I signed up for a photography class, and tonight was our second meeting. In some ways I find it annoying – 2.5 hrs on a wed night, so it ends up being a rushed day/evening, and I’m always tired. But I’m still getting a fair amount from it. Mostly we’re developing the eye in this class, everyone is expected to have a fair grasp of the technical aspects. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t plenty of questions about the technical aspects, but this is not a class on how to use the camera, it is about learning to see the world, and that allows for really interesting ranges of skill.

Tonight was the first class where we brought in some of our own pics, and the entire class was really looking at the pics and seeing how they could have been improved, or why they were great just as they were. I’m beat, but a bit wired, so I’m going to share the pics I brought to class (we were limited to 5, and everyone pretty much brought exactly 5) and his comments. Some of them I agree with, some I don’t, but that’s cool too – we’re allowed to see things differently.

plants

This one I took for two reasons – the light and the “v” that the plants make. One of his assignments for us, ongoing, is to take a picture of the alphabet as we run across it in the world. (not a letter in a sign type of thing, but a way to get us seeing the world differently.) He’s really into light, and I’m always attracted to light, and indeed, the light and the way it rims the plant is what he commented on. He’d have tried to find a way to get rid of the light flashes, and I agree with that. I’ll have to go back to florida and retake the pics!

This next one I wasn’t sure should be a “keeper” because nothing is quite in focus. It looks okay small, but a bit bigger and you can see that it isn’t just motion blur. At least, it is both my motion blur (it was early morning, and probably not quite light enough for hand-held) as well as charles and violet’s. However, he thought it was definitely a keeper, that the slight blurring added to it. He did suggest possibly cropping out a good portion of the foreground and the sky, and making it more of a long horizontal shot to further emphasize the movement of the pups, and I find the idea interesting. I’ll play with it!

charles and violet running on the beach

This is a family portrait! I don’t think he found it to be a strong overall image (and really, it isn’t), but he liked that it immediately followed the chase picture, which brings to mind a book that mister peace blogged about recently and which I got from the library. It is about directing films, but mister peace argued, and I’d agree, that certain aspects apply to any medium (written or visual). I haven’t read the book yet, but the reaction of the instructor to the pic because of it following a certain other pic is something to pay attention to, I think.

florida family portrait

The next is of the beauteous Emmie. The specific aspects that made me choose this pic (close cropping and her eyes peeking open) were what he pointed out as the things that made what could have been a decent portrait into a really good and interesting one. *big smile*

emmie with the eyes

Though you might need to look at it in a bigger size to get the effect.

Now this one he liked certain aspects of but would change other aspects that I’m not sold on.

photographer taking sunrise pic

He liked that it was not just a pic of a sunrise (as if there aren’t enough of those!) but he thought it would be better with some of the blue sky cropped to better emphasize the convergence of the sky and the beach to the right, and he’d also have straightened the horizon.

I’ll be the first to admit that there was little planning that went into this pic, so it was something I just didn’t think about and shot. However, if I’d actually planned it out, I think I’d have done the opposite of what the instructor was saying, and I’d have tilted the horizon even more. See, it was an ironic pic, don’t you think? A sunrise picture of a photographer taking a picture of the sunrise. I think I’d lose some of the irony if the horizon was straight, and I might play with it in photoshop to see if I can emphasize the tilted aspect. He did have a good point about the convergence to the right. I’ll see if I can quirk it up a bit. ‘Cause, honestly, there are too many fantastic landscape photographers out there, and I am not sure I want to put in the time that it would take to get to that point, and so my enjoyment of landscape often becomes the ironic rather than trying to compete, say, with the photographer in my photo!

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