Paul Duxfield (Duxy) | Take it easy - Photography
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TAKE IT easy | Basic Photography

Your TAKE IT easy - course on Basic Underwater Photography will comprise of 5 simple modules and assumes no previous knowledge of underwater photography or even digital cameras.

"A simple way of learning photography by using short lessons, practical exercises and quick reviewing. With an emphasis on gradually learning by doing, having fun and demystifying the jargon"

Who is this course for?
Anyone with a curious interest in underwater photography that wants to add an extra level of interest to their diving repertoire.
Maybe you already use a digital camera underwater and are disappointed with the results, perhaps your shots are washed out and blue and you want to do better. Then this is the course for you.

Module 1 (day 1)

Your camera and housing and familiarization with its controls and layout. This is camera specific and can be carried out on a 1to1 or as a buddy pair. If conducted in a group session with a variety of different camera models then a more general module will be taught applicable to all cameras and housings with opportunity to look at specific models on an individual basis as the day progresses.

This module covering the practicalities will be incorporated into the first day of diving as buoyancy and weight checks are of primary importance on the first day to ensure good trim and in water positioning as the week progressess. This is also a good

opportunity to check that any new housings are functioning correctly and don't have any faults. Primary goals on this module are to become acquainted with the camera's main functions ie Menu location and important settings, how to review your pictures and to correctly check focus and exposure. How to delete your pictures and movies, card formatting.

We will also cover camera and housing care, how to look after your underwater housing and how and when to clean your "O" rings. If other equipment such as extra lighting or additional lenses is owned then we will look at how to attach and detach them and how to look after them also. We will also look at backing up your pictures to cover most mishaps.

Module 2 (days 2/3)

The next two days will be spent learning how to control the camera to achieve proper exposure and colour correction using firstly available lighting and then additional lighting. We will also start learning how to import our pictures and use the organisational facilities of Adobe Lightroom.

We will cover what proper exposure is, and how best to get it right in a variety of ambient light situations, from dawn to dusk. You will learn what ISO’s are and how they affect your pictures.

By utilising the powerful exposure lock functions that most cameras have, you will learn how to make your camera, even in its fully automatic modes do what you want and make the picture exactly as you see it, or lighter or darker as you choose,

Colour correctional methods using Custom or Manual White Balance will be discussed and shown. When they work well and the shortcomings of using these settings.
When is it ok to use the cameras underwater settings and what do if your camera lacks any form of colour controls?

When you should use extra lighting, from in camera flash to additional strobes or continuous lighting. And the pros and cons of each method.
After the days diving, time allowing we will look at importing our pictures and using an efficient workflow for organising our images. Keywording, renaming and the basic Library section of the Adobe Lightroom interface will be covered.

This module is the main and most important module in the TIE Basic UW Photography course. So we will devote two days to it. On day one the main lecture will be after the third dive of the day usually, so that that days diving will be used to just get comfortable with the camera in the water and not getting too worried about getting it right immediately. So that after the first day lecture on ambient light, people will have ample opportunity to practice the techniques above water. Ready to tackle the first dive of the next day putting their newly acquired skills to the test in the low light of the early morning dive

With the following dives of the day giving them a feel for how available light is changing as the day progresses. After the third dive we will have a lecture on additional lighting and when to use it with an opportunity to put your new skills into practice on that days night dive if possible.

Module 3(day 4)

Creativity and composition.
After achieving a basic grasp of the technicalities of photography, you should now be able to get a correctly exposed and colourful image in a lot of UW situations.
So its now time to turn to the more creative side of photography.
We will have a lecture after the third dive of the day about some simple to implement techniques to give your pictures extra wow factor.
We will look at the Rule of Thirds and other compositional aids to getting aesthetically pleasing pictures.
We will also look at some fun technical tricks using your camera to make your shots stand out. In the evening we will show basic picture editing using Adobe Lightroom, using the histogram, and basic exposure and white balance correction settings.

Module 4 (day 5)

We will use the post third dive lecture to do a more in depth exploration of Adobe Lightroom using the more advanced tonal and colour controls. Spotting and removing larger objects. Using the graduated filters and brush tools. Conversion to B&W will be covered and using and creating pre-sets.
Exporting your pictures for print or web.

Module 5 (day 6)

At a convenient opportunity on the last day we will have a short finishing module, covering progressing onto the Advanced Course and what that entails. Other upcoming trips and keeping in contact for post trip help and advice, with some carefully selected useful resources and websites.

More information

If the TIE Basic UW Photography course is conducted as a personal course for a buddy pair on a normal Liveaboard trip I am attending, and not on a specific workshop itinerary ,then all the modules will be conducted between the dives over a two day period.

On one of my specific workshop trips the whole course is included in the price of the trip.
Spread out across the week ensures that everyone will get a chance to feedback to me and ask for specific help and advice

If it's a 1to1 or buddy pair course, on one of our normal Liveaboard trips then the price will be £200 per course.

If a camera is required for the course then a hire camera including strobe, wideangle and macro lenses is available for £75 per day between two people.

If your not sure if underwater photography is for you then a buddy pair or 1 to 1 course is a great cost effective way to learn the basics and use a modern UW photo setup for a fraction of the price of a whole outfit new. I will be with you every step of the way for the whole two days both underwater and on the boat between dives.

If you are booked onto a Liveaboard trip where I am on the boat, then you can book ahead to schedule a course, or you can take your chances and book during the trip itself.
However there is only time during a trip for me to conduct two whole courses, on days 2 and 3, or days 4 and 5. So if you think you might be interested then please book early to avoid disappointment.

Why do we do the course as a buddy pair?
Well even if one of the pairing has no interest in photography, we find that splitting a regular buddy pairing is not always a good idea. And the buddy can always be used as a model in the shots of the keener one, or act as a spotter when the camera touting buddy is concentrating on the equipment.

If you are a lone diver then no worries I will be your buddy. Or maybe there will be someone else on the trip interested and so pairing with them and splitting the costs will make sense. Whatever, we will find a solution.

On any of these trips I like to keep the first day mostly free, as this is when people are getting their buoyancy and weights right, and they shouldn’t be over task loaded with photography issues.

If you are interested in this or any of our courses then please give us plenty of warning if you need hire photo equipment. We have a limited availability of hire kit and so it can get booked quickly so check with us first as to its being available for your trip. The basic compact hire kit can be hired by anyone irrespective of course attendance. However the higher end models will need supervision initially and will be allocated to course attendees before anyone else.
We will give you a quick overview of any equipment hired and get you up and running with some simple settings to start you off.

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