Sunday, 28 June 2009

Canon PowerShot G10

The last week has been incredibly hectic and also most satisfying with what I've been able to achieve. On Thursday I spent some time planning content for a series of workshops, master classes and photo walks which I'll soon be launching. Part of the preparation involved me walking one of my favourite parts of the South Downs near Brighton where there's a spectacular range of British orchids, which on this occasion presented a stunning photo opportunity. I didn't have too much kit with me, just my trusty Canon PowerShot G10, and as American photographer Chase Jarvis would say, when asked "What's the best camera?" - "The one that's with you!".

In this case it proved to be an asset as it has the most amazing macro setting for such a small camera. The controls and menus are easy to use and access, making it a constant photography companion.

The first photograph below is of a Fly Orchid Ophrys insectifera.


200 ISO, 21.5 mm, f4 @ 1/160th sec

This frame is cropped from the centre of a landscape format shot which has been processed in Adobe Camera Raw, with a little additional sharpening in Photoshop CS4. The next frame is of a Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera.


200 ISO, 25 mm, f4.5 @ 1/500th sec

This is a crop from substantially the full frame which here shows the plant at bigger than life-size. even though there was bright sunshine, these specimens were all found in open shade which provided a wonderful soft light, which fortunately for me didn't require any fill-flash or reflection.

And finally, the Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis

200 ISO, 13.8 mm, f4 @ 1/320th sec

I have to confess to being lazy with the Canon PowerShot G10 - I use it almost exclusively in "P" or program mode, which I've never done with a camera until now. I have had to adapt my shooting technique to accommodate the 3.0” PureColor LCD which I now use more than the optical viewfinder.

When making shots like this you must use some form of support. Even though I didn't have tripod or beanbag, I rested my arm on my back pack on the ground which provided enough support to prevent the camera movement which can spoil shots like this. Supported hand-held shots like this takes practice, but with experience you can get incredibly sharp images.

Amongst the workshops I'll be running soon will be one on how to keep your camera steady in a wide variety of situations that you're likely to encounter. At the workshop you'll get the opportunity to try out all sorts of camera supports and practice a variety of techniques.

All my workshops and master classes will place emphasis on practical application - learn by doing, with the absolute minimum of "chalk & talk"!

For those of you interested in learning more about your Canon PowerShot G10, Park Cameras are running a "Get to Know Your G10 " course at their Burgess Hill training centre on the 30th July. The fee for this one day course will be £79.00, so book your place soon.

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