A group of budding media communications photographers from the Air Cadet movement have just completed a photography course at the Defence School of Photography (DSOP).
The first, Air Cadets, Basic Camera Operator' course, as the name suggests took the candidates right back to basics. Using professional equipment supplied by DSOP and with anything remotely automatic turned off the Air Cadet staff had their work cut out doing everything manually. These days when we pick up our modern compact cameras and SLR's we tend to leave everything in auto and let the camera do most of the work, all we have to do is point and shoot and we can even get that wrong sometimes.
So with setting the correct shutter speeds and aperture settings to get the ideal exposure and required depth of field as well as focusing and framing the subject matter, taking photographs suddenly became a lot more than simply pointing the camera and pressing a button.
During the course the four staff, Sqn Ldr Constance Rigby, Flt Lt Paul Hincks, WO Tony Osborne and FS James Parker, underwent classroom based theory training in Camera Operation and image manipulation using Photoshop. The theory was ably put to the test during a wide range of exercises each aimed at demonstrating a different aspect of camera handling.
In no time at all the four budding photographers were out and about with their Nikon D200's, big lenses and tripods photographing anything and anyone who was unfortunate enough to catch their eye. Thankfully the other service personnel at DCAE Cosford are quite accustomed to finding students from DSOP popping up from behind parked cars and taking their photograph. The visitors to Cosford RAF Museum , cadets on annual camp and the costumed actors at the Blists Hill Victorian Town also fell victim to the four as they set about putting their camera theory into practice.
Flt Lt Paul Hincks media Communications Officer for 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron said, I would most definitely recommend this course to anyone who already does a lot of photography for their units. At first the thought of switching everything on the camera into manual is quite daunting but you soon start to see the advantages. You take control of the camera and that opens up a completely new world of creative photography. For instance, if you've ever wondered how to take those large panoramic shots, you've got to turn everything off and do it manually.
He added I would like to thank our instructor, Sgt Paul Earl and the other members of staff at the Defence School of Photography for all the time and effort they have put into the course and I hope that many other members of the Air Cadet movement get the chance to attend an Air Cadets Basic Camera Operator Course, given half a chance I would be back there again next week.
The Defence School of Photography (DSOP) which is located at the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE) Cosford, is responsible for training members of all three services and MOD employed civilian photographers in all forms of Defence Photography, Media Operations and Electronic News Gathering.