I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it. ~Author Unknown
I have taken photographers for as long as I can remember. My first encounter of taking my very own photograph was using my grandad’s box brownie. It was so exciting to be shown how to look through the viewfinder, line up the shot and then snap. Photographs for me have always been about capturing that moment in time, being able to look back and remember where I was, who I was with, the feelings I had right at that moment. I dont NEED a photograph to help me remember all of those things but, sometimes, I need the photograph to remind me to remember if you see what I mean. The excitement of opening a box and a bundle of photos falling out, the anticipation of wondering what memories it will draw from the depths of my mind and the satisfaction that I captured that particular moment all come back as I wade through the bundles.
Having said that I have taken photographs all of my life, I admit to never actually doing anything more than just snapping. I have never spent any conscious effort on learning how a camera works, what is an aperture, why does shutter speed matter. Admittedly I have wanted to learn these things for a very long time but I have never had the confidence to join a class. That’s just me all over, no confidence.
This year, however I have decided to do something about that and I am going back to basics. I have joined a class……… yes, you heard it here first (well not exactly first but the first time I have put it out there in public.).
Last week was my first class and I learned all about apertures and shutter speeds. Armed with a black and white film and my trusty Canon EOS 500 my homework was set. Shoot a 36 reel and DO NOT use the manual setting. Well my poor camera was in shock. Off I went to the beach armed and ready to go. Mr Moo had to come along as is usual and he happily posed for me for some of the shots.
This week I returned with my film tightly clutched in my little sweaty hands, shaking in anticipation of what I had achieved. Who remember the days of taking your film into the chemists and leaving them there for a week, going back and queuing up to collect them. Handing your money over and wondering if all that cash was going to be worth what came out of that little package. I used to take the envelope and turn on my heel heading out of the door all nonchalent and pretending that I had every confidence in the world. Once outside the door I would quicken my pace, heart pounding and head for the nearest bench where I could sit and tear open the envelope, slide the shiny pictures out of their folder and peruse them at leisure. Of course I had to vet them before heading back to work to show off my latest artistic endeavours and the fruits of my labour.
So last night, I got to develop my very own film………. how exciting, I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying it was but oh the terror of wondering would my photos be as good as the other four ladies in my class. I will let you into a little secret too, it isnt so difficult to develop a film, I was quite surprised by that. I did realise though that it must have been a very responsible and satisfying job for all of those people who used to do it as a living and I would like to say thank you for not getting bubbles in the water, making sure that the film dried properly and not putting your fingers all over the negatives!
At this point, and before I reveal my success, I must point out that two of the ladies teach art and the other two have been on two previous courses. Some disappointment followed when I realised that of the 36 photos only about 5 could be printed. But oh how lovely a success of five and not once did I use my automatic button.
Next week I get to print up to a contact sheet and maybe even print a photo out to share. With that in mind I have created a page, just up there at the top, where I will keep some of my most favourite photos that I have taken in the past and will take in the future, including a link to my very own redbubble page.
And so I declare Tuesdays as my Photographic Prattling day.