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A year with my Camera - free photo course for beginners #AYearWithMyCamera

 
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I just signed up for the free photography course A Year With My Camera
.  

A Year With My Camera is unlike any other photography course.

1. It's for complete beginners.

2. It takes a whole year - you can't learn photography in a weekend.

3. It's entirely step by step. You learn one thing, then you move on. You can relax and stop worrying about whether you are covering everything in the right order. I take care of that for you.

4. The email version is free (join below). It is also available in workbook, app and video formats (all details below).

5. I really care whether you make progress.

6. I have a masters degree in education, as well as being a professional photographer. There are many people out there who claim to be able to teach photography, just because they can use a camera. If you've met a teacher who made you feel bad about yourself because you don't understand something, you'll know that's not true. This course took me a year of research, feedback, and editing until it was ready to launch. Try it and see why it's different.

7. Everyone is welcome, but I wrote it for people who have maybe already had a career (or two), have maybe spent the last 10 years (or more) looking after their family, and who have maybe recently managed to carve out some time for themselves to finally understand their camera and be able to take photos they are proud of.



This looks really neat.  

They send an email each week with instructions and assignments.  We can buy the companion book(s), app, and join in social media if we want to.  But it's all optional.  

I'm in the September 2019 start group which starts on Thursday 5 September and finishes in August 2020.

Since there is a heavy social media aspect and since I don't belong to any of the Facebook-related sites, I figure I could post some of my assignments here.  If other people sign up, we can do it together for extra fun.  
 
Mother Tree
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I signed up!

I have a DSLR that I inherited from my husband and I've not really been up to making many posts or doing any moderating, so maybe this will help me start getting involved again without burning out.

I couldn't sign up from my laptop, using chrome.  I had to do it via my phone else the sign up box would crash.  

There's a thirty day challenge we can start any time, with a different 'theme' for each day.  I might cheat and take a few with my phone, just to get me into the swing of things before trying to figure out all the knobs and dials on the DSLR.  The first theme is fill the frame with colour.
 
r ranson
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Is there as printable check list for the thirty photos?  
 
Burra Maluca
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I can't see a printable list, but here's the link - make 30 photos

I'll copy them here...

1 Fill the frame with colour
2 Things in threes
3 Black and white
4 Taken at middday
5 Abstract
6 Snail's eye view
7 Reflection
8 Lit by a window
9 Older than me
10 Food
11 Shadows
12 Plain background
13 Balance
14 Urban
15 Extreme edit
16 Eyecatching
17 Behind the scenes
18 Pattern
19 Wildlife
20 Break rule of 1/3s
21 Just two colours
22 Move the camera
23 Self portrait
24 Movement
25 Stripes
26 Weather
27 Silhouette
28 Depth
29 Vintage
30 Texture
 
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I just signed up on a whim...all I have is a little canon powershot elph115 15 that seems to be taking poorer quality photos lately.  Apparently I should not have shot directly at the sun?

I liked the list Burra posted of the first 30 photos to take so I'll give it a go and maybe use this as an excuse to get a new camera or at least explore more of the settings on this one.
 
r ranson
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Here's my first #make30photos photo.
1 Fill the frame with colour

These are the silk cocoons I grew this year.  Lots of vibrant colours!
homegrown-colourful-silk.JPG
[Thumbnail for homegrown-colourful-silk.JPG]
these are my homegrown silk cocoons
homegrown-white-cocoons-low.JPG
[Thumbnail for homegrown-white-cocoons-low.JPG]
and these are some white cocoons I got a few years back - maybe better for B&W photography?
 
Burra Maluca
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1 Fill the frame with colour



This is the crochet bedspread I rescued while clearing out the new house.  

My DSLR seems to be in hiding somewhere, so I'll be using the phone camera until I've found where it's hiding.
 
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Just signed up.  This will be fun!  I have no idea how to use my camera!
 
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I signed up, too! It should be fun, I like challenges, and learning with other people.☺️
 
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1. You'll need a DSLR, mirrorless or bridge camera. One where you can change the exposure settings (aperture and shutter speed) but not necessarily change the lenses.



I only looked up DSLR at Best Buy and they're $500 and up.

I don't think your average digital camera is going to cut it.

The aperture stop of a photographic lens can be adjusted to control the amount of light reaching the film or image sensor. In combination with variation of shutter speed, the aperture size will regulate the film's or image sensor's degree of exposure to light. Typically, a fast shutter will require a larger aperture to ensure sufficient light exposure, and a slow shutter will require a smaller aperture to avoid excessive exposure.

