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Anybody teaching digital photography?

 
 
Charles Schuler
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      04-17-2006
I have been doing it for a year now and am interested in hearing from
others.

1/ I am doing it as a community service.
2/ I find that folks drift in and out and that it is impossible to have
continuity.
3/ PowerPoint seems to be the way to go?

Thanks for your help!


 
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ASAAR
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      04-18-2006
On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 19:50:27 -0400, Charles Schuler wrote:

> I have been doing it for a year now and am interested in hearing from
> others.
>
> 1/ I am doing it as a community service.
> 2/ I find that folks drift in and out and that it is impossible to have
> continuity.
> 3/ PowerPoint seems to be the way to go?


I almost hate to say this, but I'd probably drift (rapidly) out of
a photography course that used PowerPoint. Not that such
presentations can't be good/useful/interesting, but in practice they
rarely are. For them, I've developed an involuntary eye-closing
defense mechanism.

I don't know how you're structuring the course, but if the numbers
of those taking it are small, it might be better to avoid sticking
with a predefined lesson plan, maybe keeping some basics, but
tailoring the classes to the interests of the participants, which
would probably vary from class to class. It might also keep you
from getting bored or burning out.

From the standpoint of helping the students, I think it's fairly
important that they get to know their own cameras thoroughly, which
probably most people don't do. But you can't prepare a course (or
textbook) that caters to all camera brands and models. If a
particular shot is only possible during a short window of time but
needs some camera adjustments to be made, wasting minutes trying to
recall or guess how to add exposure compensation, or change the
white balance can result in missed opportunities. So the students
should probably bring not only their cameras to class, but their
camera manuals too, or lacking that, the manual on CD (assuming that
there's a computer in the classroom). Then eventually, you'd get
them to run what in the military was called a "confidence course",
where a certain number of timed tasks must be performed.

If students see that they're really getting something practical
from the course, the "drift out" rate would probably drop.

 
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fishfry
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      04-18-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
"Charles Schuler" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I have been doing it for a year now and am interested in hearing from
> others.
>
> 1/ I am doing it as a community service.
> 2/ I find that folks drift in and out and that it is impossible to have
> continuity.
> 3/ PowerPoint seems to be the way to go?


PowerPoint = superficial thinking for marketing pukes. At least that's
what it is in business. I hear that they use it a lot at the Pentagon,
which accounts for us stumbling into two losing wars and threatening a
third.
 
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Unclaimed Mysteries
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      04-18-2006
fishfry wrote:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> "Charles Schuler" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>I have been doing it for a year now and am interested in hearing from
>>others.
>>
>>1/ I am doing it as a community service.
>>2/ I find that folks drift in and out and that it is impossible to have
>>continuity.
>>3/ PowerPoint seems to be the way to go?

>
>
> PowerPoint = superficial thinking for marketing pukes. At least that's
> what it is in business. I hear that they use it a lot at the Pentagon,
> which accounts for us stumbling into two losing wars and threatening a
> third.


MicroSoft PowerPoint is the leading best-of-breed choice for those
desirous of solutioning their presentation software choice matrix. Now
with flavor crystals. PowerPoint facilitates bold, emphatic, conciseful:
that's PowerPoint. Stick hatpins through your frontal lobes, or choose
genuine PowerPoint for making words bounce and swoosh, and bulletpoints
throb. Far out.

In other words, don't rely on it too much. Please.

--
It Came From C. L. Smith's Unclaimed Mysteries.
http://www.unclaimedmysteries.net

 
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Stacey
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      04-18-2006
Charles Schuler wrote:

> I have been doing it for a year now and am interested in hearing from
> others.
>
> 1/ I am doing it as a community service.


Me too. They are going to give me a classroom at the local elementary school
this fall for weekend adult ed classes!

> 2/ I find that folks drift in and out and that it is impossible to have
> continuity.


You have to restart the class, you can't have people drifting in and out as
the people who come in later won't know the basics. I've found a class that
starts at say 10-15 people will dwindle down to 2-3 near the end. I think
people stay until they feel they've learned enough for their use of
photography. I plan on then having "advanced" classes for these people who
want to learn more.

> 3/ PowerPoint seems to be the way to go?
>


I don't use anything like that. I teach some things then make them go
practice what we learned. I might show them a few examples on a laptop
(DOF, perspective etc) but I think a "preplanned presentation" would
quickly bore people. The other thing I do is ask what THEY want to get out
of the class and taylor it to their needs.
--

Stacey
 
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steve.zxcv@gmail.com
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      04-18-2006
I just don't understand what u people are talking about. To learn any
photography, one has to be creative, ability to learn and keen to find
the details. If you know how to take good snaps then it can be saved as
..jpeg or .bmp nothing matters. Arrange them serially and put them on
power point or any good software it will do.

By the way, i found some articles on digital photography u guyes may be
interested of www.jitgroups.com however there are many articles and you
have to pick the right one by your own.

 
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mark.thomas.7@gmail.com
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      04-18-2006
G'day Charles.

Forgive the long post, but it's a bit of a pet subject for me..

I think Asaar and others are right on the money. I have taught a
number of photography courses over the years, and I only ever used one
powerpoint presentation - it shows common problems for beginners,
like under/over exposure, the difference between motion blur and
out-of-focus, how to control/use depth of field, and a couple of other
basic concepts.

There are only 2 reasons I use it - it is an easy way to keep all the
samples together, and there are some concepts where having two or more
comparable images displayed simultaneously, helps the explanation.

I do NOT like using digital projectors for photographic images, because
frankly, they aren't all that good! A high quality slide projector
runs rings around them in terms of resolution, dynamic range and the
ability to show *real* blacks (eg velvia/kodachrome). But of course
you are talking about strictly digital?, so that idea may be dead in
the water..!

