Happy New Year!

Did you recently get a new DSLR camera? Here are a few useful tips to get you going.

When your DSLR is set in the fully manual mode it behaves very much like a compact camera. The quality of the pictures might be a bit better than what you achieved before but the main advantage of a DSLR is that you can take full control of your camera and the creative effects in your images.
There are two main settings on the camera that will control these effects – Aperture and Shutter Speed. These can be controlled independently in the cameras Manual (M) mode, or semi automatically using the Aperture priority mode (A/AV) or Shutter speed priority mode (S/TV).

edit2

 

The Aperture controls how much light is let in through the lens. It is the iris of the lens if you like. A large aperture lets in more light than a small, giving you a brighter image, or a brighter exposure as we call it. The other effect of a large aperture is a blurred background, or a shallow/short depth of field to use the correct terminology. The aperture is generally expressed as an F-number, e.g. F11. The lower the number – the larger the aperture. Confusing perhaps, but lets not get too technical at this point..

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 15.34.57
Using the Aperture Creatively 

Controlling the depth of field is crucial in photography and is a massive part of your composition and creative feel of an image. The camera’s automatic mode tends to choose mid range apertures giving you an average setting and generally as a result, an average looking image. A great way to learn about depth of field is to try the two extremes, shallow/short and deep/long depth of field (D.O.F).

To explore a shallow D.O.F, portraiture is a good topic. Or you could photograph an object such as a plant or flower.

  • Set your camera to Aperture priority mode (A/Av) and choose a large aperture such at F2.8 or F5.6
  • Zoom in the lens (bringing you closer). Anything longer than 50mm should do it. The longer the lens, the more enhanced the effect will be.
  • Get close to the subject.

Make sure to do all three steps described or you might not achieve the best results.

Mikael_Eliasson_006

 

A deep depth of field might not be as exciting to learn how to create but it is equally important as a shallow D.O.F. When doing landscape or architectural photography it is essential to have the whole scene in focus unless you are specifically trying to bring out an element in the image. Achieving this is easy when you know how to create a shallow depth of field – simply do the opposite.

  • Set your camera to Aperture Priority Mode (A/Av) and choose a small aperture such as F16 or F22.
  • Zoom out the lens to around 24-35mm. The wider the lens, the easier it is to achieve an image that is sharp from to back.
  • Focus on an object about 1/3 in of the total distance.
Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 17.53.09

 

The other element on the camera we have control over is the shutter speed. When working in aperture priority mode the camera will automatically set the shutter speed to control the exposure. When using shutter priority (S/Tv) the opposite is true, the camera will automatically set the aperture to control the exposure.

Using the Shutter speed creatively

Having creative control over the movement in your image is another crucial element of photography. Typically we either want to freeze or blur the movement. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds. An example of a fast shutter speed could be 1/1000 or a thousand of a second, and a slow could be 1/10. I generally recommend to emphasise the intended effect. For example, if you intend to create motion blur, 1/60 might be enough to create some blur but the effect might not be very strong and the blur might be perceived as a mistake. In a case like that, experiment with a slower shutter speed. Do take care to avoid camera shake though! Using a tripod or resting the camera on something could dramatically improve the image when using a slow shutter.

To explore movement through shutter speed find an object that is constantly moving, ideally at the same or similar speed, such as splashing water in a fountain or traffic.

Photograph using a range of speeds going from the very fastest to about 1” (1 second). The potential problem here might be that you don’t have enough light to go extremely fast or too much light to get all the way down to 1”. You might need to conduct the experiment at different times of the day, or you could increase the ISO value to brighten the image and reduce it to darken the image.

cropped-thursdayschild

Jess-Yau-1-cropped

panning-student-jon-groom

Tip! To avoid camera shake when hand holding your camera try and use 1/60 or faster. If you have to shoot slower than that you generally need to use a tripod or rest the camera on top of something.

If you want to learn more about your camera from a professional photographer, check out all of our beginner DSLR courses here!

Posted in status | Leave a comment

Introducing Emily Stein

Check out the colourful portraits of PCL tutor, Emily Stein!

1814 copy

Emily Stein studied Fine Art before completing an MA in Photojournalism with London College of Communication. She now works as a professional photographer and a free-lance educator, and we our delighted that Emily Stein will be teaching several of our upcoming courses, including the Portraiture Masterclass, Intense Foundation of Digital Photography and our Digital Crash Course. For more information about these courses please visit photographycourselondon.com.

Emily is particularly known for the vibrancy of her work and sensitivity in capturing the expressions of youths.

