DC Photography Class

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Looking on Groupon can have many advantages.  One day, while I was browsing, I found a discounted photography class with Remember Forever and signed up on a whim.  I also got my older sister and two friends to do it with me so I wouldn’t have to do it alone.

Photography Class in Washington DC

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  We signed up for the Family, Friends, Children workshop, which specialized in teaching us how to take great portraits.  Since I’m not a big portrait taker, I thought the class would be interesting and was excited to find out what it was all about.

“This popular photography course with Remember Forever teaches you how to get beautiful portraits and photographs of people using natural light and your environment. This is the Remember Forever workshop for the person who wants to take exceptional photographs of their family. Learning the difference between a happy snap and a photograph, you will learn the settings on your camera to ensure you never miss capturing one of those special moments and make sure you have a photograph you will treasure forever. This three hour specialized workshop includes ensuring your light and colour are correct, composing and framing your image, finding the right angle and perspective and ensuring that the photograph you take tells a story to everyone who looks at it.”

Throughout the three hour course, our instructor would teach us different styles of portraits and then we could go off and practice.  I loved that he came up to each one of us personally, took a look at our photos, and critiqued them and told us what to do to make them better.

Using the background to "frame" our subject.
Using the background to “frame” our subject.
f/stop: 5
shutter speed: 1/200
ISO: 100

We also learned about the rule of thirds, which I already knew about thanks to Madison’s guest post from the other week!  (thanks, Madison!)

Using the rule of thirds technique while listening to the instructor talk about using reflectors to help with pesky shadows.
Using the rule of thirds technique while listening to the instructor talk about using reflectors to help with pesky shadows cast by the sun.
f/stop: 5
shutter speed: 1/800
ISO: 100

I also took a few seconds and snapped this photo of the blossoms while we were supposed to be snapping pictures of our partners.  I may get distracted by pretty pink things easily.

blossoms
f/stop: 4/2
shutter speed: 1/400
ISO: 100

Out of all the things I liked, there was one thing the instructor did keep saying that bothered me to no end.  That was, “don’t worry about the light in this picture.  It’s not important”.

FALSE.

Light is always, always, always important!  Light directly effects whether or not your photo will be overexposed, underexposed, or perfect.  If used correctly, then you will consistently get great photos.  If you don’t know how to correctly read the exposure setting on your camera, then you will never have a good photo.

Underexposed photo.  You do not want this!
Underexposed photo. You do not want that!
f/stop: 5/6
shutter speed: 1/640
ISO: 100
A tad bit overexposed.  You don't want that either.
A tad bit overexposed. You don’t want that either.
f/stop: 5/6
shutter speed: 1/160
ISO: 100

If you’re not sure where your exposure reading is on your camera, consult you manual.  It is your best friend and it will tell you everything you need to know!  I cannot stress how important exposure readings are to photography.

After the class ended and Julie and I were walking back towards the metro, I decided to snap a few other pictures.  I just love DC in the Spring!

monument
f/stop: 4.5
shutter speed: 1/1250
ISO: 100
Reflecting Sculpture
Reflecting Sculpture
f/stop: 4.2
shutter speed: 1/640
ISO: 100
DC in the Spring
f/stop: 4.2
shutter speed: 1/1250
ISO: 100

I have to say that if you’ve been shooting in Manual mode for the past six months, this class is not for you.  Not unless you need a refresher course for the basics.  I did learn a few things, like how to snap headshots and pose people in flattering positions, but most of the information I already knew.  I was also a bit disappointed that when I did ask the instructor a few questions he didn’t seem to really know the answer.  Granted, I was asking him things that were a bit more advanced than what he was teaching us so that may have been the issue.  I honestly don’t know.  But, I did have fun and was really glad to get the chance to shoot a little bit in DC!

0 Comments

  1. Beautiful pictures! It sounds like you were able to learn a couple of things from the class at least and you were able to get some shots. I would really love to visit DC one day–especially during the Cherry Blossom festival. Hopefully one day soon I’ll get to visit, but for now, I’ll satisfy my itch to visit with looking at photos of it.

    1. Thank you! I did learn a few things and I was excited to have an excuse to go into DC and shoot because in the Spring, DC is spectacular. I hope you get to visit during the festival one day. It’s beautiful and it’s so fun walking by all the monuments while looking at the trees. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Kristy! 🙂 I had so much fun and am already thinking of doing another class!

  2. LOVE the pink flowers photo. I’m guilty of getting distracted by flowers too.

    The comment about light is just crazy. Light is one of the most important aspects of good photography!

    1. Thank you! Glad I’m not the only one who gets distracted by flowers. haha 😉

      I couldn’t believe the instructor said that! It completely blew my mind. I think he was trying to put the emphasis on how to set up our photos and the correct settings instead of worrying about the exposure, but I’m not positive. Although, I do wonder how anyone was able to get a properly exposed photograph if they weren’t worrying about the light.

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