Photography 101 – Assignment #1

I recently started a beginner’s digital photography class right here in Pembroke via Firefly53 Studio. I’ve been taking photos with my Nikon D3000 for more than 5 years, and I’ve learned a lot just from trial and error. I picked up a few tips from a 4-hour one day class I got through Groupon, and I very successfully took lots of photos for the newspapers I worked for with just very few basics. I recently got more serious about taking pictures and I wanted to have a really solid foundation – and I think I picked a great class for it! I didn’t expect to learn much on the first day because I’d been using my camera for so long, reading manuals & other books by photographers, I figured I’d be getting a review. But no! I learned a ton of useful information that has already started making my photos better.

In each of the six weeks of the course, we get an assignment. This weeks assignment was to use the camera in Manual Mode, adjusting our own aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to result in the right exposure! Additionally, we had to use one basic rule of composition: The rule of thirds. Basically, imagine each image divided into 9 equal parts by two equally spaced lines horizontally and two vertically. The subject of the photo should be approximately along one of these lines because it is more pleasing to the eye, creates tension in the photo (not sure what that means, but maybe I will figure it out), than if the subject was dead center. I can definitely see that the photos I’ve taken are improved by following this guideline and many times previously I was doing it naturally without even knowing it was a thing. I think our eyes tend to gravitate towards it after viewing photos we like and using our cameras for a long time.

Here’s what I submitted for class discussion this week, I had a blast taking them. Can’t wait to see what our instructor can tell me what to improve upon with them. What do you think?

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© 2014 Mary Polleys