Farewell Auto Button, You've Been a Great Friend.
Farewell auto button, you've been a great friend, but its time we went our separate ways. We've simply outgrown each other, I'll never forget you!
This was my response when Nigel from Red Dirt Photography asked each of us what we all got from our five and half hour photographic tour. Red Dirt is a local photographic business in Broome. Their popular tours were recently featured on The Guide to a Good Life, a lifestyle program broadcast on the Nine Network in Australia. There were four of us on the tour. The range of photographic skills ranged from beginners to the skilled, using cameras ranging from point and clicks to more complex SLRs. We were each picked up from our houses in the Red Dirt Toyota.
Our starting point was down at the Broome deep water jetty. After walking half way out along the Broome jetty, Nigel gave us our first mini tutorial on composition and light. The jetty is a great place to find lead lines, work with textures and find those interesting angles. Then a tutorial on managing the aperture settings on the camera and their relationship with shutter speed. Somehow Nigel knew where the settings were on everyone's cameras! I was half an hour into this tour and wishing I did it before my recent trip to Africa. The range shots I was now able to capture with my Canon G12 was amazing.
From the jetty we walked down to the beach and under the jetty. Another mini tutorial, this time perspective. Before we knew it the time was 4.30 so we made a quick retreat to the vehicle and headed to Cable Beach to prepare to capture some iconic Cable Beach scenes.
Nigel lead us on a walking tour through the sand hills to discover a range of patterns made by nature in the sand that made fantastic compositions. We experimented on our sandy subjects with various aperture settings. Even vehicle tyre tracks on Cable Beach provided great lead lines into some interesting compositions.
As the sun went down we shot the camel trains as they returned with their riders from their sunset tours Again experimenting with aperture versus shutter speed. Shooting into the sun silhouetting the camels as they passed the setting sun. Then shooting the next train with the setting sun at our backs.
Once the sun was below the horizon we learned how to over-ride the auto white balance to add or subtract levels of warmth to or from our shots.
Then finally finishing with a practical tutorial on working with extended shutter exposures with the cameras on tripods. The bottle of Chandon I packed for the tour came in very handy right at this point. Shooting evening light photos while drinking Chandon on Cable Beach is something I can highly recommend. On with the tutorial, Nigel showed us how to use a torch to paint in subjects in an extended exposure and then use the torch to write or scribble with light. In a short amount of time we covered a huge range of camera applications and composition theory.
If you want to get a better handle on your camera improve your photographic skills, I can fully recommend doing one of Nigels tours.