Home > Bhutan Workshop > Movement and Depth of Field: Bhutan Beginner’s Class, Day Two

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Today was another successful day. As always, we looked through the students’ work during our evening critique, and we all felt pretty confident that a good deal of yesterday’s work would end up in each student’s “best of the week” collection at the final show!

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Let me give you a quick rundown of how our evening critique works. After a day of shooting images, the groups all come back to the classroom, and we show the students how to download their images.  Then, we import the images into Adobe Lightroom and do an edit of their work.  The instructors talk through each student’s images with the small group, and after we pick the student’s most successful images, we applaud the their effort and go on until we finish.  It’s always a nice way to end a hard day.

Then, after the previous night’s edit, each instructor presents his/her group’s images to the class the next morning and talk a little bit about what made each photo successful. We choose several images from each student (between 3 -5, but always the same number for each student in the class) and project them on the screen for everyone to see.  Then, the instructors take turns giving feedback to the images so that the students can all see and learn from what the other students did. We start with Group 1 (Fred’s group), and make our way through Group 2, (Wendy’s), Group 3 (Sarah and Thomas) and Group 4 (Arthur). Just so you have a sense of who the groups are, I’ve included the first names of each student in group at the bottom of this entry.

After critique, we moved into today’s lesson: movement and depth of field. How the camera sees and controls movement (or how “frozen” or how much blur is captured in an image) and depth of field (how much of the image is in focus) is a function of the physics of the aperture and shutter speed the photographer employs in making the shot. Sound complicated? It is, and these guys were going to tackle this on their second day ever shooting in manual mode on a camera. Impressed? Good…it’s even more complicated and confusing than it sounds.

We spent the morning going over the different effects of slow versus fast shutter speed and large versus small apertures in the camera, and then sent them out to try out what they had learned.  After they had a bit of practice with shallow depth of field, we brought out our very own parkour traceur to do a bit of a motion exercise for the students to practice freezing and blurring motion in an image. Young Thinley, Wendy’s TA, is an amateur parkour runner… and we gave him a workout.  He spent the morning doing shuttle runs (remember those from PE in elementary school?) back and forth in front of the students while they photographed him with fast and slow shutter speeds, first while holding their cameras still and then by following him with their cameras while they shot. The results?…a mess. Tonight, we had probably 2,000 images of Thinley to look at between all the groups!  But they got the picture (no pun intended) and quite a few of the students latched on to the technique of pan blur and used it a bit throughout the rest of the day.

As our afternoon field trip, we took the students to a nearby chorten (memorial temple) to photograph the believers circumnavigating the religious site. Of course, they also photographed the prayer wheels, the birds and the guy out front selling oranges from the back of a taxi. When we got back to download and edit tonight, we had a much broader selection of images to look at than we anticipated! (And a lot of Thinley!)

Groups by Number/Instructor and TA:

Group 1: Fred, TA – Ugyen and Tashi

  • Chimi
  • Sonam R.
  • Daychok
  • Tshering D. D.
  • Ngawang
  • Tshering D.
  • Tshewang (the Dr.)

Group 2: Wendy, TA – Thinley

  • Yeshi
  • Sonam C
  • Tandin D.
  • Jigme
  • Chhimi
  • Norbu

Group 3: Sarah and Thomas, TA – Karma

  • Kencho
  • Dendup
  • Ugyen C.
  • Tshering P.
  • Deepa
  • Tenzin C.

Group 4: Arthur, TA – Lakdil

  • Ugyen T.
  • Tshechup
  • Tshering Z.
  • Sonam L.
  • Pem
  • Yeshey
  • Tshering N.

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