitzbuhel Trip https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/3/kitzbuhel-trip Hi,

I am now back from my latest snow trip to Kitzbuhel in Austria and so here are a few photos for you. The weather wasn't the best, but you know you have to make the most of whatever weather you are given and so there are some moody mountain shots as well as blue sky mountain shots.

Also I have launched the new March competition on my facebook page, the theme for March is "motion", so car headlight trails - star trails - liquid frozen in splashing motion or flowing - maybe your beer being poured into its' glass or the lights of a big wheel spinning round, whatever your translation of motion may be, email me your entries to alex@alexsharp.com along with your name and the title of your photo and it will be entered into the competition.

So why not click on the link on my homepage - visit my facebook page take a look at the entries so far and see if you think you have a winning image to enter - the winner gets a copy of their photo as a mounted 16x12 inch print.

Here are a few of my images from Kitzbuhel last week.


The first couple of days were stunninh with beautiful blue skies and so fabulous skiing and photographs.

Unfortunately the remainder of the week the weather took a turn towards the cloud, but this enabled me to get some moody mountain shots will will also be used in the libraries. If you would be interested in a ski/photography trip please just get in touch. Please note these trips are not for the beginner skier though, you would need to have a reasonable level of skiing ability.

If you have any entries for this months competition please just email them over to me, or if you have any questions about partaking in a ski/photography trip next winter season, please just email me for more details.

Alex

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) photo photography skiing snow training trips workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/3/kitzbuhel-trip Sat, 08 Mar 2014 19:10:36 GMT
How are the water photos coming along ? https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/2/how-are-the-water-photos-coming-along So thought I'd just check that now we have some nicer weather you are all still out there attempting new and exciting  water images ? I've had a couple of people let me know that they have tried making their own beanbag for stabilising their camera and have had some good results - just so that you know that not all camera kit has to be expensive, sometimes the cheaper options can get you great results too.

I will be putting some more courses on the workshop page next week, these will include a selection of day workshops around Worcestershire and the West Midlands, they are aimed at all levels of photographer, so look out on Monday to see what's new.

Spetchley gardens will be one of the locations, Witley court will be another and more, so watch this space.

If you would like to learn how  to get better photographs from your camera then just get in touch. I am now also offering courses on how to make money from your camera. This doesn't have to mean you want to be a full time photographer, but just maybe earn the money to buy new kit or pay for the camera kit that you already have - or maybe just for a bit of fun. Seeing your work being used in papers, magazines on websites, etc is a nice reward. Why not get in touch and let me know what you are interested in learning and we can get you on a suitable course to help achieve your Photography Goal.

You can email me at: alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography training west workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/2/how-are-the-water-photos-coming-along Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:10:12 GMT
Photo Challenges for February 2014 https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/2/photo-challenges-for-february-2014 OK, well I hope you are all enjoying this weather - even though we had Weather as the theme for January, I think we need to have water for the theme in February and so what you need to think about is you shutter speed and whether you want to freeze the water so that it looks like droplets,

or whether you are going for a longer shutter speed to capture the flow of the motion of the water -

If you are going to opt for capturing the motion of the water, you will need:

Tripod - or bean bag - or something to rest your camera on so that the only motion in the shot is the water and everything else is crisp - before you start to think - i don't have a tripod or a beanbag etc..... you can easily make your own - beanbag that is not tripod ;-)

A simple bean bag can be made using a couple of empty plastic carry bags from any supermarket and filled with sand or chick peas or lentils and the like - something that you can safely rest your camera into without it being able to move anywhere - so the size of your homemade sandbag will also depend on the size and weight of your camera.

A shutter release cable is also helpful as it saves you even touching the actual shutter button, but if you haven't got one don't worry - although you can get them on ebay for most makes of camera for just £3. A shutter release cable is also useful for shooting star trails which we will discuss in March.

Of course you don't have to photograph water in the form or lakes, rivers, sea or streams, you can think about water being poured into a glass or if you have a clear glass bowl, why not try and capture the moment that you drop some coloured ink or a piece of fruit into the clear water - the splash as the fruit - or object of you choice - enters the water - the moment that the ink starts to spread forming its' myriad of patterns. I will put some images up next week to show examples and explain how these type of images are captured if you are not sure where to start.

