Lesson 3: Up the mountain

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    I really enjoyed this because it focussed me on using the manual controls. I have used them before, but just playing around and so never really spent time to understand them properly. I used the Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority rather than full manual.

    Firstly, the motion image I found really tricky as I wanted to capture the cable car, but it was a realy sunny day and every shot was coming out over exposed. Is there a trick to get around this? I had much more success later when I found a spot in the forest where the light was less intense. It is a little blurred on close inspection, but I was really pleased with it overall.


    Second was depth of field. I wanted to capture the beauty of the bark on the trees. I shot a few different trees but quite liked this one. Struggled with exposure again, in this case because there was a lot of contrast, but one step at a time!


    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hey Tom!

    Nice job here.

    It’s nice to see someone who isn’t just doing what all the other students do… This is the first image of a gondola in motion that I’ve seen. You really get the sense that it’s flying up the mountain so that’s excellent.

    One thing to improve this image would have been to allow for more “lead room”. Lead room is often critical to making a good motion photograph.

    For some reason as humans we want more space in front of the element in motion.

    According to Wikipedia:

    In photography, filmography and other visual arts, lead room, or sometimes nose room, is the space in front, and in the direction, of moving or stationary subjects. Well-composed shots leave space in the direction the subject is moving. When the human eye scans a photograph for the first time it will expect to see a bit in front of the subject.

    For example, moving objects such as cars require lead room. If extra space is allowed in front of a moving car, the viewer can see that it has someplace to go; without this visual padding, the car’s forward progress will seem impeded.

    Here is an example:


    Beyond that your image is relatively sharp and that;s great because it’s hard to get a panning shot like this totally tack sharp. So nice work on your motion shot.

    I like your depth of field image as well although you may have trouble achieving shallow depth of field when you’re so close to an object with that lens.

    Here is a video that explains depth of field in great detail. It’s great to learn:


    Overall this is a great assignment. Your depth of field shot could be better (ie having more shallow dof) and your motion shot is great.

    When you say you are having trouble with exposure what do you mean?



    Yeah that lead room concept is really interesting. Thanks

    With the exposure I was referring to the long shutter speed in sunny conditions. I got around it by finding a shady spot in the woods, but if that wasn’t an option could I use a nuetral density filter or something?

    Actually, I just read lesson 4 and I think that answers my question.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Yes you can use a strong neutral density filter. Like an ND4.

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