We are off and running! The Hampshire School of Photography 1 year foundation course has officially started. On a chilly evening last week, I packed up my camera and pitched up at the local community centre to meet my new classmates. What a lovely bunch they are too. We range in photographic experience from a couple of decades to "just opened the box of my new camera at Christmas".
The course has been developed and is lead by Kevin Ahronson, top professional photographer and all round good egg. After the obligatory course introductions* Kevin took us through the basics of operating a Digital SLR out of the Auto mode. Having done a bit of photography, none of this was new to me, but it is always good to hear the information again, as knowing the basics well is the key to everything else.
I always think that photography is a very odd blend of the ultra technical, with lenses, focal lengths and exposure times, with the purely artistic and creative. Which makes it very inclusive, you can take joy from photography in whatever way you like.
Now comes the slightly daunting part... the homework. We have a few weeks to go away and take some photographs to practise the skills Kevin taught us in this session. We get a personal 1:1 mentoring session with him and our shots will be critiqued. The critique part of this whole experience, is I think, going to help me the most, although I am hoping Kevin doesn't turn into the photographic equivalent of Simon Cowell with a red buzzer. On Friday I morphed into Hermione Granger and planned my shots. Yesterday saw me hunched over my camera doing my homework in the hope of getting a gold star from Kevin. In fact I wasn't very happy with the results for one shot, so took it again. I'm glad I took them yesterday, it's raining cats and dogs here today, and the light it terrible. Listen to me, talking about the quality of the light and re-taking shots. I'm an artist Dahlings! I may start lounging about the place, and having an occasional rant like an 1930s artistic Christie character.
I am looking forward to seeing what my classmates photograph. I have a feeling we will all interpret the brief very differently.
Signing up for a course for a whole year is quite a big decision, but after the first session know I am going to have a fantastic time, and my photography should improve too.
* Whilst he asked us to introduce ourselves, thankfully we didn't have to do any icebreaking exercises involving building the Great Pryramid of Giza out of paperclips and rubber bands. Why do courses make people do that? Those exercises just make me grumpy.