To make the most of my fairly new digital camera, I have enrolled in a Photography Classes this summer. We started two Suandays ago, and here's what I can say/have learned:

* Dang, good cameras can be so expensive!

* Photography is both an art and a science.

* Dang, understanding the technical/science part can be really challenging.

* Quick Kodigo: the higher the F-stop, the deeper the Depth of Field - the fewer light - the slower the shutter speed

* You don't need the latest technology/expensive cameras to take great pictures. But to take greater pictures, you would need to really invest in higher-end cameras.

* Some people are born with an eye for seeing things. But photography, being a science, can be mastered by anybody... and we all have a sense of creativity within us.

* The really good photographers say this: Photography gives them food for their soul, and food on their table.

* Photography is all about LIGHT.

* Good photographs tell a story and stirs one's emotions. Really great photographs render give a sense of humility to the viewer.

* One has to master his equipment to really take good pictures.

Week 1 was all about learning the basic parts of a camera and understanding the principles behind them. Finally, I know what aperture is (amount of light that reaches the camera's sensor). The lectures can be very dragging, with matching slideshow presentations that require the classroom (one of the dungeon-cubicles at Fort Santiago) to be darkened, rendering everyone sleepy. The last two hours of the 9-5 session is dedicated to taking pictures. Everyone is given a film each (even those with digital cameras or digital SLRs) which FPPF will develop for free to be critiqued the following week.

I was mega dehydrated that time and had to drink at least 9 glasses of water before I stopped feeling like I was dying of thirst. See, I was running around Fort Santiago just taking pics... and the sun was still scorching at 3 pm!

Week 2, we were privileged to have an authority in Tilak Hettige, a Sri Lankan and world-renowned photographer (who just published his photographs of Buddhist Monks in a book called "saffron Robes") to discuss the use of light to us. He used calming music in his presentations which again lulled us to a feeling of sleepiness. Make no mistake, his pictures are good (his pictures of Pinatubo were amazing!), his presentations clear and to the point and inspiring. But it's a Sunday in Summer, people are bound to fall asleep!

A 73-year old lady photographer (i'm sorry, I didn't get her name... but she was featured just last week, I think, in Manila Bulletin's Picture Perfect column) took the helm in the afternoon and discussed composition with us. She started that particular lecture by having each one of us choose a pic from last week's photoshoot. Lined up together on a wall, she made us choose one we liked best and anotehr which we think needs improvement and why. The picture I took, although cutely interesting, was lost in a sea of better pictures with simpler subjects. It was depressing a little, but I got more depressed later on when we were sent out to pasteur take pictures again all over Fort Santiago, this time focusing on composition. See, I know my cam is no Rebel but I also know it's one pretty poerful cam... but I can't manage macro shots and blurred background shots.

And it frustrates me more that the times I manage blurred backgrounds, or really crisp colors in the picture... I don't even know what I did right.

Arrgghh... practice will make perfect. I guess I just have to be making love with my cam at ;east 2 hours everyday.

And now, I have this portrait assignment to do...and I forgot my cam at home! (I intended to do it at work because there are big windows here, while I wouldn't be able to catch daylight at home).


All those interested to take basic photography classes, you can use your manual SLRs, digital SLRs and digital cams. Just search the site for class schedules.


Tips in taking good pictures (from the lecture):

a. Keep it simple, sweetheart/stupid (KISS).
b. Tell a Story
c. Observe the Law of Thirds
d. Observe Lines (vertical for rigidity, authority; horizontal for relaxed mood, calm; oblique/diagonal for movement, transition)
e. Frame your subject (use doors, foliage, etc)
f. Accent Composition
g. Blur Bacground
h. Use Small Aperture to achieve Depth of Field
i. Draw Composition
j. Consider Persepctive/.viewpoint (bird's eye view, or worm's view)
k. Bracket your composition
l. Use interesting foreground
m. Do not shot bald skies.
n. Shoot colors, lines, shapes, textures and tones
o. Reduce subject into abstraction
p. Include triangle in your composition.

Other tips can be found here


Wonder where i'll get around P70k to buy a Canon 30D... hmm...


For pictures of my attempts, click on the Photography Classes album.


On a non-related note, 07-07-07 (July 07, 2007) is my Amang Kasal's 25th wedding anniversary, and they've asked me to help them prepare for their wedding (as in halos ako lahat, they're arriving 7 days before the wedding).

Anyway, that's also the day the 7th book of the Harry Potter series will be released, and most probably at 7:00 AM.

Heaven help me, i'd be late in reading the book again! (Last year kasi, it was my friend's wedding naman when the 6th book was released)


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