Thursday, July 16, 2009

Photography Class Homework #1

My friend, Amanda, e-mailed me a few weeks ago about an "Introduction to Digital Photography" class in July. The class meets just 4 times in July, on Tuesday evenings, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Since I've been trying to figure out how to use my new camera, I thought it was a great idea! I expected it to be something where the instructor would say, "Okay, if your subject is here, and the sun is here, then you should stand here to take your picture." I don't want to be a professional photographer, and I don't want to replace our photographer. I just want to be sure that I take decent candid shots of the kids.

Our first class was last Tuesday, July 7. For the first 30 minutes of the class, I was thinking that no one should be allowed to use a digital camera without taking a class (please be sure that you are storing your photos well -- I never knew how easy it was to lose digital photographs -- I can't imagine losing the entire pictorial record of our kids' first year). The next 30 minutes of the class I was thinking, "Hmmm. This is really technical. This is hard. I'm ready to move on to the next topic." About 2 hours in, I was thinking that I was in waaaaaaaay over my head. Not long after that my brain had shut down. I seriously think I would have been better off in a calculus class than in that photography class.

I now have a much greater appreciation for the automatic settings on my camera!!! I have decided that I am going to try my best in this class and do my homework, but if I never use the manual settings on my camera after the class, well at least I gave it a shot. My homework for this past week was to use an ISO of 200 and shoot some pictures outside. We were given some guidelines on what to use for our f-stops (I dont't know if that's even the proper terminology, but it makes sense to me), so the main thing I had to do was use the meter and adjust the shutter speed.

I took my homework pictures on Sunday morning at around 9:00 a.m. I was having a hard time using my auto focus (it kept focusing on the wrong thing), so I switched it to manual focus. I think that was my biggest mistake. I was surprised that the exposure in the photos wasn't that bad (on most of them), but once I saw the photos on the computer, I had lots of pictures that would have been good had they been focused properly. I got a mini-lesson on focus this past Tuesday, so hopefully that will help.

Anyway, for my homework I had to turn in 20 pictures, and these are the 20 I picked to turn in:

Class this past Tuesday was not as hard as the first week. It was really a bit more like what I had expected the class to be. Next week's homework is going to be pretty hard though, I think. I'll post my homework next week. . . .


Amanda said...

I would have never known how hard it is just to get a picture on manual exposure!! I LOVE all the pictures, but my favorites are the picture of the girls in front of the trees and Henry crawling.

Jen said...

I took a black and white photography class in college and I had much of the same reaction you had. It was ridiculously difficult! Granted, we also had to develop our own film and print the pictures ourselves. I spent hours in that damn dark room. I thought the class was going to be a gimme my last semester - boy was I wrong! I love being able to change the ISO and the amount of light exposure. I probably have forgotten everything I learned though (and I am pretty sure you cant even buy film anymore!) Maybe I need to upgrade to a fancy digital camera!
I hope you enjoy the class!

Jen said...

Oh, and the pictures look great!