Beginners’ photography class at London School of Photography

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Posted by May B on Monday 22nd of May 2017

I love photography and always fancied learning how to do it properly rather than snap away with my iPhone. So I persuaded my friend to join me at a Saturday and Sunday beginner’s course at the London School of Photography which is tucked away on Hatton Garden.

As I haven’t yet taken the plunge and purchased a camera, the school was kind enough to lend me one of theirs – a rather impressive looking Canon. My friend has a bridge camera which she takes when she travels abroad to exotic places.

There were just six of us on the course – so it didn’t take long to get to know each other in the studio room and in the outer kitchen and coffee area. Our tutor was a highly knowledgeable young woman called Caterina who showed endless patience as we all struggled to understand how to use our cameras. Yes, we really were beginners.

The course started right at the basics – the anatomy of a camera (optic/lens, aperture, shutter and sensor). Then we learned about pixel and file formats. Then we were into lenses and focal lengths. It was good to go through everything is such detail – and we were told what lenses to use for what sorts of shots. I admit that she lost me a bit when we started to talk about crop factors – but I was right back with her when we spent time on focusing.

Our lunch break included an assignment to take photos of things that looked like the letters of the alphabet. Not so easy when most places in the area were closed and the rain was bucketing down. But we did our best and some of the students had some very impressive shots to show.

After lunch we spent time understanding autofocus mode and AI servo – taking pictures of moving objects. Finally, we spent a lot of time understanding the exposure triangle (ISO, shutter speed and aperture) and experimented with different settings taking photos around the studio. There was a lot of information to absorb between 1030am and 430pm but we left feeling that we had learned lots. We also had some homework to do – playing with exposure.

My friend and I retired to the nearby Cittie of York pub and took photos of empty glasses of wine. I didn’t make it back for the Sunday session but she said that they were out and about all day experimenting with silhouettes and motion shots. She said it was really good to get a chance to put it all into practice – with an enthusiastic tutor around to help with the technical questions.

The weekend course costs £250. There are day courses too. And they also teach you how to edit photographs in various courses using Photoshop.


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