1. Take your photography to a higher level
That’s the main reason people come on the Photo Walk in Liverpool and in Manchester – to improve their photography and most people find they learn new things that help them to take better photos than before. In a few hours I will share a large amount of information. If you’re a beginner you will probably learn a lot. If you’re more experienced, you can demonstrate your knowledge ‘peer-to-peer’ and you might find my approach to some aspects of photography different and refreshing.
2. Gain new and striking insights into Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO
I’ve developed a different and unique approach to learning about Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO, the three fundamental aspects photographic exposure. You will learn about and practice my simple but groundbreaking step-by-step method to adjust the camera and learn what happens when you adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. This simple principle is often neglected by tutors and photography books. They seem to think it’s ‘not necessary’ as ‘modern cameras take care of all that stuff for you’. No! It’s essential knowledge for everyone, just like the ABC is to reading and writing and the times tables are to mathematics.
3. Receive a copy of my Exposure Crib Card.
I will give each person who comes on the walk a copy of my ‘should-be-patented’ photographic exposure crib card. It brings together all the numbers associated with the three main parameters of adjustment found on all cameras and photographic devices: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. By referring to the card, you will gain a much better understanding of this subject and you’ll discover that in essence, it’s very simple, but is made more confusing by the different sets of numbers.
4. Ask questions about anything you like.
I never quite know what questions people are going to ask me. Luckily I am able to answer most of them, but some questions – such as how to find a certain feature on the camera – can be difficult to find an answer for. On some cameras, features are found in obscure places, or in they end, they may lack this feature. I’m able to answer most questions and if I can’t, I’ll refer you to a place where you can get the information! I don’t pretend to be an expert user of all cameras and 100% familiar with the most obscure features. I have a thorough knowledge of the basic features of all cameras and for the more obscure ones, I’m not afraid to look on my iPhone for the answer!
5. Learn other important things like Exposure Compensation.
What’s the next most important feature on the camera, after Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and perhaps the shutter button (which actually triggers three different things, I’ll tell you what they are) – It’s Exposure Compensation, a feature that many people are not aware of. Certain auto modes don’t allow you to control Exposure Compensation, which I find surprising. It’s one of the most essential features on the camera and I use it all the time. We will carry out exercises to try out this and other features on your camera.
6. Learn surprising things about your camera.
Many people are suprised to discover what Exposure Compensation can do, and there are other features you may not be aware of, buttons on the exterior whose purpose you weren’t sure of, items on the menu you didn’t know exist. We don’t have time to go through all menu items in detail, but often I’m able to point out features that are not obvious. For instance, on Nikon cameras, how to switch on more display screens, so you can find out more information about the photos you have taken.
7. See different types of camera, some unusual.
I may bring along a more unusual type of camera to show you – for instance my Fujifilm W3 stereoscopic camera. Most are amazed at the 3D stereo effect. Many have never seen it before. I may bring along a film camera, which is useful for showing the aperture mechanism and how it opens and closes. I also get to see different types of cameras which people bring along on the walk, something I find very interesting.
8. Gain constructive feedback about your photos.
One of the most important reasons to take part in the Photo Walk is to gain positive feedback on your photographs, when I look at them on the back of the camera. I look for positive aspects and will give praise where praise is due. I will also pick out things that could be improved – for instance ‘The photo is leaning half a degree to the right!’ I am very keen on exact horizontal and vertical alignment, perhaps too keen! When you’re taking photos, it can be valuable to have the feedback of someone experienced, who can give thoughtful and supportive commentary. For those using film cameras (actually, very few) it’s not possible for me to comment on the walk, but you can e-mail me copies of your photos after the walk and I will comment on them.
9. Find out a little about the history of the city.
I am also quite knowledgeable about the history of the city and the buildings we will look at, in both Manchester and Liverpool. I include a lot of information for instance about the style of architecture, the architect and how the city looked in past times. If you go into a bookstore or art gallery shop, you might find books featuring my photos: Manchester Then and Now and Liverpool Then and Now, not to mention Glasgow Then and Now and Birmingham Then and Now, if you happen to be in those cities.
10. Receive copies of tip sheets on photography.
In addition to the photography crib card, I give all people who come on the walk printouts of a few of my photography tip sheets, such as ‘Tips on Taking Better Photos’ or ‘Tips on taking dusk to night city photos’ or maybe ‘Tips on taking better portraits’. These tips sheets only take a minute or so to read but sum up important aspects of photography in the style of a checklist. I only give copies of my tip sheets to my students or people who support me on Patreon.
11. Go home with some good photos.
We will take test shots to try out the camera, but it’s also important for people to go home with some memorable and well-composed photos. That’s what photography is all about! If the weather is cloudy, it may not be possible to take the best photographs of buildings, but there are other types of photo we can take, which may be more suited to cloudy or rainy weather. I try to pick out each person’s ‘star photo of the day’ and if it’s particularly good, I might ask you to e-mail me a copy. I hope you’ll be able to do something with the photos you’ve taken, such as posting on social media, inclusion in your portfolio or you could even print it out and frame it!
There’s more information on the Manchester Photo Walk and Liverpool Photo Walk pages. To book, simply get in touch. You can either come on a scheduled walk or arrange a bespoke walk. It’s also possible to give the walk as a birthday or Christmas present. I will e-mail you a personalised letter which you can give to the person as a gift.