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Keeping Photography Simple & Fun

Beginners in Digital Photography is a selection of different photography courses designed for the complete beginner as well as for those who are more experienced. Our clients own any type of camera from the pocket compact to the pro SLR. We also teach Photoshop, a series of photo editing applications increasing in popularity.

We run Beginners classes both in the mornings and in the evenings. We also hold a follow on Improver’s course for those wanting more. Due to demand we soon hope to be able to offer an online mentoring service for the keenest of enthusiasts.

Over the years we have also conducted all day workshops, usually on Saturdays. Our portrait workshop has shown to be very popular with camera owners of all levels catered for as well as those with any type of camera. We have also conducted all day workshops in homes as a day to celebrate a birthday or just a group of photography enthusiasts who want to spend the day together.

Another of our services is to offer 1:1 sessions for the camera or Photoshop owner who prefer that style of interaction. Each individual has their own personal level of ability or a specific need on their learning journey.

Over the past 9 years almost 700 individual camera users have booked into our classes with around a third of these going on to our follow on classes.

Although for the last 9 years we have operated very much locally here in Kilkenny, we have enjoyed seeing photographers coming to our classes from Carlow, Wexford, Portlaoise, Clonmel, Waterford and Dublin. In the future however we anticipate being able to partner with many more keen amateurs from across the globe with an increase in our internet presence.

Both digital photography itself and the inevitable corresponding pastime of digital editing, can be quite daunting to the beginner and attempts at making sense of it all via the ‘dipping in’ of advice given over the internet, in books, camera clubs and other photographers can often make one feel more confused. Some of these resources are taught by those who  just love to flaunt the technical vocabulary on the subject to show how much they know. Nothing wrong with that when you know so much but it doesn’t always help those who don’t know. We love to break down those insurmountable barriers of technical understanding and with a little patience and dedication on our part, show our clients how simple it can all be. It’s the delight of seeing that OMG moment in the smile of the photographer as they seem to almost ‘bond’ with their camera for the very first time that keeps us coming back for more !

Dark Winter Days Give Opportunity for Creativity.

One of the brilliant advantages of winter is the tendency for the light to be very low. When this happens then is it possible to be able to take those lovely pictures of running water. You know the ones where the water looks like candy floss and makes the whole picture a beautiful thing. You can’t go out and do this if it’s a bright sunny day especially in the summer when the sun is high in the sky because if you do then the likelihood is that your water will be crisp and not milky. For slow shutter speeds you need low light.

We want to be able to help people with all types of cameras and abilities to be able to produce the same kind of picture as they see in calendars books and on the Internet. So whatever camera you have when it’s a dark day in the winter grab your camera and your tripod if you have one and venture out to somewhere where there is running water. If you don’t have a tripod you may have to rely on somewhere for your camera to just sit without you holding it.

So if you work your camera in manual then the best thing you can do is to set the ISO to 100 and then your shutter speed to roughly 2 seconds or longer and your aperture to F22. You may ask why I don’t set the shutter speed first when I am looking for a slow shutter. Well that’s just me and the way I do things but I find that if my aperture is put right down to its minimum then my shutter will be as long as you like. However if I decide to choose a shutter speed I may not actually be choosing one that is the lowest that is possible. We’ll work differently and that’s the way I do it so you can follow that or give it a go yourself.

If you have a compact camera or you are not used to working in manual then you can set your camera to ‘P’ which is program mode and your ISO to 100 and your White Balance to Cloudy make sure your camera is steady on a tripod or a surface and use your self timer instead of pressing the shutter by hand.

Photo Credit Moira Fulton

Morning Fog in Winter

We can get a new camera for Christmas and it’s kind of tempting to think we can’t ‘really’ have fun with it until Spring.
But actually we are missing some unique opportunities for some very special moments in the camera in the Winter. There are some really good reasons to keep shooting in Winter here in Ireland.

Fog or mist. Of course we can get fog any time of the year, but early morning Winter fog is so much more readily available for capturing since it is still around at a more convenient time. How many of us have driven to work or to drop the kids off to school and have enjoyed the beauty of familiar scenery engulfed in a shroud of fog or mist that seems to highlight certain buildings and trees that you had forgotten existed ! Now the distractions around them are hidden and the whole scene looks so much more artistic. Well check the weather forecast the night before and don’t forget the camera when you leave the house in the morning !

Photo credit Amanda Burke

Winter Photographers Get Up Later

Many of us think that the cold and dull weather in January is a good excuse to give the camera a well earned break !
But actually we are missing some unique opportunities for some very special moments in the camera this season. Another really good reason to keep shooting in winter in Ireland is that you don’t have to get up too early to catch a sunrise.
In the height of the Summer in Ireland you would need to get up as early as 4.30am to prepare to shoot the sun rising. Add to that any walking or driving you might need to do to get to a favoured location and it is certainly going to be an early start!
In Winter however, the earliest you would have to rise to shoot the sunrise in your own back garden is about 8am and as late as 8.30am depending on the horizon in your area !
So now is the time to get that camera out again and make the most of a late rising sun !

Photo credit Amanda Burke

Winter Photos can have a Magical Light

Many of us think that the cold and dull weather in January is a good excuse to give the camera a well earned break ! I think we often lose inspiration for our photography during the winter months, and especially it seems in January, after the hype of the Christmas fun and before the first signs of Spring colour.
But actually we are missing some unique opportunities for some very special moments in the camera this month. There are some really good reasons to keep shooting in Winter here in Ireland.

One important one is the low angled light. The low winter sunshine which lasts for most of the daylight hours, (assuming that is it’s not hidden by cloud) is wonderful if you really take the time to look at it. The way it skims across the landscape revealing texture which you won’t see the like of in the Summer. Beautiful photos can be captured in places local to any of us that seem to have a different look about them this time of year. Get into the habit of ‘seeing’ the light as you walk or drive around your locality, and next time – take your camera!

Photo credit Amanda Burke