Last month a Living Social deal came up for a Photography 101 and Photography 201 all day class. Since receiving my DSLR as my Mother's Day gift from my hubby last year I've been wanting to take a class. It seemed like every class I found we had a prior commitment that day. Also, up until a couple months ago Orion nursed every 2 hours during the day so being away from him for a whole day for a class was complicated. Now that he is getting older it is getting easier to do these type of things.
Photography 101 was held in a University lecture room. The class went over all the basics: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. and how to find the controls on your camera. It was helpful but I'm a hands on learner so I don't think I really grasped the concepts until the afternoon photography 201 class which was outside and task oriented. The teacher gave us a photography assignment, we each spent some time completing that assignment, asking for help as needed, we then re-grouped and he assigned the next task. I liked this format except I was always the first one done. I like to do something, master it, and move on to the next thing.
I captured some decent shots and know SO much more about my camera and how to capture the shots I want. I still need to purchase Photoshop as these photos were all just edited in Picasa. I also need a camera bag so I can safely carry my camera and equipment without feeling like I'm going to break or drop my expensive camera. Right now I only have a 18-55mm lens so a future upgrade will be at least one longer range lens. Another thing I struggle with is juggling a wiggly baby and a DSLR camera which is bulky. Not sure that will get easier but maybe I'll get quicker at setting up the right shot.
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the afternoon Photography 201 class:
The location of the Photography 201 class. The Swetsville Zoo is a sculpture garden made from recycled materials. Admission is free, it's local, and a neat place to check out.
Working on lighting
Working on focus
Same shot, just different focus
More focus work
For this assignment we were supposed to take a shot of something and then get in close and take shots of all the parts of that item. Sometimes in the moment you can miss the detail shots which turn out to be some of the best shots.
More up close shots
Last one of this guy
This assignment was framing. You were supposed to look for natural framing. I set the shot up to look down the center of the one part. Most of the day it was cloudy and excellent light for photography. At this point in the day the sun came out from behind the clouds and was blaring down. I never did get the light perfect. The bright sun washed the photo out a bit. This is why I decided to edit it with focal black and white to take away some of the harshness of the bright sunlight.
Bird's nest inside one of the sculptures
Our last assignment is a shot that is hard to get but a fun one to practice. We were supposed to get a shot of a fast moving car (approximately 55 MPH) and capture the car but blur the background to emphasis the motion. The teacher even said you'll probably only get 2 good shots for every 10 you take but with digital you can take as many as you want without worrying.
Another car zooming by
I can't wait to practice more now that I have the tools to become a better photographer. Not sure how much time I'll be able to devote to photography but I love taking pictures so why not take good pictures!