To learn how to do any of the above properly and more you can have one to one training - a half day to get you using your camera in more creative ways is just £100. Training sessions can take place at my studio or out and about depending on what you want to achieve. A full day is £195.

If you have any questions about the training days please just get in touch by email or phone, alex@alexsharp.com or call me on: 07885472010

 

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography training water weather west workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/2/photo-challenges-for-february-2014 Sat, 15 Feb 2014 10:00:56 GMT
My Photos of Stourport on Central News https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/2/my-photos-of-stourport-on-central-news http://www.itv.com/news/central/2014-02-12/wednesday-flooding-your-pictures/

Tonight 2 of my images were used on Central News for the weather section.

The flooding in Stourport has reached such high levels it's incredible.

Why not get out there yourself and get some photos of the weather where you are?

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) central floods news on outdoor photography severn stourport water weather https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/2/my-photos-of-stourport-on-central-news Wed, 12 Feb 2014 20:38:27 GMT
Wet weather and Rain Photography https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/2/wet-weather-and-rain-photography What can we do when it keeps raining and we still want to go out taking photographs???

Well you can put your camera into an underwater housing and turn a normal walk through the woods into a different kind of view of the woods.

I got quite wet - but the camera stayed beautifully snug in it's Ikelite Housing. I have the Canon 5D MarkII with the Ikelite housing and get some great shots with it.

Don't let the weather stop you getting out there taking photos, rain and water can get you some great effects.

So go out and have a play, whether you have a GoPro that you can put underwater or a housing for your camera or even if you're just getting shots of the floods, remember to have a play with capturing the motion of the water, be it freeze frame or fluid, and feel free to share some of your shots, it's great to see what you all get up to.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/2/wet-weather-and-rain-photography Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:28:16 GMT
Photography Training Gift Vouchers https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/photography-training-gift-vouchers Photography Training Gift Vouchers can now be purchased through the website, if you go to the gallery section you will see it listed and vouchers can be purchased via the paypal system. There is a small charge for this, so if you prefer to book for your session and pay by bank transfer this admin fee can be avoided.

Gift vouchers can be bought for  a Half Day or a Full Day session depending on what you want to learn and where you would like to do your training. If you would like to have a chat about your session and what you want from your training before you book anything then please just drop me an email or give me a call and we can have a chat about what suits your needs.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) midlands photography training west worcestshire https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/photography-training-gift-vouchers Tue, 21 Jan 2014 17:38:16 GMT
January Photography Competiton https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/january-photography-competiton For those of you who have not entered yet, or for those of you interested in seeing some of the entries for this month, you can have a look on my facebook page and see the photography entries so far. This months theme is weather and it is bringing in a wide variety of wonderful photographs. The prize will be your photo as a 16x12 inch print.

To find my facebook page just click on the facebook link on my front page and it will take you straight there. If you would like to enter, there are only a few rules to follow:

It is one entry per person per monthly competition.

The photo must have been taken by yourself, (you cannot enter somebody else's work)

There is no age restriction.

Entries must be in by midnight on 31st January

Emailing your image to enter the competition means that it will be added to the monthly gallery for everybody to see.

and to enter your image just email it over to me at alex@alexsharp.com With your name and the title of the image

I am away from tomorrow morning until Monday evening, but any images emailed to me during this time will be added to the competition gallery on Tuesday morning.

I also have my Photography courses advertised in the booklet that comes with Outdoor Photography Magazines February edition.

I hope to have some new Mountain photos to share with you upon my return, so let's hope the mountains and the weather are good to me.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/january-photography-competiton Thu, 16 Jan 2014 21:42:13 GMT
Online Photography Training https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/online-photography-training I now offer online training for those of you who would like monthly lessons to follow, but are too busy to take big chunks of time out or even commit to evening lessons or days off work. The online lessons make it easy for you to learn at your own pace when you have some free time.

You will get a monthly project to have a go at, complete with lessons on how to achieve your goal with your camera and things to practice and explore along the way. If there is something specific that you are wanting to learn, whether it is composition, or shutter speeds etc. then you can just request the one particular lesson.

