I once spent some time with a very accomplished professional photographer who was in Ansel Adam’s photography home group back in the day. He told me something very shocking about Ansel’s philosophy of getting the “magic shot.” Just shoot, shoot, shoot. It will come. I couldn’t believe it. This is coming from not just one of the worlds most respected photographers, but the one who invented what we know as THE ZONE SYSTEM. Most universities teach Ansel’s system religiously as a standard of where to start in the world of photography.
With the influx and availability of digital camera’s and media, the problem certainly hasn’t been one of shoot, shoot, shoot, but one of edit, edit, edit. And honestly, in the digital world, it’s our biggest enemy. Overshooting that is. At some point, we all approach a threshold where we long again for the art and simplicity of photography. The balance remains in the approach. Knowing when to let the shutter loose to sing, and when to move on and find inspiration elsewhere.
This Summer the pre-teens at UCSD will be jumping in the mix to learn about digital photography from a technical, yet highly artistic perspective. All the basics of camera functionality will be covered, along with incorporating lighting, exposure and aperture to create both fun and professional images.
The photographic experience only starts while looking through the lens. As the photographers of old used to say, the darkroom is 80% of an image. Well, in this world, the digital darkroom (photoshop) is about 95% of making great imagery. We will learn all of the foundational principles in Photoshop that into creating great images. Subjects covered will be using layers, adjusting levels for exposure compensation, and yes — removing all the little annoyances such as blemishes and red eye.
There’s plenty to cover, and the kids will have a blast while exploring their creativity and leveraging all the technical tools available to make images into the “magic shot” that all photographers, in every generation dream of.
by Chris Owen (www.chrisowen.com)