I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but two of my classes this semester are retakes, Intro to Photo and Acct Info Sys. I’m retaking those classes for two reasons: 1) to remove the “drop” from the calculation and get my GPA up from a 2.79 and 2) to actually finish those classes. Those E’s on my transcript haunt me. Every. Day. To go from A’s and B’s to basically nothing? It’s killing me. I have to fix it. After this semester, I only have one more retake left, Object Oriented Programming II (basically Java II).
Some might think it’s weird for me to be taking an introduction to photography class. It’s really not, though. Two years ago when I was enrolled in the same class, I was just starting out with my business. I was still shooting in Auto. I was still shooting JPG images. I was enrolled in that class long enough to have two assignments graded, before I dropped, and in those two assignments, I learned A TON. I haven’t shot in any mode BUT Manual ever since. Shortly after that, I realized the benefits of shooting RAW, and have never looked back. (Side note: I’ve had to change back to JPG for this class, which I need to remember before I shoot my next session.)
The professor for this photo class is even better than the professor I had two years ago, and I thought he was pretty damn good. Tri has related really well with everyone in the class. This is a gen ed class, but I can tell that he really wants us to learn. He doesn’t talk down to anyone when he answers questions and he explains the terminology in layman’s terms. Plus, he clearly knows his shit. And when he not only described his wife as a “nerd,” but showed pride in his wife’s geek status, he moved up even farther on my scale.
We turned in our first assignment yesterday. It was the exact same assignment I completed two years ago, and it dealt with understanding how your camera worked. We did some images to understand aperture, some for shutter speed, some for camera shake, some panning (THOSE. ARE. HARD.), and some for color shifts from indoor lighting. I was interested to see the difference between the two sets of images, although I still haven’t compared them side-by-side yet. I did notice that, while I certainly don’t know everything about it, I am MUCH more familiar with my camera than I was back then. I was even able to help some of my fellow students figure out theirs. But at the same time, I learned something new. Good times.
When I got my assignment together, I felt pretty good about it. But then the thing happened that usually does with me, I started to panic. The images weren’t good enough, not by a long shot. In my mind, I fully expected Tri to give them back to me and say, “Not even close, moron. Try again.” Yes, I do know he would never actually say something like that, but at the time, my mind was going into negative overdrive. Logic was completely ignored.
Once everyone uploaded their images, Tri chose some (names redacted, of course) to give us a better understanding of what he’s looking for when grading. His comments were very constructive, not hurtful at all, and yet I still sat in the back repeating the same phrase over and over in my mind. “Please don’t pick mine. Please don’t pick mine. Please don’t pick mine. PLEASE DON’T PICK MINE.”
He picked mine.
My first thought was, “Crap.” Then as he went through them, I realized he wasn’t tearing them to shreds. Then I looked more closely at the images on the screen. The exposure looked pretty damn close in most of the images. Since we were working on equivalent exposure, I started to relax about how well I completed the assignment. Tri laughed at the images of Ash doing jumping jacks (shutter speed images to show blur/freeze action), commenting on the things we ask our kids to do to get shots. A fellow student also told me they were good pictures. It will be interesting to see what my grade is on the assignment. Then I will have to dig out the old one and compare.
Next assignment due is on depth of field. Not as many technical components this time. Not as many images required either. Now I get to play.