As I have pointed out in recent months I’ve been working hard to improve my photography and learn as much as I possibly can, so I was very keen to try out ‘MyPhotoSchool’ when asked. I have been looking around for part time photography courses to fit around working, blogging and parenting, and have been unsuccessful so this really seemed like a great alternative.
MyPhotoSchool offer a range of courses from basic ‘introductions’ to photography to a foundation course and fine art subjects. There are a large range of subjects, and most of them for less than £150 which is good value I think. I chose to review the Macro photography course with Heather Angel and couldn’t wait to get started.
I had been playing with macro a little beforehand, and watched the first video with interest. Heather explained everything in the video in great detail but not in such a way that meant I could get confused, I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to photography but everything Heather made sense. Once I had learnt about ‘A Seeing Eye’, which covered the basics of equipment and how to assess the potential shot, we were asked to take two macro shots at two magnifications and composing them in different ways. I tried to take some close up shots of the pollen stem of a lily but ended up frustrated as I couldn’t get the shot right, I did however manage to spot a little mosquito and snapped that instead, I also spent some time in the garden taking some other shots and ended up forgetting the original assignment. However I did upload the images I caught and awaited Heather’s feedback.
Your second shot of a mosquito is the star of the quartet. It is not an easy subject to photograph, yet you capture the spirit of this lively insect well with the narrow depth of field, making it pop even more from the background. You could try cropping it to a letterbox shape because neither the top nor the bottom of the frame, add anything to the composition.
I was really pleased with the feedback Heather gave and she made some excellent points about the settings I chose such as my F stop being slightly off as my depth of field was very shallow. I really appreciated the constructive criticism and even now some of the comments Heather made stick with me when I am lining up a macro shot. Clearly I learnt a lot.
The following lessons covered light and how to use a diffuser, and this was really interesting, I had a lot of fun playing with bouncing light around and working out how to get the best light on the subject. I even tried my iPhone torch at one point, but that wasn’t very effective, except to light a little spider, but I didn’t upload that one to the course.
Towards the end of the course we were given some direction on taking shots through water droplets and other techniques plus information about some different useful tools that can be used. By this point I had slowed down with uploading as life got in the way again, however I had taken the lessons from the videos and used them in my day to day ‘playing’ with my camera.
I really learnt a lot from the lessons in the MyPhotoSchool classroom and I really liked the fact that other people taking the course were able to comment on the images being uploaded and we could learn from each other. It was really nice to have individual feedback from Heather as well, and she is clearly very knowledgeable. The site was also very easy to navigate so I would certainly consider taking other MyPhotoSchool courses and would recommend them to anyone looking for guidance from a skilled photographer.
Here are a few macro shots I have taken since taking the course-
I was provided with the course mentioned for the purpose of review.