April has been officially declared as the wettest April on record for 100 years so if you managed to take on April's Bikepacking challenge I am seriously impressed! But don't let the weather get to you, afterall there's another 8 months to squeeze in all our challenges. Click here if you want a reminder of the MBWales 2012 Challenges we've covered so far.
Anyway it's a new month and time for our 5th MBWales 2012 Challenge. Days are getting longer so with May's challenge we want to encourage you to develop your hidden creative talents with a photography challenge. We've been lucky enough to enlist the support of professional photographer Peter Stevens who over the next few months will be be supplying us with regular updates, articles, tips and tuition on how to take awesome mountain bike photography. So if you're a budding photographer or just someone who carries a camera with them on rides this is the challenge for you.
Each month Pete will be supplying a couple of doses of photo knowledge and asking you to follow his advice and send him your progress. (don't forget to upload your own photos to our MBWales Flickr pool too). Pete will then feature the best photos within his articles at the end of each month.
With no further ado here's part one:
An introduction to recreational photography (part 1)
By Peter Stevens
We all love getting out and about in the country side, the fresh air, the beautiful scenery and all the fun and frolics that go with it make us all feel alive and full of zest, however, have you or do you find that the photographs you take on your weekend mini adventures fail to live up to your expectations? Are they too dark, fuzzy, and lacking in dynamism? Well, over this course of tutorials I will be attempting to develop your recreational photographic skills, I will be introducing you to varied shooting techniques, from basic composition to camera panning, we will also be looking at the settings on your camera and understanding there functions, in addition to all this I will also be talking you through some very basic Photo editing techniques.
Before we get started you will need a few things to help you along the way,
1) A Camera (If you don’t have a camera, use the camera function on your mobile phone)
2) A dry bag to keep your equipment safe (it can get very wet and muddy out on the trails)
3) Photo editing software (if you don’t already have it, I recommend Picasa by Google its free)
If you would like to download the free software, go to picasa.google.co.uk/ and click on the download button (this will take no more than a couple of minutes).
Ok so now we have our equipment and editing software we can begin.
If your camera has a multiple of setting and functions don’t worry, we are only going to be using a couple of these to start with, if you are using a phone to shoot your pictures you may want to consider an upgrade to a digital compact camera, these offer more versatility and ultimately will produce a better image.
Ok, to begin with we are going to use the following two settings on your camera, look for the green rectangular box on your camera’s mode wheel (I have not come across a compact or slr camera that doesn’t have one of these ) this is a fully automatic setting, when the camera is set to this program all you really need to worry about is your subject matter and composition, this setting is good for general purpose shooting, indoors and out. However, if you are taking a picture of one of your riding buddies in action you will need a more dedicated program, on the same selector wheel look for the running man icon
and set the camera to this function, this will ensure the camera uses all is fastest settings and will minimizes the risk of subject and camera blur.