Photography tuition, Photography lessons, learn how to take great pictures, understand exposure, photography
training in Bath, Bristol, Frome, Trowbridge, Devizes and Somerset

Photography tuition – learning the basics.

When I was at school I wish my teachers had been as passionate about their particular profession as I am about Photography; through experience, many years of Photographing people, landscapes, wildlife and of course weddings, working with companies such as Disney, Sky Sports, Sony and many more corporate companies has given a solid understanding of Photography and I want to share my knowledge with you.

Learning the Basics.

I’m a firm believer, that one has to understand the basics, just as a chef needs to understand the classics, it’s this foundation that sets the professionals ahead of the amateurs. Understanding the foundation of Photography helps one to meet any of the challenges that you may face in all styles of photography, from Landscape to Wedding Photography.

 Photographing nature

Photographing nature

Understanding Exposure

I’m very confident that once you have a firm understanding of the basics with regards to exposure, you will then be on a fantastic journey with your photography.

There is much more involved than learning the basics, it’s also learning composition, the rule of thirds  and about the connection to your subject however to understand the basics,  (just as a chef needs to understand the classics) it’s this foundation that places the professionals ahead of the amateurs. Understanding the foundation of Photography helps one to meet any of the challenges that you may face. This and having been asked on many occasions to help others learn the art of photography is just a couple of the many reasons that have led me down this path where I am now offering to share my knowledge and experience and help and encourage others to understand the basics.

 The Zone System

The Zone System

 Wildlife Photography
Wildlife Photography

One Day Photography Course

This is a one day course, we will spend a full 6 hours either at the fabulous National Trust Property (Stourhead House and Gardens) near Mere in Somerset or Ham Hill Nature reserve near Glastonbury or if you want to improve your Street Photography, we can take a trip to the historic city of Bath –   The price of the one day course is only £160.00.

What difference does the Aperture make?

What will you understand at the end of the day?  Camera basics – taking you through the basic settings on your digital camera.

Understanding Exposure Compensation


Most digital cameras have one of the following standardised exposure modes: Auto (A), Program (P), Aperture Priority (Av), Shutter Priority (Tv), Manual (M) and Bulb (B) mode. Av, Tv, and M are often called “creative modes” or “auto exposure (AE) modes.”

Exposure Mode and How It Works

Auto (A) Camera automatically selects all exposure settings.

Program (P) Camera automatically selects aperture & shutter speed; you can choose a corresponding ISO speed & exposure compensation. 

Aperture Priority (Av or A)You specify the aperture & ISO; the camera’s metering determines the corresponding shutter speed.

Shutter Priority (Tv or S) You specify the shutter speed & ISO; the camera’s metering determines the corresponding aperture.

Manual (M) this is where you specify the aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

Long exposure technique

Bulb (B) Useful for exposures longer than 30 seconds. You specify the aperture and ISO; the shutter speed is determined by a remote release switch, or by the duration until you press the shutter button a second time.

 Long Exposure Photography

Learn the art of Long Exposure Photography, take those images you see on line where the water becomes glass.


The exposure triangle – How Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO determines how light or dark an image will appear when it’s been captured by your camera. 

Believe it or not, this is determined by just three camera settings: aperture, ISO and shutter speed (the “exposure triangle”). Mastering their use is an essential part of developing an intuition for photography.

I will explain how achieving the correct exposure is a lot like collecting rain in a bucket. While the rate of rainfall is uncontrollable, three factors remain under your control: the bucket’s width, the duration you leave it in the rain, and the quantity of rain you want to collect. 
You just need to ensure you don’t collect too little (“underexposed”), but that you also don’t collect too much (“overexposed”). The key is that there are many different combinations of width, time and quantity that will achieve this.

For example, for the same quantity of water, you can get away with less time in the rain if you pick a bucket that’s really wide. Alternatively, for the same duration left in the rain, a really narrow bucket can be used as long as you plan on getting by with less water.
In photography, the exposure settings of aperture, shutter speed and ISO speed are analogous to the width, time and quantity discussed above. Furthermore, just as the rate of rainfall was beyond your control above, so too is natural light for a photographer.

This may sound a little confusing at the moment but all will become crystal clear at the end of the day.

 Understand Exposure and take fabulous Portraits

 Long Exposure Photography

Long Exposure Photography


A camera’s shutter determines when the camera sensor will be open or closed to incoming light from the camera lens. The shutter speed specifically refers to how long this light is permitted to enter the camera. “Shutter speed” and “exposure time” refer to the same concept, where a faster shutter speed means a shorter exposure time.

By the Numbers. Shutter speed’s influence on exposure is perhaps the simplest of the three camera settings: it correlates exactly 1:1 with the amount of light entering the camera. 
For example, when the exposure time doubles the amount of light entering the camera doubles. It’s also the setting that has the widest range of possibilities:

 Learn to look for light

Learn to look for light

Understanding ISO


The ISO speed determines how sensitive the camera is to incoming light. Similar to shutter speed, it also correlates 1:1 with how much the exposure increases or decreases. However, unlike aperture and shutter speed, a lower ISO speed is almost always desirable, since higher ISO speeds dramatically increase image noise. As a result, ISO speed is usually only increased from its minimum value if the desired aperture and shutter speed aren’t otherwise obtainable.

