Night Photography Course

A clear night. A sparkling harbour. Cameras in hand. Enthusiastic energy in the air. What a combination!

I had been wanting to do the Sydney Night Photography Workshop for some time, so was excited to get the chance to share the experience with some of my family. All we knew was that the workshop would take place around the Sydney Harbour foreshore. With anticipation, we gathered at the foot of the Opera House… many of us unable to resist already snapping away madly (though having not yet had instruction on getting the most out of night photography, these photos would inevitably end up being the worst of the night!).

The group was small and our tutor was attentive from the start. There were no assumptions about what we did or didn’t already know – the tutor took some time to get a good understanding of our background and what we hoped to get out of the evening.

Over the course of the next few hours my family and I learned how to get the most out of our cameras at night. As one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, the Sydney Harbour foreshore was naturally a well behaved subject.

Across my family, some of us had more experience than others. Although the workshop is well-suited to those of all experience levels, we all agreed there was even more benefit if you already had a grasp of basic manual operations. Not that it held those of us with less experience back! What we lacked in experience, we made up for in composition and using the photography ‘tricks’ we were taught.

Here’s what Lena, 19 thought: “This course would be good for anyone from beginners to intermediate users interested in forming a better understanding of the reasons why we use the settings on our cameras – knowing why really made it easy to feel in control and remember what the camera was doing. Anyone ranging from absolute beginners (the woman who didn’t even know she left her lens cap on – ooops) to users who are familiar with DSLRs, but perhaps have never attempted night time photography.”

And my twin sister Dana said:“Although suitable for anyone I think those who would get most out of it would be people who already know the basics, but are looking to be a little more brave taking photos in low light, particularly in terms of creativity and composition.”

Throughout the course of the night, the tutor was really friendly, patient and attentive. They focused on helping everyone and ensuring no one was left out or behind. No question was left unanswered! (And believe me, my family LOVES to ask questions.)

We learned about technical basics, effective composition and creative skills as we moved from location to location. There was a fair bit of walking involved, but nothing too tiring and it was good to move about and capture many different subjects and settings. The best experience for me was really in all the creative techniques we picked up. My favourite was learning how to “paint with light”. We had so much fun with torches and the end results were photos unlike we’d ever taken before…

I’d highly recommend this workshop. It was definitely an experience and night to remember.

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