It seems that every car event nowadays you see people walking around with £2,000’s worth of camera strung around their neck. The lastest 20 megapixel body and professional grade telephoto lens capable of capturing someone waving from the moon is now accessible and not as expensive as perhaps they have been in the past. Also with the advent of digital, this means that you can fit 20,000 images on a single memory card and that’s what everyone wants to do. The trouble is, you’ll take 500 pictures at a single car show with your supercamera set to ‘auto’ and diligently copy them across to the computer then file them in ‘my car pics’… and that’s it. There’s little reason to revisit them as they’re the same pictures you took at the show before and the same pictures you’ll take at the next. I know, I’ve been doing this for years!

Having met with the Guild of Motoring Writers ‘Photographer of the Year’ Alisdair Cusick (@snapperali) at an Esprit photo shoot a couple of years back I approached him and asked if he would be interested in sharing the knowledge and experience he’s gained from 12 years as a professional photographer with us. If we’re spending all of this money on equipment why not make the most of it. On the whole too, members of TLF will have a nice car in the garage and it’s a shame to not have the best images you can, pictures you’d be pleased to see framed and on the wall. Ali took on the task and set about with a schedule of what can be taught in a day to get the best results from us, our equipment and to show us how to get the picture we want from the camera.

TLF members travelled from as far as Staffs and Norfolk to attend the day very generously hosted by Scott Walker Sportscars in Dorking. Firstly, time was taken to explain what the camera can do and what extras we’d need to purchase in terms of filters, tripod, bag and so on. Basics were explained; aperture, shutter speed, ISO, their relationship (exposure) and suggested settings then onto how to hold the camera in various positions (I’d been doing it wrong!), focal points and depth of field. Lighting is obviously key to success and Ali explained how to use the light and what gives certain results, depending on what you are after. Onto the practical now and as an example, here’s me taking a picture before being told how to, and then after…

I’m sure you can see which one is going to net me the 2011 ‘Photographer of the Year” award! I’m sure the other participants will agree that the day was hugely informative and you can view their images in our gallery. If you’d like to learn new skills and take your photography to the next level, watch this space as this is the first of many events we’ll be doing. Thanks to Ali for his excellent tuition, patience and humour throughout the day and to Scott and Belen of Scott Walker Sportscars for providing the venue and very tasty & plentiful catering and refreshments throughout the day and thanks to everyone who attended.

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