Friday 21st December 2007

Welcome to the second edition of our free weekly magazine for photographers. Our objective is to provide you with selected information that will assist you to enjoy and succeed with your photography, and to do this in a way that also allows a very useful photographers resource to be built.

Well Christmas is upon us and it's time to take stock of what we have achieved during 2007 and start to look ahead and plan for 2008. I don't know about you but new years resolutions don't normally work for me as there never seems to be enough time in the year to get everything done that we want to. One resolution we are hoping to stick to this year, is to get out and about more taking great pictures of the British countryside, and its abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna. Many go abroad each year to get pictures of the exotic and colourful, but here in Britain we too have our own special highlights with many mountains, woodlands, rivers, canals, lochs and waterfalls as well as colourful wildlife like Red Squirrels, Badgers and Goldfinch, not to mention great skies and sweeping vistas.

What is he telling her? Put your mouse point over the picture to find out.

A pair of ducks on a frozen pond, taken October 2007 (yes it was that cold then) with Nikon D200 and 80-400VR lens at 110mm ISO 320 1/125th f9 .

Okay the weather isn't always great, it can be cold, wet and grey but this just gives photographic challenges to overcome, master and conquer, and the chance to have more atmospheric photos. So why not like us get out in the British countryside this year and see what you can see and capture.

Don't forget over Christmas and New Year it could be a good time to hone your portraiture skills by taking shots of your friends and family as they visit you or you visit them, of course it also allows you to grow your family album.

So what do you do during the winter months!

Well there are lots of opportunities to get you out and about over the winter months, and even if it doesn't snow the ice can create interesting pictures and if you want to venture further from home then you could visit the many woodlands and wetland centres as well of course our Featured Location this week, the Wildlife Park at Cricket St Thomas, in Somerset, which is open everyday of the year except Christmas Day. Of course if you want to see the big house/hotel without going out of your warm cosy home then look out for the 'To the Manor Born' comedy episode on BBC1 over Christmas, which was filmed there. Or why not take a look at the first part of our Nature and Wildlife Calendar which shows the different types of nature and wildlife you can get a glimpse of during January, February and March as well as some festivals you might like to visit to get that different photograph.

On the other hand if you don't feel like getting out over the colder winter months, then why not spend time looking at what you've taken over the past 12 months and think about how you could improve them. Do you need to master new techniques or get to understand the concepts of editing to do those minor tweaks to put punch into the best pictures you have. If so don't forget to take a look at the courses we have on offer, a day on Capture NX may give you the skills you need to edit those pictures that need a bit of help. Or a one to one session out in the Cotswolds with us may allow you to get more practical help to overcome those niggling anomalies that keep happening in certain situations, we are open all year round to.

What do the Stars hold for you, are you a futurist can you foresee the future? This article takes a look at some of the successes of 2007 and asks can you predict what you will be doing in 2008, giving you a variety of ideas from using training vouchers to attend more courses and gain more skills, through to considering ways you could get some pay back from your photography to give you a more enjoyable and life enhancing 2008. It also raises the question about how you may view your future and the many opportunities as well as the range of exciting and enjoyable challenges that could be open to you.

The D300 course is now ready, Keith having run the first one with a client this week. So any of you upgrading from an earlier model why not consider doing a one to one Conversion Course to get up to speed on all its new facilities, or if you have bought the D300 as your first Nikon DSLR then book a one to one HNK with us.

This weeks type of photography is an 'ism, in fact Pictorialism, which was a style of photography used at the turn of the 20th Century, an early form of Fine Art Photography, where some photographers of the time wanted to show there was more to photography than a straight shot.

It has been a difficult issue to put together this week as we have been training the whole week both daytime and evenings. Three of our models got a chance to take part in some practical sessions for portraiture sessions and technical depth of field issues when in a photographic studio and using flash.

We would like to wish you the seasons greetings and hope you have a prosperous new year in whatever you do.

Other pages in this newsletter

A look at the software choices available for Nikon digital photographers, to enhance their work.

A quick look at a course:  Sharpness Masterclass for those who have mastered the basics of photography, Photography Skills have a course that can show you techniques to help you improve the sharpness of your photos.

Photographers Diary: Nature and Wildlife Calendar for  January, February and March 2008. Don't also forget to see the This Month and Next Month areas of the wider photographers diary. There is a lot of interesting special events that may interest you.

Featured Location:  Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park, nr Chard Somerset. A wildlife park in which is open all year round, except Christmas Day. It's a walk around site with the animals in paddocks and is a good environment for getting photographs.

Location Guides:  Abernethy Forest, Scotland

Cresswell House, Creswell Quay, South Wales

Dartmoor, Devon

Wicken Fen, Ely, Cambridgeshire

We will be adding more location guides each week.

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If you donít read it regularly or you remember something you have seen covered but didnít make a note at the time, then you will still be able to find articles, reviews, reference information, what is coming up that can be photographed, locations and a lot more from the website, that will grow week on week, with sections and pages being updated and extended as new information comes to light.

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