Emily 1

Her charming series of portraits Pony Club was featured recently in It’s Nice That and her playful series Bubblegum featured in This is Paper. Emily has also been interviewed by HungerTV and previously contributed portrait photos to a regular column ‘Weekenders’  for the Guardian weekend magazine.

 

Posted in status | Leave a comment

Prints for Refugees – Charity Project led by PCL tutor Mark Sherratt

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 16.00.56

Photography Course London Tutor Mark Sherratt has set up an amazing project called Prints for Refugees, with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity Doctors of the World UK. This wonderful charity has been working with refugees and vulnerable migrants in Europe for many years, providing them with essential medical care while advocating for their right to health.  They are present at every stage of their journey, from conflict zones to Greece and in Calais.

Prints range from £40 – £150 and are all sent out personally by the photographer straight to your door.

Photographers currently involved include Mark himself, Olly Burn, Andrew Urwin and David Ryle, with more being added every week!

Here’s a taster of some of the prints that are on offer:

Colorado Mark S
© Mark Sherratt – Colorado
Andrew Urwin
© Andrew Urwin – Highlands, Scotland
David Ryle - C.A.R.L
© David Ryle – C.A.R.L
Rarotonga Sheraton Olly Burn
© Olly Burn – Rarotonga Sheraton
Picture 001
© Toby Coulson – (Untitled 2)
Rohini Jonathan Cherr
© Jonathan Cherry – Rohini

Visit the Website here: Printsforrefugees.com

Donate to the Charity here: Doctors of the World 

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 16.01.08

Posted in PCL News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet our latest PCL competition winner!

Congratulations to Shane Thomas McMillan, winner of PCL’s Facebook competition ‘Hidden’!

Shane Thomas McMillan is a Berlin-based documentary filmmaker, writer, photographer, and educator from western Montana. From 2005 to 2010 he studied journalism, German and international development at the University of Montana. In 2007, he studied abroad at the University of Ghana, traveling and documenting the region extensively.

Shane now works as a freelance photojournalist and as creative lead on projects based around the topics of human rights, refugees, and cultural identity. From 2014 to 2015 Shane taught documentary photography and filmmaking at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, Indian Country Today, Slate, and PRI’s The World.

Below is the winning image, from Shane’s photography project, Queer Kampala:

Queer Kampala
Shane Thomas McMillan
Shane Mcmillan3Ugandan human rights activist Simon plans to stay in the country for as long as he can. “I have decided to fight from within,” he says. Despite the atmosphere for queers, he says his countrymen are a good people. “I am proud to be Ugandan, my roots are here.”

There are two ways to get by as queer in Uganda: live “loud and proud” or “​in the closet”.​

This series of images was created to offer a peek into the lives of that second group, people for whom being open with their sexual ​identity is not an option.

Just months before these photographs were made, ​the now-defunct Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 had been pushed through the African nation’s parliament by the administration of 30-year president Yoweri Museveni. Many local and international observers still believe the bill was simply a convenient distraction from several brewing political scandals; a half-hearted attempt to divert the stresses of ineffective development paired with rapid globalisation towards something other than the government. The act brought international headlines, plenty of scorn from the West, and even sanctions on some aid moneys.

Lost in the debate: the faces and voices of Uganda’s vibrant queer community. With help from local, national, and international human rights organizations this series was created to capture the stress and fear of living underground as a queer Ugandan. It was created in a sort of safe house in the outskirts of the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The house is managed by a human rights activist named Simon who is portrayed twice in this series draped in a Ugandan flag and peering over his desk into the camera. Summing up the situations of those he helped he said, “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”

Along with his winning image, Shane also entered a couple more photos from this series, which can be seen below:

01_UG_DSC7595
“If we all rush away, the spirit will die,” says Daniel looking out of the barred windows of the safe house​. After being outed in a local paper the 32-year-old says he lost his job, his partner had to flee the country, and he had to go underground. Though he would rather stay in Uganda, Daniel says he is planning to leave the country as soon as he can. “It is not safe for me here anymore,” he says. Though the law has been nullified by the Ugandan Supreme Court, human rights activists say little will change, and that the law will very likely return.
02_UG_DSC8622
A simple lunch is served at the safe house each day, but putting food on the table is no easy task: funding has been hard for the small organization. Big outside funders don’t yet trust fledgling underground organization enough to support it and local support is out of the question. For now, those staying in the home pay the bills with small jobs beyond the walls of the facility; something that could put them in danger of retribution from outsiders.

