I took a great photography course recently on the Sunshine Coast, led by award winning photographer, Duane Sept, who specializes in wildlife and plants and whose photography has appeared in many publications around the globe. Duane lives on the Sunshine Coast when he’s not working and travelling, and we were very lucky to have him for this course.
The course was an introduction to macro photography and it was just the tonic I needed to re-charge my own photography. If you’re like me, it’s often difficult to get out exactly when the right light conditions present themselves. My life, especially during the summer, doesn’t work that way. With macro, however, anytime of the day will work because it’s so much easier to control the lighting that falls on your small subjects, and, there’s an abundance of interesting subjects from your own back yard to nearby parks.
The first thing we learned was how to take our cameras off Auto. In the huckleberry image above, manually opening up the aperture setting created a shallow depth of field. This eliminated the background clutter, allowing the red berry to pop out. Learning how to manually control both aperture and shutter speed allowed me to capture this difficult shot of the iridescence of the shell without the shiny white surfaces blowing out.
The full day course provided a good mix of classroom instruction together with eight different stations to put our newly gained knowledge into practice. Having somewhat mastered the manual settings on my camera, I was now able to use some compositional skills, working with the leading lines of this scallop shell. A small piece of black felt was the only other “equipment” needed.
This was a great day for me and I feel like my photography has been re-charged. There are so many interesting places on the Sunshine Coast for photography, from the seashore and into the forested woods. With a few macro basics under my belt, I’ll be casting my eyes both up and down looking for more interesting subjects to photograph. Duane will be offering this course again, as well as a more advanced one and I’ll keep you posted on the details.
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