Intro to Digital Photography: Class #1 (Am I already behind?)

created on: 01/07/09

So yesterday was the first day of my 8 week photography class, and the minute I walked into the room I felt like I arrived at the wrong party. The class is small, only about 10 students who all had their cameras out, sitting on the communal table. They were some serious cameras for a beginner digital photography class, and they made my little Canon A720 look like....well....crap. I immediately began trying to figure out a way to get my money back for the class, because, most assuredly, this was going to be way beyond my equipment’s means. But I stuck it out, telling myself it’s not all about the equipment. (I keep thinking about the John Waters film Pecker.) Anyway, as we all ponder that supposition, here are a few notes I jotted down.

One giant memory card isn’t necessarily the way to go. Several smaller cards can be better for organization if you take a lot of pictures (an event on one, a location on another). Also, if something bad happens to that one enormous card before you can transfer its data, you loose everything on it, not just that one event. Also, make sure your cards are fast enough for your camera too.

A histogram is a ‘graphical representation of the tonalities in [your camera’s] frame’. A histogram is that graph dealie that shows up on your camera’s LCD or, later, on your photo editor. Darks are represented on the left and lights on the right on the graph.

If you’re taking pictures of snow and it looks gray on your LCD dial up 2 clicks on your exposure compensation bar; if it looks white, dial down 2 clicks. (This is represented by that +/- icon on your camera.) Around here, pretty much all outdoor shots include snow this time of year, so it's is important to know!

After transferring images from your memory card to storage, reformat your memory card. If you don’t, the card may contain leftover info that could corrupt future data.

Those are the highlights for week one. Our assignment for week two is to bring in 10 shots that are modest, framed simply and suggest ‘meaning’. As for what I’ll be using to take these pictures....I’ve been doing a bit of research and the Canon G10 seems to be rising to the top–qualities seem right for me and the price isn’t outrageous. If anyone has any suggestions as to other models or if you have experience with this particular Canon, I’d love to hear from you. Of course, before any cash is shelled out, we should probably answer that ‘it’s not all about the equipment’ question. Right?




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ModHomeEcTeacher on Jan 07, 2009:

Just finished my second class but I need more on the camera and less on Photoshop Elements.

Lighting, buttons, readouts, histograms, etc. --need to understand.

My new groovy friend in my class, Nikki. has a Leica that took fabulous photos. I don't know anything about it. I got the Canon Rebel XSI with an addtional macro lens. Now I want a 18-200mm. zoom.

Too much $$$ right now.

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