Thursday, November 15, 2012

Photography 101

Over the summer Heather and I (Danielle) took a photography class at the Manhattan Beach Art Department to refresh our skills. We went once a week for 8 weeks and learned some valuable lessons from our teacher Brian, who happens to be a very experienced and famous toy photographer. 

The casual environment made it a relaxed and comfortable learning experience, which we loved! Over 8 weeks, with our digital cameras set to manual, we learned how to:

1. Explore depth of field using aperture/f-stop (shallow vs. deep)
2. Use shutter speed to control light and introduce blur 
3. Adjust ISO settings
4. Read and measure light
5. Shoot with strobe and flash
6. Determine color/white balance (shooting in artificial light, daylight, tungsten, etc.)

Meet our teacher, Brian. See his work here
Shallow Depth of Field Exercise - Inside Classroom vs. Outside
Practicing the "panning technique" - We chased each other around the classroom
for about 30 minutes! 
Over Exposed Heather vs. Under Exposed Heather - I adjusted my strobe settings 
to get the perfect exposure.

Experimenting with Studio Lights

Our new camera skills allowed us to take properly exposed photos, but we were also pushed to be creative with the perspective and composition of our subject (thanks Brian). Always remember the rule of thirds! For extra practice, he had us each present a photo project with a theme. 
I chose "Rat View". This unique photographic perspective allows you to see your subject from a very low view point, similar to that of a rat. The challenge was finding interesting things on the floor! 

Heather went with an overall theme of "California in Motion". California is known for it's active lifestyle. So she photographed people in motion in an attempt to capture a few dramatic moments. Her biggest obstacle was getting the timing just right, otherwise the "moment" was gone! Using manual settings made this a huge challenge. 

See more of our pictures using our new skills on Flickr:

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