How to improve your photography in 3 easy steps

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Admin under Uncategorized

You’re off on your holidays full of excitement and expectation of all the exotic scenes and sights that await you. Touch-down and the aeroplane comes to its final stop. As you step outside and onto the tarmac, the air is hot and humid and after all the formalities and transfers, you finally arrive at your hotel just in time for a well deserved glass of wine and the sunset filling the sky with beautiful tones of reds, oranges and yellows that melt all the troubles and stresses of work away with just one view. You rush back to your room to grab your new camera. You take off the lens cap and point it to the horizon. Looks great in the viewfinder – and click – the photo is taken. And what about one with your loved ones in the foreground. As the sun sinks slowly away, the darkness grows and you go to relive the moment over supper, showing off your masterpiece to everyone on the screen. The only thing is… it’s not quite as you saw it just moments ago. All the fantastic hues of orange, red and yellow are now just a mirky blur of light, with the fiery glowing sun nothing more than a large blob of white. And what’s more – the photo with your family is even worse – all you can see is a black silhouette of where their heads should be – no smiles – no excited expressions of a first day on holiday – just solid black shadows. What a disappointment… and how incredibly frustrating.
Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. Thousands of people are upgrading their trusty point- and-shoots every day, just to question whether the expense was indeed worth it. Luckily, with a few insider secrets and a sprinkling of good advice, the story doesn’t have to end this way. How to improve your photography in 3 easy steps…

1 – The Subject and the focal point
I’m sure we are all aware that a photo should have a subject – after all – that’s why you’re taking the photo in the first place. This is the story that you were trying to tell. Is like the subject of the book; it’s what it’s all about. That’s the easy part. In the example above we know that the subject of the first photo was the sunset itself – the magical moment when the day comes to a very beautiful end. However most people tend to overlook the importance of firstly identifying a focal point, and secondly, how it is treated within the photograph. You can look at the focal point as being the part of the photograph to which your eye always tends to go back to. It also acts as a resting point for the eye because with a clear focal point your eye has a definite thing to look at and focus on. In the second example the focal point would be the people’s faces as this is the most important part of the image. The backdrop of the sun setting is just adding context to the overall subject of the family being on holiday. The most natural position is slap bang in the centre of the frame. However, in most circumstances this is the last place you should consider positioning such an important part of the image. Try putting the focal point to one side. This will give the viewers eye something interesting to look at, but also explore the backdrop, returning back to the most important part of the image when its done. In our courses we explain the importance of the rule of thirds which is a technique that you can use to find the perfect place for positioning the focal point of an image. As with all the rules of composition in photography there are always exceptions. That’s why I look at these rules more as guidelines that you can choose to use whenever you feel appropriate.

2 – Always trying to tell the story or evoke an emotion
As we saw earlier, every photograph requires a subject and this is best understood as the story that you’re trying to tell or the emotion that you are trying to put across. As you start to understand the rules composition, appreciate the importance of correct exposure and learn the do’s and don’ts of what lenses to use, what buttons to press and what accessories to pack, you’ll soon start to appreciate that all of these things are there to help you to tell that story or to create that emotion in a more effective way. The tricky part is trying to identify the story or the emotion that you can tell.
But once you’ve given it a shot you’ll find that it gets easier and easier and you will look for ways to enhance the emotions or tell the story in a more interesting and thoughtful manner.

3 – Always be learning from other people’s photographs
I often tell people that come in for lessons that it is quite possible for me to critique any photographs that they bring in, and tell them how to improve them. However the person who is benefiting the most from this process is actually myself as opposed to the student. What I tend to find is that most students are already so emotionally attached to their photographs that they listen to the advice, but always take it with a pinch of salt as they had already put so much effort and energy into producing their mini masterpiece. I, on the other hand have been able to enter into their photograph and put myself in their position when they took the photograph. This allows me to mentally recreate the image and imagine doing whatever it takes to create a better version of the photographs.
If you can get into the habit of looking at other people’s photographs in magazines, online or on photo-sharing websites, you will really start to think through the process of what you can do to improve things. This will then start to become so natural that when you are taking photos yourself and are faced with a scene, you will be in a much better position to make the most of it.

