Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Digital Fotography - Basics

That was the name of the course I enrolled for. I have been playing with the camera for the past 2-3 years, embarrassing everyone when I go out with them (mainly Mr. Swiss) by taking a photo of apples or chickens in a supermarket, perhaps  finding a strange plant in a forest, or a dog on the street. My digital cameras (now I have two, one for in my handbag and the other for special photo safaris) are still a mystery to me. Full of bells and whistles, dials to turn, unknown abbreviations of letters of which I do not have a clue what they mean, so I decided to take the plunge and enrol at the local evening class institute.

The first evening was yesterday so I arrived complete with my small Panasonic Lumix camera in my handbag and my bigger Panasonic Lumix packed in its professional carrying bag hung over my shoulder. I was lucky to find a fellow victim entering the lift so we found the class together. I was not so lucky, when I found 7 people waiting for the teacher, all of the male species. I breathed a sigh of relief when two further ladies arrived.

The teacher could have been my grandson, no quite, but he was young. Naturally a profi photographer, very modern and very capable.

The first minutes were spent in introducing ourselves. This is normal in any course. What do you want to know etc. etc. We are a mixed bunch. A couple of near on profis, a couple of people indulging in printing and the rest being as unknowing as I am.

The next idea was to put the various types of cameras together in groups. My group was quite small, just me. It seems that Canon cameras are a dominant species in the world of photography, although we did have one Nikon and one Olympus in the course.

What did we learn? It was the first evening. What I learned is that when you load the photos on the computer you do not automatically let the computer delete them from the camera. No, you delete them on the camera by using the format symbol. After a five minute search I actually found the format thingy on my camera. Then we went into the logics of colours, which branched out into an intensive discussion about colour blindness in humans. Interesting, but it was a bit off the beaten track. I also learnt what a raw photo is, and don't do it. They are so big they don't fit in any photo programme except perhaps for photoshop, but then you have to know what you are doing. I still do not really know what I am doing, but it can only get better.

Of course we had the usual break, it was a three hour evening. What did we discuss? Obvious really. The discussion revolved around photography. One woman admitted it was all chinese to her. I immediately felt at home in the course. Another lady explained she only got her Canon because her friend won something better in a competition and gave it to her. The men discussed more technical stuff about the photographic opportunities they had on their holiday trips to foreign countries with lions and bears. I felt quite small, only being able to talk about my detailed macros of spiders and butterflies - all girly stuff I suppose.

Anyhow I departed and found yes, I think I am on the right track. Not too complicated, and the teacher takes his time and has patience to show the details on your own camera. So now, where was that thingy for format of the little square thing in the camera - I think it is the scandisk. The teacher collected all our scan disks and told us to take them again from the collection. I suddenly had a photo of a strange man on my camera, but it seemed the other lady who didn't have a clue, was looking for the photos of her husband as she had nothing more on her camera - a slight mistake in choice of the right scandisk.

After spending 10 minutes at the station waiting for the local road train I arrived home tired and happy, but had some washing to hang up first of all.

Next week it goes further.

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