During the month, we have weekly catch ups - via email and so you can send me images you have taken for review and I can give you any pointers or advice that will help you move forward with your camera.

These monthly online sessions cost £60, this includes the monthly project to help you learn about specific areas of photography, plus weekly reviews of your images via email.

The sessions are available as gifts - and so gift vouchers can be bought for these sessions for you to give to the recipient.

Whilst for some of the lessons you will need to own a DSLR, the lessons on composition for example can be done with any level of camera.

Also buying multiple sessions gives you a discount.

1 Month = £60

3 months = £160

6 months = £300

9 months = £440

12 months = £560

Areas covered are:

The Elements of Composition,

Macro,

Landscapes,

Shutter speed (from motion to freeze frame) ,

ISO,

Aperture,

Night time,

Water,

Patterns,

Wildlife,

People in Landscapes ( and portraits),

The Art of Black and White.

Of course if there is a specific area that you would like to have as a monthly lesson please just ask and if I can accommodate I will.

mountain peaksmountain peakstop of les deux alpes

For more information or to enroll on a course just give me a call or drop me an email.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Call: 07885472010

Email: alex@alexsharp.com

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/online-photography-training Thu, 16 Jan 2014 21:30:02 GMT
Runner Up in the Professional Photographer of the Year 2013 https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/runner-up-in-the-professional-photographer-of-the-year-2013 For those of you who read the magazine you will see that they have an online magazine also, which shows the winners and runners up of their yearly competition. For their recently announced 2013 results I was a runner up in the black and white section of the Professional Photographer of the Year Contest 2013.

Whatever you want from your photography whether it's to try and earn a living, just to learn more about your camera, learn more about composition etc. I run tailored courses to suit your needs, so please just call and we can sort out exactly what you want to learn to help you get more from your photography.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) courses photography training travel https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/runner-up-in-the-professional-photographer-of-the-year-2013 Thu, 16 Jan 2014 21:05:15 GMT
Photography Workshop Salcombe Summer 2014 https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/photography-workshop-salcombe-summer-2014 I am planning a photography workshop for Salcombe over the summer 2014.

It will be a 3 day workshop, covering shots from sunrise to sunset and there will be a maximum of 6 guests.

If this is of interest please get in touch. I am currently sorting out potential accommodation and so costs will follow with options once this is confirmed.

Full information will be available shortly, but we will cover landscapes/seascapes, sunrise and sunset work, plus wildlife.

Some walking will be involved but it wont be too extensive.

We will take a look at everybody's work throughout our time together and so you will want to bring your laptop with you.

For anybody interested please register your interest by emailing me: alex@alexsharp.com

Thanks

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) devon photo photography salcombe training workshops https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/photography-workshop-salcombe-summer-2014 Wed, 08 Jan 2014 11:09:32 GMT
Photo Challenges for 2014 https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/photo-challenges-for-2014 Hi Evereybody,

So I am just back from my travels and so Happy New Year to you all.

As it is the start of the New Year for those of you looking for a bit of inspiration why not set your self some new challenges or projects to help you progress your photography, learn more about your camera and revitalize your creativity.

Some of you are busier than others, so why not think about the time you have to set aside for your photography and think about whether you want a weekly project or monthly project and commit to it.

You don't need a fancy camera to have a go, you can set your self photography goals whether you are shooting with an iphone, a point and shoot, a DSLR, whatever type of camera you have, it is about thinking creatively.

You can choose a word for your monthly challenge or to try a new technique out.

For example - Januarys' challenge could be -

Night Skies - and so star trails etc.

or a word to inspire you:

January - Weather/wind/rain etc.

If you would prefer to have the challenge set for you, I have been asked by a number of people to set a monthly challenge, if you email me your best photo from each challenge the best photo will be printed and posted to you as a 16x12 inch print.

So January's Photo challenge from Alex Sharp Photography is Weather.

Please ensure your entries are with me by midnight on 31st January 2014. One entry per person.

 

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) antigua rain raindrop water https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2014/1/photo-challenges-for-2014 Mon, 06 Jan 2014 16:21:41 GMT
Happy New Year https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2013/12/happy-new-year I would just like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a very Happy New Year.

