Last night I attended a free class at the Calagaz Photo and Digital Imaging store in Pensacola, Florida. The free class, Taking Better Pictures, which was on my procrastination list, was courtesy of my purchase two years ago of a Canon EOS Rebel T2ii. The young salesman, Joshua Kern, enthusiastically shared his knowledge gained from his college degree in photography as well as his employment at the store. His passion for cameras and photography was contagious and the small group of three men and three women eagerly asked questions, which were answered patiently and completely.
For me the class was an incentive, a kick in the butt, to go beyond the automatic setting, to experiment more, ask questions of other experienced photographers and take more pictures, now looking for angles, lines, light and depth. It is another tentative step toward releasing my fear of trying something else new. It’s a chance to be more creative, to look at nature with more of a Zentangle eye, and open up my mind to the world around me.
My dog pictures lately have lacked sharpness. I felt like something was missing, perhaps the automatic setting wasn’t letting in enough light. Josh explained why that happens on the automatic setting, the camera not getting enough input from me to make the proper adjustments. There is also still so much to learn about action photos, like horses jumping or dogs running, my favorites. But now with this new information I can play with the camera’s aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings. My loyal Border Collies will have to be my experimental subjects.
The back room at Calagaz Photo is filled, wall to wall, with cameras of several generations, from Brownies to Instamatics to old leather encased 35mm film cameras. The back room has become a sort of museum. My Dad would have been mesmerized since so many cameras were from his youth. He used to be the official photographer at the Coast Guard base where he was once stationed, his black and white photos detailed and crisp. He said his camera made him a very popular person. Perhaps I have inherited not only Dad’s camera collection but his enthusiasm for photography, again, for me, better late than never.
The only drawback to the evening was when the young salesman told the room of much older students that he had never taken slide pictures. I chuckled and moved my aging body out the door. Someday, no doubt, the digital cameras of today will be replaced and will grace the walls of the store’s museum and Josh will feel old too. But for now, smile, may I take your picture?