Big prints eg 13x19's, if you can get/afford them, are great for
handing around in these classes, especially when you start explaining
things like resolution. I used them to show the difference between 3,
5, 6 and 8 MP images from p&s's, dslrs, scanned film, and
'analogue' enlargements (remember them?) from 35mm and MF. I also
used prints to show good/bad optics, camera shake/motion blur issues,
and even the concept of what type of images actually *need* high
resolution (and why sometimes you can get away with murder...)

Obviously my courses were not specifically about digital, they covered
just about everything except chemical developing/enlarging. I stopped
short of digital editing techniques (we ran another course to cover
that) although I always spent a quick half hour or so just
demonstrating showing what was possible. We invariably got several
people signing up for the later classes after they saw that
demonstration!

I agree with your/Stacey's continuity comments - it won't work well
that way. There are so many important topics that really should be
included, and many depend on earlier concepts. Just run the course
over again, and stick up a schedule of when you will cover what, and
let the students attend the ones they want/missed, maybe?

FWIW, I used a mixture of:

- talking/discussing (mostly interactive, working from very loose topic
notes - definitely not scripted!)

- slide presentations (10-15 shots maximum at any one time) using my
own *good quality* projector (not those bloody awful Ektagraphic things
most colleges have). I showed off a mixture of good and bad images,
and asked the students to critique them and suggest improvements.

- *lots* of hands on - eg handing around an old SLR with no lens and
the back off to show how the mirror and shutter work, or a 50mm lens to
show how the aperture works, etc

- lots of show and tell - get the attendees to bring in their cameras
(and problems), and their very best and very worst photos to critique
and troubleshoot. I would even bring in a set of hotlights for a quick
look at basic portrait lighting if there was time and interest.

- lots of Q & A stuff in both directions, let the class decide where
they want to go

- occasional access to a classroom of internet-pc's which I would
prepare in advance by finding interesting images on photo.net,
photosig, pbase, plus some by the 'masters'. I would then invite
everyone to wander around and look at each of the images and discuss
them - what made them work, how they achieved an effect, how it could
have been done better, etc.

- various party tricks (optical illusions, demonstrations of how the
eye works, etc..) and some bad jokes... (O:


I've been to many lectures/courses where the class is little beyond
an ego trip for the presenter, and that just *sucks*!! So I kept that
in the back of my mind at all times.. Very early in the sessions I
would show them a good selection of my worst disasters - this
lightens things right up, and makes them much more at ease about asking
what they might think are dumb questions. My students always seemed
to find it very refreshing and amusing to see my screw-ups! - it's
a *tremendously* good way to teach concepts and break the ice, and of
course it makes them much more willing to show their *own* bad photos
or to ask questions without worrying that they might be 'silly'. I
also always make a big point of saying how little I really know about
what is a *huge* subject, and that if someone stumps me with a question
I'll try to get an answer by the next week... You would be surprised
how liberating it is for *all* concerned if the 'teacher' joins in with
the students in their learning, rather than tries to be the
'authority'. I've often found that the more someone assures me that
they are an expert or professional, the less likely it is that they are
any good..

I didn't ever set assignments (you know the ones "For next week - I
want you all to take an interesting picture of a
silhouette/tree/sunset/portrait...") - I'm not convinced that is
a great way to learn. I know if I get 'forced' to use my camera, I
tend to rebel..

I even produced a little Tips and Techniques booklet, sized to fit in a
camera bag, that one of these days I'll put onto the web. (Just what
the world needs - another photography booklet..) |O:


Anyway, call me immodest, but judging from:
- the feedback we got
- the fact that we never lost a student (!)
- the fact that I would frequently bump into my old students and they
would eagerly tell me how they bought this or that
camera/lens/accessory, or took some great images when they went to
wherever..
... I think I can say the courses were very successful. I know I
certainly enjoyed the hell out of doing them, and everyone else seemed
to be enjoying themselves too! I haven't done any for a while, but
talking about it makes me feel like getting out there again.

Above all else, let it be fun!

If you want to contact me off list, feel free - you might have noticed
I enjoy talking about it.. (O: ..and I don't mind sharing my old
notes and stuff. Also happy to post them here if there is general
interest.

 
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AZ Nomad
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      04-18-2006
On Tue, 18 Apr 2006 05:44:21 GMT, Unclaimed Mysteries <the_letter_k_and_the_numeral_4_doh@unclaimedmyste ries.net> wrote:


>fishfry wrote:


>> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
>> "Charles Schuler" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I have been doing it for a year now and am interested in hearing from
>>>others.
>>>
>>>1/ I am doing it as a community service.
>>>2/ I find that folks drift in and out and that it is impossible to have
>>>continuity.
>>>3/ PowerPoint seems to be the way to go?

>>
>>
>> PowerPoint = superficial thinking for marketing pukes. At least that's
>> what it is in business. I hear that they use it a lot at the Pentagon,
>> which accounts for us stumbling into two losing wars and threatening a
>> third.


>MicroSoft PowerPoint is the leading best-of-breed choice for those
>desirous of solutioning their presentation software choice matrix. Now
>with flavor crystals. PowerPoint facilitates bold, emphatic, conciseful:
>that's PowerPoint. Stick hatpins through your frontal lobes, or choose
>genuine PowerPoint for making words bounce and swoosh, and bulletpoints
>throb. Far out.


>In other words, don't rely on it too much. Please.


Does it have a plugin for verbing?
Verbing weirds language. (from a calvin'n'hobbes comic)
 
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