selection of photos from Fall 2016 students
Welcome new and returning photography students!
For those of you who are new to the program, these classes are geared towards those students who are serious about photography, and I teach it accordingly.
I teach with the expectation that you want to be either a serious hobbyist or want to work towards going pro. I know not everyone who enrolls will wind up sticking with it, but, for those of you who do, I will help you build a solid foundation in the fundamentals of photography that will help you however you decide to proceed after Dorman.
A couple things before we get started. This class is not easy. If you’re here because you thought you wouldn’t have to do any work, I advise you either change your mindset and get ready to, or switch classes. If you do not do the assignments, you will fail. It’s as simple as that. If you get busted doing something you shouldn’t while out taking pictures, or I catch you goofing off, you will no longer be allowed to use the equipment or leave the classroom to take pictures. If you break (or lose) gear through negligence, you will be financially responsible for replacing it. I don’t say this to be mean, I say it to make you understand that I take this class very seriously, and if you’re not serious about learning how to take better pictures, you need to find someplace else to be.
Notice at no point did say I anything to the effect of “if your pictures aren’t good, you will fail.” I’m looking for you to learn and grow. If you take bad pictures on day one and still take bad pictures on day 90, that’s okay, as long as I can tell you’re putting the effort in and trying to get better. If you’re trying, you will get better over time. If you’re not reading practicing, you won’t get better and you’ll just be wasting both my time and yours.
Do I need my own camera for this class? No, you do have to provide your own camera, but, if you have one (that you can control the exposure manually on, such as any DSLR), then you’re encouraged to use that. The school has 8 kits, so that means that if no one brings their own camera, you’ll most likely be sharing a camera with 2-3 other students. Also, let’s talk about sharing for a second. We have a lots of gear. However, we don’t have enough for 30 people to have one of everything. You will be required to share. This also means you will need to plan ahead when using equipment because we have fewer copies of some things (like prime lenses), and if you wait to the last minute, you may not be able to get ahold of what you need in time to complete the assignment.
The only thing you are required to provide is your own memory card. I suggest the SanDisk Ultra 8GB SDHC memory card (they’re about $6 on Amazon). Regardless of what you get, it needs to come from the official Nikon approved memory card list:
Other than that, I don’t care, but I can tell you that you probably don’t need a big card (like 32 or 64) because you can get a couple hundred raw files on an 8gb. If you go with an off brand memory card (basically anything other than SanDisk of Lexar), I can’t guarantee its longevity or durability, but I’ve used SanDisk and Lexar (currently all my personal cards are Lexar Professional) and I’ve never had one go bad.
Now, with that out of the way, what are you going to study this semester?
In level one, we’re going study exposure and how to control it manually with the camera. If you understand manual exposure, you can basically work every camera ever, so we’re going to spend a good deal of time on that. We will also study composition and basic editing using Adobe Lightroom CC.
In level two, we’re going to refine skills and techniques learned in level one, create our own light (mainly in the form of studio strobes), further our editing skills using Lightroom, and introduce Photoshop.
In level three, we’ll continue to improve skills and techniques studied in the first two classes, practice on-location lighting using speedlights, and refine compositions.