I decided a while ago that so much blood, sweat and tears goes into writing my blog, it really deserves better images; the iPhone takes amazing photos, but it was time to invest in something a bit more professional. After lots of research (thanks, Rob!) and camera holding, we bought my shiny new Nikon D5500. I just had to figure out how to use it! Luckily, help was at hand.
The theme was food styling, giving us the perfect excuse for a very late summer picnic! Fortunately, the weather obliged and we had lovely, soft sunshine right up until sunset – perfect light for the photography.
Karen talked to us about composition with different areas of interest within the image. She got us to think about drawing the viewer’s eye around the entire photo and grouping things in threes (or more, so long as it’s an odd number). If we want to include a person within the image, just have a hint of their presence: their hand, the bottom part of their face. Try to avoid showing the actual eating! Nobody looks good eating – nobody.
There was a real emphasis on the use of props. Don’t add too many, but used carefully they can add interest and help to tell the story behind the image.
It was then time to get creative and try out what we’d learned. It was a really photogenic spread to which we’d all contributed, along with some generously donated Pink Lady apples and Corkers Crisps.
I grabbed Karen for a brief tutorial on the P, S and A settings on my Nikon, which have previously bemused me completely. I’m not sure whether my eyes glazed over, but it’s definitely going to take a lot of practice before I feel confident enough to use them.
Sadly we didn’t open the Veuve Clicquot 😦 but we were treated to the most delicious gin cocktails I think I’ve ever tasted. 🙂 Aoife Maxwell (Sweet Peas and Sours) was our mixologist and she turned bottles of Williams gin (donated by Chase Distillery) into Lavender Gin Fizz and Cucumber Basil Gin Smash.
It was a really pleasant evening catching up with some other Cambridge bloggers – including Alice, Olivia, Claire and Jess – sipping cocktails, eating some yummy food and coming away with a greater understanding of how to make my blog look pretty.
I still have a lot to learn; it’s oh so tempting just to stick it on Auto but I’m determined to discover everything the Nikon can do. Hopefully my blog will start to look more professional the more I practice. 🙂
Do you have any photography tips for an amateur? If you’re a blogger, do you use a DSLR or your mobile – or both?
Bye for now!