Ideas for a Photography Class I will be teaching

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I have been asked to teach a photography class to some teenage girls. It will be a one evening event. The girls will bring their cameras. I'm sure that most of them have inexpensive P&S cameras. My guess is that most will be wanting to focus on taking pictures of people. There will probably be about 10 or so girls in the group.

I would love to know if any of you have advice on what points I should bring out. I'm thinking of doing a short presentation, then taking the girls outside to let them take pictures of each other.

What would you bring out in the presentation? What things would you have them practice when we do the actual shooting?

I have several ideas, but would love to draw on all of you for more.....
 
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Ideas for some points to make:

1. Focus to the eyes and recompose
2. Check the background one more time (lamp post, tree branch etc.)
3. Background blurring (P&S can do it when zoomed to tele, "portrait" program and shooting close enough)

That'll be plenty for one evening.
 
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My guess would be they'd be interested in anything about getting their pics look good on facebook and myspace.
 
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Ideas for some points to make:

1. Focus to the eyes and recompose
2. Check the background one more time (lamp post, tree branch etc.)
3. Background blurring (P&S can do it when zoomed to tele, "portrait" program and shooting close enough)

That'll be plenty for one evening.
Great ideas!!
 
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If they will have P&S cameras I would get them to turn of the flash and learn how to 'find the light' - teach them how to recognize good light before taking a picture .
 
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These ideas are great. I am going to put together a power point with good and bad examples of each point so they can see what I am talking about.
 
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These ideas are great. I am going to put together a power point with good and bad examples of each point so they can see what I am talking about.
I once snapped a picture of a little girl with nice side lighting with my compact .
Her mother said .... wait for it ...... "Wow , your camera takes nice pictures " and I flipped it into auto mode , took another picture with the flash and said " It can also take bad pictures " and she said "ok , I suppose you must know what you are doing then " .
 
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I'd also recommend that they bring the manuals for the cameras. If the camera can shoot RAW (some can), I'd advise using it. While they may be "point and shoot", in my experience some are still very complicated, and most users don't know all the functions. I've had people hand me cameras and ask me to tell them about them. I can play with menu selections, but it sure makes it easier to have a manual handy!
 
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If the camera can shoot RAW (some can), I'd advise using it.
Beginners with P&S cameras - one lesson - I wouldn't call that a good idea adding the complication of shooting and processing RAW images .
I would concentrate on getting techniques right with jpegs to begin with .
 
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I once snapped a picture of a little girl with nice side lighting with my compact .
Her mother said .... wait for it ...... "Wow , your camera takes nice pictures " and I flipped it into auto mode , took another picture with the flash and said " It can also take bad pictures " and she said "ok , I suppose you must know what you are doing then " .
That might be a nice demonstration to do at the class!! Thanks.
 
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I'd also recommend that they bring the manuals for the cameras. If the camera can shoot RAW (some can), I'd advise using it. While they may be "point and shoot", in my experience some are still very complicated, and most users don't know all the functions. I've had people hand me cameras and ask me to tell them about them. I can play with menu selections, but it sure makes it easier to have a manual handy!
I had thought about having them bring their manuals. We may need to look up something if they are having problems. I probably won't go into RAW in this class, though. It would take too much time to even explain what RAW is.
 
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Beginners with P&S cameras - one lesson - I wouldn't call that a good idea adding the complication of shooting and processing RAW images .
I would concentrate on getting techniques right with jpegs to begin with .
I agree with you on this. But, if any of the girls have a more advanced camera, I could possibly give her some resources for further learning.
 
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I agree with you on this. But, if any of the girls have a more advanced camera, I could possibly give her some resources for further learning.
I suppose mentioning it won't hurt for those who want to take that extra step - but I imagine half of them won't even have cameras that can shoot RAW .
 
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Checking the background for unwanted distractions is always good, but specifically checking it for a bright window - or bright sky, or something big and bright that will screw up the metering and only give too-dark subjects. This is not uncommon, and often they can move the camera around several degrees to omit the bright window background...

Or I think most simple cameras meter ambient at half press. When and if their brain's alarm goes off about the bright window background, aim the camera down at subjects feet (specifically, just down enough to omit the bright window background). They can see the lower near subject brighten in the LCD as they aim it down. Then half press the shutter button and hold (to lock in that exposure), and while holding half press, aim again up at faces, normally for final press. The half press holds that better exposure, and metering is not fooled as much by the bright background.

The final picture will use the more reasonable metering near the feet (which they have already seen in LCD). Specifically, the LCD will show the original near scene as too dark (if they think to notice), and we see it brighten as we aim it down... pick what looks good, and half press to hold that better exposure, then return up to the original scene. A little practice will show this simple basic we should all know.
 
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