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Community photography

Keeping the camera level #photography

On Sunday, I went into the town centre to photograph our conservation zone. It will be improved over the next three years as part of a Heritage Action Zone. I wanted a shot of the clock tower but as I was taking my first shot someone started talking to me. He was sitting in his car about six feet away and asked what camera I was using. Of course, I can talk about photography all day but it was cold and I have poor circulation in my fingers! I took a few shots of the clock tower but I was too close to it and had to tilt the camera upwards. I prefer to take shots like that with the camera level. Keeping the camera level can be difficult, it can tilt on two axes. You can put a spirit level in the flash hot shoe. My camera has a feature to help me with the one axis and stop me from tilting it sideways.

Wednesbury Town

Keeping the camera level

I did manage to get one good shot that I was pleased with. There was some sun but I still raised the ISO a little to 160 and managed to get 1/125 of a second at F9 for this shot. I actually prefer to shoot faster than that, especially when I’m shivering! I tend to get vibration from traffic but it was really quiet on Sunday so that wasn’t a problem. I just needed to concentrate on keeping the camera level and trying to get a good composition and my focus point in the right place. I tend to use just one focus point. If my focus point is on the building in front of me at about 6 feet from the ground, I know my camera isn’t tilting upwards.

Composition

I like the composition of this shot, it has lots of depth as the rows of shops go away from us. I’ll remember this shot and try to get the same shot next spring or summer with more people around. I’m trying to record what the buildings look like now but I hope to be able to show how they change as the restoration work progresses.

Talbot House

Talbot House

This shot of Talbot House isn’t so good but it shows how it looks now, quite clearly. I tried to get the focus point in the centre of the building. There is a lot of shade in the picture but the camera picked up the detail even in the shaded parts of the picture. I think that is one of the main advantages of a full-frame camera. I shall be photographing the Conservation Zone over the next three years and so I have lots of time to get better shots and hopefully there will be days when I’ll have better light. The light does give an image a certain mood and so taking different images in different lighting is important. I hope to get a collection of photographs that show the Conservation Zone through the seasons and through the restoration process.

The History of Wednesbury

You can see the best pictures as I take them posted on the History of Wednesbury page on Facebook. I’ll be doing other things as part of the Wednesbury High Street Heritage Action Zone Consortium too.

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