Have you ever had a feeling of satisfaction deep inside of you that made you burst out the word “Wow” with excitement? Am pretty sure many of us must have had such an experience. Anyway that was exactly how I felt some months back when I took what I considered as my first two amazing pictures. Probably many of you might not rate them the way I do back then, but just like the popular saying goes “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

Some months ago, precisely the 12th day of august 2013. My colleagues and I were privileged to have participated in a two weeks training program on photography for beginners that was organized by elophotos studios and academy. It was a training well facilitated by Mr. Samuel Ijiyokunola and assisted by Mr. Afolabi, two outstanding professional photographers in the industry. They both taught in details the technicality of using the DSLR camera as well as the art of composition, I became challenged and charged up to go out there, practice and take amazing pictures.

I began my practice by adjusting the camera settings. Basically, I played around the exposure triangle which has to do with the aperture, shutter speed and ISO (International Organization for Standardization). The aperture is that adjustable circular opening inside the lens that regulates how much light goes through the lens and hits the sensor. The shutter speed has to do with the rate at which the shutter opens and closes in other for light to hit the sensor. The ISO refers to the camera’s sensitivity. A good combination of these parameters will eventually determines ones final exposure.

During the period of my training practice, I shot more using the manual mode because to a large extent it gave me more control over the camera settings. The first amazing shot I took was done indoor without the aid of an external flash. I simply lowered my ISO value to 200 to avoid noise grains, opened up my aperture to F2.8 to allow in more light from my subject into the sensor and finally I adjusted my shutter speed to 1/80th of a second. My focus and white balance mode was programmed on auto. With my knowledge and understanding on the art of composition, I was able to frame my subject well from my viewfinder in such a way that portrays expression and creativity. At the end, I was so pleased with what I viewed on the camera’s LCD screen. With my wide aperture I got a shallower depth of field (DOF) as less of my subject was on focus.

The second shot I also considered amazing was taken outdoor on a sunny day. The whole idea for me was to freeze my subject while in motion. The best way I could achieve this was to shoot using a higher shutter speed. Since I am also interested in capturing much part of the scene, I needed to have more DOF in my frame. DOF is simply the part of a picture or frame that is in focus from the foreground to the background. I simply closed up my aperture to F7.1, adjusted my shutter speed to 1/250th of a second since it was a sunny day and shot with an ISO value of 100. The final exposure came out just as I wanted as I was able to capture my subject while in motion taking a long jump.

At the end of my practice session, I realize that what will eventually stand you out as a professional photographer in the industry might not necessarily be on the technicality of using the DSLR cameras but to a large extent it will be on one’s ability to explore the art of composition to be able to take amazing photographs. As for me, anytime I look through a viewfinder and press the shutter button, it is an opportunity to compose and take great pictures that will create lasting memories.

This is Onodje Oshevwiyore and I am an excited photographer intern.

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