101 in 1001: #13: Take a Photography Class

So, I may have cheated a bit by adding this to my 101 in 1001 list.  I had already signed up for the class when I wrote the list.  However, it was something that I had been wanting to for a long time so I felt like it deserved a place on the list.

The class that I chose to take was Advanced Digital Photography through MATC.  Well, I chose it with the help of Holly.  The fabulous Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) wanted to take a photography class as well, so we decided to do it together.  Things are more fun with friends, right?

The class met for four two-hour sessions in the span of two weeks, and cost $30.  Although, I think I would have preferred it once a week over four weeks, the price was well worth it for the great information that I took away from the class.

In the first session, we learned about ISO, aperture, shutter speed and the different settings on our camera. (like P, AV, TV and M)  Yes, I realize I could have just read my manual to figure out the difference between the settings….but I would much rather have someone explain it to me in terms that I understand. 🙂

Cup 1

 

Cup 2

In the second session we learned about white balance, and some more fun camera options like metering.  We also learned that if you don’t think the camera has the correct exposure setting, you can change it.  By using something called exposure bracketing, you can pretty easily find out whether the exposure is correct for the situation, or if it maybe looks better a bit over or under exposed.

In the third session, we learned about some fun shooting techniques.  I think I enjoyed this session the most because it focused on photography as an art – rather than just snapping photos at your kids basketball game. (not that you couldn’t make that into art as well.  Just an example)  Some of the techniques we learned about were panning – when you want to make an object in motion in focus, but still look like its moving; zooming – this was probably my favorite technique.  It involves zooming the lens as the shot is being taken.  Here is a photo I took using the technique.

Cat Face

During this session, we also talked about making your own lightbox.  As soon as we were done discussing what it takes to make one – and talking with Holly about how she made hers – it made me realize that there is no reason I should not have made one of these already!  What am I waiting for??  Because I came to this conclusion, I decided to add this to my 101 in 1001 list.  Lets call it 13a.

In the last class, we talked about using flash.  For a while now, I have known that my photos look MUCH better when I don’t use flash, but this discussion solidified the reasons why.  We also learned that you can actually use flash to create lighting, without ruining the photo.  You can actually use your on camera flash to create a fill light when you are outside and there are shadows.  We learned about some cool light bouncing techniques to use to create better lighting situations inside as well – unfortunately for those you need to have a separate flash unit, so you can direct the light in different directions.

What I took away from this class:

1) AV does not mean Audio Visual (as in the AV Club) – ok I didn’t really think that it meant that, but it might as well have because I had no idea what it meant.  The AV mode gives the aperture setting priority.  Meaning, you are able to change that setting and the camera will figure out for you what to shutter speed should be to product a decent photo. This is good to use when you want to control your depth of field.

2) The TV mode gives the shutter speed priority.  So basically it is the opposite of the AV setting.  In TV mode, you choose your shutter speed, the camera figures out the correct aperture to produce a photo. You want to use this setting when you are shooting things that are in motion, like sporting events.

3) Even if you don’t have an über expensive top of the line camera, you can still produce really great photos.  Learning how to manipulate settings in your camera is key!

4) Everything takes time to learn.  Practice, practice, practice!

I really enjoyed taking this class. Even after the first session, I felt like I had learned a lot, and definitely had a better handle on what my camera could do.  The teacher was great as well.  If you are in the Madison area looking for photography related classes to take, look for John Lorimer.  Also,  the class only cost $30!  Definitely worth it.

I’ve always had an interest in photography, and this class definitely solidified that.  If you haven’t noticed already, I like to use my “Wordless Wednesday” posts to showcase photos that I’ve taken that may not necessarily be food related.

Have you taken a class related to a hobby that you have?
What blogs do you read that you think have fabulous photographs?

Happy Saturday!

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2 thoughts on “101 in 1001: #13: Take a Photography Class

    • I bet if you check out the options on your point and shoot, you can learn some things for different shooting situations too! Many of the fairly newer versions have a lot more options than most people use. 🙂

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