Last week, I was invited alongside a handful of impressive bloggers from around the region to learn the tricks of the trade from Canon Middle East’s pros for the #ComeAndSeeMyArabia challenge.
We were each armed with a different Canon camera and instructed to avoid the auto button. It was time to venture towards the manual settings. Professional photographers Katerina Premfors and Alexander Wilson challenged us to get on the floor, crouch down like a tiger and stick against the wall to discover new perspectives and angles.
Shoot towards the sun for a silhouette, yeah just like that, now try getting closer to the subject, no, even closer, now get down, further down, don’t be scared to lay on the floor, don’t forget your burst setting… *click* *click* *click* – Let me see… Beautiful!
It was inspiring being around that kind of talent. We walked the old streets of Dubai, absorbing the culture, the heat and the beauty of the creek. Katerina and Alexander taught us to capture movement, using a local parkour artist that jumped, flipped and bounced off anything solid.
We were taught about golden hour and blue hour from atop the Four Points Sheraton on Sheikh Zayed, watching the sun set over the water and glimmering skyline. We wrote with light against the backdrop of boxpark’s neon-lit shipping containers.
In an age where everyone’s smartphone has turned him or her into an photographer, the Canon workshop was a refreshing reminder of the art of photography. It was also a reminder to discover, capture and share the beauty of a misunderstood region.
Wherever you are, I encourage you to share your Arabia. #ComeAndSeeMyArabia.
Here are a few tips to help get you started:
Pay attention to the time of day to get the best lighting
Avoid taking photos during midday due to bad lighting. The best times are early morning, and sunset into the evening. Golden hour, also known as magic hour, is the time around sunset when lighting is soft and warm. Blue hour is the twilight hour right before the sun rises and right after the sun sets.
Use the rule of thirds
Placing your subject right smack dab in the middle of the shot isn’t always the most visually appealing. Composing in thirds allows the eye to comfortably see everything in the frame.
Your biceps and tripods are your friends
You don’t need to stretch your arms out to take a photo. Keep your arms close to your body so have a good grip on the camera, or use a tripod as the safest option to avoid shaky blurry photos.
Avoid flash at night
That is unless you want dark, lifeless photos. Try playing around with your ISO settings, which determines how sensitive your camera is to light.
Play around with your settings
Each setting on your camera is there for a reason. Play around and see what kind of results you get. They are represented through icons; try using the sports one for an action shot or the portrait for taking photos of people.
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