Check out more of Shane’s work here: http://www.dokumentarian.com

Shane has won 2 x 20×16 prints from MetroPrint and a portfolio review.

Many thanks to Metro Print for sponsoring our competition: http://www.metro-print.co.uk/home

 

80506-6713405-Metro_Imagaing_Print_Logo_2

 

Posted in status | Leave a comment

Last week to see new play about Alexander McQueen!

McqueenA beautiful and haunting voyage into the visionary imagination and dark dream world of the late Alexander McQueen, fashion’s greatest contemporary artist.

McQueen is a new play by James Phillips (The Rubenstein Kiss, The White Whale and City Stories), directed by John Caird (Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company) with production design by David Farley, choreography by Christopher Marney, video design by Tim Bird, lighting design by David Howe, sound design by John Leonard, wigs design by Linda McKnight.

www.mcqueentheplay.com

At the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 14 Aug.

Posted in status | Leave a comment

Design and build your own camera!

DIYcamera3

New design start-up showcased at Willem de Kooning Academy’s end of year show in Rotterdam, www.focalcamera.com uses laser-cut modules and templates to enable you to build your own focal camera.

Posted in status | Leave a comment

Photo Week One open at The Old Truman Brewery.

Photography week 1: 11 – 16 June, at The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QR.

Photography week 2: 18 – 22 June, at The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QR.

Free Range Shows presents a showcase of emerging talent from Photography degree courses across the UK.

Full details and opening times available here

Free Range Logo

 

Posted in Must See Exhibitions | Leave a comment

First Book Award – 2015 Winner

The winner of this years First Book Award and getting his book published by MACK is Irish photographer Ciarán Oìg Arnold. His book ‘I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed. but all I could do was to get drunk again’ documents troubled men of his home town during post recession Ireland. Arnold says,

“When you live there, your mind is heightened with a kind of psychological intensity. It’s hard to get that negative atmosphere across in photographs.”

However, we think this comes across in his images quite effortlessly.

“It wasn’t my intention to create a style or an aesthetic, but that grainy look become one as I continued working. It’s really down to the fact that I was so broke for most of the time I was shooting these images that I mostly used the 200 ASA Kodak film you are given free when you pick up your snaps from a chemists.”

Check out some of the images from Arnolds award winning book below!

3-∏-Ciaran-Og-Arnold-977x1024

2-∏-Ciaran-Og-Arnold-721x1024

scan 026

6-∏-Ciaran-Og-Arnold-1024x714

All images from the series I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed. but all I could do was to get drunk again © Ciarán Óg Arnold

This book is £20.00 and available for pre-order at: mackbooks.co.uk

For more information about the First Book Awards click here!

Posted in Exhibition Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Conflict, Time, Photography – The Tate Modern

The Tate Modern have put on an exhibition to coincide with the Centenary of the First World War. Conflict, Time, Photography documents the effects of conflict, from seconds after an event to hundreds of years after a war has ended. Edited by Simon Baker with Shoair Mavlian, this is a really remarkable look into the effects of war, by different artists interpretations.

Walking through the exhibition, you start with images made just moments after events have occurred and progress through to see the effects or war months and then years later.

Here are some of the images that we found most thought provoking..

Moments Later:

don mcCullin
Don McCullin, Shell Shocked US Marine, Vietnam, Hue. 1968.

This iconic image was taken by Don McCullin as he travelled with American Marines to the city of Hue during the Vietnam War. The city was destroyed and America suffered heavy casualties. The expression on the Marines face highlights the shock of war with immediate effect for those fighting, but also reminds us of the longer lasting effects this would have had. In the writing that accompanied this image Don McCullin states that this type of image would not be allowed today due to embedding (explained below), bringing to light the problems with the media today and its representation of current affairs.

Adam Broomberg
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, The Press Conference, June, 2008, The Day Nobody Died. 2008.

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin travelled to Afghanistan in 2008 to be embedded with the British Army. Embedding was a way the army controlled the way journalists could report on the war. Rather than taking photographs, each day they would roll out 7 meters of photographic paper and expose it to the sun for 20 seconds. This particular strip was exposed on one very unusual day, the day that no body died. The title of this image brings to our attention the sheer number of casualties there have been, almost as effectively as if we were seeing actual photographs of the devastation. However it somewhat diminishes the level of fear and guilt that we maybe are supposed to feel.

Days, Weeks, Months Later:

Matsumoto Eiichi
Matsumoto Eiichi, Shadow of a Soldier Remaining on the Wooden Wall of the Nagasaki Military Headquarters. 1945.

