Class has begun

Last week on Thursday I taught a basic photography class for users of DSLRs.  The class was organized by Swapsee.com.  It is a pretty interesting website that not only is trying to build a community of creative professionals on the web but also in the real world.  

Anyway, they asked if I would teach this workshop and the truth is I was delighted to do it.  I have been interested in teaching a workshop like this for a while.  For me it was an opportunity to sit down and write down what I know while matching it with examples from my own work.  The class was not full but there were some students with great questions and I feel like overall it was a great success.  So, what I would like to do over the next couple of days is take examples from the workshop and post them here on Jugant amb la Llum.

I started with giving a little history of my life with photography which really started when I was 15 or 16.  I had played with cameras some before this time but I was really lucky to have a high school with a solid photography program that really got me interested.  Unfortunately when I went to University I did not really know what I wanted to study (in fact, waited until 2nd semester Junior year to decide) so I picked a school without a photography program.  That means I did not do much photography until my Junior year when I headed off to India not as part of a photography class but as part of a sociology class (my chosen major).  The great thing was that I ended up doing my first photo reporting on that trip.  

Later after graduating and starting to work, photography kept coming and going in my life.  It was not until moved to San Francisco in 1997 that I really got back into it and started thinking I wanted to make it an important part of my life.  I took some great courses at Laney College in Oakland, courses very similar to what I took in high school but this time I really paid attention.  I began to attend lots of protest and try to capture the story of the events.  I took my camera whenever I went skating with friends and I started to invest in equipment.  

Once I moved to Spain, I really wanted to start to make photography more of a career.  I jumped over to digital, took a great photojournalism course at GrisArt and started to work with a few clients including doing some still photography and making ofs for the movie industry.  In 2008 I spent a few weeks in Ethiopia working on a story and in 2010 I spent 5 months in India working with different NGOs. I have been lucky enough to travel and take photos in quite a few places and in 2011 to 2012 I did a post-graduate at UAB in photojournalism.  

Ok, ok, ok, maybe you are saying enough with your life story what is the lesson?  Well, I am sure that in my first class in high school Mrs. Gotchel our photography teacher said if you want to be a photographer you gotta take more pictures, well, she was right.  After many years and thousands of pictures I can honestly say, “You gotta take more pictures!” I know you have heard it before but now with digital there is no excuse to continue ignoring it.  I have heard that a National Geographic Photographer takes between 20 and 50 thousand photos on a 6 week shoot that will produce only 12 to 20 for the magazine.  This does not mean you just press the button and go crazy but it does mean you need your camera with you almost always and you need to be actively looking for things to photograph.  

So stop reading (if you haven’t already) and go take some photos.    

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About edwintoonephotography

I am a U.S. born professional photographer living in Barcelona, Spain.

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