City Centre School – Day 1

Hi, and welcome to Introduction to Digital SLR photography at the City Centre School in Charlottetown!

This week is the introductory week where we’ll get to know each other a little bit, figure out what we want / need to get out of the course, and learn what we’re going to learn over the next 10 weeks.

Each class will have a similar structure.  We will start by having a show and tell / critical discussion of the class participants’ homework.  We will then introduce a new technical feature of your camera.  Finally, we will practice with this feature in the classroom and around the school.  Activating the feature on our cameras, and then exploring what kind of photographic results we get when we use this feature.

Everyone should bring their camera and a manual for the camera to class.

Our technical talk for the first day is (was) about a couple of composition basics:  the Rule of Thirds, and Leading Lines.  This week, try to practice using these in your photography.  Take photographs that use these concepts, and take others that don’t, and compare them to see what you think of the results.

Another discussion topic was good online resources for the learning photographer.  Google is definitely your friend.  We will introduce more online resources as the course progresses, but for now check these out:

  • For equipment reviews, use Amazon.com.  Almost any piece of equipment can be found there and the user reviews should represent a very broad cross section of all types of users.  Another great resource for reviews would be B&H Photography, though these will be very technical users.  The final source I will suggest for now is Fred Miranda.  There are all kinds of equipment reviews here, with the added bonus that users can post links to sample photographs to demonstrate the potential quality of results.
  • For new equipment purchases, B&H always have the best prices (though they are American, and the currency exchange is a killer at the moment).  Closer to home we have Henry’s Camera and Vistek.  For used equipment, kijiji is popular but do your research and make sure the seller is not charging prices equal to or higher than actual new equipment.  I have always had good experiences when ordering used gear from people on Fred Miranda.
  • You can watch an almost infinite number of videos from Fro Knows Photo to learn concepts and see them demonstrated.  Scott Kelby can be found for free on Youtube, and if you like him you can subscribe for more material.  You will like him, I’m quite sure.

THIS WEEK’S HOMEWORK:

Shoot in P mode only.  Don’t worry about controlling your camera.  Let it do the work for you this week.  But keep the rule of thirds and/or leading lines in mind when shooting.  Carefully compose your practice shots to follow these rules.  You can also try breaking the rules to compare / contrast your results and see what you make of it.

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