Basic Digital Photography Class

Friday night at work: I was having a very productive evening, and I felt light and positive all day.  I realized it was two things that had me at such high spirits: my agents were not around, and I was looking forward to my basic digital photography class the next afternoon.

By morning though, things took a turn for the worse.  From very productive, I plunged to zero productivity.  I had only three agents around but all of a sudden I had to attend to them.  So though my shift was really just supposed to be until 8am, but I gave myself until 1pm to finish everything and that was the time I was supposed to leave for my class – I ended up finishing what needed to be done at 2pm.  To make matters worse – it was raining. Really hard.

Raining on Saturday afternoon meant that we probably won’t be able to shoot photos.  Still, the idea that I’d be learning about my camera excited me.  Sir Nicolay moved our start time from 2 to 230 because of the rain. That worked for me so I wasn’t late! Yay! Plus, I hadn’t eaten since dinner the previous evening, so waiting for the instructor gave me time to grab a bite (the baked potato was delish!).

Oh, and you know what else made this class exciting? My best friend was in it too:

my pretty bff

my pretty bff

My photography doesn’t do justice to her beauty, hehe. Wait till I hone my skills even more 😉

The first part of the class was the lecture part on what makes a beautiful photo, and how to take them. I love Sir Nicolay’s presentation.  It really looked as if he invested time and a lot of effort in preparing the course.   It’s really a beginner’s class – if you don’t know shit about photography, you’ll leave the class with a wealth of information.

At the beginning of the lecture though, there was one thought running through my mind – why define beauty?  I realized in the end that it is important to talk about universal concepts of beautiful photography because it has mass appeal.  When you follow those concepts – many will come to like your work.  Then you can break all the rules, break them all you want and find your own beauty. Haha. 🙂

The trickiest part about photography, to me, is finding that perfect mix of ISO, aperture and shutter speed.  It’s just so easy to use Auto, but if I always use auto mode then I probably should have just stuck it out with my Kodak point and shoot.  After the discussion, and before we actually went out to shoot (the rain stopped the sun came out while we were discussing!), Sir Nicolay gave us a subject and we were supposed to think of the right settings to capture it without looking through the cameras yet.  My answer ended up to be underexposed – but that’s how I actually like it because here’s the result:


I love it because the imperfections are hidden. Compare it with this one, which was taken with just the right settings:


Aside from Jo and myself, there was one other girl with us, Mitch who works at ABS-CBN (where my office is located!); there was Carlo too, and uhm, sorry but I forgot where he’s from. We were a fun bunch, or maybe I was just immediately comfortable because I knew someone in the group already?  Three of us had D60s (Jo bought hers the week after I got Maxine), while Mitch was the odd one out with her Canon 450d and all of its 9 AF points.  For the photoshoot part, we were joined by another girl who was at that morning’s session.

So the sun decided to come out and let us have our fun.  It’s not easy to take beautiful photos after all, though I think it was the pressure of knowing that the instructor and everyone else would critique my shots by the end of the day.  I ended up deleting a third (or more) of the shots I took.

This was one of the first shots I took, I didn’t have to think about it so much and I liked the turnout.  This is the wall of the shed (was it a generator shed?) at the back of the UP Theater:


For this next one, I just know I could have done better, but I can’t pinpoint in what manner. Do you have any suggestions on how this could have been captured even more  beautifully? Perhaps if I didn’t have two bags on my shoulder and I wasn’t sleepy already, I’d have kneeled lower and taken this from a better angle…


I cropped this image already, because the original had too much of the road itself, I should have waited until the jeepney was near enough.  


I took two shots of the same thing, the second one was brighter, but this was the one I liked better:


I like shooting at angles like this one. I love green!


These next ones were taken with different settings. I wanted it to be bright, but I loved the ones where the clouds’ natural colors could be seen:






This last one, is my favorite photo for the day.  I’ll probably use it as my wallpaper:


I am so excited to get into photography even more! I will scrimp for awhile though, even as I already feel the need for another lens, I’ll wait.  Maybe I’d go for an extra battery first (versus a battery grip), or an additional compact flash memory or SD card. We’ll see. I kind of promised I’d work on my skills first before I buy accessories. 🙂