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Friday, December 27

New Years in NYC

I'm in NYC to ring in the New Year! (I do have some pictures to share just keep scrolling). I wanted the last post of the year to be a Friday Diary...so naturally, I'm posting it on NYE, not a Friday. :)

Still trying to figure out what I want to talk about in this post, maybe I'll just do a recap of the year.

Places I've visited:
  1. NY, NY
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Palo Alto, CA
  5. Reston, VA
Exciting moments:
  • Ran a Half Marathon
  • Saw the droids at the Google headquarters
  • Went to the Charmed house AND went inside (someone actually lives in the house)
  • Ran a 100m dash in high heels
  • Went to a masquerade ball in a mansion in DC
  • Saw a Predator at the Smithsonian (the UAV not a person)
  • Went to a Halloween party at the Museum of Natural Science in the Paleontology wing (it was like a scene from A Night at the Museum)
  • I bought a new car!!!
and...
  • New years in New York!!!
Well, I hope everyone has a happy and safe new years. Catch you on the flip side!

-Minela

My trip so far!






Friday, December 13

My Experience in a Photography Class

I went to a photography class a few months ago and I thought I'd share my experience with you. I have to preface this with the fact that I did not enjoy this class but I did learn some helpful things from it. I don't think these tips are worth the 99$ (regular price) but I bought a Groupon so I'm not upset about it.

First, I want to point out that most of these classes are meant for people with a DSLR camera. What that really means is that they are taught by pretentious know-it-alls, who think owning 1000$ in camera equipment makes you an intermediate user. Yes, I do mean to sound that defensive. I'm not the only one who felt that way, I got a second to talk to another attendee and she was very upset that we were basically on location taking pictures, and that was it, we weren't really being taught anything. Btw, we were at Discovery Green in downtown Houston and the class was put on by the Digital Photo Academy.

The things I learned from this class:
  1. Try to offset the subject of your photos, the best locations are where the grid lines meet.
  2. Use the viewfinder to see what will be caught in your picture and adjust your angle and/or view accordingly. So, if you see a pole in your photo ask yourself "Is that adding anything to this photo?"
  3. Shoot in 'Program' mode because it will set your ISO and aperture automatically while adjusting for the most common settings, such as fluorescent lighting.
  4. Use a line occurring in nature to draw focus to your subject.
  5. Cylindrical symmetry is hard to find in nature.
Do you think those tips are worth 99$?

Here are some pictures I took during the course:
The first 3 are the same photo using the all available settings in 'Program' mode, see how the settings adjust for color distortion? Obviously, you can use these filters for a creative effect as well.

I used a Canon S100 camera for all these photos. (Link!)




All things considered, I'm glad I went because it proved that photography is just something you do. Its hard to find the balance between art & technology that your audience is looking for. For example, I wanted a more technical course that would teach me to make the judgement calls on focal length, ISO, lenses, settings, etc. I would not be surprised to find that most people don't care and would rather talk about how to create an artsy blur.

I would definitely go to another photography class but not at the same place or with the same teacher. I'd like to take a Photoshop course.