We started our day with a review of images from yesterday, our typical morning critique, and then moved into slightly more advanced ideas about cameras. Where yesterday was all about the technical aspects of making a proper exposure, today was all about how various approaches to making that exposure can affect things like the amount of light or movement in your image and how to use those variations creatively. Composition, motion, and light are all at the heart of that. The students begin to explore the concept of depth of field (how much of the image is in focus from front to back), blur, and some basic compositional rules i.e. the rule of thirds and leading lines. We also started playing with the idea of tricking our camera. Every camera has a meter that gauges how much light is required to make a “proper” exposure. However, there is a catch. These meters are fairly dumb devices and can sometimes steer new photographers in the wrong direction. For example, if someone is shooting a subject outside in broad daylight wearing a black shirt, the meter is going to think that it’s dark (due to the dark shirt) and cost the photographer to overexpose the image. Because of this it is important to meter your overall scene, not just the darkest point.
However, my favorite exercise is all about motion and blur! We pick some poor soul, one of the advanced students, and have them run back and forth in front of the students. This teaches them how motion can affect their images and can be used to create a more dynamic image. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy lesson and sometimes takes upwards of 35 minutes to grasp but is always good fun, even for the runner!
We finished up the day getting more comfortable with the cameras and explored campus. Then a quick download and edit and that’s a wrap! The students are having varied success, but we’re on track to start shooting for our assignment tomorrow! Groups will head out into the city and begin their exploration of our concept: the face of Lisbon.