A photography lesson at Elvaston Castle

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I tried out my new lens earlier this week… I didn’t get on very well with it. I couldn’t get the darn thing to focus and without the manual to hand and about 6 child-free hours forthcoming there was little chance for me to figure it out.

So I booked a last minute photography lesson via Cream Photography Workshops. They squeezed me in today and I met my tutor, professional photographer David Severn, at Elvaston Castle. David and I had spoken on the phone and exchanged texts the day before and that morning so I already felt at ease with him and he had an idea of my situation and experience.

I’m already have a reasonable understanding of apertures, shutter speed, ISO and so on. I wanted a session to trouble shoot the issues I was having with my new lens and an auto focus function I couldn’t get right, as well understanding how and when to use some of the filters I got for Christmas.

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Not only did I get to cover all the things I was struggling with but we also covered a variety of other topics such as white balance, manual focus for my macro filters and using ISO to alter shutter speed in apertures. I also learned lots of the extra functions on my camera without the need to read a million page manual! The bad news was that the extra bit I had bought with the bigger lens to increase it’s magnification was the part causing the problem and I therefore can’t really use it for moving wildlife photos such as birds in flight. Never mind though, the lens is still pretty powerful without the extra bit and if I really get on with wildlife photography I may even splash out on a proper bad boy lens.

Elvaston Castle is a beautiful place and the kids had a great time with their cousins and grandparents there, it has a fantastic play area and interesting treasures to explore, a big hit as a family day out for sure. It’s not really my cup of tea for photography though… just not my style if you know what I mean. I did however find this wizened wooden owl and I like the macro of the lichen above!

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I’m feeling much more confident with my camera now and can’t wait to get cracking in America. The super friendly people at Sullivan County Visitors Association have sorted us out with activities and contacts in the Catskills and a week on Sunday we should be watching bald eagles soaring high above us amongst the snowy mountains at the North Eastern point of the Appalachian Plateau…

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