Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our photography weekend!

Since I received my Canon camera 3 years ago, I have been using it on auto.  Might as well have had a cheap "point-and-snap" camera.  So when Shayne forwarded me an e-mail two weeks ago I jumped at the chance of learning more about photography.  Spending time with Shayne was an added bonus. 

The two of us in front of the main farm house (now a B&B)

We had no idea what to expect so just imagine our total shock when we realised that we were the only to "students" for the weekend.  We found it a tad threatening and made BIG eyes at each other.  That evening after supper we did some stargazing and were told all sorts of stories from Greek mythology.  Just realising how vast the expanse of the heavens is just made me realise again how BIG and VAST our Creator is.

The next morning started bright and early with a lot of theory and both Shayne and I were burning to go and practice what we were taught.  The main thing we learned is that you only shoot on AUTO when you are either a beginner or as "drunk as a skunk"(in the words of our learned teacher;-D)  Another very important fact that we learned was that using FLASH  is a big no-no.  
During the afternoon we were taken to Draaikrans where we received a geology lesson and handled some fossils found in the area.
Shayne and the teacher walking down the dry river bed at Draaikrans.

We returned to the farm to get ready for our evening of supper and entertainment at the Karoo Theatrical Hotel.  The entertainment was a drag show and not my cup of tea at all.  We took a lot of photos and practiced focusing in a darkened theater with only light on the stage...and without a flash!
This is a photo of the Madame miming a song.  She makes all her own outfits and wigs. (remember no flash was involved in taking this photo)

On Saturday morning we were let loose on the local population to practice our new skills.  We drove into the township and started searching for some willing victims.  We came face-to-face with wonderful warm and well educated people but also saw the other side of the coin....absolute poverty and hardship.
We had to remember that light is our friend and use the available light to capture our photos. This was one of my favourite shots taken in the township.

Here is one of Shayne...what a blessing to have her in my life and how wonderful that a bloggy friend could become such a true friend. It was loads of fun learning together.  Later in the afternoon we were off again to see whether we could get some good shots of sunsets.  Here on a hill we learned about WHITE BALANCE and all the tricks that can be done with it. 

You can make your sky a VERY blue....
.....or you can make it red!

But the best was left for a tasty pudding....and that is LIGHT PAINTING.  I think that both Shayne and I enjoyed this technique the most.  After supper we mounted our cameras on tripods, hooked it over our shoulders and climbed the hill behind the house.  It was pitch dark!  We also spend some time in the graveyard...oh read that correct!  Creepy!  We got some amazing images, all without ever using a flash.
This is the image we got of the main house light painted with a flashlight over a 20 second exposure.  All-in-all a wonderful weekend and in hindsight I am so glad that we were the only students...we got loads of attention, all our questions answered and I even learned how to use my big attachable flash.

Now it is going to be practice...practice and more practice.



  1. Ek is so beindruk met die fotos!! Sjoe!! Jy sal my maar moet leer as ek eendag 'n goeie kamera kry. Ek sal vir jou kom kuier vir 'n langnaweek vir 'n "seminaar". Kan nie glo mens kan sulke fotos sonder 'n flash neem nie - mal oor die kleur in die foto van die dogtertjie - pragtig en sag!


  2. Seeing them up on your blog - wow. They are divine. And yes, that was my fav of your photo's also. Still amazes me what we can achieve thru a little knowledge huh? I still need to sort thru and do a feedback post.

    I loved every minute we spend together and hope that we get another opportunity again - do you think i'll get another bag of Quality Street tho???

    much love my dear. much much love xx

  3. oh, i've borrowed the photo of me see? Quite like the look of 'Shayne the Photographer' xx

  4. WOW to pay for a group class and get private tuition is FANTASTIC!!!!!

    Can't wait to see more of the shots you guys took!

    P.S the only other time I turn to Auto is when I want to spend more time having the experience than capturing it e.g. at my children's birthday parties where I don't want to worry about what the camera is doing :0)

  5. Great photos! Thanks for the tips!
    It seems to hav been a wonderful experience, and great to have done it with a good friend!
    Now, can't wait for the upcoming photos! ;-)

  6. That was a stunning post, great to see some of your amazing shots.
    Glad that you guys had so much fun.

  7. Gee What a time you had!

    I'm amazed at what you can do without a flash . . .
    I specially love the pic of the little girl - and of the lighted house.
    And the shot of Shayne just
    captured a moment, didn't it? She looks very much the pro :-)

  8. Glad you two had a great and exciting weekend together.
    Learning about one's camera is so exciting...
    I stopped shooting in Auto a long time ago and remember some blogger telling me that the auto was so advanced in the new camera's that she cant see why one has to use the other settings...Each to their own I say.
    I personally use my external flash...I find if you have shadow over the person's face and use a flash the shadow goes...I hate using flash indoors at night as that kills the whole atmosphere, but there is good for external flash, not camera flash...
    Now the different lens and what they do...that's what I am discovering right now...and its so exciting for me, but expensive...the lens I want for portraits is 1 600 Euro's ~ have u ever!!!

    Enjoy your new hobby...and keep showing us the pics you taking..

  9. I am so jealous! wish I could have joined you two! Your photo's are spectacular.

  10. Wow, this looks like a fantastic course and great learning experience - also heaps of fun. I love that picture of the girl.

    Soon, I am going to wish I can take pictures like you.

  11. what an awesome and special weekend! I am positively green with envy!
    Hope you're going to share your knowledge with your fellow canon blogger ???;)

  12. Thanks for the feedback ladies...and Kirsty...loving is sharing. I will share what I know with you...but would it not be swell if you could visit and do it practically;-D

  13. That sounds like such a cool experience. Enjoy using what you learned! :)

  14. Sounds like such a great weekend! I was on auto mode for 2.5 years and have been on Aperture mode since January! And have not used a flash since January! It feels good! Your pics turned out great!

  15. sounds like it was the perfect getaway for you both. so looking forward to seeing all the practising!

  16. You're already doing SO well! Love the pics - sounds like you had a wonderful time & learnt a lot too - what a combination ;-D

  17. oooo ! how lucky that the 2 of you were the only students !!! excellent progress I see you're making ! woot !

    I think if I dont scrap I will certainly contibue with photography ! ( not that I'm doing so much of it either now ! )

  18. Oh girl, I could SO get lost in the lovely world photography opens up. Your pix are fabulous...and yes, learning to "shoot in the dark" challenges the mind. But, isn't that really what we do in this world if we don't have Christ to light the way?

    I wish I had the opportunity to get a "better than point&shoot camera", but alas, the house, the kids, etc. just has to take priority for my funds....and now that I think about it, mostly my TIME too! ;o}

    Thx so much for sharing this lovely post. I don't know why, but you have not been showing up on my dashboard, I had to come peruse your blog to see these. gots to do some investigating!!! (I've missed you!) Hugs ~ Merana


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