If you have been around me any length of time, you know that I am passionate about photography. I have even written about my fascination with photography on this blog. Imagine how excited I was when asked to conduct a class on digital photography for some of my favorite people, the Fontana Regional Library staff.
When I was asked the question, Will you do this? I began to think in slow motion; I can do this, I thought to myself. A few seconds, minutes, or maybe hours passed. There is no possible way I can do this, I thought to myself! I began talking to myself, “Just answer the question, no. Just say no like to drugs!” My mouth interpreted this to mean, “Of course, I will!” “I am happy to teach staff on the subject of digital photography.” That’s what came out. Now you have some small insight as to how I think.
Sure, I have studied the subject at length over the course of several years. Most topics I teach, I have to learn first, usually very quickly. So if I already know quite a bit about about photography or in this case digital photography, why would it be so difficult to teach it? The simple answer is; I rarely think about what I’m doing, I just do it. I mean I don’t consciously think through each and every step of the process when adjusting the camera settings to shoot for a particular scenario. I have done it so many times; I just know what to do.
No matter what you aspire to do you will have to learn how to do it. Even if you have a natural talent or ability to do whatever it is, you still have to study the topic, and practice it to hone your skills. You have heard coaches, trainers and teachers all your life say, you must practice, practice, practice to be really good at it (whatever it is). Photography is no different.
One thing we really did not discuss during the class, composition. There was simply not enough time. For fast pictures I use this rule of thumb, fill the the frame with the subject. Leave a little room around the edges for adjustment. If you want to take composition to the next level, look up the “rule of thirds”. If you wish to really increase your compositions, check out the Fibonacci Spiral (Rule of Thirds on Steroids). I really enjoy this website. The Digital Photography School has some great, easy to follow lessons and how-tos.
In preparation for the digital photography class, I read or at least gave a cursory look at about ten different books on the subject; that we have in our catalog. We have 14-15 titles on digital photography and a lot more on photography in general. Even if all you have is a digital camera don’t limit your reading to titles about digital cameras. Photography is photography for the most part. Much of what you will learn can be used with any camera. Navigate your web browser to fontanalib.org and click on the Catalog link. It is located in title bar toward the right-hand side of the page. Once you find a title your interested in, click the Hold button. We will find the title and hold it for you at the Fontana Regional Library of your choice. You will be amazed at what a few clicks of the mouse can do for you!
The classes are done. The training is over. Now it is up to you to take some photos, move them to your computer, edit them and share them. Oh, and have fun doing it!