Thursday, March 3, 2011

Photo Class

As some of you know, I have been taking a photo class for the last few months. The instructor is very knowledgeable and has done a good job in instructing us in a step by step method. As the course is  being taught in a quarter system, we are winding down, with the final project being due next week.

As much as I am enjoying this class, some of the assignments have been a challenge for me. The instructor made it clear that we are being graded on the technical aspects of the assignments, not the creative ones. Apparently creativity is taught in another class. Although I believe him about the technical vs. creative thing, I can tell he is a creative guy. I can also tell that the rest of the students are a little more expressive than I am and it shows when we review the assignments. Therefore, I spend a lot of time and energy trying to be creative and present my technical assignments in a more aesthetic and creative fashion.

 Depth of Field Assignment

My success has been limited. I am just not a naturally artsy-fartsy kind of guy. Although I have improved in the creativity area, my photos are pretty stodgy when compared to most of my classmates. I think a lot of it has to do with age and the "inside the box" thinking that years of working within a system brings. I am not complaining, I think that most components of my personality have served me fairly well over the years and the regimentation of the fire service has melded with my personality type to allow me to have a somewhat successful career.

I also think that the same combination has stifled me in other ways such as creativity. Now that my fire service career is winding down, it may be time for me to work on other areas of my life which have been somewhat neglected. Maybe this photography thing is a step in that direction, maybe this blog is another.

Thanks for reading,


  1. There'll always be someone better. On the other hand, there will be people like me who look at your photos and think, "I wish mine were that good."

  2. If your instructor is concentrating on the technical aspects of photography, the real question is: Are you learning? If the results of taking the class are seen in improvement of your daily photographs, then I'd say you are doing well.

    Case in point, I am a fairly artistic person. I like your photos and I think a few of them show real talent. Additionally, you can write. Don't scoff at this, as many people find writing difficult and an alarming number of young people lack the technical skill to write a complete sentence. Being able to write means that you can add a few sentences about a photo you post on the blog.

    That's a kind of hint, by the way. Take several hundred photos, pick three and write about them. I prefer young, nubile women in various stages of undress, but that's just me... and the rest of the men who read your blog. I'll settle for whatever you want to post.

    Most art classes that advertise emphasis on artistic technique have a limited audience, mainly because learning is difficult and learning an art form can be frustrating. The class requires discipline to complete successfully. You already understand discipline to the point where you no longer think about it. That's a tremendous advantage.

    Two final thoughts: You can afford the photography gear, which most students cannot. This gives you a better chance at success. You (presumably) are doing your level best to learn from your instructor. If you are not learning, it's your instructor's fault - not yours.

    Keep after it and post more photos.

  3. Wayne C. Thanks for the encouragement. I guess photography, as is wealth, charm or any skill, is relative.

    Mad Jack - Well, I have learned a lot and am in the process of applying the learned skills. It's funny, at times I just snap the shot, trying to capture the image in an informational way. Other times, I spend some time trying to compose the shot beforehand and set it up if I need to. In both, the technical skills are needed to make a presentable image.

    I too would like to practice my budding photographic skills on young nubile female subjects in various states of undress. However the Saint I am Married too would likely lose her halo and the wrath of hell would likely be unleashed. Who needs that?

    Thanks for the comments.