Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

My photography students haven't been posting a lot to the photo albums and haven't been very active on the board in the last couple weeks. So today I gave them an assignment for a week--and told them I'd do it with them to give them ideas about subject matter.

This Blue Dasher Dragonfly is my today's contribution to the assignment.

After explaining to them that the best way to learn photography is by making pictures, looking at others' pictures and critiquing pictures. I'm sure they feel intimidated because they are beginners and they don't know how to critique, but it's all about forcing them to look--I mean REALLY look at photos taken by others and their own. In order to critique a photo, they need to look at it long enough to decide what they like about it and what they don't like. By analyzing what they like, they're enforcing that concept in their brain and getting ideas which will eventually develop their own style. Be looking at what they don't like, will make them remember that, and they won't make the same mistake. Again, they'll be developing their own style.

Back to the assignment, just in case you want to try it for yourself. They were asked to spend 15 minutes in their front or back yard every day and make a photograph. The first thing that comes to mind is there's nothing out there except grass! That won't work because in the grass, they can find all kinds of critters to make photos of, there's all kinds of detail on the house, maybe a rusty spigot, a coiled hose, well you get the picture (no pun intended).

Everyone is busy these days, and there's very little time--so we think. However, 15 minutes or 5 minutes in your own back yard will definitely yield some very good photos. Once you've made the first one, they get easier to do. People think that they need more time to make a great picture, because they have to drive 50 miles to a great place. That's not true at all. We all need to see right under our noses. Sometimes the best photographs can be found right there. Today, I went out to make the first picture. I was out there 12 minutes, I took photos of 9 totally different subjects. I'll admit, some of them weren't great, some were pretty good, but I'm trying to prove a point here. They don't all have to be great. Although I'd like it if they were.

So, those of you who are wanting to better your photography. Why not give it a try?
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