Focus on great photos

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 January, 2012, 12:00am


Gatherings of people in Hong Kong, whether for social or work-related occasions, are usually rounded off with a hearty session of taking photographs. Group photos are an important way for people to record and celebrate each occasion they share with others.

'Adults have a strong sense of mortality and the passing of time, and therefore feel an urgency to capture life's moments before it's too late. Their lives are unfolding stories, and each adult is the photojournalist of his or her own life story. If one is a good photographer, one can do a much better job of capturing the images associated with one's life story,' explains Craig Norris, a professional photographer and photography instructor.

For people with limited experience in photography, Norris offers a 3.5-day comprehensive photography workshop and a three-hour digital camera class. He is available for one-on-one coaching at more advanced levels. The comprehensive workshop covers the technical operation of the camera and the artistic aspects of composition and lighting. Sections of the workshop include a theory presentation, field trip, field-trip review and a studio-portrait photography session.

After completing the workshop, participants have the basic knowledge needed to become a competent photographer from a technical and artistic point of view. The course costs HK$3,600.

The three-hour digital camera class is available on an individual or group basis and teaches participants how to make the best use of the controls on their digital cameras. The aim is to enable people to take photos that are sharper, well-exposed and possess good, natural colour. The course costs HK$2,400. The English-Speaking Members Department of the YWCA ( is offering two photography classes in its spring programme - the Canon Digital SLR workshop and a shooting workshop. All are conducted by Cynthia Lee from Digital Salon (

'Most of my adult students usually want to improve their camera skills to take photos of their children and family during trips away, children's sports days, school events and birthday parties. They get to learn how to use the features of their digital cameras other than in the auto mode. They learn how to control the results of their photos,' Lee says.

In the Canon Digital SLR class, participants study the elements of existing travel photos, learn more about the features and functions of their Canon SLRs and the theory behind shutter speeds, apertures and ISO speeds.

The shooting workshop takes participants out to a Hong Kong neighbourhood to take photos and then share them with their classmates afterwards. This new class is aimed at students who have completed the Canon Digital SLR class.

Both classes run for four hours and cost HK$880 for members and HK$940 for non-members, including tuition and refreshments. Students are asked to bring their own cameras with some of their own photos on a memory card.

'My classes are not a photography course, but they provide students with the basics to start them off. They should then go out and practise by shooting a lot,' Lee says.