Winter Photography projects: Manual Exposure
27. Shoot Using Only Manual Exposure
and Focus – Olde Style!
Spend a day experiencing photography the way your grandad did, by doing everything manually. It will hone your skills and you may find yourself enjoying the sense of craftsmanship it will engender.
28. Make your own flash diffuser
Direct flash is harsh and unflattering, which is why there are various devices on the market designed to soften it, either by diffusing or bouncing it. But why not try making your own? A small Tupperware container or small white hanky would make a great diffuser, or you could use a sheet of white card or crumpled tin-foil (mounted on card) to bounce the flash. Use Blu-Tack or tape to fix it to your flashgun or camera.
29. Order a poster print and put it on the wall
Having been inspired by looking at the big pictures in an exhibition why not try making one for your own wall at home, using one of your own shots? You can order poster-sized prints from any online or high street lab.
30. Insure your valuable camera gear
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep a record of all your serial numbers, along with your receipts and consider photographing your gear, all of which should help should you ever need to make a claim.
31. Upgrade the RAM
on your PC
Adding some more RAM to your PC will pay dividends in speed and performance, and it has never been cheaper.
32. Buy a photography book and read it
See our books of the year feature on page 26 for inspiration. Books are a great way to learn tricks of the trade.
33. Learn to use reflectors
You can improve your portrait, macro and still-life photography immeasurably if you learn to use reflectors to creatively direct and channel the light source. There are lots of materials you can use: sheets of white card or polystyrene; metallic surfaces such as foil; even black fabric to block light and create dark edges on your subject. There are plenty of commercially made options too (see www.lastolite.com). Create a small set using an object such as a vase and experiment with different types and sizes of reflector and various positions and angles. Carefully observe how the subject’s appearance changes. It will be a couple of hours well spent.
34. Get your children into photography
It’s never been cheaper to give your children the gift of an appreciation of the world’s greatest hobby. You can now buy a pretty reasonable digital camera for under £70 that may not offer the best performance or image quality in the world but is good enough to spark a passion for picture making in your youngsters that may stay with them for the rest of their lives.