Clicks Gone Wild offers two exciting options to learn how to get the most out of your digital camera. We have our popular
Clicks in Your Home Program or One-on-One instruction of our beginner, intermediate and advanced level courses which are taught throughout Arnprior, Renfrew and the surrounding area. More information about us and our courses can be found in the links above. Send us an e-mail at clicksgonewild (at) gmail (dot) com to book your course with Clicks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Get really wild in Manual Mode!

Entry-level dSLR cameras are becoming more affordable and are quickly becoming the camera of choice when presented as an option in comparison to a quality point and shoot.  There is no doubt about it....when I bought an SLR and started capturing images, right away I noticed a difference in the clarity and colour of my images in comparison to my much-cheaper point and shoot.  And I was shooting on auto mode!

But looking back, I really had no idea how truly powerful my digital camera was, and that these images could really be better in so many ways.  It wasn't until I learned how to shoot in Manual Mode, controlling my shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for every shot, as well as choosing an appropriate metering mode and white balance, that I understood what can happen when you learn to use your camera to its full potential.  In fact, I could plainly see what happens - right there on the LCD on the back of my camera and later on when I downloaded my card to my computer!  Needless to say, there was such a difference that there was no going back.

As an illustration, here are some pictures taken in automatic mode with an SLR, as compared to the same image taken with the same camera in Manual mode.  Notice the flashy auto pictures in comparison to the properly-exposed manual pictures.  See the ability you have to choose where to focus in M.  All images are straight out of the camera, with no edits......

Here I want to blur the foreground and focus on the words on the label...

Obviously, it's easier to achieve this effect when I control everything in Manual, compared to the Auto snapshot.  And it's appropriate that I'm choosing to show you the difference between auto and manual through images of food taken on my kitchen table.  When I bought an dSLR, Gemma used strawberries in a bowl on our friend's kitchen table to show me the power of manual mode.   :)  It wasn't long after that when I said "so long" to Automatic mode and was taking the types of photos I had always envisioned in my mind, and all in Manual Mode. 

Mastering the Basics, Part 1:  Camera Features and Composition and Mastering the Basics, Part 2:  Get Organized, Proper Colours and Print (more of an intermediate course, really!) are fantastic introductions to the world beyond automatic mode, as well as the artistry of photography.  Time and time again, people are telling us that the tips offered in these courses help them take better everyday pictures with the digital camera that they have (dSLR or P+S).

When you have grown beyond the basics, whether on your own or through our courses, The Magic of Manual Mode is for you.  Our brand new extensive course, which includes in-depth instruction, examples, hands-on practice, follow-up help, support and encouragement through assignments and feedback, is launching this November!  Participants are already signing up and I can tell you that Gemma and I are so excited to teach this course and open up a whole new world of possibilities to other photography-loving people!   And here's even more great news - we're covering basic editing techniques as well!

Can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clicks want to come to your home!

A group of friends.  A few hours together.  Learning how to use any digital camera to its full potential. 

It’s as simple as that. 

When we launched Clicks Gone Wild last winter, we had a group of our friends together in Rhonda’s home.  We shared our journey into this big world of photography.  We shared many of our favourite photo tips and tricks.  And we had a ton of fun while learning how to take control of our cameras so our friends could be on their way to taking better photos.

That was the initial vision for our CGW classes and we love how the home parties have taken on a life of their own.  And for good reason – an interest in photography connects family and friends whom continue to learn, share and encourage each other on their own photography journey.

This past weekend, we were invited to a home in Metcalfe to teach Mastering the Basics, Parts 1 and 2.  We are inspired by this group of friends who were so enthusiastic about the courses and kept their cameras clicking away after we were gone - seeing better photos immediately.  We know these friends will continue to support each other on their photographic journeys and continue their learning! 

Our public classes have the same great tips and tricks as Clicks in Your Home, along with our slideshow presentation that illustrates how changing simple settings on your camera can instantly produce better images. 

For the times when your personal schedule doesn’t fit with our public class schedule, consider taking advantage of the Clicks in Your Home program.  Our hosts enjoy a discount on their own course fee if they have five or more guests attend their Clicks party.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

Travel outside of the Renfrew/Arnprior is also available for any of our classes.  (We do charge a small travel fee in these circumstances.)  Last spring we taught a Mastering the Basics extravaganza in Napanee – our Part 1 class followed by Part 2 in one afternoon! 

Now there is no excuse to keep ‘pointing and praying’ for decent photos of your daughter’s birthday party, or to come home from a memorable trip with ho-hum pictures.  We want to share our secrets to those prized photos you’ve been hoping to take on your own, and you can do all of this in the comfort of your own home.