Our first full day and WOW! These guys have us floored…and today is only Monday. In one day. This morning we covered two ways of controlling exposure when photographing: aperture and shutter speed. But not only did we get to explain and practice making correct exposures using one or the other of these as the base number, we also learned the aesthetic controls associated with using each approach creatively. One exercise requiring Will to run laps in the snow while the students learned first to freeze motion, then to let it blur in the image, and finally to pan with the subject in motion to add a sense of dynamism. After Will’s exercise, strange calm fell over the hotel as the students were completely absorbed in what they were doing. In fact by lunchtime they’d already developed a photographers propensity for lateness., “just one more photograph.”
After lunch we all loaded into our purple mini-buses and headed to Drugyel Dzong, an old fortress ruin at the end of the valley. Historically this fortress was built to hold off the invaders from neighboring lands and has stood since it was built almost four hundred years ago within sight of Jumolhari Peak, Bhutan’s tallest mountain; the 7,326 meter high mountain. Once we got to the temple, everyone went crazy. Prayer wheels and prayer flags in the trees, Dzong doors and windows, old stairs and hatchways would through the buildings and from the tops of the tumble-down walls we could see the villages far in the valley below. The kids took every advantage of the scenery and the continuous shooting mode (an unintended consequence of our previous shutter speed exercise.)At the end of the day when we came home we had nearly 650 images from EACH student. That made download and edit rather long, but we got through it after dinner, and we’re excited to share what we’ve seen in our first big group critique tomorrow morning.
The really fun part is that after just one-and-a-half days, we’re getting to know the kids better and we have some really interesting students among us. In my group alone, I have a painter, a football player, two parkour runners (half the Paro Bhutanese freerunning crew), and two of the shyest but most amazing photographers I’ve met in a long time! This week really is going to be a treat!