Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shutter Bug

Sunday I went for a short two mile run, had a quick lunch (leftover spaghetti), then went over to pick up Kelly.  Last week I had seen a deal for a photography class on Eversave.  I've been thinking about taking a class for a while and this was a good deal, so I quickly bought a class, signed up, and asked Kelly if she'd like to join me.

The photography studio that held the class was Northlight Photography.  We arrived at the cozy location and settled in to listen to our instructor.  One of her main points included use of lighting.  I think for those of us that are not pro photographers, it's something we have to conciously think about when taking pictures.  Depending on where the light is hitting your subject from, it can really change the picture you are capturing, so it's something to think about when you are a playing with photography.

A while back, at the first Healthy Living Summit, I attended a photography class and I learned that use of other light rather than flash is preferable when taking pictures, so I try not to use my flash unless I'm in a really low light situation.  You kind of have to look for good light or make your own with light sources around you, so I usually do that unless I'm somewhere (like a dark restaurant) where it's hard to.

I usually shoot in either Aperture-Priority which helps blur the background for me, or "P" which stands for Programmed Auto, and lets the camera choose shutter speed and aperature.  This makes sense, because ISO is the one setting I sort of understand and adjust myself.  Basically the less light you have, the higher you need your ISO to comensate for lack of light.  I rarely use Auto (unless I'm letting someone use my camera to take a picture with me in it), or Manual, because I don't understand how to adjust ALL the settings correctly to take a great picture.  I was hoping this class would help with that, and it did. 

We were each given kind of a "cheat sheet", which is this:

I love this sheet and think I will bring it with me and refer to it when I'm out taking scenic pictures to see if I can learn more about my settings and functions.  We went over each function a little bit more and saw slides that showed examples of the different kinds of photos you can get with different settings.  Then it was time to head out and try to apply our newly learned knowledge.  We went to Plaza Midwood, which is a funky and colorful area of town, great for photography.

Kelly in action.

I dove in, trying to mess with settings I don't normally use and shoot in manual instead of my beloved "P" and "A" modes.  Basically, I've never touched the light meter or exposure setting on my camera til this class.  I'm still not sure I completely understand this setting, but I will play with it more... 

We also played with shutter speed, and I combining these two functions, you can take a picture with that neat blur/streak effect, like this:

You need to have a slow shutter speed to do this.  My teacher kind of helped me with my camera settings and then I got the shot.  I'm not sure if I can recreate this by myself without a lot of thought, but it was cool to try!

The rest of my time was spending snapping away.  Here's some of the shots I got...

I ducked into a thrift store and found some fun things to get shots of.

I think I still have a long way to go, but this class got me thinking about what I should be thinking about when I'm snapping pictures- light and the settings I need to use to get good pictures.  I'm not saying I'm ready to shoot in Manual all the time, but I'm more willing to play with it more.

Kelly and I followed up class by sharing a big beer, some babaganoush, and pita chips at the nearby Common Market.

Yum!  I thought this was a pretty fun Sunday afternoon, and need to do things like this more often to tap in to my artistic side.

Have you taken any artsy classes lately to tap into your artsy side?


Amber said...

What a fun day! I used to be more into photography but my husband has a much better camera and the patience to learn all the functions so I let him do most of the picture taking but your post inspires me to actually learn to use his camera!

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