This year it is my goal to teach you how to see. I want you to leave the class at the end of the year with a strong knowledge of the concepts behind good composition, as well as the ability to expose and manipulate your images to create a true work of art. It’s really important to me that you learn both the art and science of photography. Let me tell you why.
One of the results of the proliferation of cameras in our society is the mistaken notion held by many that taking a picture makes you a photographer.
Anyone can aim and shoot a digital camera, thereby making a recording of the moment, and most kids have some Photoshop skills by the time that they reach high school, but just because you know how to adjust the color of a picture, and then reduce it down in size suitable for sending as a text attachment, does not mean you should start hiring yourself out as a wedding photographer.
Even though the money IS good.
No, if you’re going to call yourself a photographer you really need to know what all those dials on your camera are for. You should have more than a passing knowledge of the rules of composition, and it would be in your best interest to be able to explain depth-of-field before you go calling yourself the next Ansel Adams.
And if you just thought, “Who?” well, I rest my case.
So this year we’ll be discussing concepts and theory in the classroom. We’ll also look at examples of good photgraphs and talk about the concepts involved. Then you’ll go out and shoot pictures which demonstrate your knowledge and mastery of the concepts we’ve just learned. I’ll talk with you about your pictures, and then you’ll post them to a gallery for everyone to see.
We’ll also be doing this in a mastery-learning mode. This means if you are required to do eight pictures for an assignment, but I only approve three of them, rather than getting a failing grade I’ll let you go out and shoot some additional pictures until you show mastery of the topic.
It’s my hope that you will learn to “see” a picture before you ever press the shutter. You’ll know how to point your camera at the most common object and come away with an uncommon picture, something that people admire. The lessons we have in the classroom will teach you the science of photography, but only time and experience will allow you to truly learn the art of being a photographer.
SWCTA Photography Instructor