#whatsthestory. Photography Tips at Camera Club

For most of my first year of blogging I snapped whatever pictures I needed for posts on my trusty iPhone, or lifted them from the free picture share service, Zemanta.

christmas treeWhen I started going to blogger events I noticed that lots of my fellow writers had camera kits a paparazzi would be proud of. I envied their zoom lenses, flashes, and the professional clickclickclick. I felt a bit self-conscious lining up with my phone.

I've always enjoyed taking photographs, and have dabbled with compact digital cameras but could never be bothered with the faff of uploading them. I love the instant nature of smartphone pics- easy to share, easy to upload over wifi.

But analysing what drew me to other people's blogs I realised that primarily I was interested in good content but the standard of photos on a post came a close second. This drew me to this photography based linky #whatstthestory and #silentsunday hosted by CosmicGirlie.

I'm guessing if  you are here you understand what #whatsthestory is aiming for. If you don't know about #silentsunday - it's based on the idea that a  great photo stands alone - no words, no labels, not even alt tags.

 I love looking at other blogger's photographs on the linkys. Some might just be a snapshot of a happy toddler, some people excel at moody landscapes or seascapes. Some are bizarre - they are my favourites.

Anyway, the point of this post was to explain the photographs I have posted. They were taken for my first ever camera club meeting. After acquiring a DSLR camera body thanks to a bit of cashless bartering with a mate, and borrowing a lens from my eldest, I realised I was a complete numpty who knew nothing of exposure, aperture or depth of field.

Another friend attends our village camera club-they meet once a month in our church to swap tips and share their pictures. I asked him if he thought they'd let me come along in the hope of picking up some helpful tips-bless them they agreed to let this newby join them!
cherub on mirrored ball copyright madmumof7

The theme for the January meeting was "Quirky Christmas" which I think you'll agree I embraced! The shot right at the top is our Christmas tree, stripped of its decorations and ready for recycling. I took the picture from the top looking down.

The photo just above is a cherub ornament in my garden with,  just out of focus in the background, the discarded bin bags filled with non-recyclable rubbish after Christmas. I thought it was an interesting contrast between the origin of Christmas with the angels and the modern focus on stuff!

The final picture on the left I think needs no explanation! I loved the reflections in the glass and thought it summed up Christmas in our house this year quite well - lots of "good cheer" shared with friends!

I used the automatic setting on my  Nikon D80 with a 28-100 mm Nikon lens for all the pictures- and that's about where my technical knowledge ends.

I did pick up some tips at camera club and would heartily recommend that if there is one local to you - join it! I couldn't afford to go on a course but the people at my club are so friendly and helpful I've already learned lots.

It was interesting to see how others interpret the suggested theme and I am looking forward to having a go at capturing something watery for next month - given the current weather it shouldn't be hard.

And in time who knows? I might even be be brave enough to use some of the manual settings on my camera!