The Occasional Shippment

Occasional thoughts from a young adult reveling in the messiness of life.

Becoming a Student of Light

As you can probably tell, I’m going to be on this “light” kick for a while—especially now that I have started my 6-week photography class! I am officially a student again, however part-time it may be. I have a class to attend and homework to accomplish. It’s amazing how easily I slide into that role. Bring on the jeans, flip flops and dedication to learning (not in that order, of course).

I’m super lucky to be taking the class with one of my best friends here in Atlanta, as it’s so important to have someone to bounce ideas around with and to keep the class time fun. The first class included covered a lot of “basics” that I knew, but I did learn some things already that I need to change (like using a card reader instead of plugging my camera directly up to my computer). I am pretty psyched that the instructor seems pretty cool. My friend and I picked that particular class because we liked his sample work on the school’s website.

Homework assignment from Week 1 was to play with the auto focus point on our lens and then practice focusing on different objects in a scene. The second part of the assignment was working with the white balance.

The white balance portion frustrated me at first because I didn’t understand it. I got the concept of looking at your light and choosing the corresponding setting on the camera (Sunny, Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, etc.), but I didn’t understand WHY this was necessary…that is, until I read the book.

So the new nugget of knowledge for that class is this: the human eye automatically adjusts to the light, so things that are white typically appear white to our eyes, no matter what light the object is in. A camera, however, needs to be told what light it’s in. (Technically, yes, there are auto setting for everything, including white balance, but we’re not allowed to use those). So, different “lights” give off different hazes. Shade is more blue, Tungsten is warmer, fluorescent is a harsh green-y color. So interesting!

Below are the four pictures I brought to class (which got a positive critique). I shot these at the day school near my house—they have tons of interesting objects to shoot. Click on the image for full-size.

This first set shows focusing on different objects (front/back) wtihin the same scene.


This next set shows white balace. One is set correctly, and one is intentially set incorrectly.



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This entry was posted on March 16, 2011 by in Photography and tagged , , .

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