Teaching...

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by rhondag, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. rhondag

    rhondag TPF Noob!

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    I have been contacted by a homeschool group to teach a photography class. I am going to limit the class to 10 or less students (they will be high school)...and need to come up with a synopsis for the class. Any suggestions?---and how much per student I should charge?
    I plan on covering---manual v. automatic settings on camera, ISO---with various lighting (outside, inside, lowlight, etc.) how to convert to BW, creating catchlights. I will see how things go, before I think about teaching anything RAW and JPEG. I plan on at least one field trip to the botanical gardens, to let them practice what they are learning...and then bringing their pictures in for critiqueing.
    Any suggestions on what else to teach/show them?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Off the top of my head;
    Basic Exposure and how aperture, shutter speed & ISO work together.
    How aperture controls DOF.
    How shutter speeds control motion/blur.
    Basic composition (avoid putting the subject in the centre of every photo).
    How to recognize different lighting scenarios (indoor, outdoor, sunny, shady).

    Maybe touch on different areas/types of photography like portrait/landscape/artistic or abstract etc. But I don't know how far I'd go into any one area, unless the class clearly wants to take it in that direction.

    Maybe touch on some basic post processing...but again, it would depend on the length and scope of the class as to how far you take that.

    If they all have SLR cameras, then maybe get into manual mode, metering modes, histograms etc. But if they are using digi-cams, then it might be lost on them.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would say try to get as much info on teh students for the class before the first lesson. Maybe throw together a detailed questionair for the students to fill in and submit - I thinking along the lines of finding out things like the following:

    1) what equipment they have access to
    2) if they have experience using SLR type camera gear (some schools run photography clubs/courses and if they do most are still quite into film work at at least one phase of the setup)
    3) what they like and don't like taking photos of
    4) what they want from the class (they might not know but some might give some interesting suggestions

    That way whilst the first lesson will be a get to know you class (and they can bring along digital images to show on a computer as well as prints) you will already know a little about them and be able to plan the class around them - as well as having an idea if there are students who are above or behind the majority
     
  4. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    As a fellow teacher I have a couple of things I have learned and might help you.

    1. Get to "hands on" as quickly as you can and make as much of the learning as you can involve the students doing something.(Even having the students take pictures as the 1st step and then as you review their shots together talk about exposure and the technical things they need to know)

    2. Have some examples of bad composition, lighting, exposure and good ones and let the students tell you which is which and why.

    3. If you have access to a projector and a laptop, project students pics and teach them to give c & c on each others work. What do they see that is right and what would they do differently?

    4. Give an assignment every day but keep it simple. ie. 4 still life shots of the same subject, different angles, same light and settings.
    or 4 still life shots of the same subject, different shutter speed in each, same f stop, same ISO. Then start every class with the c & c of yesterday's assignments.

    5. Make sure you keep it light and fun. Let them take pictures of what they enjoy. For right now it is more important they learn the basics and build a love of photography than it is for them to learn to take a certain kind of shot or practice all the different types of photography.

    Hope this is somewhat helpful. Above all, make sure YOU are having fun! If you are the kids will pick on it and feed off of that energy.
     
  5. SanDiegoPhotographer

    SanDiegoPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    ^^^^^^
    Great advice. I teach classes in San Diego and follow these steps exactly, except for step 4 because my classes are on a per class basis.
     

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