Photography - It's not about the camera

Furry I've been doing this stuff since 2003 when at the "Bananas" album launch, Deep Purple's manager told me to "go take some pictures", which I duly did. Since then, it's been a long journey artistically and occasionally technically with stops along the way studying under Boo Beaumont at the University of Bath, at the Bishopsgate Institute and most recently at Central St. Martins in London.

After I did the first CSM course, I paused. I was left with the Tyron Edwards adage: "If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others." One thing I'd noticed was that my fellow students, whilst pretty good artistically, were often missing the stuff that came naturally to me as a techie with an A-level in physics: shutter speed, aperture, all that malarkey. So, I decided to teach it. Six students for six weeks came away knowing their weapon much more deeply, and watching the improvement in their pictures of the course was lovely to see.

So, another stint a CSM has come to an end and it's time to spread the camera love around again. Six students, six sessions and if all goes to plan, much better photos at the end.

What should you expect to get out of this? Most importantly, an appreciation of "what does this button do?". Learn the options your camera gives you and how they can help you get the picture you want. You'll learn how to get a good composition and a good exposure; from a snap to an image. Finally, you'll be introduced to a few photographers as a jumping off point for your own explorations.

In the first instance, this will be an evening class at my place in Camden, on a Wednesday evening from 6 until 8 running for six weeks from late January to the end of Feb. The cost will be 117.50 (100+VAT) for six sessions.

To book, mail me at


"Dave has done a great job identifying the key concepts behind photography and organising them into a progressive approach, with each lesson building on the last. His informal, hands-on teaching style provides enough theory to inspire without bogging down in elitist twaddle, and enough practice to make the lessons stick. Before the class, I knew most of the material. After the class, I understood it." - Chris

"As a designer I really needed to improve my photography skills. Dave's course gave me an understanding of the theory but the freedom to test out that theory there and then. Being able to shoot and compare and get Dave's feedback ment the principles stuck in my mind. The result is my photography has far more depth than before and has greatly enhanced my work" - Ed

So, the syllabus:

Lesson 1

Topic: Camera basics. The buttons, modes and functions. The three dimensions: Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO. Workflow. Dumping from the camera. Organising pictures. Tagging. Uploading. Basic editing and tweaking. Backing up. RAW mode. Printing.

Project: Take pictures exercising extremes of A/S/ISO: landscape, portrait. Lenses. Depth of field.

Lesson 2.

Topic: Exposure: Metering. Histogram. Underexposing. Blowing out. High key, low key.

Project: Experiment with spot and area metering. Low-key and high key.

Lesson 3.

Topic: Aspects of composition.

Project: Take some composed landscape and portrait pictures.

Lesson 4.

Topic: Photowalk. Chinatown. Exercise what we've learned so far.

Lesson 5.

Topic: Light. Different ways of using light. Natural light, contrast, artificial light, flash, fill flash. Golden hour. Temperature. Reflectors.

Project: Take the ultimate picture, using everything you've learned.

Lesson 6.

Topic: Bringing it all together. Show your portfolio pictures. Discuss them. Group critique.

Study:2010 Taylor Wessing prize.