Learning how to take a good photograph can be seen as being an investment that is even more important than the cost of the camera itself. Getting the most out of your camera, whether it be a simple point-and-shoot, or a complicated digital SLR takes away the frustration that can lead to so much disappointment in photography. I hope that with these small tricks, you will no longer find yourself in a position of trying to take a sunset on your first day on holiday and regretting spending so much money on an all-whistles-and-bells camera that you just put on Auto and use as an expensive point and shoot.
If you would like to learn more about the types of lessons, workshops and evening courses we run for all levels of photographer please visit our website or come along to one of our free taster lessons on Saturday mornings to meet us and find out a little bit more about how we can help you improve your photography. We will even make you a nice cup of tea or coffee and if your really lucky, give you a biscuit or two to boot!

We’re Hiring – Photography Apprentice Required

Posted on March 28, 2015 by Admin under Uncategorized
Employer: Rhubarb and Custard

Learning Provider Delivered by Yeovil College.


Vacancy Description
Post production of Portrait Photoshoots – picking and developing using Adobe Lightroom (only basic knowledge required at first), uploading and prepping for online proofing and viewing.

Design of photo montages and photobooks.

Management of finished product storage area including unpacking and storage of finished work , and liaising with clients for collection of finished work.

Photoshop work including restoration, setting out of names and titles for group photo mounts, printing and re-working.

Answering phones and responding to client enquiries by e mail.

Regular use of Project management and CRM database (Daylite).

Any other day to day tasks as required by the Gallery business, Photo School Business and Studio.


Key Details
Vacancy Title Apprentice Post Production Technician & Photographers’ Assistant
Employer Rhubarb and Custard
Vacancy Location
Eton College
Working Week 35 Hours per Week, Tues-Sat, 10:30am-5:30pm
Weekly Wage £ 95.55
Number of Vacancies 1
Vacancy Reference Number VAC000547446


Key Dates
Closing Date For Applications 31/01/2015
Interview Begin From 06/02/2015
Possible Start Date 16/02/2015


Training to be Provided
National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) – achieved through the tasks you do at work, NVQs are proof of your ability and practical skills.

Functional Skills – general skills that are used in every job, such as Communication and Application of Number.

Technical Certificates – designed to improve your knowledge and understanding of specific topics related to your trade.

Employment Rights and Responsibilities – a workbook for you to do to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an employee, and your employer’s responsibilities towards you.

Personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) provide a framework for describing the qualities and skills needed for success in learning and life. The PLTS framework has been developed and refined over a number of years in consultation with employers, parents, schools, students and the wider public.

Learning Provider Yeovil College
Learning Provider Description Yeovil college is an exciting and friendly college, where you will meet new friends and learn the skills you need for your job, career and future.

With one of the widest ranges of vocational programmes in the County of Somerset, we can offer you the opportunity to use specialist workshops and technical equipment to learn vital skills that employers demand.

Our Centres of Advanced Engineering and Hospitality offer state-of-the art specialist equipment to help you to learn high-level industry related skills.

With high standards of teaching, student support, superb links with industry and the local community, we have everything that will enable you to progress within your career and progress to the next stage.

Contact Details Apprenticeship Team, Yeovil College, Mudford Road, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4DR Telephone: 01935 845392 Email Main Switchboard: 01935 423921
Vacancy Type Advanced Level Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship Framework Creative and Digital Media (Skillset)


  This Learning Provider does not yet have a sector success rate for this type of apprenticeship training.  Help Button

Expected Duration 24-36 Months Help Button

Skills Required
Photography – using a DSLR, knowledge of basic rules of composition and exposure.

Adobe Photoshop – Basic knowledge of photo sizing, levels, layers (including adjustment layers), text and paragraph editing.

Adobe Lightroom – Basic knowledge of key concepts of the database system, and working knowledge of library, develop, print and book modules.

Qualifications Required
GCSE or equivalent in both Maths and English, grade C or above.

Overall a minimum 6 GCSEs or equivalent (preferable 1 in photography) and 2 A levels.

Personal Qualities
A proactive and positive approach to work.

High attention to detail.

Versatile (moving from job area to job area with ease).

Excellent communicator with good phone manner and high level of written English for email correspondence with clients.

Need to be a good team worker but also work well independently.

Important Other Information   
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate for apprentices is £2.73 per hour. This applies to 16-18 year old apprentices and those aged over 19 in the first year of their Apprenticeship. For all other apprentices the National Minimum wage appropriate to their age applies. The Minimum Wage for Apprentices applies to time spent on the job plus time spent training.
Future Prospects    Help Button

Full time career in the photography business.
Reality Check    Help Button

Please note you will not be required to attend Yeovil College as training is 100% delivered directly to you in the workplace.

There are potential planned incremental wage increases depending on starting experience and ability to achieve structured performance criteria.

March 2015 Newsletter

Posted on by Admin under Newsletters

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