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  • Onyx

Ok, Rob’s Night.

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

You would not believe how many times I’ve tried to get this online, I’ve deleted it, lost it soooo many times, it’s … it’s driving me crackers!

anyways Rob, I love this guy. He phones me up and another adventure follows. I don’t mind that much because it pushes my boundaries too. Yeah, sometimes it’s a frosty dawn at Dedham, sunsets at Thorpe Bay, lighting derelict churches in the middle of the night, steel wool spinning at Pinmill, hijinks @ well head #5 out the back of Basildon after midnight. Having said that there is also the flops, like a 90 minute drive to Aldburgh for the sunrise that must’ve been the dullest of all time, and the photographing a Blood Moon at Mersey, where the rain was so fierce that we had to stay in the car for the whole of the eclipse. One thing I could say though with Rob, he takes you to some bloody muddy places … but enough about me

Rob’s night.

he started out by scaring everyone with a picture of the exposure triangle, asking what it was. Of course we all knew, that’s what real photographers use … not for us plebs.

So, in the darkness of the room, he picked up his old camera and asked everybody what he should adjust to take a photograph in this light. Suggestions for lower speed, higher ISO, wider aperture and a flash were all suggested. So Rob put all these into and took a photo (I think he was disappointed because the camera did quite a good job) but he then picked up his newer old camera (if that makes sense) chucked a flash on top, adjusted a couple of adjustments and took a photo.


the difference he explained was that, for the second shot, he knew what settings he was going to start off with and this enabled him to comfortably take this photo.

this was Rob‘s message …

if you know what you want to photograph, set the camera up before you start. Then you can concentrate on your composition, leaving the the camera to take care of the exposure. This he showed with photos at a family reunion, that putting on your settings before hand, then, whether running around with with flash or shooting wide open with a high ISO, you can walk away with a decent set of images.

Now he said, let’s expand this to landscapes. What do you want out of a landscape …depth of field, close the aperture down, now you can adjust the speed and ISO to suit.

Sports photography, you want to stop the action, so in this case you check that the shutter speed is quick enough to stop whatever is moving, and adjust the other two. Don’t be afraid to use the shutter or aperture priority modes,

but bear in mind what you want starting out is the key.

And don’t be afraid of manual everything. There’s nothing magical here, it’s just you choosing instead of that little bloke in the camera!

Now that we are happy with the settings and camera, he started showing us what to look for in the viewfinder. How to utilise rule of thirds, leading lines, negative space and ideas to make your photography better using, say, neutral density filters to slow it down. Part neutral density (grads) to balance the sky and land. Multiple exposure techniques for wacky stuff, zooming in, intentional camera movement (ICM), prime lenses where you are the zoom feature. HDR (high dynamic response) photography. Panoramas (the last two being products of the darkroom … wait Lightroom)

Overall the message seemed to be, your camera is a tool, you are the creative one. Set it up for what you want to take before, and surely, the enjoyment goes in leaps and bounds.

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