A Photo Day ( BBC Berkshire notes )

In case you missed anything on the BBC Berkshire show this morning here is all the info ( and maybe a bit more )

So you’ve decided on spending a day of photography. Great stuff, but what to photograph? Well hopefully this post will give you some ideas.

Packing your kit bag

So what kit do you need to pack?

– A Camera. Well obviously, but any camera will suffice, you don’t need
the lastest and greatest Digital SLR camera.
– A tripod or other solid support is going to be useful for the day. A sturdy support can come in handy numerous times during the day.
– Supplies. Make sure you carry a bottle of water and a snack. Photography can be thirsty, and hungry work…

So let’s plan our day…

Early Morning

How about getting up nice and early for that sunrise shot?

People may think you’re mad getting up at such an hour, when seemingly sane people are tucked up in their warm beds, on a cold winter morning. But when that sun rises up over the horizon spectacular views can be seen, and photographed. Other than the cold winter is a perfect time to take a sunrise shot as the sun rises much later ( so you don’t have to get up so early )

A trip to your favorite viewing point in your local park may be easiest. Or what about taking a trip to Windsor Great Park – http://www.theroyallandscape.co.uk/ for a sunrise shot of the Castle. Since the dear roam around you may just get the chance to get a photo of a stag dear with the sun rising in the background.

Check before hand for possible locations and obstructions to your photo. Google maps is a great way to check where to be, and know where the sun is coming from in relation to landmarks.

During the day

Places to visit

Virginia Waters
Close by to Windsor Great Park Virginia waters is perfect for some waterfoul shots. I’ve seen kingfishers on a few occasions but they’re almost impossible to photograph without specialist equipment, hides, and many many trips waiting.

Welford Park http://www.welfordpark.co.uk/
This closes to the public on the 28th of Feb this year, so not long left to go and see the amazing display of snowdrops in flower.

Wellington Country Park – www.wellington-country-park.co.uk
Has great woodland walks and nature trails. There is also a range of activities to keep the kids amused so you can make it a family day out.

So some tips on things you might want to photograph.

1. Get down low.
Shoot from a low angle to capture the entire landscape but also to get those snow-drops as a main focal point in the photo. On a sunny winters day the sun streaking through the trees can make a powerful photograph of a woodland scene.

2. Get close
Why not try some close-up or Macro photography. Fill the frame with the details of that snow-drop, or fungus on a tree trunk. A tripod is very useful when doing this to keep the camera steady at such a close distance.

3. Shoot the kids ( with your camera! )
While on a family day out, why not get some photos of the kids for the album?


Once it gets dark most people will pack up and go home. They are certainly missing out.

Taking night photos is a lot easier than you might think and you do not need lots of special equipment either.

The following equipment is very helpful in night photography, in addition to the tripod I mentioned earlier.

– A shutter release cable or self timer is almost always used to prevent camera shake when the shutter is released. Virtually all cameras have a self timer so you don’t have to go out and buy anything.
– Manual focus, since autofocus systems usually operate poorly in low light conditions. Newer digital cameras incorporate a Live View mode which often allows very accurate manual focusing.
– A stopwatch or remote timer, is handy to time very long exposures where the camera’s bulb setting is used.

The first thing to do is check that you can turn off the camera’s automatic flash. Most Compact cameras have a symbol that has a lightning bolt within a circle with a 45 degree line through it – just like a no entry road sign. This turns off the flash and ensures the camera will perform long exposures. You can check to see what the longest shutter speed is in your camera’s manual.

The best time for low-light photography is when there is just a bit of light left in the sky after sunset or before sunrise for the early rising photographer.

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