Last Christmas, I received the gift of a Canon T2i camera. I have always loved taking pictures and had wanted a DSLR for years. Before my mom passed away last November, she made a list of what gifts she wanted for me to purchase for everyone. This was her gift to me. If you know nothing about my Mom, let me tell you two things you should know — she loved photography and she loved giving gifts. I happily obliged her last wishes in this respect. It’s a much-needed connection I have with her.
Anyway, so I have this lovely camera, but I had no clue what to do with it beyond using the automatic settings. Now, I’ve taken some lovely photos with those automatic settings. you’ve seen them here on the blog, and many of you have paid me some nice compliments about them (thank you!). However, there have been many times I’ve wanted to take a certain type of photo and just couldn’t make it work on auto. Think beautiful Christmas tree photos, or birthday cakes with candles lit, or a full moon.
After today I have hope!
Ben and I attended a 2-hour outdoor photography class this afternoon, with Louisville Lens Photography. They offered a $45 Groupon deal a couple of months ago and Tom purchased one for me for my birthday last month. The photographers/teachers, best friends and business partners, Liz and Elizabeth, were awesome. They were down to earth, approachable and spoke my language — simple.
The focus of the class was basically on 3 things — ISO, F-stop, and shutter speed.
We met at an outdoor venue, along the Ohio River in southern Indiana. We began by taking pictures of the Louisville skyline across the river and learned about the rule of thirds, as well as how to control the lighting by adjusting the ISO, rather than using the flash (flash only works 4 feet in front of you, completely useless for shooting across a river, and apparently not the best choice in most every other circumstance — who knew?). Next we moved to an area near a train trestle, where we got some great tips about composition. This basically means that we learned to pay attention to whether there were garbage cans in the frame or tree branches sticking out of the subject’s head (we’ve all seen pics like that, right?). Lastly, we went into a wooded area to simulate indoor lighting and learned a lot about how to brighten things up, again without using that bad, bad thing called flash!
The most important thing I learned today was not so much when to change these settings (though that was extremely helpful). I also learned the quickest way to change all of these settings on MY camera. I had no idea it could be so easy. I’ve definitely be doing things the hard way. I told you — I had no idea what I was doing.
I definitely left the class today feeling more confident that I can be a much better photographer.
Next up, a class to learn how to use PhotoShop Elements. I’ve been playing around with it, but truly, I have no idea what I’m doing with this either, beyond a few easy (and once again, automatic) filters. I’m really looking forward to this class. Oh, and here’s a little insider’s secret for you. NO professional photographer ever puts forth a photo as it looks straight out of the camera. They’re all edited with PhotoShop (or some other photo editor). I had no idea. That goes for these photos I’m about to show you (not that I’m any kind of professional). After the class, Ben and I spent some time playing around with what we had learned. There were nearly 300 photos taken today, but I’ll spare you that slide show! Here are my top 10 favorites.
Thanks Louisville Lens!
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