photography lesson

Share your knowledge. Beginner's photography class: Take Better Photos & Get Out Of Auto

It has always been a dream of mine to teach. Before attending college I was split between becoming a teacher or pursuing photography. I'll spare you all the details, but I followed my bliss, and have a BFA in Creative Photography from the University of Florida. 

When the teacher is ready, the student appears. Ok maybe that's not how the saying goes, but it's how it happened for me. I kept having conversations with people that had cameras and didn't really know how to use them. They had spent a good amount of money on these cameras and wanted to be able to take photos on vacation, or of their families, or just of the beauty in the world--they wanted the skills that I have cultivated over many years of education and practice.

This my friends was a problem that I could solve! So here's how it went, I organized a beginner's photography class: Take Better Photos & Get Out Of Auto

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The 6 week course's home base was in Orlando's Antique district,  Ivanhoe Village at a shop called Bluebonnet. We also met up at Washburn Imports to switch up the scenery a bit and Foxtail Coffee in Winter Park.

Each of the students happened to all own Nikon cameras, and even though I own a Canon, I do have experience shooting with Nikon too. so regardless of camera brand; each student was able to learn what it takes to properly expose an image!

 Exploring depth of field and composition Photo by student Jen D'ambra

Exploring depth of field and composition Photo by student Jen D'ambra

In case you don't know, exposure is based on the combination of ISO, F Stop (aka Aperture) and Shutter Speed- the 3 elements that allow light into the camera. (read more about exposure here

 Experimenting with long shutter speeds and panning. Photo by student Frank Paradiso

Experimenting with long shutter speeds and panning. Photo by student Frank Paradiso

Playing with neon lights at night. Photo by Student Kimberly Chiozza Bridges

Practicing composition and white balance techniques. Photo by student Kimberly Chiozza Bridges 

once a week we met and talked about these elements, experimented with the settings, became familiar with our cameras, and had fun taking photos in manual mode with varying lighting situations.

Exploring leading lines and depth of field. Photo by student Kimberly Chiozza Bridges

Every student received hands on learning experience with their cameras in class and had mini homework assignments to help reinforce what they learned! 

 Playing with mirrors. photo by student Frank Paradiso

Playing with mirrors. photo by student Frank Paradiso

 Practicing with depth of field. photo by student Frank Paradiso

Practicing with depth of field. photo by student Frank Paradiso

Experimenting with long shutter speeds and panning. Photo by student Jen D'ambra

By the end of the course, each student became more familiar using their cameras, and were taking better photos. The student's progress was impressive! (Look at all these cool photos they took in class.)  

 Practice with capturing the light as our eyes see it. photo by student Jen D'ambra

Practice with capturing the light as our eyes see it. photo by student Jen D'ambra

So if you would like to learn more about exposure and how to use your camera, come join me for my next Beginner's Photography class starting October 1st.

In the class you will learn about proper exposure, white balance, composition and how to change the settings on your camera. Get out of auto and into Manual mode! 

 

XO,

Kimberly

 

Want to learn more about the class?

 

 

Aperture Explorations in Albany

I arrived in Albany via the train from NYC. First stop, Juniors where they feature locally brewed beers and comfort style food. I ordered the poutine, a classic Canadian dish of French fries, cheese curds and gravy. I personally love poutine, and when I saw it had Buffalo chicken, It was my curiosity that got the best of me, and I had to order. 

Our Northern across the border neighbors would probably abhor this version, as the fries were lavished with buffalo sauce gravy, chopped chicken and blue cheese---maybe a tomato here and there if I recall. It arrived oversized, and I mean Extra extra large--Two people could lay their heads on this plate.  I almost did, but kept my composure instead.

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The next day I awoke to the sounds of black crows crowing, which was an eery early morning welcome to NY state's capital city. Um, thank you?

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Later on my friend, Amanda and I ventured into Troy for the day. The Hudson River was frozen and icy on top, waves of water stopped in motion. I was all wow! A sight I had never seen before. Rivers actually freeze?!

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Above the frozen waters, I saw the most unusual bridge, bulky and very 1920's industrial revolution appearing.

However, the Green Island bridge was actually completed in 1981 after it collapsed in March of 1977--spooky, and yet no one was actually injured. 

I took two photos of the bridge, to show you how changing the composition a bit will give a different feel to the image entirely.

 ISO  125 F2.8 1/3000    I chose to shoot at F2.8 to get a nice depth of field. it was a bright overcast day, and since I decided to shoot at such an open aperture, it was necessary to shoot at a low iso and high shutter speed to control how much light was coming in.      Compare this image with the one below. I used the same settings, but slightly changed what was in view, adding the fence as a "framing technique". Which image do you prefer?

ISO 125 F2.8 1/3000

I chose to shoot at F2.8 to get a nice depth of field. it was a bright overcast day, and since I decided to shoot at such an open aperture, it was necessary to shoot at a low iso and high shutter speed to control how much light was coming in. 

Compare this image with the one below. I used the same settings, but slightly changed what was in view, adding the fence as a "framing technique". Which image do you prefer?

 ISO  125 F2.8 1/3000     In this version of the Green Island Bridge, I chose to include the fence that was just in front of me to give more interest and depth to the image. 

ISO 125 F2.8 1/3000

In this version of the Green Island Bridge, I chose to include the fence that was just in front of me to give more interest and depth to the image. 

As I photographed the bridge, I took more of an interest to the fence ahead of me realizing the power it holds for a photographer. I often use them in my work. they are amazing at showing linear perspective giving a killer leading line, and when used effectively a fantastic vanishing point.

I took three photos of this fence using different settings and vantage points. Let's take a look at the results:

In the first image I used a wide open aperture of f1.8. In doing so,  it allows for a greater depth of field and isolates specifically the area of what you focus on, leaving what ever you aren't softly out of focus. Of course, keep in mind it also all depends on how far or near your subject is.  

 ISO 100 F1.8 1/2000   

ISO 100 F1.8 1/2000

 

For the second version of the fence, I shifted slightly to the right to include more of the archway of the bridge. I also used a smaller aperture (f4.0) to get more of the subject in focus. 

 ISO 100 F4.0 1/1000

ISO 100 F4.0 1/1000

In the third example, you'll notice that the fence and bridge are more in focus than the previous examples. This is because of the aperture size. (F13 in this case) Using a small aperture/higher number on the aperture ring of your camera provides a broader depth of focus--meaning most everything within the frame will be in focus.

 ISO 100 F13 1/60

ISO 100 F13 1/60

Playing with the aperture is one of the many ways to work creatively with photography. Try it for yourself! I'd be happy to see your results.