Visual Media

Photography Activity

Find the Light 1: Outside
Find the Light 2: Inside
Control the Focus 1: Foreground
Control the Focus 2: Background


Plan the Composition 1: Rule of Thirds
Plan the Composition 2: Lead Room

My photography process was much more of a learning process. Since I have never used a digital camera that is of the same caliber as a Canon Powershot, much of my time was consumed by trying to get the camera to cooperate and give me a picture that wasn’t ruined by the manual settings. The first day, I checked out a camera before class, and played with it in the library to attempt to figure out what settings determined what. I took a few inside pictures in the library, and then used the camera again when we were sent outside to take pictures during class. Since I was limited by the four-hour checkout time, I had to return the camera after class. I chose two photos to keep, the photo of the bookshelves in the library and the photo of the trees outside.

The second day, today, was less successful. I was handed a different, slightly higher quality camera, but the multitude of settings lost me. I took some excellent photos outside, because the sky was so clear and the sun was shining. The trees were covered with snow after last night’s snowfall, and it made for some beautiful pictures. I took photos in and around the Taylor building again, and for the most part kept the mode automatic so that I could get the best results an amateur possibly could. I had horrible trouble trying to take the photos with the controlled focus, because the camera was either ill-equipped or I was ill-equipped to take them. I spent two hours trying to take photos with the controlled focus. I downloaded the manual, asked the lab assistants for help, and scoured internet chatrooms and groups for advice. Eventually, I learned how to take photos where I could adjust the center of focus, but the camera I had was awful at changing the focus between the foreground and background. I loved all of the photos I took outside, but the time that it took to learn how to even adjust the focus meant that I couldn’t stay outside, because my fingers would get so numb with cold (even wearing gloves!) that I couldn’t press the buttons. Thankfully, few people gave me askance glances as I tried to set up books for photo ops.

Although I enjoyed being able to use a more professional camera, I would appreciate more detailed instructions in the future for how to achieve certain camera effects, because I was completely lost when it came to the controlled focus.


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