Anybody teaching digital photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Charles Schuler, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. 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!
     
    Charles Schuler, Apr 18, 2006
    #1
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  2. Charles Schuler

    ASAAR Guest

    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.
     
    ASAAR, Apr 18, 2006
    #2
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  3. Charles Schuler

    fishfry Guest

    In article <>,
    "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?


    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.
     
    fishfry, Apr 18, 2006
    #3
  4. fishfry wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > "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?

    >
    >
    > 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
     
    Unclaimed Mysteries, Apr 18, 2006
    #4
  5. Charles Schuler

    Stacey Guest

    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
     
    Stacey, Apr 18, 2006
    #5
  6. Charles Schuler

    Guest

    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.
     
    , Apr 18, 2006
    #6
  7. Charles Schuler

    Guest

    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.
     
    , Apr 18, 2006
    #7
  8. Charles Schuler

    AZ Nomad Guest

    On Tue, 18 Apr 2006 05:44:21 GMT, Unclaimed Mysteries <> wrote:


    >fishfry wrote:


    >> In article <>,
    >> "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?

    >>
    >>
    >> 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)
     
    AZ Nomad, Apr 18, 2006
    #8
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