Last week I found myself on an airport transfer bus , leaving behind my temporary home for the past 10 nights, Banff in the rather wonderful Canadian Rocky Mountains. If you have been lucky to visit Banff, you will know how scenic the first 30 odd miles of the Trans Canadian highway is, before it gives way to the lowland prairies and the urban sprawl of Calgary. ( no offence intended )
I should explain that I was returning to the airport after a winter break in Banff National Park , snowshoeing with my wife , and as normal whilst on a family holiday I had no camera with me. Anyway back to the bus , now leaving Banff , fully in motion with the wheels going round and round. As we joined the highway my attention was drawn to a man sat opposite me at the back of the bus, and in particular the camera bag he was now fiddling with on his lap. Any camera normal gets my attention , so I began to discreetly watch what he was up to. Sure enough and as if he was pulling a magic rabbit out of a hat , a shiny new Canon DSLR appeared in his hands.
What followed was the most entertaining 15 minutes of the bus journey, as the man repeatedly tried to capture the fantastic mountain vistas that kept appearing through the window, mountain range after mountain range, hundreds of snow covered peaks. The poor chap had his camera set to auto, and with every shot the built in flash would appear and fire. After each shot , the man reviewed his efforts , shaking his head and then repeating the same shot again and again . This continued until we arrived at the foot hills of the rockies at which point he put the camera back in the bag , and exhausted from his efforts fell asleep.
Now I have never thought of myself as a great photographer, and as anyone who has ever witnessed me trying to remember how to set up a multi flash shot will tell you , I’m definitely in the general bracket of the “great technically challenged ” but after two or three attempts you would think my new friend would realise that using auto with the flash on though a tinted bus window traveling at 90km was never going to work ? ( and I wasn’t being deliberately mean, there were several people sat between us so no chance to offer help )
So as I have said previously, I have had more technically challenging moments than I care to remember. I have been that bemused man on the bus , train , trainers as I’m sure we all have but it did get me thinking……..( and yes it hurts when I think )
What would be your best tip for someone new to the world of photography using a DSLR ? If you have any great tips you want share , please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact page.