Feedback from clubs after Smart Shooting Part 1- Beyond Auto talk.

I am always interested to receive feedback from people who attend one of my talks, workshops or holidays. This is a selection of the comments I have received which specifically relate to my talk “Smart Shooting Part 1 – Beyond Auto”.

Modern cameras have powerful computer processors which can greatly assist you when taking photos. It is therefore very tempting to either set your camera on automatic, and allow these in camera computers to do all the work calculating the exposure, sorting out focus or alternatively to use the so-called “creative modes” to manage a particular situation.

With all this computing power in the camera do you ever wonder why some of your photos look too dark and some too light, do you wonder why some are blurred but some taken few frames later are not?

My aim for this talk is to show you that allowing your cameras computer to make decisions for you isn’t always the best option. More importantly you will be reassured that taking back control yourself isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think. I am not advocating shooting completely in manual mode. You just need to take control of the ‘in camera’ computer, work with it and make it work for you.

Anyone can take superb photos, but the first step is leaving the auto mode setting on your camera and learning how even the basic controls, together with the inbuilt computer can make a very different photograph.


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Feedback from clubs after Smart Shooting Part 1- Beyond Auto talk.

Nicky Smith – Guest at Clacton Camera Club – March 2023

“Dear Bob and Ann.

As ever I found it a pleasure to listen to you Bob.. your knowledge and passion inspire me, and you make it at my level to understand . Love the Pizza 🍕 process that works for me . I have learnt so much from your sessions .you have given me more confidence and understanding to stay with manual but use my camera more effectively. I Will read and Re read your presentations. My Macro lense arrived from mpb today so looking forward to taking some images with that (No spiders though )!! I have chatted to Kate today about dates and we’re so looking forward to seeing you and Ann again. Thank-you again for your Kindness and support . Best wishes Nicky “

Wendy Leech – Programme Secretary Clacton Camera Club – March 2023

“Hello Bob, this is to formally thank you very much, on behalf of the membership of Clacton Camera Club, for visiting us online on Friday evening and for presenting “Moving Beyond Auto – Taking Back Control of Your Camera”. You delivered your presentation with clarity. The graphics and images really helped demonstrate what you were explaining. I checked with our newest members, who told me that they were looking forward to your presentation, and they found it very helpful. Also, I found the part concerning the histogram, useful. Although I knew about the histogram, and its curves, etc; hearing your explanation on Friday made it clearer as to why it’s best to keep to the right. I shoot on manual all the time, so I will keep a closer eye on the histogram, making sure I can get the exposure right, or at least ensuring there’s enough data there to work on, when post-processing – so thank you very much for a very informative and enjoyable evening.”

Paul Cook – Programme Sec Sutton Coldfield Photo Club – January 2023

“Dear Bob. I would like to say a very “Big Thank You” for your wonderful and very technical seminar “Smart Shooting Part One: Beyond Auto Mode Taking Control Of Your Camera” last Friday 20th, January 2023.

All our Committee and Experience Members thought fit was the best presentation ever, regarding all the technical considerations when shooting with Modern Day Cameras. Definitely, a very well-thought-out presentation with a simple explanation to get your points across. In fact, a Brilliant Presentation.

Yes indeed, we all had to look through and refresh our members understanding of the basic operations of our cameras before hitting the hard concepts in the second half of your presentation. Our Former Chairman, Mr Alan McCormick is very experienced in the field was really impressed and now has stepped back to rethink his approach to modify his default method of taking pictures on semi auto and thinking about correctly exposing in difficult situations with the Compensation Dial.

We also, had a Former BBC Camera Man who also remarked on how good your technical content and presentation during your presentation. I have instructed the all our members to return to your website and check out “Tips & Techniques” and download your printable guides for reference.

Thank you for delivering such a polished presentation and inspirational seminar. Definitely, made a huge impact on my outlook on Photography and all the club members that attended your event.”

Tim Pinder – Knowle Camera Club – January 2023

“Hi Bob, I chaired the Knowle Camera Club zoom talk you gave us this week. It was excellent, and the feedback I’ve had so far has been very positive, thank you.”

