Photography Masterclasses with Stella Scordellis

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Photography Masterclasses with Stella Scordellis

you know it makes sense…

Do you keep putting off when to find the time to learn how to use your camera or who to go to?

Now is your opportunity to enjoy a one to one or small group masterclass with me so I can share with you my expert knowledge and teach you how to use your camera so you don’t have to feel daunted by all the technical jargon and countless options on your camera.

My mantra is ‘keep it simple’ - so you can capture the moment and reflect on the images you have made.

So often nowadays the camera of choice is the camera we all have on our smart phones, it’s simple, point and shoot and you’re ready for a spot of post production at the touch of a few preset actions and you’re done! What could be easier, which is so true, but if you are looking for a few steps above this then I’m the man (or rather woman) for the job!

Whether it’s for you, a friend, a family member, a loved one, or a child over the age of 14 years I can make a difference.

I tailor each class to the specific needs of the individual - you could be a business owner who wants to be able to take great images for your social media or your products or have a holiday booked and want to learn how to get great holiday images - whoever you are and whatever you want to learn please do ask.

I have taught teenagers whose parents have felt they are under achieving at school and don’t get the praise or recognition they crave and have found through their love of photography they can excel at something, one or two of them have pursued a career in the craft and are doing very well, it’s very rewarding for me to see this happen.

Although my schedule is a busy one, I do enjoy passing on my knowledge and teaching others to enjoy something I can call my career and passion - so go on, you know it makes sense - to book a time and day call me at the studio on 01883 722282, by email as below or at the studio if you’re passing by.



Time to say goodbye to feeling confused about your camera!

Time to say goodbye to feeling confused about your camera!

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Photography Masterclass Experiences - the Ideal Christmas Gift

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When I’m not out and about on commissions, I like to reserve some time to pass on some of my expertise and knowledge, to offer one to one photography masterclasses to help others understand their camera better to achieve the best photographs.

I use to teach a group of aspiring photographers with different abilities and cameras, but found it more beneficial to tailor a masterclass experience to individuals, to offer tuition specific to each of their needs, knowledge and camera.

I have found two hours is sufficient to start with to understand the basic theory, and to put this into practice so it becomes more familiar. I always begin on manual mode so the photographer takes control of the camera and not the other way round!

To buy a personalised voucher, festively gift boxed for yourself or a loved one, do get in touch on 01883 722282 - prices start from just £185 - click on the ‘learn more’ button below to see your options.


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Stella's Photography Tips: Depth of Field


'Depth of field' is the area in your photograph that is in focus from the nearest point to the furthest.

Sometimes we may choose to have an image that is sharp throughout, showing the foreground with the same focus as the background. Alternatively, we can choose to separate the subject from the background by using a shallow depth-of-field to achieve this. Here are my tips to achieve this:

1. Select the correct lens. I would normally chose a 70-200mm - the longer the focal length the shallower the depth-of-field.

2. Use a wide aperture - f2.8 or f4 works best.

3. Position your subject at least two metres away from the background to separate the two. The further away your subject is from the background, the more out of focus the background will be.

4. Adjust your shutter speed and ISO accordingly to get the best exposure. Remember not to go below 1/60th to avoid camera shake.

5. The closer you are to your subject, the shallower your depth of field will be. If you are two meters from a subject and shooting at f/2.8 with your 70mm lens, you may get 10cm of depth to your focus. With the same lens and aperture at 10 meters, you may get 100cm of depth.

6. If you are looking to create soft backgrounds with a less than optimal lens such at a 16mm prime, get really close to your subject to achieve the desired results of shallow depth-of-field.

7. Always experiment with different lenses to achieve a variety of results using different subjects.



Stella's Photography Tips: Shutter Speed


Following on from my photography tips from March, this month I am explaining how to use shutter speed to your advantage, to show motion, either to slow it down or to freeze it. This works particularly well for moments that are fleeting, for example as shown here with the flow of water, the same principals apply for sports photography.

Simply follow the steps below and enjoy the experiment!