I hope you all have a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

I am off on my travels again for a few days and will add more Mountain photos as soon as I get back. There will also be videos appearing in the New Year.

I will be back at mt desk on 7th Jan, any emails sent in the mean time I will get back to you as soon as I am back.

Once back all of the 2014 Photography courses will be listed on the site for you too, with new locations added and multi day courses too.

Happy New Year.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2013/12/happy-new-year Tue, 31 Dec 2013 17:24:21 GMT
Back from Antigua https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2013/11/back-from-antigua Hi,

I am now back from my trip to Antigua, I will have a new gallery up in the next few days with images for you to see, and buy prints from. If you are looking for something larger than the normal print, or maybe an acrylic wall piece or larger piece or wall art, please just drop me an email and we can discuss your exact needs as I can have any of the images printed to any size in most formats, canvas, acrylic, prints, art prints, giclee, printed on aluminium etc.

 

Please look out over the next few days for the new gallery, plus more images being added to existing galleries.

Also this year I am in the last 20 finalists in the Professional Photographer Magazines Photographer of the year 2013.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2013/11/back-from-antigua Sun, 17 Nov 2013 19:19:29 GMT
What's Coming over the next few weeks https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2013/10/whats-coming-over-the-next-few-weeks Welcome to my blog.

Over the next few weeks I will be covering a wide range of topics, so please feel free to stop by and ask questions about any of the blogs, or if there is something you would specifically like covered please just ask.

Firstly i will mention that over the next few days I will add dates for my next set of workshops, where I have groups of up to 6 people at various locations around the Midlands, Worcestershire, The Cotswolds and parts of Wales. If you are interested in one to one photography tuition either for yourself or for a friend or loved one for Christmas, please just get in touch as I offer gift Vouchers as presents.

Today we are going to start at the begining - best place to start - the before you leave the house bit.

So you have your kit bag - which you make sure is clean and dry.

Next before the kit goes in the bag - make sure your batteries are charged - I say batteries as You need to have more than one battery, temperatures and age affect the batteries lifespan, so make sure you always have a spare so you don't miss the magic moment that you have been waiting all day for.

Memory cards - check you have plenty and that they are empty and ready to go - the last thing yuo want to do is fine that your memory cards have images on that you have forgotten to download from a previous trip out.

Lens cloth - and fluid, lenses should be cleaned before you go out, but always carry a lens cloth and fluid as out in the field you never know what muck may sneak across your lens.

Filters - the first thing I say to people when they show me their clean lens is - put a filter on it - UV - to protect your expensive glass.... that way if you knock it against something or drop it etc it will stop any scratches to your actual lens and just damage the £30 filter - which is much better to harm than the camera lens itself......

OK, so we have clean lenses, charged batteries, lens cloths, filters on lenses - maybe a polariser lens in the bag too?, empty memory cards, all goes into the clean dry kit bag - so what else?

Assuming you have your photography adventure trip planned - whether a walk through the woods or a trip out for the day to somewhere you have never been before - take your mobile phone and let somebody know where you are going and when you are planning on being back. Falling off cliffs, getting lost in woods after that fabulous sun going down through the trees shot..... they are all things that can happen, so have fun and but be careful.

Don't forget share your pics, if anybody has a photo that they are either very happy with and would like to share or aren't sure why it didn't turn out how they wanted, please send it to me and we can discuss what has happened and why.

Dusk in the MaldivesDusk in the Maldivesdusk falls in the maldives

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2013/10/whats-coming-over-the-next-few-weeks Wed, 02 Oct 2013 10:40:13 GMT
Welcome to my new website https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2013/7/welcome-to-my-new-website Welcome to my new Travel Photography Website, there will be regular blog updates with hints and tips for your own photography, with ideas for projects to try and also I will share with you my own work, along with camera setting and equipment that I use.

So check in each week to see what's new.

If you have any questions please don't be shy just drop me a mail.

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(Alex Sharp Travel Photography) https://www.alexsharp.com/blog/2013/7/welcome-to-my-new-website Wed, 31 Jul 2013 21:45:17 GMT