Welcome and week 1 class recap – Getting Started…

“I’m always mentally photographing everything as practice.” Minor White

Welcome to the class blog! This is the place where you can find information on each weeks’ class as well as information on the topics that we discuss as well as additional links to useful information on the Web. I will also be adding information regularly so please bookmark the site and check back often.

You can also share info and chat with instructors and fellow classmates on our class Facebook page.

This book is required. Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson

Here is a recap of this week’s class:

The topics we discussed were (page number references from our textbook, Understanding Exposure, have been listed in parentheses so you can read further on these subjects.)

  • You had a look into my camera bag.
  • We did a basic setup of your camera.
  • We discussed manual camera functions and learned how to set them on our cameras. What are the 3 P’s? Practice, Patience and Persistence. We also learned about some of the other main ingredients that help you become a better photographer. They are ISO (p. 20), Aperture/F-stop (p. 36), and shutter speed (p. 72). We learned how they relate to each other on the exposure triangle (p. 16). Remember: ISO affects shutter speed and aperture, aperture and shutter speed affect each other but they do no affect ISO.
  • Focus Modes and focus points and how single point focus is best when starting out.
  • We will talk about metering modes (p. 122) next week. Go ahead and read about them so that you have an understanding when we do. The main ones are evaluative/matrix, center weighted and spot metering. You will mostly use evaluative/matrix metering. Your camera is set to it by default.

We discussed using your camera’s built in light meter to read the light as a starting point for your exposure.

Here is the metering sequence… (More information on p. 22 of your book)

Please note: Before taking any photos make sure your camera’s mode dial is set to “M”. Also, check your ISO. You’ll want to set it to 200 for bright sunlight or 400 if it’s an overcast day.

  1. Set: set either the shutter speed or aperture
  2. Meter: get the meter to zero out with whichever setting you didn’t set (IE: if you set the aperture then use the shutter speed to zero out your meter)
  3. Shoot: take the picture
  4. Look: check it out. Is it too light or dark?
  5. Adjust: change either the aperture or shutter speed to adjust the exposure
  6. Shoot: shoot again
  7. Look: how does it look now?
  8. Repeat: repeat steps 3-6 as necessary to get an exposure that you like

For this class you will be shooting in hi resolution JPEG. We will talk more about digital files next week.

Part of your homework for next week is to read the introduction and chapter 1 in your book as well as familiarize yourself with your cameras’ manual functions. Get comfortable setting the f-stop and shutter speed using the thumb wheels while looking through the view finder.

Your homework:

  • Write a bucket list of things/places you’d like to shoot.
  • Find a photographer that you’d like to emulate. Email me a link to their site/photos so we can look at them as a class next week.
  • Shoot some everyday items. Make sure to shoot your items in good light. Don’t try to shoot things indoors in low light yet. Take at least 30 shots of different items and pick out your favorite 1-3. Print them in 4″x6″ or 5″x7″ format and bring to class with you next week.

I want you to start keeping your camera out and available. Take it with you when you go out if you can. Life happens fast so if your camera is in your bag in the closet you’ll miss a lot of good moments to photograph.

I also want you to start being aware of the light around you. Without light there would be no photographs. Watch how light changes at different times of the day and during different weather conditions. Look around your house. Do you have an area that gets really nice natural light? Is it all day or just at certain times of the day?

Please remember to bring your camera and manual to class each week as we will be shooting during each class period.

See you next week.

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