Last Days of Photography Class

Halfway through my intensive photography class, I was still attending but also trying to focus on both the mechanics of my camera and taking decent pictures. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was helpful and tried to answer any questions I had, but I did not know what questions to ask. The last two photoshoots did not help. I was used to taking snapshots outdoors to supplement my blog, but these last sessions were indoors.

The first was in an artist’s studio. The artist seemed to collect various items during her travels to use in her art. I found the variety of things placed all over the studio overwhelming and confusing. I just could not figure out what to photograph. To make matters worse, the studio was dark with fluorescent lighting.

Interestingly enough, my picture of the cups of paintbrushes was well received. For whatever the reason, they particularly liked the cigarette in front of the cups. By now, I was beginning to know what would be criticized or praised. While processing, I was now pointing out to my husband that people would complain that certain objects in the picture needed to be removed, or that the picture was too busy. With the paintbrushes, I knew that the clown in the red clothing would receive complaints, so I cropped out as much as I could without removing too many of the paintbrushes. Unfortunately, I left a small red leg in the upper left-hand corner. After the fact, I figured out how to remove that object from the photograph and that is what is shown here.

The next photograph was deemed too busy, with unrelated objects on a table. Then there was that Sharpie sitting in the middle of the composition. The picture of the broken rocking chair was too bland. (UH? I thought I was told to keep it simple?) The Queen Anne’s lace growing near the window was acceptable, after we cropped the left side of some distractions. So 2 out of the 4 images were sort of okay.

The final photoshoot was at a fire equipment restoration place. Again, the interior of the building was very dark, so lighting was a huge problem. Since this was the final day of class, these pictures would not be critiqued, but I did show them to the instructor during our one on one session the next morning. She seemed to like most of my shots, but I did have to take out some black space in the image with the various meters. Of the 180 pictures taken the last two days, I only kept 13 photos.

During our one-on-one session, the instructor did tell me that she never had a class where everybody was so experienced, but she noted that I held my own. That made me feel a little better. Her final comment was that I needed to keep the composition simple and to consider getting Lightroom Classic (there was that Lightroom nudge again.)

So, did I enjoy the class? I’m not sure, but I did learn a lot. I think I have a better understanding of my camera, and a better eye for composition. The people were nice and encouraging. One gentleman told me at dinner during the last night that they had all been in my place and I would get better, that I should not give up. The days were very long. A typical day started with breakfast at 8 and went thru the end of dinner at 7. The Monhegan trip had us up at 4 to meet the class in Port Clyde at 6. On our return, we stayed in class until 6. Every day, I was processing pictures both after I got home and in the morning before I left for class. By the end of the week, I was exhausted.

Now that the class is over, I am going to take a week or so to decompress before I try to apply everything I learned in class.

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2 thoughts on “Last Days of Photography Class

  1. This certainly was an intensive class, Mary. I had to look again when you commented about the cigarette because I hadn’t noticed it the first time I looked at the photo. I wonder if they liked it because it adds a human element and possibly because it tells a story. Those are just my guesses. I’m sure you’re on a bit of overload right now. Rest up and know that as the days and weeks go by, more of what you learned will come back to you all of the time, and many of the techniques you learned will become second nature over time. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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