Well, I have no idea who this guy is but I figured that if he was included in our resources he must have something to say that might teach me how to take a decent photo. So I watched the video and was not very impressed. Still, I persevered and watched it several times as i wanted to take a key tip and try it for myself. First, a caveat, I am a complete beginner and whilst I have always wanted to learn to take good photos each time I approached the subject I have been met by people who disappear up their backside telling me how only special people get to be photographers and only if their zoom is long enough. The title of Brian Peterson’s video falls in this pretentious category, I am afraid. Still, I persevered. He turns out to be anything but pretentious on the video. It shows how to use simple tools, and a light reflector to play with light. I learnt about warm and cold light – yellow or white reflection. It is not the thing that you are photographing but how you attend and play with light that makes the difference. This interested me. When I take a photo I am always thinking about how interesting the subject is, not what the light may or may not be doing. So, I had my tip to practice with: use a light reflector to play with the light. 

I decided to do a 15 minute photo-blitz. Found a corner in the house where the sun was coming in, made a cold light reflector from kitchen foil and a piece of cardboard and got some props. I used my iPhone and the Camera+ app, reviewed the tutorial I am using to learn the app and started to play with light. It turns out that you can separate focus and aperture (get me using fancy words I don’t understand) in Camera+ by clicking on the plus sign on the screen. I read that where you point the aperture will determine the overall light you get in your photo. I thought I would play with this. I do not understand it enough to explain it, but I can now use it to play with light a little. 

Here is my first try:


I then started to play with my kitchen foil reflector, the focus and aperture settings on Camera+ and after a few attempts, I managed to get this:


We were asked this week on DS106 to pick our ‘best’ photo. Well, this is it for me. I have never before managed to take a photo with light reflecting off an object without the photo becoming unusable with too much light. This simple photo made me feel pleased as punch. I had a desired outcome in mind and the result was almost exactly what I envisaged. The sunlight was photographed without too much glare.

I am reminded of the feeling I get when I play a good golf shot – when what I imagine matches what actually happens and that keeps me going through the next 10 crappy shots.

Thank you, Brian. I learnt something. But you really need a haircut and better locations for your videos – and yes, I got the point that he was trying to find beauty in the ugliest possible setting.