Sunday, March 05, 2006

more about camille

I took my Introduction to SLR Photography this weekend. It was by the Nikon School of Photography- instructors that travel around the country holding an introductory and advanced class over a weekend.

It was great. I learned quite a bit in the 9-4:30pm course on Saturday. Although Nikon sponsored the course, it was fairly generic. They went over "basic" SLR technology, lenses, software, and picture-taking skills. I say basic sarcastically, because, um, no one told me that photography could be so complicated. My head is spinning between apertures and shutters and film speed.

Before I was born, my father worked a second job as a professional photographer. I remember pulling out these fantastically glamourous pictures of my mother he took when they were in their twenties. I would stare at the pictures and wonder if I'd ever look like her when I grew up (unfortunately, I don't). When they moved to the United States, though, my father didn't have a dark room or the time or money to keep up his photography. He had a good quality point and shoot, and because he had the talent and the eye, his pictures were still impressive.

From the time I can remember, my father set me up with a basic camera and provided tips on how to take pictures. Center the subject. Try to put people in the picture for perspective. Make pictures interesting. Work with the sun behind you. And on and on. Through his teaching, I was able to frame pictures in an acceptable manner, but we never went over any of the more technical details of photography.

Saturday's course was exciting, because each new lesson learned meant a new kind of picture, a new level of skill. Holy smokes, though, it is so much harder than my old point and shoot! So much more potential for mistake.


I spent most of the day on Sunday taking practice pictures and trying to remember some of what I'd learned on Saturday. This one only took about 90 practice pictures to get right.


It is much harder than I ever thought it would be. I guess I'll be reading through the manual again. And then again. And then I'm thinking that I'll sign up for a longer photography course, because maybe that will help me to remember some of these tips.



One of the things I've always wanted to do is take those pictures where your subject is super focused, and the background is blurred.

I'm still ecstatic to have Camille, and she certainly takes lovely pictures, when I don't mess them up. But, it is difficult.

Murray says, "how embarassing! I have a leaf on my face."

Tango says, "stop taking pictures and just throw the stinking ball, mom."

I also got Photoshop Elements, and that should help to correct those pictures that I screw up. Like when I spent an hour taking pictures outside in bright sunlight after I'd just set the camera for indoor lighting. Hmmm, that would explain the black pictures.

11 comments:

Girl said...

My 'favorite' thing about photography is all of the opposites...the smaller the aperature the larger the F stop...the more you do this, the less you do that, exept when...

ACK!!!!

Ninotchka said...

It's all chinese to me. I just shoot shoot shoot and weed out the good ones from the hundreds of crappy ones. LOL

I love the glass of water one.

Lucy said...

I have a similar level of knowledge thanks to a former-professional-photographer father. I have a fancy camera but I've never learnt how to use it properly. I think you've inspired me to take a class, though.

Frankie said...

Murray just looks so regal, I am pretty sure all the hot dogs around town are going to be sporting chin foliage to make a fashion statement.

MistysBlue said...

I havent taken any foraml classes on Photography and I have done well with my work . I have only been doing this for a matter of 3 months and have sold alot of prints and have done some work for a non profit org . in my home town where I was from befor I moved to where I am now . You will get the hang of it ...I still learn something new everyday I take a picture . I work with digital though no flim fo rme here ! Feel free to visit my blog I have some pics I have done on there . Let me know what ya think !

Dawn said...

I'm so pleased to see the kids getting along with the new baby in the house!

Piece of Work said...

Good for you! I am really interested in photography, but I have no artistic sense whatsoever, so I'm really hesitant to take a class. Seems like a waste of money, and besides, I probably wouldn't understand any of it. So I commend you for doing it. And those pictures look awesome!

Jill said...

How fun! I look forward to seeing more of the results of your new photography skills!

Yankee T said...

Great photos. Keep with it! It is one of the great pleasures of my life.

jess said...

Yeah, these photos are just a little better than the ones I posted on Monday. Just a tad. *burns with jealousy*

Phantom Scribbler said...

I love the rhododenron photo. I always try to take pictures like that with my (cheapo, aim-and-shoot) camera and my total lack of photo skills. Yeah, and I get the blurry foreground and sharp background every time. Sigh.