Giant Tree Ferns, Maites Rest © David B Simmonds

 

CHOOSE WHAT YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON

I tailor each individual session to suit what you want to learn, what gear you have and your level of experience. Before meeting you I like to find out what gear you're using, what area(s) you'd most like to work on, and what you'd like to achieve by the end of your session. We do this by phone and/or email when you make your booking.

The following list is a guide to the kind of things we can explore together (in no particular order):

  • Getting off Auto: All you need to know to have the confidence to switch off the 'A'

  • Technical things: From beginners to advanced, we start at your level and progress from there

  • The "Unholy Trinity": ISO, Apertures and Shutter Speed all work to control correct exposure and creativity. You learn how to bring these things together with confidence

  • Night and low light photography: Because the sun's gone down is no reason to put your camera away. With a tripod, patience and perseverance you can make intriguing and atmospheric images

  • Macro photography: Getting up really close takes great attention to detail, everything is critical when you're working with that level of magnification

  • Using flash: This often terrifies and challenges people but when mastered, it's like having sunshine in your pocket

  • Architecture and the Built Environment: Rural or city, urban and industrial. There are important rules to creating good architectural images that need to be followed, whether you're shooting exteriors or interiors, but you can learn easily these basic rules and techniques

  • Panoramas: Really good panoramas take planning and understanding a specific set of rules and techniques. Learn the secrets of seamlessly combining multiple frame compositions.

  • Landscapes / Seascapes / Skyscapes: Bringing together technical and compositional understanding to support your creative vision and intent.

  • Water: Capturing still water is one thing, but capturing moving water is another requiring technical understanding to achieve your creative vision, whether it's waterfalls, rivers or waves.

  • Abstract and Graphic: Finding the pattern in the subject, isolating it and pushing your creative ideas and ways of seeing.

  • People and Portraits: Both the techniques of mastering good people photography (whether formal studio or more natural styles), and the personal skills needed to help your subject trust the process, feel relaxed, and coach them into the expression you're looking for.

  • Still Life and Studio: Understanding the principles of good lighting to achieve creative effect, no matter how simple or complex your studio set up. I ran a professional studio and darkroom for many years but as I've often coached my students, a lot can be achieved with just a few basics.

  • Aerial Photography: If you're planning on getting airborne but would like some coaching we look at understanding the principles of getting a good aerial photograph.

  • Small cameras: Getting the most out of them. You don't have to have a huge camera to take really good photographs, it's just understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your particular camera.

  • Film Cameras especially Medium & Large Format view cameras: My earlier award-winning work was shot on my Arca Swiss system. Although I shoot digital now, the craft of "slow" photography has taught me much about the art of seeing. If you have a film camera, or want to purchase one, and want to learn to use it with confidence, I can help you do that.

  • Using Adobe Lightroom: From capture to print and non destructive work flow using this intuitive, user friendly and affordable software

  • Post production and editing techniques: For more advanced editing work in both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

  • Ways of seeing / Learning to see: As the great Ansell Adams said, the most important thing about a camera is the 12" behind the lens. In other words, it's the creative intelligence of the photographer that counts. One of the keys to this is finding your unique "eye", finding a different point of view. This is reflected in many elements eg. light, composition, telling "stories" to name a few.

  • Gear advice: People often ask me what's the best gear to get, but it's dependent on what you want to achieve and your budget. We look at the best value for money that lets you achieve your creative goals.

  • Image critique: Constructive, honest and positive feedback is one of the best ways to grow and develop. My intention is always to give really useful and encouraging feedback, helping you find the ways to take your creative intent to the fulfillment of your creative vision.