I have been taking a lot of photography classes this year. In fact, I pretty much declared this the year that I learn how to use my cameras (though I pretty much learned that my point and shoot is a piece of junk and should be put out to pasture). I think I’m doing a pretty darned good job and I’m going to start posting some of the pictures I’ve been taking on Wednesdays, but for a Top Ten list, I thought I’d show what I’ve learned so far.
1. To turn off the LCD screen on my dSLR and use the viewfinder. My pictures improved almost 100% once I did that.
2. How to use aperture mode. If you have a camera with this option, aperture mode is the one that will let you get those shots of your children running around or swinging a bat or your dog chasing her ball. Those are the action shots that eluded me until I learned this.
3. How to set the white balance on my camera. I had no idea that it could make such a huge difference, but I almost don’t need my puffer now that I know how to do that.
4. To always ALWAYS have a camera on my person, even if it is my sucky (though expensive) point and shoot, which is now more of a glorified video camera than an actual camera.
5. To pay attention. I find things to photograph in the most unusual places. I was intrigued by the shape of my daughter’s bath “towel” hanging on a shower current rod and photographed it. I thought it turned out well.
6. To use post-processing. I’ve always fixed red-eye, but I didn’t think the rest of it mattered all that much. I’m learning (and still working on learning) that post-process can create an even more striking image than my original photograph.
7. How to photograph the girls. The worst part of this, for me, was the fact that I could never get a decent shot of my black dogs. They’re a huge part of my life and they always looked like black lumps in pictures. Now, they look like dogs.
8. To see the beauty in the everyday. I used to prize the formal shots and the ones that were posed, and I didn’t have a lot of use for nature photography. That’s really changed. I take pictures of messes and things that I would never have imagined that I could or would. And it’s fun.
9. To view myself as an artist. This is important. I make quilts, I knit, I cross-stitch, I take pictures but I never saw any of it as art. Now, I see that all of it is. And it’s beautiful.
10. And the silliest, but best fun. I learned how to make bokeh with my camera. Again, the logistics of this completely eluded me and I desperately wanted to do it because I think it’s so neat. And now? I know how.
If you’re interested in where I’ve been taking my classes, head over to Big Picture Classes. I’ve taken several classes with Tracey Clark and with Elisha Snow. Both are FABULOUS!!!!
Now that you’ve read my Top Ten list; head over to Amanda’s and check out all of the other cool top ten lists for this week.