Class opened with a short show and tell period. It was great fun to see what fellow students had been working on. The primary topic covered in class was EXPOSURE! Proper exposure is key to a successful photograph. It can also be a little subjective, and can be manipulated for artistic purposes. We discussed the tool of bracketing. This concept is taking the same photo with slightly different settings. In this case, all settings remain the same, then using the exposure compensation function, "under" expose and "over" expose the photo two increments each way. What turns out to be the "best" photo may be surprising!
We were asked to shoot on black and white (this is the monochrome setting on my Cannon), as the instructor feels this is a clearer way to see proper exposure in a photo. If the photo is done well, details should be visible in both the lightest and darkest areas of the picture. I have done very little black and white photography with this camera. I didn't even know where the function was to change it until this course and reading the manual. I have switched a few photos in post-production editing, but a lot of what draws my eye is vivid color. It took a bit to adjust my view to seeing good b&w opportunities. Once I got rolling, I really enjoyed it! After all, one of the reasons I took a photography class was to expand my subjects.
Another concept we worked on is low key and high key lighting. The former is an overall darker image, with dramatic light and a good amount of shadows. The latter then being the opposite, a very uniform brightly lit scene. Think baby photos. This exercise sort of surprised me, I found it difficult to take successful high key pictures. I don't know if it was the black and white, which to me just feels moodier and more aligned with low key lighting. Or maybe it is our house, which is old (1921) and overall shadowy. It wasn't until a few days I ago I took to using the second floor as a sort of photography studio, which has skylights and white walls, for more even lighting. I was challenged with the low key lighting, in that I don't have a tripod. So all sorts of chairs, books, and even yoga blocks, were used as make-shift structures.
Lastly, we were asked to think about different ways to shoot a subject. Get physical, and interact with the subject. Straight on isn't always the most interesting angle. We had a short slide show of some influential black and white photographers for inspiration.
Photography continues to be a great joy, and I'm learning a lot in the class.
Until next time!
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