Monday, June 20, 2011

Canon Photoskwela 2011

A photography workshop sponsored by Canon held in Apo View Hotel, Davao City last June 18-19, 2011. The workshop covers the basic and advanced photography, scrapbooking and videography. On its first day, I arrived at the venue few minutes before the workshop started and only seats at the back available, luckily, my friend reserved me a front seat. That time, I brought with me an old Canon PoweShot A480 and a newly picked-up LBC package Canon PowerShot SX210 IS which I ordered online.

Awkward Moment
At first, I was hesitant to show off my point and shoot camera since most of the attendees have their DSLR cameras. As far as I remember I am the only one who has a PS camera on the first row and out of more than 100 attendees, around 5 of us are using PS camera, the rest are DSLR camera users. Since I have no choice and I'm also excited of my new camera, I unboxed the package and begun assembling, I attached the camera strap, inserted the battery pack and memory card. I will explain later how my new PS camera had the guts to compete with DSLR cameras or even outdid as the speaker iterated the camera rankings but for now I will discuss the things I’ve learned during the workshop.
Me at Apo View Hotel during Canon workshop

Held last June 18-19, 2011
Model Shots

Basic Photography
The speaker of the workshop was Troy Monsod, a landscape photographer and videographer. He discussed the five main keys in basic photography: aperture, shutter speed, white balance, ISO and focal length. 

Troy Monsod as the speaker
During workshop

Aperture, this is the opening of the lens which means that the wider the aperture of a lens, the more light will enter the camera while the smaller the aperture of a lens, a lesser light will enter the camera. 

f/32 – small aperture and slow shutter speed*
f/5.6 – large aperture and fast shutter speed*
 *Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Shutter Speed
Shutter speed, the curtain of the camera which controls the speed to capture an image. For example, if you want to capture a moving object at its freeze state, you need to increase your shutter speed otherwise if you want a blurry effect of a moving object then you should have a slow shutter speed.
A pinwheel photographed at three different shutter speeds*
 *Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

White Balance
White balance, obviously from the name itself which means a balance of whiteness, just kidding, I’m sorry but I don’t have the technical terms to elaborate this function, while the purpose of white balance is to add an emotions on the subject.  Like if you want a photo to appear to be warm, it should be on cloudy white balance mode or if you want it to be cold then set your white balance to something near blue or green.

Two shots with different white balance setting*
  *Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

ISO, or commonly known as ASA in film cameras, this will be the sensitivity of the light of the sensors. So, if you’re shooting in broad daylight, set your ISO into low like ISO 80, or when you’re shooting on low light conditions then set it to ISO 800 or above. 

A photo at different ISO settings*
  *Photo courtesy of CNET

Focal Length
Focal length is the distance to consider when shooting a subject. As the speaker discussed, 50mm is the normal focal length for the subject, beyond and above 50mm will cause somehow an image distortion. Here‘s the point, if you want to make a chubby people look thinner on the photo, shoot from few distance but zoom in.

Photos with different focal length
Advanced Photography
I’m afraid I can’t discuss about advanced photography, I’m still a newbie in photography and I may end up using different terminologies which may complicate or confuse about advanced photography. Besides there are lots of advanced photography tips out there that you can find.

Well, the important point of scrapbooking is to make a journal or document your photos, in the workshop, we were taught about the different scrapbooking guidelines and techniques. Honestly, I was not interested on the scrapbooking session; I’d rather make a slideshow than making a scrapbook out of my photos, just my opinion though.

If you want to venture in videography, be prepared to spend a lot of money because it’s surely an expensive investment. Aside from the camera and lenses, equipments are also expensive like the dolly slider, glider camera and cobra crane. These equipments are used in order to have smooth output videos. 

Dolly slider  for a straight panning
Glider cam for a gliding effect shot
Cobra crane used for panning from bottom to top
Video Tips for Before, During and After Shots
  1. Have a story/how do you deliver the story
  2. Know your audio beforehand
  3. Use different lenses for different effects
  4. Have a varitey of shots
  5. Make your movements slower
  6. Make MTV with short clips
  7. Rename movie clips
  8. Group your shots
  9. Live in the music
  10. Compose it like a jigsaw puzzle
  11. Reread and rewrite like an article
  12. Have a wider audience to share your video
Canon PowerShot SX210 IS
As I  mentioned earlier, the speaker had discussed about camera rankings, learning photography it is also like in schooling, there is the elementary, a high school and a college level. When you want to go into photography, PS camera is a good starting point on an elementary level. And when you feel that you want something more controls and settings for your camera then it’s time to go on a high school level, the DSLR camera. Now, are you wondering what would be the college level cameras are? Then here it is, the speaker discussed that college level cameras are point and shoot cameras with manual control and setting, where you can set its aperture, shutter speed, white balance, ISO and focal point. Just like my new Canon PowerShot SX210 IS. :D

Thank you and God bless us all! 

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