When we were in New Orleans with friends, Kathy and Rob, we booked up with American Photo Safari for some photography lessons on location. We had to meet out side the cathedral at the gate of Jackson Square. Bill and I caught a taxi there as a three hour safari and the walk from the B&B was a bit daunting for Bill. Jackson Square is a historic park in the French Quarter. It was designed after "Place des Vosges" in Paris. In 1815 it was named after the victorious General Andrew Jackson. In the centre of the park stands an equestrian statue of Jackson by Clark Mills. It was erected in 1856.
We met our tutor, Natasha, there. We were pleased to hear that the four of us were her only students that morning. She gave us a great introductory talk about photography in general and established at what level we were. She also gave us a good little info card on photography.
I had just bought a new little compact Sony Cyber Shot DSC HX60V before I left Brisbane because I didn't want to carry my big DSLR overseas when light luggage is easier to manage. However, I didn't know much about this camera when I arrived for this lesson. Natasha was great at helping us all learn about settings on our cameras. Then she took us on a tour of the French Quarter and pointed out historic subjects, good angles and compositions as well as reminding us that a good photograph tells a story.
3. We walked around the statue to shoot with the sun behind us, much easier but we had to move around to escape distracting background. Even though she suggested getting some tree tops into the shot to give context to it, I preferred none.
Just outside the park gates is the Cathedral-Basilica of St Louis King of France founded in 1718.
The tutor suggested finding different angles and including foreground or tree framing to give context and depth to the photo. Then we went inside where we learnt about ISO settings for inside shots. I was getting frustrated by now with my little camera wishing that I had my DSLR but I'm glad I persevered to try and get the foreground and background all in focus without camera shake.
2. Natasha pointed out that lines and shapes of the lamp post and arch make good shots. I took one and thought it looked a bit bland. A bit later I saw Rob leaning on the lamp post waiting for us and I snapped. I liked it better with a person in it.Then I turned it in B&W and maybe it looks even better.
2. I took the second shot just as a couple walked by. The light is still green but the shot has more action and a story to it. I like it better. What about you?
2. I changed my position and found Rob waiting for us again. I like the shot as the horse and Rob are forming the same shape and they are both waiting. Rob isn't a photographer but his wife, Kathy, is. He came along on the safari because he is interested in learning the history.
1. Natasha then explained how to freeze the water drops
2. Then how to make the water look like it is moving
3. Then how to move and use the sun to make the splashes sparkle.
Now I was really missing my DSLR. I couldn't blur the distracting background and capture the drops properly.
2. Some courtyards are accessible to the public like this one belonging to an Art Gallery.
Then Natasha took us to Boubon Street which was famous for its bars, jazz music and night life. It still has these attractions but now Frenchmans Street has taken over being the place to be at night and Royal St has taken over being the place to be for shopping and street entertainment. We were at the end of the street where there are more apartments and houses.
1.Natasha suggested this shot where there is the contrast of the old town in the foreground with the new towers in the distance.
2. But I liked this angle too showing off the coloured houses, shutters and lamppost. The midday sun wasn't helpful. After many shots of this famous street Kathy and I found ourselves alone with the tutor. Where were the boys? We looked around and found them............
1. Use reflections to get a different view of buildings.
2. get interesting angles of the cathedral and include the Mardi Gras beads hanging from the tree.
During Mardi Gras brightly coloured beads are worn and strewn throughout the city. Many trees and lampposts are adorned with strings of beads. (more in next post)