 
Burra Maluca
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I still haven't found where I hid my DSLR, but rummaging on the settings on the phone camera reveal that I can adjust the shutter speed if I put it in manual mode.  I bet there's a lot of fun and learning to be had just attempting the 30 photo challenge.  
 
r ranson
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Burra Maluca wrote:1 Fill the frame with colour



This is the crochet bedspread I rescued while clearing out the new house.  

My DSLR seems to be in hiding somewhere, so I'll be using the phone camera until I've found where it's hiding.



I ADORE this!  beautiful blanket!
 
r ranson
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John Pollard wrote:

I don't think your average digital camera is going to cut it.



My Canon Powershoot digital cameras all allowed me to shoot in different flavours of manual.  It's just a bit harder because I have to work through the menus.  With the Mirrorless, all the buttons are easy to access so it's easier to get to the right settings quickly.  It's just a matter of remember what buttons do what.  

I think we could learn a lot with the camera's we have so long as they have some manual functions.  That way, as we improve our skill, we can decide which (if any) camera we want to upgrade to.  
 
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2 Things in threes

I took lots of photos of three things and all of them looked quite weird.  Then I grabbed three feathers our of my soon-to-be-quill collection and tried a top-down approach.

I'm not thrilled with the lighting, but the composition intrigues me.  
three-feathers-on-wooden-background.JPG
[Thumbnail for three-feathers-on-wooden-background.JPG]
 
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I think this is a really cool idea and if I had a camera - I'd be all over it!  Once I pay off my debt I'll likely invest in a camera for higher quality photos and some level of detachment from my phone.  I'll keep this in mind for next September - that is if they do it annually!
 
r ranson
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I'll keep this in mind for next September - that is if they do it annually!



They do it monthly which makes me very happy.  No long waits.  

Some options I looked at when deciding on my new camera:

- borrow - would a friend let you use their camera for one day a month?
- renting: some libraries and facilities have older DSLR to lend or rent out
- used: There are some very good used cameras for a not bad price (and a lot of not-so-good used cameras for more money than the new equivalent)
- used point and shoots: my main camera for many years was a PowerShoot SX720HS which has different priority modes as well as full manual.  I learned a tremendous amount about photography with this little gem.  This model is still the same price new as when I bought it (maybe a bit more), but the used ones are going down in price.  

But I think it's better not to go into debt over a camera.  

This thread is a perennial thread so you can join in any time you're ready.  
 
r ranson
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3 Black and white

This turned out really well!  

I love black and white photos but I usually have a lot of trouble making good ones.  They need a lot more understanding of colour and light than regular photos - which is funny because they have no colour.  But still... colour, hue, intensity - these colour theory words really make a difference when taking a good B&W photo.
peacock-feathers-in-black-and-white.jpg
[Thumbnail for peacock-feathers-in-black-and-white.jpg]
 
Rob Kaiser
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r ranson wrote:

I'll keep this in mind for next September - that is if they do it annually!



They do it monthly which makes me very happy.  No long waits.  

Some options I looked at when deciding on my new camera...

But I think it's better not to go into debt over a camera...



Great news!  Absolutely no need for a new camera.

Almost all of my electronics over the past few years have been purchased refurbished or used.

It's a great way to get lightly used equipment that's still technologically viable at a fraction of the cost.

I'll keep tabs on this thread and also begin researching inexpensive DSLR cameras!

 
Burra Maluca
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2 Things in threes
threethings.jpg
[Thumbnail for threethings.jpg]
 
Burra Maluca
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3 Black and white

I struggled with this one - it's harder than it looks to get a photo that is enhanced by the lack of colour.  I'm not sure if I actually managed it, but I'm going to post it anyway so I can move on to the next one.  My usual trick is to overthink things and go for perfection, and I need to learn that getting something done is better than failing to get anything done.

 
r ranson
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Burra Maluca wrote:3 Black and white

I struggled with this one - it's harder than it looks to get a photo that is enhanced by the lack of colour.  I'm not sure if I actually managed it, but I'm going to post it anyway so I can move on to the next one.  My usual trick is to overthink things and go for perfection, and I need to learn that getting something done is better than failing to get anything done.



I love this!  So comfy!  It's like the black and white photo put some sort of spell on that cloth!  In a good way.
 
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4 Taken at midday

This was another tricky one.  I brought Henny Penny with me on my travels with the determination that wherever I ended up at noon, I would find somewhere to take the photo.  

