Michael Yamashita National Geographic Photographer Seminar

Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita presenting at the Sony Digital Workshop in Singapore

As a freelance photographer that has not worked under the guidance or internship of a well known person or brand associated with photography, I am constantly looking for ways better myself and learn as much as I can. Most often it is through self-discovery and other times I learn from seminars and talks by established photographers like Michael Yamashita.

Michael Yamashita was in town and spoke about his own journeys at a Sony Digital Workshop. I had the opportunity to attend his talk and it there were some interesting bits to take away. I’ll mention the few that stood out for me.

Shoot in P (Program), A (Aperture) and S (Shutter) depending on your desired result, be it the requirement for stopping the action shutter priority or isolating a subject in aperture priority. Program mode is great for when you want to get the shot without having to fiddle with settings. The little time it may take to get one setting correct could be the difference between capturing the moment and missing it. Combined with Program mode, Michael spoke about making use of the new features like Auto-ISO to compliment the different shooting modes.

Shooting in P (Program) mode helps shooters focus on the composition and fixate more on the shot you want even before you take the shot. I would agree that newcomers to photography without any photography training can use as many automated features and functions to help them concentrate on getting the composition and framing right before worrying so much about the other settings to achieve desired effect.

What makes a great shot? As Michael put it, a shot that stops me in my tracks. If you were flipping through a magazine and a great shot appeared, that great shot would stop you from flipping pages. I felt this depends on the background of the viewer. As a photographer you may look at a photograph differently than that of the man on the street. However, if you are a photographer with a trained eye and you stop to admire I’d say the shot is not just great it must be fantastic.

Shooting without blue sky or even any element of sky especially when all you might get is a grey or washed out element.

Sometimes it isn’t about shooting the overall. Everybody likes to shoot the big picture. Try shooting the details or better yet take three or four different approaches starting with the wide. Move in for the medium and even closer for the close up or super close. This to me came across like a videographer who shoots these variety of compositions as part of the story. Anyway, it makes sense and it is something that I personally practice.

So, if you are interested in Michael Yamashita’s work you can visit his website – http://www.michaelyamashita.com/blog . You can see his published book accomplishments and if you really like his work you can even purchase a print.

Other Sony Digital Workshops are available – visit Sony Digital Workshops for details.

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