Alan Lawrence – Programme Secretary Wolverhampton Photographic Society – November 2018

“Hi Bob, WOW! What an evening you gave us last night. Your presentation was exactly what we wanted as we are trying to give our Membership a mixture of photographic education, inspiration and entertainment. You met our remit in spades with, for me, the icing on the cake being your ‘plain English’ explanations coupled with your very snazzy visual presentation back up to underpin our understanding of the topics you covered. May I also thank you for the download which I achieved successfully this morning I know that our members will really appreciate this.
When I opened the evening last night I did say that we were in for a really top flight instructional talk and you certainly came up with the goods. Thank you so much Bob and I’m sure I’ll be booking a second visit from you in the future. Kind regards, Alan Lawrence.”

Webheath camera club programme secretary – October 2017

“On behalf of Webheath DPC I would like to thank you for an excellent presentation yesterday evening. The talk was very informative and pitched to all levels in the club, which is not an easy task to achieve given the complexity of going from auto. A great evening was had by all. Looking forward to your talk next year, and possibly on one of your workshops.”

Claire Anello – Highworth Camera Club – April 2016

“I would like to thank you on behalf of the Committee and the members of Highworth Camera Club for your informative and entertaining talk tonight. There was definitely something for our more experienced members and for our quite recent influx of newbies. At coffee they were telling me how great it was to finally learn something about their cameras!. Your passion and enthusiasm both of your subject and wish to share your knowledge shone tonight.
If you would send me the links I will ensure they get emailed to all the members in my Newsletter next week. Many thanks once again. Claire Anello “

Pauline Barrett (Ruschliffe Photo Soc) – November 2015

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your ‘Beyond Auto’ talk this week at the Rushcliffe Photographic Society. I now have a much clearer insight into my Nikon camera and have already started using your notes to help me past the ‘green’ button. I have downloaded many fact sheets on this, but a tap and a bucket of water will actually now mean more to me than watering the garden! Many thanks.”

Rosie Kind – Bedford Camera Club – December 2014

“I really enjoyed your talk at Bedford Camera Club tonight and it is great to refresh your mind as to the settings on your camera. I love wildlife photography and to see your images really. I never stop learning and more tips to get better images is always good and enables me to keep up to date with new techniques and new possibilities for capturing even better shots of the wildlife I see on my doorstep.”

Chris Baldwin – Babdy Photo Society – November 2014

“Thanks for a really good evening on Wednesday, your delivery is amazing and, as ever, your kindness & consideration to learning photographers is fully appreciated. I will encourage our members to try one of your courses.”

David Gurr – St Neots Camera Club – October 2014

“Bob. Thank You for your lecture to the St.Neots camera club last Tuesday. Thank You for making the procedure so clear, and easy to understand. It made me understand where I sometimes go wrong. Thank You Very Much.”

Carolyn Gostelow – Judges & Speakers Officer Biggleswade Camera Club – October 2014

“Bob. On behalf of Biggleswade & District Camera Club I want to thank you for the wonderful presentation you gave on Thursday evening. It was really interesting and I think everyone, including the more experienced photographers, learnt something.
The feedback we have had has been really positive. Its not often that we get a speaker that can combine understanding the use and basic function of your camera with stunning images to illustrate the subject. It is also really good that we can all access the information on your website, thank you for that it is really helpful. I’m sure it won’t be another 3 years before we ask you back again! Kind regards Carolyn BDCC “

Andrew Robson – Wallingford Camera Club – October 2014

“Bob THANK YOU for a wonderful presentation last night. It really was a master class that took us all on a great journey of learning – something I really love to see in the club environment. What I really liked was your ability to teach those members like myself who have just started to learn the basics while also testing those that appear to know it all.
Your web site is great and the links to various documents are an added bonus. We would love to see you back at the Wallingford Photographic Club in the future…. so watch this space for a new email requesting a booking.”

