Photography course: Day 7

Click here to view photo album

We had our final photography workshop yesterday at Melbourne Uni. The first exercise called for architecture shots around the square and we were only given 45 minutes to complete the task. The course coordinator explained that learning to shoot on a limited time frame would also be good exercise in preparation for times when we need to join a tour group where stops are scheduled.

Aside from the architecture shots, we were also required to make a self-portrait, one that made me go, uh-oh, mainly because I wasn’t carrying a tripod with me. Even if the point of the exercise was for us to learn how to use the timers on our camera, I still had the problem of where to put my camera while taking the said self-portrait. To see what I dreamed up, please see the photo album above. Even though the focus was off, I was a quite happy with the first shot.

Since the previous lectures leading up to the workshop were about composition and people photography, we had our group portrait taken by the club member who’s known for his work in portraits. He took the photos from a balcony and had us in a rough circle below looking up at him. The course coordinator explained that this trick works because it’s easy to organise, relative heights of the subjects don’t matter as much and is flattering (mostly to avoid double chins).

After that, we practised taking solo portraits and were mentored by another club member who works in fashion photography. He had the model standing casually against a wall with plenty of light coming in through the arches along a hallway and he discussed how pointing the flash either to the left or right when taking the shot vertically affects the resulting photograph. He also mentioned that we need to talk to the model and make her/him feel at ease. We took turns taking the model’s photograph. When my turn came, it was then that it dawned on me that not only do I have to make the model comfortable, I would have to be comfortable with the situation as well, which I wasn’t. Anyway, the model was gracious enough to let me take her photo twice and I thought they turned out well. However, I don’t think I would like to do a lot of portrait photography after that, specially on total strangers. I’m just too awkward with it and art direction’s not my strongest suit either.

The session was fun overall and I learned a lot by taking the advice of several club members and being able to try the advice straight away.

Published in: on September 1, 2008 at 9:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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