Sadly, my 5 week photography class came to an end yesterday. Hard to believe that it’s over already! The good news is that we formed a Photography club and have our first meeting already set up for mid-August! It is hard to articulate how meaningful this experience has been for me. Not only was it an information-rich learning environment, but I took away a great many friendships with new Filipino friends. I can’t express enough how welcoming Filipinos are – it’s such a gift to get to know them on a personal level. Happily, everyone seems keen on staying connected, so I offered to host a dinner party with my group of 8 to get a tradition going. I hope my new friends like Hot Dish! :)
Just to refresh you, our various sessions focused on the following :
Class 1: Camera operation (exposure, shutter speed)
Class 2: Photo Composition
Class 3: The history of photography/Learning to critique a photo
Class 4: Posing and Lighting of subjects
Class 5: Processing the image/Graduation
The basics (exposure, aperature, shutter speed) and composition really stuck with me the most. Posing and lighting still seem a bit beyond where I’m at yet. I’m perfectly content with shooting still objects and landscapes. I’ll work my way up to portraiture eventually. With portaiture I feel too on the spot – there’s no time to play with settings and lighting with someone waiting for you to shoot.
On to the graduation recap! What a delightful ceremony it was. The day began with our photo submissions: one 8×10 portrait and one 8×10 still-life of glass. Each entry was critiqued by 6 professional photographer judges and given a final score. The top 5 received medals and trophies. I have a feeling you’re dying to know, so I’ll skip right to it: I didn’t win. And that’s just fine. I had taken session 4 on lighting/posing the day before (because we went to Coco Beach the previous weekend), so I had to shoot my 8×10’s the week before, without having the lecture. Not that I’m making excuses, I just wasn’t expecting to place anyways. The winner’s all deserved their medals – they were fantastic! Here were my 2 submissions:
After the photo critique, the actual graduation ceremony began. There was a surprise guest, John K. Chua, the top advertising photographer in the Philippines! CLICK HERE to see his shots for Honda, Mountain Dew and many more. After he spoke, there was the singing of the Philippine National Anthem, a prayer, a dance performance, and then 2 speeches. I was selected as one of the speakers, a very kind honor indeed! Then each of us received our certificates and headed out to join the barbeque. It was a grand afternoon, full of laughing and celebration. Best of all, I realized that I’m far from being a pro and I’ve settled into being OKAY with my amateur beginner status. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that photography is an art learned over time through thousands and thousands of practice shots. Can’t wait to look back on these shots in a few years and see how far I’ve come! I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from graduation….
PS – LOADS MORE PHOTOS ON SMUGMUG!