1. Depending on how close you are to your subject, this generally works best with a 24mm -120mm so you have varied range of focus. A focal range similar to this is fine - remember there are no hard and fast rules.

2. To show motion, select a slow shutter speed 1/15 of a second and below.

3. It is best to use a tripod to avoid camera shake, or make sure you are leaning against something sturdy to support yourself. Alternatively you can stand with your legs apart and your elbows close to your body to minimise camera shake.

4. Select auto ISO as you maybe restricted with your maximum aperture opening. Just to remind you that ISO controls the sensitivity of light on the digital sensor. Auto ISO will increase or decrease the sensitivity by going up to increase or down to decrease, in numbers from 200 - 400 - 800 - 1600 - 3200. If you prefer you can control this manually.

5. Select you aperture at f5.6 and take the shot, experiment to achieve your desired effect and exposure.

6. To show frozen motion select a fast shutter speed about 1/500 of a second or more.

7. Keep the aperture to f5.6 and the ISO to auto. Take the shot and experiment with different exposures to achieve the desired effect.

If you would like more advice to help you understand your camera one to one, I offer masterclasses tailored to suit your knowledge and ability. Alternatively, you and a friend can take a class with me.



Stella’s Photography Tips


Introducing....’Stella’s Photography Tips’

If you would like more advice to help you understand your camera one to one, I offer masterclasses tailored to suit your knowledge and ability. Alternatively, you can take a class with a friend.

  1. Get used to operating your camera in manual mode. Once you are familiar with this then you will have the confidence to use shutter priority or aperture priority.
  2. In manual mode you can choose the ISO, shutter speed and aperture to control the desired exposure.
  3. Aperture priority is how the photographer sets the aperture. This is in the lens and operates like the iris of the eye. Make it larger to let more light in and smaller to allow less light in. Once this is set the camera then adapts the shutter speed to allow the correct exposure.
  4. Shutter priority is how the photographer sets the correct shutter speed.  The camera automatically sets the correct aperture for the correct exposure.
  5. On both of the above, automatic ISO can be selected, or set at the desired setting to suit the lighting conditions, such as 200 for bright sunny day, 400 for overcast and 1600 for low lighting.
  6. At Spring time on a sunny day I suggest using ISO 400 - Shutter speed 125 – with the aperture set at f11.  Use this as a starting point and adapt the shutter speed and aperture accordingly to get the desired exposure.



Summertime Photography


Whilst you're away sunning yourself or at home relaxing, take time out to enjoy the moment. Grab your camera and photograph something tranquil, you can refer back to my last newsletter if it helps. Once you've got your image just a little post production can make a huge amount of difference to your summertime photography. Let me show you...

The photograph above was taken in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean in Barbados. It was an overcast day with a storm brewing. The contrast of clear water and the stormy sky were difficult to capture in one shot, but I knew I could improve this in Photoshop.


I always shoot in RAW, the RAW file records a greater number of pixels, giving you more freedom to edit an image. These files need to be processed in Photoshop or Lightroom allowing you much more creativity. Using layers like Levels and Curves, Hues/Saturation and Shadows/Highlights, the image can look infinitely better and true to what you had seen.

Don't be afraid to experiment. The photograph below is the end result, which in my mind is true to what I saw.


The same goes for the photograph below taken at the Soco Hotel Hastings, Barbados. It's not possible to capture an even exposure for the out and inside in one image, this can be achieved by using HDR which I mentioned in my previous newsletter . However without the use of a tripod to shoot multiple images you can still achieve this in one shot. You will need to enhance the exterior view by using the techniques mentioned above and below.

Using a layer mask and playing with a levels adjustment layer I have been able to retrieve the data lost by the harsh sunlight in contrast to the shade inside.

The final image below gives a pleasing result.

I hope this has been useful and has set you on your way in post production, for others of you who are more advanced, keep experimenting, it's the best way to learn as you can find some original tool combinations by making errors.

Enjoy the weekend, I'll be back in two weeks time with more news. Bye for now!