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‘Further Steps’ photography course – Early Spring

6 Feb 2018



We had thought that we would undertake a low light, night shoot, but it was very cold and quite dull so we concentrated on two critical aspects of photography – one was the focus in our images – what area do we want to be sharp and then analyse this area in Playback to see if it actually is sharp! If not, re-take the shot. Try different techniques until you get it right. The other area we looked at was composition, but exploring what is called: Negative Space. This is the space around the subject of your image. Negative space is as important, if not more important that your actual subject. Have you given your subject the space the ‘breath’? In Japanese, there is a word for this, it is ‘Ma’ and literally means ‘gap’, ‘space’, ‘pause’ or the ‘space between two structural parts’. Give it a go – look at the space and not the subject and see how you get on. It is all about balance and in our tutorial session we talked about how much space is needed in the photos shared by the group – a great discussion and a good way to consider the composition of your own work.


Rhonda Pike

Avocets – A gentle touch

I watched for several minutes while these two avocets appeared to be displaying to each other. There was much posturing and splashing after which they parted with what looked like a very gentle touch of their beaks.

Camera – Canon EOS 70D;  Lens EF70-300mm at 150mm; 1/100sec; f6.3; ISO 500.

Rhonda Pike

January Day

This picture was taken on a cold day in mid-January. The deciduous trees are leafless but many of the dry grasses and seed-heads are still standing and providing a source of shelter and food for insects and birds. The image is a combination of two separate photographs combined in Adobe Lightroom. One was exposed for the foreground and the other for the sky.

Camera – Canon EOS 70D; Lens 17-85mm at 17mm; ISO 400. f11; 1/6 sec.             


Susi Hancock


I love these seeds and could hardly wait for the autumn/winter again for them to appear with some bright winter sunshine.  With the thought of negative space and sharp focus in mind these cones with their spikey bases.  The one cone is sharp taking you into the photograph and moving you around.  The photograph reminds me of skyscrapers in a large city.  The colour is achieved with a little toggling of the hue and saturation.  

Michael I’Anson

Flying Gulls

Taken on a very chilly, sunny day in January at the time when the wildfowl get fed outside the viewing lounge at Pensthorpe. My intention was to capture sharp images in the background with a blurring effect of flying birds in the foreground. This was achieved with an 18-300mm lens, ISO set at 200, aperture at f22 and a 1/25 second shutter speed.