Do you have an awesome camera but not sure how to get the most out of it? Well, I do. I’ve been getting more and more interested in photography in the past year, but using more complex camera settings is still pretty foreign to me. So when I heard about a photography workshop taught by Thierry Coulon, a well-known Shanghai street photographer, I just had to sign up. And I’m super glad I did – the workshop was exactly what I was looking for. The focus was to:
- Learn how to use manual settings on your camera.
- Understand the basics of what actually makes an image appealing.
- Introduction to image editing with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
A few months ago I bought a new camera which I absolutely love, a Canon PowerShot G5X. It’s a great versatile camera that fits my needs perfectly, but I mostly end up using it in Automatic-mode. That means that the camera automatically adjusts it’s settings each time I snap a picture. Nothing wrong with that, especially with a good camera, but I would still like to understand more and be able to experiment, and also have manual control in situations where the camera makes the wrong call on automatic settings. This workshop was such a good start to just exactly that.
This weekend me and 3 other eager future photography-superstars attended the workshop run by Thierry Coulon and Amey Khan – two really great guys with plenty of experience in the field. I learned a lot, almost too much, kind of wishing that the workshop would be split into two or three separate days in order to have enough time to cover and process all the information, plus practice all the new cool tricks and techniques. Luckily Thierry and Amey mentioned that they might set up follow-up workshops soon, so fingers crossed for that!
In the workshop we covered the basics of a camera’s manual settings and options. I now start to have an understanding of things like ISO and aperture, which previously were familiar words but I had no idea what they actually meant. So pretty technical stuff, but very interesting and crucial to understand if you want to develop as a photographer. We also touched on composition, i.e. what actually makes an image appealing to the human eye. This was such an interesting topic, and definitely something that I hope to learn a lot more of.
And then there was Lightroom. Ohh the magical Lightroom. Lightroom is a digital photography software that’s great for editing images. We didn’t have time to go too much into it, but enough to get the basics and the fact that this is an application where I could (and probably will) easily spend hours and hours exploring and experimenting. Just check out the picture below. My original image on the left is partially under-exposed with light, making the little girl and her mom appear too dark. But with the magic of Lightroom I was able to balance the light, making the little girl brighter without further brightening up the background on the left. And I was able to do this without exaggerating effects that might make the image look unnatural. Very cool!
Are you like me and have an interest in photography but not much experience? Do you want to learn about stuff like exposure and manual control but don’t know where to start? Did you try YouTube but got overwhelmed by the enormous amount of tutorials? Do you simply want to capture better images? If yes, then I definitely recommend attending a photography workshop wherever you are in the world. At least for me this was such an inspiration and a great learning experience. All I want to do now is run around with my camera and snap away!
If you are in Shanghai, you can’t go wrong with Thierry’s and Amey’s workshops. Let’s hope that they’ll be doing new ones soon!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @shanghaistablog for more pictures!