flotsam, peeves, photography

Unit one, lesson one

Underside of a DVD-R disc, modified to have tr...
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The box of homework contained 4 lesson booklets, 5 audio CDs, 1 DVD, plus a few more booklets and audio files that are part of a second “track” of study. I get from the cover letter that they intend us to do the audio files along with the booklet, and then access the DVD after all the lessons proper are complete.

OK. Righto. So, I pull out booklet one, which is only about 30 pages long, and read all of lesson one before I break into the audio files.

It’s on developing your “eye.” What makes a good picture?

What I have learned from that is mostly that I have a good eye for editing/deciding which picture is really worth sharing in a series, but not as good for composing the picture from the outset. Well, that’s what a class is for, right?

Wait, I should back up and tell you that the forward of the first lesson was all about how most photographers fall in love with the technology first. They love their gadgetry. They love fiddling with it, knowing what they can do with it… and only later start to develop the “eye” that makes the pictures they take impactful. Um, wait. What? Am I not “normal” in this sense? Or… are these “most photographers” men? Because I am not at all a gadgetry person. I fiddle with my camera settings only because I am trying to get a picture, not because I love having the bells and whistles.

In any case, I whipped through the booklet, and then popped in the first audio CD.

45 minutes of intro. Welcome to the program, this is what to expect, here are the “panelists” whose conversation you will effectively be listening in on for the rest of the sessions.

I remind myself that if I were in a college class, the first class would probably be more than 45 minutes, and they would cover just this sort of thing.  Focus.

The rest of lesson 1 is broken into starts and stops of 11-25 minute segments, wherein I’m asked to read a few pages in the booklet, and then come back and listen to the dialogue, which is mostly commentary on what I just read. There are 6 of these. Lesson 1, sans introduction, is more than an hour long. It takes 2 CDs to provide all of just that one lesson.

My head hurts. But – dang it all – I am going to learn how to evaluate and take a decent picture if it kills me.

PS Oh… and each CD has the file information labeled differently when I access it via my iTunes player. On Disk 1, they are all in the format “Lesson # (numeral) colon space Part Roman Numeral.” On Disk 2, they all use “Lesson Number (spelled out) colon space Part # (numeral)”. On Disk 3, there is no track labels at all. They come in as Track 01, Track 02, etc. On Disk 4, it’s “Lessons (note plural) # comma space Part Roman Numeral.”  I know it’s not that important, but I like it if my iTunes files sort properly, and this is very confusing. Tinker tinker, tinker tinker. THERE. Now I feel better.

My goodness, I am a geek.

1 thought on “Unit one, lesson one”

  1. I agree with you. While I do appreciate “gadgetry,” it’s always come secondary to me when it comes to photography. I think some people are just born with an “eye” and all the gadgetry in the world doesn’t matter to those folks.


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