adventure – part 3

today i give you special deal; two for the price of one.

lesson 3 & 4 were just as mesmerizing as the previous two. yes, i said mesmerizing. i would be lying if i told you i haven’t absolutely LOVED this course so far. maybe i’m a photography nerd? do you get those? if you do, i’m convinced that i am one. i would also be lying if i said that it’s been easy. there have definitely been those frustrating moments where what i see in my head and how the photograph actually turns out haven’t quite met up. but i have come to terms with the fact that it’s all part of the creative process.

clearly our classes have finally gotten to the point i’ve seriously been looking forward to; the place where we are allowed to use our creativity. lesson 3 covered learning to understand and master creative choices ie.; working with aperture to produce the envisioned DOF (depth of field), shutter speed to produce the effect of freezing the moment or showing movement. we were taught how a higher ISO setting can be helpful in lower light settings.

AND THEN, wait for it…the Grey Card! what a useful piece of grey cardboard. it’s so useful because it is 18% reflective, meaning it absorbs & reflects the perfect amount of light so as to give us a perfect average of the light falling on our subject. perfect exposure! that’s if you can effectively hold the grey card tilted to the right angle in one hand and hold your camera balancing your light meter with the other. did i mention this glorious course is strengthening my hand eye coordination too? anyway, the point is, the bride’s dress will be white instead of blue and the groom’s tux will be black instead of grey. a wonderful, cost effective substitute for an electronic hand-held light meter.

on to lesson 4 where we learned about flash photography. i learned that the little pop-up flash on my Canon can be quite effective at filling in light where awkward shadows would usually sit. here i was, thinking that flash on my camera was the devil when actually it’s a wonderful little added extra to everything else my nifty camera can do. of course, again, it’s not as simple as popping the flash up and snapping away. we were informed of “GN” (Guide Number – the power output of the flash), “fall off” and “flash synchronisation speed” and my favourite, TTL (Through The Lens flash exposure metering). what i can say is that i’m a fan of this “TTL”. basically, because this feature is built into my digital camera i don’t have to do a bunch of on-the-spot maths calculations to figure out the flash intensity needed. film is GREAT, i’m sure. but I don’t like maths.

i also learned i really want a “bounce flash”.

when it came to composition we were given some “rules” or “essential tips” (if you don’t like rules). there’s the “rule of thirds” and “power points”. creating effective photographs often means simplifying and usually choosing one COI (Center Of Interest). as a photographer you have to preconceive the image you want and then you have to guide the viewers eye to your “point” with your use of colour, contrast, leading lines and camera angles. simplifying your image does not equal simplifying your thought processes before you make the photograph.

and that’s why we don’t simply take photographs. we MAKE them.