The next step – photography courses (part 1)

My next step in photography was to attend training courses in photography. The first two courses were presented by Prof Hennie Cronje on getting to know your DSLR camera and the basic principles in photography. It was very helpful to me being totally new to the field of photography. I came to realise there is lot of information and principles in photography and it is not just about taking pictures. This was the begining of a new era for me – just what I needed to open the doors for me.

(Nikon D7000 camera, Nikon 105mmf2.8 macro lens, 1/5, f13, ISO100, exposure = -0.33, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 1 meters from object, War museum, Bloemfontein, Aug 2011)

Both courses of Prof Hennie were presented on a Friday afternoon/evening and a Saturday morning. The theory part was excellent and even at this point I do go back to the notes provided by Prof Hennie to review the principles in order to use in my photos. Unfortunately the Prof Hennie’s focus was mainly on the theory and not really having practical sessions. Which was great for me but now I realise I need some practical exposure and apply the theory. But how do you know you are on the right track? Luckily for my physiotherapist Bessie Vermeulen who referred me to Prof Gert Lambrecht and his courses. All the photos posted were taken during the beginners’ course of Prof Gert.

(Nikon D7000 camera, Nikon 18 x 200mmf3.5-5.6, 1/15, f16, ISO100, exposure = +0.67, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 2.2 meters from object, zoom effect, War museum, Bloemfontein, Aug 2011)

My wife attended both his beginners and spes courses and I decided to join the “club”. I’ve talked to Prof Gert and he accepted me a student (even though I do us Nikon equipment – just a joke, he will know about it as he accepts anybody who is serious about photography. Even if you are totally new to photography). When I look back at my first photos – it is shocking but please bear with me. We all need to go through this process.

(Nikon D7000 camera, Nikon 70 x 200mmf2.8, 1/2000, f5.0, ISO400, exposure = -0.33, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 1.5 meters from object,  Prof Gert’s garden, Bloemfontein, Aug 2011)

The beginners course – the first session with Prof Gert on a Monday evening. “You need to be in front of his gate at 18H50 sharp, he does not like people to be late (he feels that you are wasting the other people’s time if you are late) and do not ring the bell. He’ll open the gate at 18H50” my wife informed me. Arriving at the gates, we were all standing around waiting nervously. One girl decided that is enough and phoned him informing him that we are waiting outside. That was the last time she did that – luckily I was informed beforehand. But it was not that scary – once inside the classroom he is so helpful and patient, it is unbelievable. Even to newbies like me that knows nothing about photography.

(Nikon D7000 camera, Nikon 70 x 200mmf2.8, 1/30, f22, ISO100, exposure = -1.00, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 26.6meters from object, panning effect, Stud farm outside Bloemfontein, Aug 2011)

His beginners’ course consists of theoretical session with practical examples as well as practical sessions on Saturday mornings where he takes his students out to practice. One session is dedicated to the previous Saturday’s practical sessions and the student’s photos are shown and discussed. Several aspects and types of photography are addressed but I never felt overwhelming during the course. My personal opinion is that this course assisted me by putting me in the right frame of mind as well as on the right track. The basic principles were taught, stressed and repeated to ensure one can apply it without really thinking about it. What I did not expect of the course (and it came as a total surprise to me), was the fact that I learned a lot about myself during the 6 months of the course.  And I am sure you won’t mind if I do not share the detail with you. My advice is to attend such a course and see for yourself. I am sure you won’t be disappointed. Eventually I saw the light at the end of the tunnel – so will you.

(Nikon D7000 camera, Nikon 70 x 200mmf2.8, 1/30, f16, ISO200, exposure = -1.50, WB = sun, Aperture mode, infinity from object, Olivia farm outside Bloemfontein, Sept 2011)

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