From my own mistakes: make sure to pack your tripod and always double check your camera settings before a shoot. Grrrrrrr....nuff said.
Class 1 Photographing Small Children. I am hoping this class will help me do justice to my grandchildren when I photograph them. Sometimes kneeling isn't good enough. Eye level might mean crawling on your belly. Pose your subjects so their eyes are at the same focal length for proper focus when using shallow DoF. Use stairs to even heights out when working with multiple subjects. People will be happier if they have something to lean on while standing.
Easy and cheap DIY diffuser: clip a hanger to each end of a white pillowcase. This may have been my favorite tip of the day.
A photo of a young child in Egypt
A baby picture at eye level (I wish this were mine!)
Class 2 Photographing Wild Mammals. We talked about the importance of preparation. To get the best images, you have to understand the behavior of the animal you want to capture and scout out the best location. Then you position yourself in a good spot at a good time and hope something great happens! We also talked about the importance of being flexible because on any given day your preferred subjects may not cooperate. Nothing really new, but it was nice to hear these things from professionals. There really isn't a magic way to capture good wildlife images. It takes hard work, much patience and a little luck.
My latest accepted wild mammal
Then it was on to Architectural Photography. I like this! Buildings don't get all wiggly like babies and I don't have to crawl on my belly. I learned quite a bit from this instructor. According to advertising industry research, a magazine ad has 4 seconds to grab a reader's attention. I was actually surprised the time wasn't even shorter. But this research really brought home the importance of creating clean images with lots of impact. The instructor talked a lot about leaving the junk out of the image, paying good attention to distracting elements and making sure there were none in the final image. To do this correctly, the photographer must know what the image is to convey and guide the viewer to that, leaving everything else out. In addition to carefully checking the picture for unwanted elements, use leading lines and color to draw the viewer into and around the image. The eyes will naturally be drawn to the brightest parts of the image. Carefully consider your shooting position and take advantage of any natural frames appropriate to your subject. Framing helps contain the viewer's eyes in the picture.
In this picture, the trees form a partial frame along the sides and the sidewalk serves as a lead in line:
This picture would look a lot better If it were straight! The class talked about the importance of having both the horizon and at least the center verticals straight. I also learned that if you are making corrections to the vertical alignment of buildings in post it is best to take part of the correction on the bottom and most of it from the top. To be honest, this was a bit above my current editing understanding, so if someone with more knowledge can expand on that point, it would be great.
I like this picture a bit better. Of course the fish eye is my newest toy, so I just love playing with it and am probably a bit biased.
We also looked at ways to bounce light in dimly lit interiors, a couple samples of interior shots from my port are below:
The final class of the day was Choosing the Correct Lens taught by a Tamron rep. Yes, of course we learned lots of great things about Tamron, but there was also a lot of good, more general info. I got to sit down in air conditioning. I liked that at the end of the day. This class was a slide show illustrating how differences in focal length, photographer position,aperture, and camera orientation change an image. I left my debit card in the car and, in spite of the rebate coupons we got, I am NOT buying another lens right now. I really should stay away from camera company sales reps.
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