Photography Class

April 21, 2013Katie

This weekend I did something I have been wanting to do for a long time.

I took a photography class. It was located in a cool studio on Film Row here in Oklahoma City.

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Now, I take a lot of photography, and I like to think that a lot of it is pretty special.

But I have a confession to make. Up until this point I have shot most of my photographs on the auto setting.

Yes, it’s true. I bought a DSLR camera two years ago, and I’ve been afraid to try it on manual. But there’s a good reason for that, for you see, most of the time I had tried it, my pictures came out horrible! Especially the ones indoors. (On a positive note, I’ve learned how to edit like a BOSS!)

I had to read a lot of instructional tutorials on the whole aperature, shutter speed, and ISO. While I had all these tutorials spinning in my head, it didn’t mean that I could actually apply them in real life when taking a real picture.

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So several of us ladies met at a photography class led by the Mr. Rex Barrett (from Glass Eyes Studios).   Rex knows more about photography then could be fit into one class. In fact, I’m pretty sure he could teach a 6 to 9 week course on it and still have more to say! I also have to hand it to Rex. He had some pretty, shall we say, assertive women in this group and he took anything we threw at him and answered it.  We learned a lot about the general settings of our cameras.

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We began by sharing our interest in photography and what we wanted to accomplish. Then Rex had us decorate a melon with markers.

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That was my melon. Let’s call her Pollyanna.  You can see by looking at Pollyanna, just why I’m interested in Photography as an art form.  I stink at drawing.

This became one of our models to shoot at during the course of the day.

After all, what subject could you hope for that would never give you any lip about all the pictures you were taking of them? Pollyanna was as patient as they come.

Then we sat down and Rex went through his tutorials. He explained them in a way that made them connect with my brain. I finally got ISO! That in itself has already become invaluable in my indoor pictures!  Quite a few of my early pictures from the class had this orange yellow tint to them, something I’ve seen a lot and not known how to fix.

Funny thing.  Here is the first picture I took of the true white table holding the markers.

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You’d swear that table was yellow right? Turns out there’s a button on your camera called ISO, and when set properly for the setting you’re in, changes the whole perspective…and accurately, I might add. Mine was set to “cloudy day”. Once Rex flipped mine to AWB or auto white balance, BINGO!  A whiter table!

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We also got to bring our own cameras and learn how to do various things with hands-on activities.

The great thing about photography class is everyone takes pictures of everyone else taking pictures!

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Aperature is really cool too. While I knew a little about this, we learned what F-stops mean and how to achieve nice blurred background effects.

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For a hands on activity, we went outside to practice our new learnings.

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We learned how to properly place people in light…and more interestingly in the frame of the picture.

This picture is dead centered…

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While I like the angle of Erin’s head here, by using the rule of thirds, and placing her off center…

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This one might be a little more interesting.

We also learned how to look at how the light is hitting your subject.

If you look at the two sides of the photograph, the bright sunlight is not really the best lighting, but you also have to be careful of shadows as well.

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Too much ISO can kill you.

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While adjusting it can make all the difference in the world.

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Hi Stephanie!

Stephanie and I shared a common interest in food photography.

We photographed food at the class.

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Above is another ISO and white balance adjustment on the donuts.

Now we get to take what we learned and practice. I went home and started right away.

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While it will take me awhile, I feel great FINALLY taking my camera off that auto setting. If you get the opportunity, take a class at Rex’s studio.  You’ll be glad you did.

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2 Comments

  • Lisa

    April 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Yahoo for you! I sooooo understand... it took me forever to get off of the auto setting and trying to remember all the lingo only made me feel like I was failing before I tried. Thank goodness it's digital now and not a waste of time and money with film! Some of my greater accomplishments have come from not getting what I wanted on auto, and then googling "how to" on various photography blogs, websites. Perhaps it was my desperation that led to a better education? Wish I could have joined you in your class! Happy shooting!!
  • Paul Garcia

    May 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Great article Katie! Very good example shots. I want a DSLR sooo bad! I think I'll attend that class as soon as I get one.

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