What at first looks like it might be a shadow is revealed to in fact be the remains of a Japanese Guard after a blast. Something that Conflict, Time, Photography does well throughout is present us with an absence of presence. It strays from conventional war images of people in pain and fear but still perfectly demonstrates the horrors and losses encountered.

Years Later:

goldberg-monozande_1862407b
Jim Goldberg, Open See (Democratic Republic of Congo). 2008.

Although much of this exhibition emphasises the emotional impact of war, there are some examples of the physical scars left behind by war. In the image above and throughout an ongoing project, Jim Goldberg explores “new Europeans” – illegal immigrants, refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and eastern Europe. Goldberg speaks to and photographs people in Africa, many of whom have been trafficked or tortured and left with deep physical and emotional scars.

10 – 25 Years Later:

shomei
Shomei Tomatsu, 11:02 Nagasaki. 1961 – 1966.

Shomei Tomatsu looks at the after effects of the bombing of Nagasaki. Mainly images of physical injuries, they are a harrowing look at how people are living with the constant reminder of war. Although made with artistic aestheticism, this doesn’t detract from the hard hitting content within. Although years have passed, people are still enduring the aftermath and the mental and physical scars.

80 – 100 Years Later:

chloe dewe mathews 1
Chloe Dewe Mathews, Shot at Dawn. 2013.

In this series, Chloe Dewe Mathews revisited the sites where deserters were killed during the World Wars, at the same time and day as the executions, one hundred years later. The images are a reminder that although the landscape may no longer show it, these events will live on in the memory and friends and family.

This exhibition is a very unique look into the effects of war throughout the years. Each room offers a new view point and a look at how conflict affects people and the landscape.

Unlike most other harrowing and graphic depictions of war, Conflict, Time, Photography manages to get to the heart of the consequences of war through artistic exploration without aestheticising it in any way.

It is a striking and truly emotional and captivating collection of works. Simon Baker has done a beautiful job curating the exhibition and it is a definite ‘must see!’

Exhibition closes: 15 March 2015

For tickets visit: tate.org.uk

Post by: Laura Seaman / PCL

Posted in Exhibition Reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

PCL Interview with Photographer Bashar Alaeddin

Steve_Portrait_PCL_700px
© Bashar Alaeddin. ‘Steve’. Taken on the Portraiture Masterclass

Tuck into our very first interview, with talented photographer Bashar Alaeddin who recently attended our Portraiture Masterclass with tutor Bill Ling. Bashar took such striking images on the day, we couldn’t help but share them with you! Read on to find out what Bashar thought of the course, and to get an insight into his personal photographic work…

1. Hi Bashar. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and how photography plays a part in your day-to-day life?

​I’m a digital photographer and videographer based in Amman, Jordan. I’ve been doing it professionally for about 8yrs now, balancing my studio work doing commercial and advertising-based jobs and my personal work travelling and documenting Arabian culture through the middle-east region.​

2. Why did you want to attend our Portraiture Masterclass?

​I mainly wanted to learn a few lighting techniques which I did. And I think the most effective part was seeing how, with just one light source, you can create a vast number of different moods and effects. I’ve been working a lot with food, products and interior and decided to get into portrait photography more and this is why I signed up for this class. ​

3. How was the course? Did you achieve what you had hoped?

​Yes, the class was great. Bill let us get hands-on with the lights throughout the day and it was perfect to see the differentiation on the screen when moving the light around the subject. Very practical and useful for me as I prefer to visualise it in front of me than to see what other influential photographers have done in a presentation-sense.​

4. What’s next for you and your photography?

​Well I’m back in Amman, Jordan now and have taken more fashion and portrait work and developing my skills and techniques one job at a time.

5. Thanks Bashar. Finally, do you have a question for us?

​Nope. Thanks so much for everything. I do plan on signing up for the Darkroom workshop. Hopefully if you’re giving it, as I’ll be in London again soon…​

For further viewing we recommend taking a look at his contemporary portrait / photo-documentary series about Arab tattoos in the Arab world – www.arabink.me, and these amazing food photos, guaranteed to make your mouth water – www.adasat.co/food

Follow Bashar on FacebookInstagram,​ ​Twitter & 500px.

Visit www.adasat.co

Ben_Portrait_PCL_700px
© Bashar Alaeddin. ‘Ben’. Taken on the Portraiture Masterclass
Laura_LowKeyPortrait_PCL
© Bashar Alaeddin. ‘Laura’. Taken on the Portraiture Masterclass

Post by: Leela Axon / PCL

Posted in Interviews, PCL News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment