Feedback from clubs after Smart Shooting Part 2 Ordinary to Extra Ordinary.

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 2 – From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary”.

Anyone can take absolutely superb photographs, but the first step is learning how even the basic controls work. The second, and often omitted step, is to understand how the differences in digital shooting can make these photographs even better. To move from the ordinary to the extraordinary

This talk builds on the ideas discussed and explored in the earlier beyond auto talk and extends to starting by looking at how digital shooting differs from film. This is very important and often overlooked as we assume digital cameras are just film cameras with a digital sensor instead of a film.

We can and do continue to use our digital cameras (mirrored or mirrorless) in the same way as we did our film cameras, however even though the basic controls are the same, if we are to get the best from them, we need to understand this fundamental difference more clearly.

Just as photographers like Ansel Adams encouraged us to expose film in particular ways to get the best from our photos we need to understand how digital cameras can help us to manage exposure to get sharper, cleaner, clearer and more noise free pictures. This talk’s aim is to take experienced shooters forward in their journey in photography as well challenge and stretch newer members who may have heard the first talk or had help in your club and be taking their first steps to take control of their cameras.


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Feedback from clubs after Smart Shooting Part 2 – From the Ordinary to Extra Ordinary.

Simon Pugsley – January 2024

“Hi Bob

Thanks for coming to the club to give a very enjoyable talk last night. I found your delivery engaging and very insightful, specifically around the why.

I knew capturing images with the histogram to the right gathered more data but when you broke it down in terms of stops, numbers, and colour, the importance of it really struck. For wildlife I shoot in manual with auto ISO and +1 ev on the basis I want control of my aperture and secure the speed for moving subjects. So I am looking forward to spending time experimenting with taking control of ISO, maybe shooting speed or aperture priority, and checking my histogram more frequently than I currently do.

Its funny, whilst I look at the histogram occasionally for wildlife and landscape, I never do it for astrophotography, probably because I rely on stacking. There must be gains there also, so will definitely be checking the histogram and experimenting, when the cloud disappears of course!

Thanks again, and I look forward to reading your musings on your website.”

Alan McCormick – January 2024

“I recently attended a talk that Bob gave to Sutton Coldfield Photography Club, where he shared his insights into exposure setting and raw processing.
This was a complete revelation. The 2 hour session was packed with example images and supporting data that clearly demonstrated the technique being explained. Everything was illustrated with very well prepared examples and charts.
I will certainly be applying the lessons to my future work.
Many thanks Bob, for your insightful talk and the club looks forward to the next episode.”

Ron Fearn – October 2023

“Good evening Bob
Just a quick note to say a big thank you for last nights talk.
I have only been attending this camera club for around 6 months but I have been involved with others before.Yours was far and away the best talk that I have ever attended. If there are 2 things that have massively changed my way of thinking and shooting over the years it has been starting using back button focus and the info learned from your talk last night.
Thanks once again for last night and I hope to see you at a future presentation / workshop. “

Stuart Watson – After Talk to Mid-Somerset Camera Club after Smart Shooter talk –  October 2022

“Dear Bob. Your talk was the best I have seen on photography including photographic shows Having been in education circles for 30 years I have to say that your style and delivery is extremely engaging and any student listening to you would be so inspired!

I have noticed in the past when I’ve taken a ‘wrongly’ over exposed photo then after in post-processing it is often a cracking and unexpected picture, I see why now. “

John Law – Chairman Mid-Somerset Camera Club –  October 2022

“Just as I thought I understood the basics of digital photography and exposure, through his presentation Bob opened the camera club’s eyes to a higher level understanding of digital sensors, image data and the quality of photography. Delivered with enthusiasm and rigour, Bob explained how to raise our level of our photography by applying specific techniques that maximise our camera’s ability to capture image data. In so doing he was able to justify the title of his talk – ‘Photography – from the ordinary to the extraordinary’. This was a presentation that took our understanding of digital photography to a new level. Thank Bob for a great presentation.

I look forward to welcoming you to a club meeting at some point in the future. John Law Chairman Mid-Somerset Camera Club”

Richard Kenny – Rushden and District Photo Soc – Jan 2022

“Well….what an evening we had yesterday! Excellent talk, brilliantly delivered, very widely agreed amongst the members too I’m sure. I have to say that after 40 minutes or so, I thought….where’s Bob going with this? This is all pretty rudimentary stuff…But then I realised you were making sure the foundations were firm for the next level of explanation! I’m sure many attendees thought you were mad at the time (increasing an already high ISO?), and may have been put off by the maths…but I loved it! So the message was loud and clear….shoot to the right! “

Peter Watson – Towcester Camera Club – November 2021

“Just to say how much I enjoyed last night’s talk and how much I learned from it. Understanding how important the right-hand end of the histogram is in terms of the information recorded was a real eye-opener. It has enabled me to identify more clearly some of the reasons why some of my efforts have gone wrong. Most helpful in what you presented were the comparisons between shots of the same subject with different camera settings. I found that enabled me to grasp much better what you were saying. Much practice now needed to digest what you told us. And I still have to get to grips with the problem of how to deal with strong contrasts in light.”

Brian Rees – after Sharp Shooting Part 2 talk – Exeter Camera Club – July 2021

“Thank you for your fantastic talk on Thursday. My photography has mainly been in the digital era and I knew that the recommendation was always “expose to the right” but could never understand why. You could not have made the explanation clearer. Thank you!”

Phil Woolley – after Smart Shooting Talk Exeter Camera Club – July 2021

“Just watched your presentation to Exeter CC, fascinating and I learnt a huge amount. Very well communicated and at just the right level.”

Graham Arnold – after Smart Shooting Talk Exeter Camera Club – July 2021

“Thanks for the brilliant Zoom talk to Exeter CC last night.”

Roger Willoughby – Jan 2021

“”From the Ordinary to Extraordinary” Biggleswade camera Club
Thanks for your very detailed talk Bob, it was very helpful. Particularly liked your expression “Exposure Compensation as the 4th Control on your camera”. I’ve used shooting to the right while setup on a tripod for landscapes but not a lot for wildlife. I tried this the next day on wildfowl on a bright day and the outcome was much improved. Also the whole evening totally emphasised the need to do this so with any luck it’s gone into my brain. Also the massive more more colours to the right was enlightening”

Marie Phillips – Kettering and District Photographic Society – Jan 2021

“I was part of our club, KDPS, Zoom presentation of Sharpshooter- turning the ordinary into extraordinary. I thought the presentation clear and interesting, supplemented with amazing images. I surprised myself by understanding it all and was left ‘buzzing’ and wanting to get out and try the new techniques.
A few days later I was able to get out to Barnwell Country Park and got some really good images.
So thank you Bob. I will be booking on a workshop as soon as we are able!!

Dennis Bowden – Chairman Kettering and District Photographic Society after Sharp Shooting talk – Jan 2021

“Hi Bob Many thanks for your excellent presentation last night. The feedback from members was very good and clearly they fully understood your messages.

Hadrian Moss – Programme secretary Kettering and District Photographic Society – Jan 2021

“I just wanted to pass on my personal thanks for such an inspiring talk last night. I was riveted from start to finish. Your explanation and graphical representations of where important data is collected by an image sensor has made me reconsider my whole approach to digital photography.!”

Cliff Harvey Bedford Camera Club – Jan 2021

“Just a quick note to tell you how well received you were from your talk to the Bedford Camera Club this past Tuesday evening..! We have our own WhatsApp account for members only, and the positive chatter on it has been non-stop with praise for how much they learned from your inspiring presentation..! Well done to you Bob; we will certainly have you back again with more of your fabulous insight into how to produce the best possible images..! Thanks again for a stellar evening..!”