Monday, January 11, 2010

Photography Course - FAIL

Saturday's photo course was a wash-out. Although it was billed as a course on Basic Digital Photography, I knew I was in trouble the moment I walked in and saw that seventeen out of nineteen participants had SLR cameras with honkin' big lenses that made my lowly little compact digital look like a child's toy, and theparticipants were busy chatting among themselves about F-stops and ISOs and all sorts of stuff I didn't understand.

The course was a powerpoint presentation of words (too small to read on screen, but handed out on a sheet so one could just read along) with the occasional single image. Definitions were confusing, there were no multiple images to show photos taken at different settings, and no analogies or models or hands-on stuff for us visual/experiential learners.

It was waaaay over my head and I left at the break because I didn't have a clue what was going on. Maybe as a retired teacher I'm too critical, but I just expected something more...well...basic.

So, back to snapping away in auto mode until I can find out how to operate the camera manually. I tried....but one photo ended up all white, another all black, another all blurry. In auto mode, however, I get some pretty neat shots. Like these:

Scruggs (one of Ebeneezer pig's new siblings)

Misty (also one of Ebeneezer's new siblings)

Lily, a new Wednesday Walker

Jazz, who has rejoined the Wednesday Walkers after a few months' absence

Blue sunrise on Osborne Bay

I'm sure a photo critic can find much wrong with the images, but I'm pretty happy with this new little camera of mine.

Lots to catch up on.....I never did write up last Wednesday's walk to Crofton Lake, and I made another visit to see Ebeneezer yesterday, and I have a funny little series of Allie flexing her metaphorical muscles over the dogs. But the dogs need out and the cat wants food and I have groceries to put away, so I shall save them for another day.


Kate said...

You can't be the only one on the island wanting to take a basic photo course, minus the SLR camera! geesh if I was there I would take the course, can't see you taking this lying down lol! why not make your own course, what does the school say? is there an instructor in the area that would take on pupils, with or without the classroom? totally dissapointing though, but I do love the new pic's on the new camera with the auto mode ! glad to hear Neezer is doing great!
Kate D.

Jean said...

Kate, this course was offered by a private photographer. There were several offered in the community recreation brochure this fall, including some from elder college -but they were cancelled for lack of interest.

I did pick up a "Digital Photography for Dummies" book, but even that makes my eyes cross .....I think I need an innovative elementary school science teacher to help me understand the concepts.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Jean - if I read "basic" in the title of a course - I'm guessing it would help beginners? But who knows anymore, I can't keep up with all the new technology, that's for sure!

Also, "Lily" looks like a love!!


Black Jack's Carol said...

I'm so sorry about the course! Really, since you paid your money, I believe the instructor should have gone out of his way to make sure you received some useful instruction. That said, I do believe you are getting better results with every post. Something is working well! Great expression in Scrubbs, beautiful gloss in Misty, and the only thing missing in Jazz and Lily would have been eye contact (so hard to get). Also loved your scene. Maybe you don't need that course:)

One thing that is beginning to help me is that I googled D90 (my camera) and found a site designed only for that model. The person doing the site seems to have a clear way of explaining things, and as long as I don't try to do too many things at once, I feel that a few of the technical points are starting to make sense. Maybe there's an internet site for your camera.

Alphamutt said...

I love the photo of Jazz, Jean, it's a terrific shot of a stunning dog.

I think you might be looking for a much more basic "technical" course than anything on the artistic side. You very obviously have "an eye" (a great Goddess given talent), as indicated in the many, many striking images you capture.

My suggestion to you? If you can swing it financially, get a tutor. Maybe you can barter, maybe it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, who knows? Worth a look, no.

You have posted some recent photos which, were I the mom or dad of the furkid involved, I would want to purchase.

I'd like to chat with you about a few things, if you are into that, at some point.

Jean said...

Carol, I searched for an on-line tutorial for this model but only came up with reviews (even on the sites that claimed to have tutorials). I shall have to keep searching. There is something more on the Sony site, apparently, but I've been unable to access it. I agree with Alphamutt that a hands-on, one-on-one tutor would be great, and I may pursue that - I could try contacting the people who were to run the cancelled eldercollege courses, for a start.

Alphamutt, I'm going to be over on the mainland January 26-30. I have some commitments during that time, but how about getting together over a cup of coffee or a meal if our schedules permit? Email me with your email address - Chris has my private email address, or use the "email me" contact at the side of this blog.