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15th Feb 2012 2:14pm | By Editor
Having always fancied myself as an amateur photographer, I got a digital SLR at the start of the year and made a resolution to learn how to use it. Properly.
So far, it’s travelled with me on two once-in-a-lifetime trips, but the settings haven’t made it far out of auto.
Instead of fumbling around with the instructions, or taking a zillion shots to get the perfect one, I decided I’d take a photography class. So last Saturday I made the journey to a suitably picturesque place to learn – Notting Hill – for a photo walk.
The aim of the game is to follow pros Joy Ekpeti and Matilda Egere-Cooper around the photogenic streets as they teach you the skills.
In four hours, I get a firm grasp of the main photographic principles that I’d previously spent ages puzzling over whenever I wanted to shoot something. Crucially, how depth of field relates to aperture finally starts to make sense.
We get a brief theory lesson on the principles of photography before getting out onto the streets. We stop off at spots to shoot perspective, to learn the all-important rule of thirds and master some tricks like zoom bursts.
It’s a fun day, spent in a group, taking pictures in London. And everyone seems to want to get involved, with one guy approaching us from the street to ask if he can be our subject for a while.
And at the end we get a challenge: to take ten photos (on the first attempt) that really sum up Notting Hill, in 20 minutes. It’s a tall order but we disperse, on a mission.
I come back with shots of wall murals, clothes, street signs, stall holders from Portobello Market, street food and a guy playing the steel drums.
They’re definitely not perfect, but I know how to use my camera now, and I’m all set to book onto an intermediate Culture Club course and a night photography workshop to improve my skills. And my camera definitely won’t be stuck in auto when I head off on my next trip.
Culture Club Photography Workshops cover locations across London
Next beginner dates: February 25 and March 17, 10.30am-2.30pm