Well learn about the common ISO speeds which include 100, 200, 400 and 800, although many cameras also permit lower or higher values. digital DSLRs have improved massively with regards to the range of ISO – 50-52000 or higher.

Why use Evaluative metering? this  was developed by the camera manufacturers to make it easier to measure exposure with off-centre subjects. The camera divides the viewfinder up into zones and compares exposure readings from each zone to come up with a suggested exposure setting. The above diagram shows the way the viewfinder is divided up into many zones on some cameras.

Its fascinating how Evaluative Metering sets the camera’s exposure, the camera weights the exposure reading towards the active autofocus point (or points) as they are likely to be covering the main subject. 

It takes into account the readings from nearby zones and analyses the contrast of the scene to come up with an exposure setting.

Each camera manufacturer uses a slightly different process in their evaluative metering modes. While the manufacturers don’t release precise details of how their cameras calculate exposure in evaluative metering mode, there will be a guide in the instruction manual. It’s well worth a read so you understand how it works on your camera, just to give you a heads up before we begin the day.

We will find your preferred way of working, you may evaluative metering, is your choice when taking a photo, however it’s also possible to look at the histogram and then adjust the exposure if necessary, yes you will learn how to take photos in Manual Mode, you will see that taking photos in Manual isn’t scary after all! 

For me, this is the simplest way of arriving at the optimum exposure. However, everybody works differently and once you understand how the other metering modes on your camera work you may find one of the others is best for you.

 Capture those rays of sunlight

 Take fantastic Portraits Take fantastic Portraits


A camera’s aperture setting controls the area over which light can pass through your camera lens. It is specified in terms an f-stop value, which can at times be counterintuitive, because the area of the opening increases as the f-stop decreases. In photographer slang, when someone says they are “stopping down” or “opening up” their lens, they are referring to increasing and decreasing the f-stop value, respectively. Just think of this as your eye, when it’s bright, your iris shuts down and the opposite when it’s dark.

I will explain about f-stop numbers and how these are standard options on any camera, although most also allow finer adjustments, such as f/3.2 and f/6.3. 

The range of values may also vary from camera to camera (or lens to lens).  For example, a compact camera might have an available range of f/2.8 to f/8.0, whereas a digital SLR camera might have a range of f/1.4 to f/32 with a portrait lens. A narrow aperture range usually isn’t a big problem, but a greater range does provide for more creative flexibility, which will become clear when we talk about depth of field and how aperture impacts on this.

Full 6 hours of Tuition, relaxed and fun 

 Take those incredible images

 Seeing the light and using this

Understanding Metering

You will have a clear understanding about metering and how each mode weights exposure.

Centre-weighted metering works well if your subject is in the centre of the frame. If not, you have to point the centre of the viewfinder at your subject, hold the shutter button halfway down to lock in the exposure, then reframe.

Centre-weighted metering has been around a long time – if you own an old film camera it may be the only metering mode that it has. It’s predictable and easy to use once you understand that the camera is metering from the centre of the viewfinder.

Partial metering

Works just like spot metering but with a larger circle. Like spot metering, it works well for metering brightly lit subjects against dark backgrounds. You can use partial metering for taking a reading from a larger part of the subject than the spot meter.

Understand how Centre-weighted, spot and partial metering all take an exposure reading from the centre of the frame. Given that most photographers prefer to place the main subject off-centre for compositional reasons, this means that taking an exposure reading with one of these modes is not always the easiest way to work however it’s invaluable to understand the benefits of changing your metering dependant on the subject.

 Learn how Spot Metering can make an image shine

The Zone System basics

I love the Zone System, many feel this is old hat since the world has moved to digital however I feel it’s a system by which you understand and control every level of light and dark to your best advantage. It works in digital just as it does for sheet film. 

Having the understanding of this system allows you to understand and be in control, instead of taking whatever you get. 

The incredible Ansel Adams was asked in the 1950s, ‘if he thought the Zone System was still relevant in that the-modern world?’ 

He replied “If you don’t use the Zone System, then what system will you use to know what you’ve got as you photograph?”You will have a good understanding of how the zone system helps with metering, how taking a reading from Grass, grey tarmac, soft blue sky and many pastel colours will produce a good quality exposure.

I promise that you will have a great day out learning the Basics and after the days course, you will have a solid foundation to take your photography journey, and be fully competent in taking images in the scary manual setting.

If you would like more information or make a booking, then please complete the form below and I’ll be in touch, whether your wanting to have a better understanding of Photography or you are thinking of starting your own business as a Commercial or Wedding Photographer, this 6 hour course is perfect to begin your journey.