Well, I have managed to complete the first section on time. What have I learnt?
I take way too many bad photographs. Sometimes there is a point to this, the zoo was a good example. I was trying to get pictures of moving wildlife and often they did move! So – do I get rid of all the bad ones, sometimes yes and sometimes no, some are for memory rather than for good images. This is an important point to separate out, watching the black leopard play with a cardboard box, just like a house cat would, was fun and not something I want to loose the record of, even though most of the pics are out of focus, or his head is behind a tree or in the box. The zebra is another example, the baby trying to get mums attention was fascinating and made a great sequence, while lots of unfocused shots of monkeys doing not very much at too great a distance (even for my tele-lens) should probably go.
I must remember to categorise and keyword my images properly. I used to always do this but have got sloppy. Spending hours trying to find the shot I know I have is not fun and also a huge waste of time. Elements Organiser works well, but keeps crashing, possibly sheer weight of images. Lightroom seems much more stable – but I need to keyword things properly so I can find them – at present mostly using date to find, not helpful a year down the line.
I am not good at taking pictures ‘to order’ – a symptom of an untidy mind possibly, so I found the contrasts assignment hard. I would have had plenty of images had I trawled my back catalogue but I am determined to carry out this course taking new images where possible so that I think about what I am doing from the start. It was also complicated by bad weather so I had to experiment with some set ups and some very experimental lighting, using a son as an extra tripod. A mixture of whatever household lights are at hand can give some very peculiar colour casts which then need corrected, a set of inexpensive studio lights may be on the purchase list.
The main object of Part One was to get you to think about what you are taking a picture of. This seems an obvious statement but it is far too easy with a digital camera to snap away without considering where or what the main point of the image is. It is also important to think about what is surrounding the picture, where the horizon is and what sort of crop one should use. This is definitely helped by looking critically at what you are doing and also by looking at other peoples images.