Say Cheese! A Workshop in Photography

We’re heading into the age where Riley is old enough to start taking lessons (e.g. ballet, soccer, tumbling…), but I haven’t yet pulled the trigger on signing her up for anything because I’m not sure if I want to be committed to a schedule every weekend. A family friend has her son participating in 3 different sports; she spends Saturdays and Sundays shuttling him from one practice to another, not to mention the weekday practice sessions after school, leaving little time to do anything else. Whew! Summers and holidays are an especially busy time for us (like with everyone else) and I’ve been trying to be more conscious about UNDER-scheduling us, so we have time to rest, chill-out and recuperate from an already busy week.

While I may be non-committal about season long sports that last weeks upon weeks, I’ve felt quite the contrary when it comes to learning new things if it can be done within an hour or two. Good ol’ Groupon usually has offers for introductory courses, and sites like Verlocal offer a variety of classes taught by local experts (ranging from cooking to crafts to indoor and outdoor activities). One hobby that has piqued my interest due to this blog is photography. Recently I’ve found it more fascinating to be behind the camera lens instead of in front of it. So I’ve challenged myself to stop shooting in “auto” and to learn what all the dials, settings and modes really mean… and how to actually use them!!

Last weekend I signed up for a hands-on photography workshop, and brought along two other photo-enthusiasts (ok, I dragged the hubby, but luckily he obliged and was a good sport!). We met our guide in Golden Gate Park during the coveted “golden hour” where he explained each of the settings, then we practiced perfecting our shots.

It went a little something like this:

Adjust (alter some buttons), shoot, blurry. ?&*?@#%*!

Adjust (alter different buttons and hope they are the right ones), shoot, blurry again. &#!?@#%*!

Adjust (now this time I KNOW it’s got to be the shutter speed), shoot, too dark… click, click… now too light./em> ^@*?@#%*!$!!

Taking a clear, crisp picture with just the right amount of aperture (blurriness) and exposure (lighting) is much, much harder than it looks. Here are the results from our workshop…

I’d like to think I intentionally wanted this shot to turn out fuzzy, cuz… you know, aesthetics. 🤔

And yes, we did eventually pull out our iPhones to take a few shots too because the camera on the new iPhone 6S is pretty incredible!

Although our pictures may not be professional quality yet, don’t we at least look the part? I can’t wait for you all to be my guinea pig as I fine tune my “eye” and continue to play with the settings as I snap pictures for my upcoming blog posts. (Sorry, and thank you!)

If you are interested in taking this hands-on photography workshop, it is taught by SAANO Adventures and you can sign up through Verlocal here; our guide Johnny was incredibly knowledgable (believe me, I peppered him with a million questions) and the class was a lot of fun!

Now say, “Cheese!”

Photos by Andy K, Rachelle T and yours truly