I held my first photography class today. I wasn't really nervous about it, because I practiced quite a bit and I don't have any problems speaking in front of groups. Any nervousness that I feel about teaching class stems from my fear that I will teach too little or too much. For me, the worst thing in the world that could happen would be for someone to leave my class thinking, "Gee, I don't really feel like I got my money's worth." The second worst thing that could happen is for someone to leave my class thinking, "Gee, this is way too difficult for me to ever be able to understand." This second concern is going to be on my mind a lot as we move into the second class in the series.
For the first class I concentrated exclusively on composition. We never even talked about the camera, its operation or any of the settings. Instead, I spent the entire class just teaching composition. If you're going to learn to be a good photographer you have to first start with the basics and that means understanding the elements of a picture, what brings it together, how the elements work with each other etc.. The biggest mistakes I see when I look at amateur pictures are always composition related. It was nice to see some "ah ha" moments as I explained ways in which you could make your pictures stand out and be so much more than they have in the past.
Next week we get into the tricky part. Next week we tackle the camera and the basics of photography. It's always a little confusing the first time that you try to learn the basics of photography because there are three things that control how light enters a camera, each of these things is designated by a number, and none of them use the same numbers in quite the same way. ISO numbers will let in more light if the number is higher, shutter speed numbers let in less light if the number is higher, and aperture numbers, well, there just weird to begin with.
Next week is the test. If I can finish next week's class with all of my students understanding the "exposure triangle" Then I'll really be proud of myself. I've been trying to teach it to my wife for years and still haven't managed to pull it off. But then, she really doesn't want to learn it. She just puts up with me because she loves me.
Tampa Bay Wedding Photography by Booray Perry