Wandering and Wondering

Friday, June 22, 2007

Kew Gardens

Yesterday I visited Kew Gardens for a one day Landscape and Nature photography course. It was a very practical course, so there wasn't much talking by our instructors. They gave us a few general tips and tricks and then we just wandered around the gardens taking photographs and asking questions when necessary. We concentrated mainly on macro photography of the various flowers and plants in the gardens, but we also did some landscape and architectural photography. The best part of the course was the fact that we could borrow different lenses from the instructors to try out. The first lense I borrowed was an EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, which I used to get the following close-ups (amongst others):

Busy bee


Natural beauty


Daisies


Pollen stems


I then borrowed an EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 wide-angle lens and used it together with my own EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 lens for some architectural/landscape photos:

Temperate House


Spiral staircase


Some other interesting stuff we were shown on the day were the benefits of using a polarising filter to cut out unwanted reflections from your photos, and how you can use an extension tube on an existing lens as an alternative to buying a dedicated macro lens. I also discovered a host of features on my camera such as automatic exposure bracketing and program mode which up until now I hadn't been using (mainly due to the fact that I haven't yet read the instruction manual).

After the course finished, I wandered around the gardens a bit longer and used my EF 70-300mm telephoto lens to get some more close-up photos:

Mr Duck


Prickly!


Overall, I learned quite a bit from the day, so it was worth it even if it was a little pricey. Then again, everything in London is pricey - something I haven't quite gotten used to yet.

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