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Digital Photography intermediate

The Foundation in Digital Photography teaches you how to use your digital camera. You will learn:

• Viewpoint and composition

• How to use your camera's program modes

• All about lenses

• Sharpening your image

• Formatting, sizing & printing

& white balance setting

• Basic image editing

Course level: beginner

P ill I SCHOOL OF SMI PHOTOGRAPHIC

The Diploma in Digital Photography is more a technical course that teaches you advanced digital skills such as:

• Working with tones: Levels & Curves

• Contrast control

• Using white balance

• Black & white techniques, toning & staining

• Working with colour

• Retouching & sharpening

• Sizing, printing & storing

Course level: intermediate

Nikon

Digital Photography for beginners

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Digital photo courses for ail levels - enrol today!

Student testimonial

'If you want to leam the fundamentals of photography, then the SPI Foundation in Photography is a good place to start. Every module brings a new challenge, helped by constructive criticism where appropriate from your own personal tutor. I wanted to learn the basics of camera controls, to learn the effect of exposure and apertures. If you hate using auto, then this is the course for you!' Adrian Wicks - Birmingham

Your course includes

• Full-colour, illustrated manual

• Personal tutor

• Written feedback on the coursework you submit

• Free kit: (contents vary depending on the course)

• £650 off Photoshop CS4 Extended

• 50% off an annual subscription to Amateur Photographer or What Digital Camera magazine

• 20% off digital print orders with PhotoBox

• 20% off digital prints with Arrowfile

• 10% off Jessops branded products

• Official course certificate on Graduating

For detailed course contents visit www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/spi

and download an information pack, or call 0203 148 4326.

Send up to six prints, slides or images on CD (please include the original files from the camera along with your submitted versions on your CD). Tell us a little about the pictures and, if you can, include details of equipment used and exposure settings.

Send your photographs to 'Appraisal' at our usual address (see page 3). Please enclose an SAE if you would like them returned.

The composition is nice, and the branches hanging overhead give the scene a nice frame and a bit of perspective. It's a great trick to use

How to submit your pictures

Castle Fields Canal Basin

David Price

Minolta Dimage A1, 1/60sec at f/3.2, IS0100

David says that one of his favourite locations for taking pictures is the Black Country Museum, and he's sent in a collection of pictures of narrowboats and canals. His pictures caught my eye because the print quality is really good, and that makes such a difference. The prints are beautiful, they're nice and glossy, and the tonal quality is excellent, so David can say an big thank you to his developer.

He shot them in colour on his Minolta Dimage A1, which he tells me is a bit out of date now, but it was a great camera when it was launched and it certainly hasn't got worse with age. The A1 and the A2 were two of our favouhte cameras here at AP when they were released. The only thing, of course, is that the A1 has just five million pixels, but that only really limits the size of the print you can make. David has sent in 6x4in prints, and the pictures don't need to be any bigger than that.

In the picture I've chosen, the composition is nice, and the branches hanging overhead give the scene a nice frame and a bit of perspective. It's a great trick to use if you're ever shooting a house or a scene like this: stand under a tree and use the overhanging branches to fill in the sky - especially if, as so often happens, the sky is just white and unremarkable

I love the warm tones, as they really take us back to a ume when this place was actually working. The props and things in the scene are absolutely perfect for it. The only thing that annoys me slightly is the piece of machinery on the right-hand side of the foreground that David would have done well to crop out. It's a little distracting and slows us down getting into the picture. I'm going to take it out using the Clone tool in Photoshop, not to make the perfect picture but just to show what the scene would have looked like if David had managed to exclude it. Nevertheless, this is an evocative image and my picture of the week.

See your pMure of the Week wins 6x Fujifilm Sensia 100, 3x Fujifilm Superia

. _ 400,3x Fujifilm Provia 100 or a Fujifilm 2GB media card (in a choice of CF, SD,

DKtUreS xD or Memory Stick). The two runners-up win 5x Fujifilm Sensia 100. Please

- indicate in your letter if you would like Fujifilm film or a memory card (and

111 PU VIC type) and include your postal address and image details.

Margate Pier

D Nower

Sony Alpha 200,18-70mm, 1/250sec at f/9, ISO 100

Unsurprisingly for someone who lives in Margate, Kent, Mr Nower seems to like photographing Margate Pier. Of the two pictures he sent in, I'm going to show the one he took with a wider lens, as it's got lots of depth. With everything so dark, the picture is really relying on the sun and the reflections in the water, but including the silhouetted shore in the foreground really helps to add depth to the picture. Quite often when you see an image of something in the sea it's difficult to assess depth because everything in the scene looks the same. Here, though, we have lots of different features that lead us up past the lighthouse and the wooden marker at sea, and then on to the sunset.

The gulls in the foreground are another great feature, as they are nicely lit by the sun coming across the water and reflecting off the wet

sand. I like the simple reflection of the lighthouse, and the birds in the sky help to complement those on the ground. It's a really nice balanced exposure composition-wise, with good colours and enough interest in the foreground to create a lot of depth. It's a very pleasing picture -very untaxing to look at. It's not the sort of thing that's easy to do, either.

Mr Nower shot this with a Sony Alpha 200, which proves once again that you don't need a hugely expensive camera to take good pictures. Well done.

Stover

Nature Reserve

John Farley

Canon EOS 400D, 1/100sec at f/7.1, ISO 400

As soon as I saw John's pictures I was immediately jealous and wondered where they were taken, hoping that it was somewhere in Essex and that I could go there, too. As usual, though, the nicest places are a long way away from where I live - in this case, Stover Nature Reserve in Newton Abbot, Devon. John has come across a fantastic scene here with brilliant lighting and great colours. He's taken it at a great time of year; there's a nice mixture of green foliage, golden-brown leaves and trees in the distance, so there's a real mixture of textures. There's also a misty feel about the picture where the water comes over the second weir in the distance, and a misty haze seems to rise up into the trees. It is this mist in the distance, along with the sharpness of the foreground, that really provide the picture with depth, due to the differing degrees of sharpness and contrast - the foreground has much higher contrast than the background, so we get a great 3D effect. Having said that, the contrast in the foreground seems to be lightened and I think it could probably stand to be a bit darker.

The only thing that slightly spoils it for me is the weir in the foreground. It is a nice weir and I imagine John felt compelled to include it because it's a great feature and it's too good to pass up, but actually it's just a distraction right in the foreground. The first thing you have to do when you look at the picture is step over the weir in order to see the rest of the scene. If you cut it off, you don't have that distraction and suddenly the picture is much more accessible and becomes less hard work. It's a great shot that is really well seen, and if you live near there, John, I think you should go back and shoot it again. Just remember to have a good look around the viewfinder and make sure not to include anything that it would be better to leave out, because what you leave out is as important as what you put in.

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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