Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Conor has the summer shutterbugs clicking

If you notice that people in the Kilcullen area are paying more attention to the photographs they're taking, that's probably due to local professional photographer Conor Williams, writes Brian Byrne.

Whether these people are using smartphone cameras or high end gear, they are likely to have come through courses in photographic techniques that Conor has been giving in the Kilcullen area for the last year or so.

The results are more satisfying and successful pictures, and for their friends and families more 'keeper' photographs that actually might end up on walls in their homes rather than the limbo lostness of cyberspace.

Unlike many professionals, Conor isn't precious about pupils needing expensive equipment to produce high standard photographs. Certainly, having a high quality camera can make all the difference in more challenging situations, and when top end results are needed.

"Equipment can be important as one element of the business of making good pictures, but the technical results of many of today's smartphones can be very good indeed," he says. "What is arguably more important is that users know just what their cameras can do, and also appreciate some basic rules on the artistic side."

Conor's courses are very much hands on events, limited to six or eight pupils over the typical three nights in a month sessions. He starts by going through each participant's camera, explaining the use of whatever levels of control are available in each case. Quite often, this phase can be an eye-opener to people who have typically only been 'point and shoot' snappers.

Other key parts of the course go through areas such as how a little thought on composition in advance of pressing the shutter can result in achieving a picture which is worth a second and even a third look when being shown to friends, or used on social media outlets that are typically overloaded with unmemorable snaps.

Conor teaches the basics of lighting, both in a 'studio' type setting for portraiture or still life photography, and how to take advantage of natural light situations such as backlit subjects.

One recent course participant who is in the craft business and sells her production via online shops has been able to significantly improve her product photographs by using simple techniques demonstrated by Conor, who has also had initial students back to him for a more advanced course.