Our guide to digital photography
Kristina K

Our guide to digital photography

First published date September 26 2013 Amended date February 17 2016

Everyone’s a photographer these days! Have you just tried the tastiest burger in town? SNAP! Has the sun just risen behind Angkor Wat, bathing the ruins and lake in speckles of golden and orange hues? SNAP! Was your baby blowing raspberries? SNAP! Regardless of whether they are significant or even insignificant moments (you decide!), we love capturing moments like these because they tell great stories. Whilst we never find ourselves too far away from clicking away on our beloved cameras, courses in digital photography are great to help hone your photography skills. If you’re an amateur, pick up great digital photography skills and dabble with this new hobby, or if you’re a professional, there are a wide range of courses that are suitable for you. 


Get snap happy

There are loads of Kodak moments in our lives; from the birth of a newborn baby, graduations, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays to exciting places, and just merely happy, fun times! Because you’re always dishing out the camera to capture these unforgettable occasions, it’s annoying when you go home and realise that the top of the Pyramid’s missing in the photo or that you’ve managed to cut off Uncle Bob from the family photo, especially since he’s travelled all the way from Southeast Asia for Grandma Molly’s 70th birthday party… Make sure that your digital photography skills are up to scratch to avoid mistakes like these.


Improve your captured photos

Learning to produce great photos does not simply lie with your photography skills. It’s more than that. First, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of digital cameras, the types and their functions. Then, depending on your level of expertise, you’ll learn to produce high quality digital images. You’ll be taught to manipulate them for maximum effect using Photoshop or any other photo-editing software to enhance pictures technically and aesthetically. You’ll also be taken through steps on digital processing such as preparing images for exhibition quality printing and photo presentation on the web. At the end of the course, you’ll walk away with an extensive portfolio.  


Don’t know what to photograph?

If you think that you need to be in an exotic location or travel to the Seven Wonders of the World to capture amazing photographs, then you’re wrong. You can find some great shots at your local morning markets or even shots of the busy throng of Londoners rushing down the streets every day to work. Fantastic street photographs are great for using your camera as a mirror of society, allowing you to explore the world from a different perspective. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then portrait photography will enable you to capture the different moods and feelings of your subjects against various backdrops. Or, if you’re a nature lover, landscape photography enables you to show the fragile yet volatile beauty of the earth.   


What will you learn?

You’ll cover the basic rules and principles of photography including composition, aperture and shutter speed, and the use of different lenses and flash. You’ll also learn to manipulate images and adjust colours on the computer. Students will also be encouraged to see and think more creatively when capturing images. You’ll be exposed to projects that involve artistic expression, reportage, commerciality, people and community. On more advanced courses, you’ll learn techniques when dealing with difficult lighting conditions and take creative approaches to compositions.

There’ll be lots of practical assignments with a platform to share work with other students. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional photographer, the mixture of art, craft, science, technology and practical advice provided will be interesting and inspiring. Students can choose from workshops lasting a day to a couple of weeks, or opt to study part-time or full-time.  


See and shoot photos like famous photographers

Here are some tips on picking out interesting shots…

·         Find clean compositions. It’s nice to shoot cities, but you have to crop out the messy bits so that you don’t end up photographing the surrounding ‘warts and all’. For instance, photograph a chimney with its shapes and curves, explore different angles or wait for the sun to come up behind the chimney.


·         Look out for interesting shapes. Rather than shooting conventional images, search for unusual photographic possibilities such as reflections, silhouettes or shadows.


·         See opportunities in boring photos! You must learn to see potential in some shots, which may not seem very special at first, but can be turned into little gems with some cunning Photoshop trickery. For example, a leafless birch tree may seem lifeless, but a quick black and white conversion with some boosted contrast could transform it into a hauntingly beautiful tree standing against a black dark background.

Check out our Pinterest for some amazing digital photography skills.   


Did you know?

- The word photography derives from the Greek photos (light) and graphe (drawing). The term was coined by Hercules Florence, a French painter and inventor, who used it in his diary to describe the process.

- ‘Photo’ is also the root of words such as photon or photophobia (fear of light).

- Many old photographs are sepia toned for improved resistance. Sepia enhances archival qualities of the photos. Chemicals are used to convert the metallic silver in the print to a sulphide compound, which is at least 50% more stable than silver. 

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