I took quite a few close-ups but this is the photo I like best.
Taken-at-noon-henny-penny-on-an-ashford-clock-smaller.jpg
[Thumbnail for Taken-at-noon-henny-penny-on-an-ashford-clock-smaller.jpg]
 
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r ranson wrote:

Burra Maluca wrote:3 Black and white

I struggled with this one - it's harder than it looks to get a photo that is enhanced by the lack of colour.  I'm not sure if I actually managed it, but I'm going to post it anyway so I can move on to the next one.  My usual trick is to overthink things and go for perfection, and I need to learn that getting something done is better than failing to get anything done.



I love this!  So comfy!  It's like the black and white photo put some sort of spell on that cloth!  In a good way.



It looks like the cloth will get up and dance or wiggle or something...much like all the things in "Bednobs and Broomsticks" (it was my favorite movie as a kid, and I still love it! Ms Price--Angela Lansbury--is such a cool lady, and a fantastic heroine. She was not at all what you'd expect out of Disney, especially back in the 70s!)

 
Burra Maluca
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4 Taken at midday



Sun high in the bright blue sky, harsh light, mostly from above. Harsh, prickly plants thriving in the heat, and producing prickly pears prolifically.

I took this closer to 1pm than 12 noon, to allow for summer-time's extra hour and get the sun as high in the sky as I could, as I suspect the choice of subject might be a sneaky way to get us to start thinking more about the effects of directional light.

Also, I found my DSLR!  It has batteries in it (it's not quite modern enough to have a built in rechargeable) and I've downloaded the manuals so I have some hope of figuring out how to use it.  I've had SLRs before, in my youth, but never a new fangled digital one. Not sure how I'm going to get on with it yet, and I haven't yet found an appropriate cable to get the photos from it to my computer, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, my good old phone camera was right by my side to snap a perfectly good shot that didn't need any fiddling with.
 
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I got my pre-class email this morning.  It's great!  There is lots of good advice like making sure the batteries are charged, knowing or downloading a manual, finding the way to make the photos go from the camera to the computer.  Really good stuff!

You know, it's funny, I never thought of cleaning my lens before this year.  I wonder if there is special cleaning liquid I am supposed to use or if the stuff my glasses store gives me would work?

Anyway, the class starts in a week.  you can still sign up for this round or, if you miss it, another round.  There's a free class just about every month.  Apparently you can take it as many times as you like.

I like this business model.  She gives away this free class which looks like it has some epic content in it.  But you can also add some accessories like a book, an app, video classes if you want to go into more depth.  I've ordered the first book.  The journal looked really tempting too, but after buying my camera this year, I need to be somewhat frugal while I build up my savings again.  

 
r ranson
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These assignments are a lot harder than they look.  But also a great opportunity when I have photographer's block (it's like writer's block, but worse).  I think I might write these down on little bits of card and keep them in a bag or a pretty bowl.  If I ever get photographer's block, I can pick one out of the bowl and that's what I'll take photos of that day.

Today's photo: 5 Abstract

This was even harder than the others.  I tried taking closeup photos of chicken combs but they looked like closeup photos of chickens.  I tried getting some stuff around the house to make repeating patterns then taking the pictures at odd angles, but they looked like the things I made the patterns from.  Abstract, abstract... what is abstract?  You know what, I need a drink.  

In uino ueritas is the only clue I'll give you.  Okay, one more clue - in Latin, the 'u' is pronounced like a 'v'
abstract-wine-small.jpg
[Thumbnail for abstract-wine-small.jpg]
 
r ranson
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Burra Maluca wrote:4 Taken at midday



Sun high in the bright blue sky, harsh light, mostly from above. Harsh, prickly plants thriving in the heat, and producing prickly pears prolifically.

I took this closer to 1pm than 12 noon, to allow for summer-time's extra hour and get the sun as high in the sky as I could, as I suspect the choice of subject might be a sneaky way to get us to start thinking more about the effects of directional light.



Gosh, this is great!

The bright, overhead light helps add to the prickly feeling.  I love how bright the sky is.  
 
r ranson
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6: Snail's eye view

I found Henny Penny pecking at this weed growing in a crack in the pavement in the industrial park.
snails-eye-view-of-henny-penny-small.jpg
[Thumbnail for snails-eye-view-of-henny-penny-small.jpg]
 
r ranson
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7 Reflection

This is an old cedar plank drain that was used to try to drain a lagoon about 140 years ago.  They did manage to claim some mighty fine land, only to discover that saltwater leaves salt behind and the land was only good for crabapples.  
7-Reflection-ceader-drain.jpg
[Thumbnail for 7-Reflection-ceader-drain.jpg]
 
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