Yesterday I attended the last class in a 10 week series at the Cape Town School of Photography. I figured I’ll write a short review.
Week 1, very useful. Understanding the features and settings of your camera is obviously essential. So, sitting down for three hours tinkering, playing and experimenting was cool. Sure you could read the manual, but nobody makes time to just play with the menu system for a few hours while you can ask questions.
Weeks 2 and 3 were ok. I had to actually go print physical photos. This is a painful process involving USB sticks and those DIY photo terminal things you see in photo printing places. Never in my ~ten years of taking photos did I even think about doing this.. and I still don’t see the point.
Weeks 4-6 were a bit of a blur. Can’t really tell you what I learnt. It involved mostly long hour+ sessions where the lecturer would comment on student photos. People were usually asked to bring 3, but they end up brining 6 so it’s a long painful and mostly uninteresting process. Then there was a tea/coffee break and a bit of theory for the week seemed to be padded on to the end of the class (20min).
Week 7, I think that was the gimp and photoshop session. Painful. I’m pretty damn sure I learnt nothing.
Practical outdoor shoot, lacked structure, we were supposed to do some night photography but that did not happen.
Week 8, I was only there for 5min. Just could not handle more student photo critiquing.
Week 9, chose to give it a miss.
Week 10, we had to hand in a photo essay, which I did. I took a series of live music photos from my photoblog.
I can suggest they improve:
Workflow: spend some time on the process of getting pictures off the camera, sorting, selecting, raw-tinkering and publishing. I asked about this a few times, but did not really get many answers.
Structure: Say what we are going to do today and then.. let’s do it. Don’t faff around aimlessly.
I guess the course forced me to think about photography for a few hours every week.. but I honestly have to say that if you know somebody that understands digital photography you’d be better off saving the R4k, spending a few hours with them to show you how the camera works and just taking lots of photos.