Roger Willoughby – Biggleswade Camera Club – October 2014

“Everyone at Biggleswade thought your presentation was brilliant, very clear and professional as are the photos on your homepage. “

Michael Watts – Kidlington Camera Club – September 2014

E-mail to secretary of Kidlington Camera Club by a member.
“Wonderful KCC meeting last night – excellent as a start to the new season. He obviously knew his stuff from hands-on experience, and could present it in the most digestible format. But then he is an experienced teacher, and understands the need to present material in a variety of ways to the benefit of most audience members. Thank you, and let’s have more of this quality, and with this practical-topic emphasis please. “

Geoff Ayres – Kidlington Camera Club – September 2014

“I was at the KCC for your talk about coming off auto. I gained a lot out from your presentation as I find aperture, shutter speed and iso a constant challenge. I particularly liked your simple explanations as sometimes all the technical jargon for me goes right over my head. “

Liz Weeks – Marwell Photo Group – August 2014

“Brilliant lecture to new Marwell member, 10/10. Very clear. I look forward to reviewing the lecture and your tips and techniques page.”

Sue Lloyd – Secretary Thatcham Photo Soc. – May 2014

“Bob. I would like to thank you on behalf of the Club for your presentation yesterday evening. Many people, visitors as well as members, were impressed by the clarity of your explanations and several commented on the fact that it was not all about yourself as a photographer and more about how they could improve. Many thanks

Claire Starmer – Kettering Camera Club – March 2014

“Your talk to Kettering last night was both interesting and informative. I have certainly gained a better understanding of how the camera works and can’t wait to put what I learnt into practice.”

Jill Timms – Witney Photo Group – January 2014

“I recently attended the Witney Photo Group for the FIRST time and you were the speaker! I really enjoyed your presentation and easy to follow talk. Thank you.”

Brain Lee – Programme secretary Witney Photo Group – January 2014

“Bob. Many thx for your excellent talk last Tuesday. It was pitched exactly how I had envisaged and provided invaluable information to particularly new members that have joined the club since our season began. It was also a refreshing review of the information we should know as experienced photographers but often don’t stop to think about before pressing the shutter. “

Bob Halsley – Towcester Camera Club – Dec 2013

“Really enjoyed this evenings presentation, I had thought I was fairly up to speed on the basics but your take on them has given me a lot to (re)-consider. Thansk Bob”

Beryl Thomas – Nov 2013

“Bob – it’s fantastic to see (and hear) someone who can present such a key aspect of photography in such a new and refreshing way. Your skill in putting together a presentation and your use of graphics to get across a point is something I recall so well from your last visit. Yet another night that surpassed any we have had in my 27 years at this club – even your last talk in January – and believe me that’s saying something. That one set new standards and to beat it is a testimony to you and your dedication. What a challenge you have for your next visit ! which I hope is very soon..”

Joan Wise – Nov 2013

“Thanks so much for another first rate presentation to our club. You were here in January and I felt that was the best evening we had ever had, you surpassed even yourself last night. I look forward to you coming back again and will be asking Steve the programme secretary to invite you back very soon.”

Steve Crowther – Nov 2013

“Just a quick note after your presentation to our club last night. As John said when he introduced you your reputation goes before you, we had a stupendous presentation from you in January but last night surpassed even that. Whilst this might be the first time you have presented this talk but it certainly didn’t show. Your style and approach is totally unique and so inspiring. So many people come to show us their splendid (or not so splendid) photos very few teach us anything. You did both, the photos were superb but the teaching so much better. I think its testimony to your style and approach that even I who have been shooting for 30 odd years learnt something new. We will certainly be inviting you again. Thanks very much.”

James Trent – Nov 2013

“Bob. Thanks so much for visiting us last night and delivering your new presentation. I think that I speak for many in the club in saying that we feel honoured to have been the first club to receive what was a fantastic evening. I read a comment from someone somewhere on your website saying “if you had been my teacher when at school I would have learnt so much more” I can only agree. Its so refreshing to see someone so prepared to share their skill and knowledge and in such a clear and effective way. As last time you visited us it’s also great that you are prepared to leave all the material you used for members to download and peruse at leisure. We had a new member last night who asked me if we had to pay for it. When I told him no he said gosh you must have a great relationship with Bob ! I did tell him that you did this for all clubs and he was really impressed. “