Wendy’s 8 steps to making a photograph:
- Look at Light
- Set ISO
- Choose either Aperture or Shutter Speed
- Set other variables
- Meter to “0”
Day one of class is all about explaining what each of those steps mean.
Today’s class was typical for the first day…the kids blew our expectations out of the water! No matter how nervous we feel at the end of our Tech session, we’re always pleasantly surprised…or maybe I should say it a different way…we aren’t surprised as much as we were pleasantly affirmed in our belief that these kids can do whatever we put before them! Regardless of where the kids start out.
After our tech session yesterday, our students were familiar with all of the controls and some of the procedures that we’ll be using, but they may not necessarily understand why. Today we worked through each of those ideas slowly in order to be sure that everyone got it. Our primary learning goal today was to make accurate exposures both inside and outside while photographing (or clicking, as the students here say) on manual mode. To be successful, we’ll need to understand how ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture all work together to make an accurate exposure. We spent the morning in the classroom banging our heads against those ideas and then we took the cameras for a walk around campus to try it out. Almost everyone picked it up pretty quickly and within a short period of time students were crawling under desks and taking pictures of shoes, watches, pens, and lens caps. Before long it was time to head outside and let things get a bit more challenging.
After lunch the kids spent 2 hours wandering the campus and practicing their newly found skills. After a while working in the sun, we came back into the cool classroom to download and edit our photos. The energy in the class was electric as the students felt pretty psyched after their photo walkabout. Rightly so! I know we say this every time, but the images these guys made were interesting, thoughtful, and of course, full of flowers. So full, in fact that Wendy amended an old rule. The cutoff for flower pictures is no longer day 2, but now the end of day 1!
At the very end of the night we select one image from each group to post to the group facebook page. This way, our previous students from around the world can see what is going on. Fred’s group chose a picture made by a student named Padma. When we congratulated her on the image she made, she was embarrassed and humble, saying that it wasn’t her, but the camera! She couldn’t believe that she’d done something so amazing and that hers would be chosen above the group! Fred asked her if she had taken any bad pictures on that camera, and she sheepishly said, yes, a lot. “So then it wasn’t the camera that made the great photo, it was you!” Fred said to her. I wish you could have seen her face!