I wanted to challenge myself further so decided there and then I would not take any florals or macros! It meant getting out and about as I couldn't take all these pictures at home but luckily the weather changed for the better mid week. All my photos are taken in manual mode which is what the course was all about after all - teaching us how to use our cameras properly!
The photo below was my first attempt at longish exposure with a tripod. I went there late in the day to practice taking photos of the chateau which overlooks this lake but it was overcast which was a bit of a shame. Suddenly the sun peeked out and shone further along the lake, hence this picture which I reckoned I could sneek into the category Nature! Click on the photos to open them up larger by the way, as the landscape ones don't show the details this small.
|Combourg Lake (Nature)|
You may wonder why I've included a bird photo as a challenge. That's because I wanted to have a go at bird photography using a 75-300mm lens and my dslr in manual mode. It's a lot heavier than my SX50 which I use in shutter priority when shooting birds. Capturing them in a natural setting is hard anyway, particularly the little flitty birds, so I'm quite pleased with this one.
|Blue Tit (Nature)|
At first I was horrified when I saw one of the themes was B&W. I've never liked B&W at all and didn't have a clue how you are supposed to process it. So I googled and read up a bit about B&W and learned how to process it in Lightroom. It's quite a skill and I have learned to appreciate B&W and monochrome now! I chose the tatty old chicken shed door due to the textures of the peeling paint, rust and lichen covering it.
|The Chicken Shed Door (B&W)|
I was looking all around for some trees that I could shoot as silhouettes and finally found this nice view late in the day. This one is my favourite.
|Breton Countryside at the End of the Day (Silhouette)|
We spent a week learning about flash which was nowhere near long enough as it's a huge subject. But I've learned about diffusing light and bouncing it off other surfaces rather than directing it straight at your subject. I could practice this kind of stuff forever and probably still learn new things. We learned straight off in week one how important light is and when you add another dimension, a secondary main light source, it gets all the more complicated!
My OH came in handy during flash week as I needed a model, and other times even when I was trying selfies he came in handy so I could manually focus on him and then get in front of the camera myself. I'd got a nice picture of him at home with a sunset behind but this time I wanted to try night shots in a town with some lights. It was bloody hard and the poor guy posed for me for about 3/4 hour before we gave up and went home. I learned tons about what doesn't work! This was my last shot and thankfully it came out OK as I took a lot that were fit only for the bin!
|Portrait of a Husband in Downtown Combourg (Flash)|
So here I am, I have come out of the other side after an incredibly intensive six weeks, that were worth every minute, and got out of it every bit of blood, sweat and tears that I put into it! But now the garden beckons and I need to spend time in it as spring has sprung with a vengeance. :-)