This past weekend wasn’t all workshop decoration and cat hat-procrastinating; on Sunday I attended a 4-hour introduction to DSLR photography hosted by Felix Rust in Chelmsford, Mass. Felix is a graphic artist/ professional photographer who happens to also teach some classes on the subject matter at Boston University. Recently he has also hosted a few photography lessons for adults at his independent studio— my husband scored me a seat in his classroom through a Groupon he gave me as a Christmas gift.
I have to admit before I tell you what I learned in the class— any good picture that I had thus far taken with my DSLR (the Nikon D3100) was done with the “cheating method”. My D3100 came with a feature called “guide” mode— which basically walks you through the settings without really teaching you why you’re doing what you’re doing. Yes, I had taken a few pictures that came out well, but it was more based on luck than skill. I think my husband got the idea to get me this class after hearing a friend at a wedding lecture me on the limitations of guide mode. I was a little stubborn to admit that I wasn’t getting the best usage out of my DSLR— especially after devoting so much time to learning how to cheat :). But alas, off to class I went!
Within an hour of the start of Felix Rust’s intro to a DSLR class, he had set me completely straight. He managed to teach everything technical about the camera that I would need to know within that time, and even had the class properly expose their own test photography shots to make sure we were getting what he was saying. The remaining time in the class wasn’t as well-spent for me since it was reviewing design principles (like the rule of thirds) that I still remember from high school art class; whereas I could’ve used more time ingraining the technical hour into my head—- but it was obvious from the other class participants that this was meant for a more “general” audience and that the balance of technical vs. design information was a good mix for most people.
Since coming home from the class I’ve been experimenting with my D3100 DSLR in “MANUAL” mode….. My, it’s almost easier than “guide” mode and it’s certainly better for what I’m trying to shoot. Probably the most disturbing things I learned in Felix’s class? That the lens that came with my camera sucks (Nikon’s AF-S 18-55mm, 1:3.5-5.6G) ….. The good thing is that I don’t have to buy the most expensive lenses to get good ones. I should have a couple of good alternatives in no time once I do my proper research!
So what does all this mean for Notso Kitty? In the short term, hopefully better blog pictures!!! In the long term, we will see where my photography takes me. I’m excited to have another weapon in my arsenal of tools to help augment my creativity!