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Old 25-08-2006, 10:27   #1 (permalink)
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Photography Courses - help please!

I've been trying to find a basic photography course but most of the courses in my area seem to link "basics" with "dark room skills", which isn't quite what I wanted. However, I've just been chatting to someone at one of the local colleges this morning, who also happened to be a keen photographer himself, and he says that, not only would the dark room skills be interesting but that knowledge would give a greater depth of understanding, even though I'm using digital. And I do still have my AE1 so it wouldn't be a waste of money to pay to do this bit of the course as well. Any thoughts?

The other thing is that the course seems to focus on black and white photography. I presume that the basics of taking a photograph are going to be pretty similar whether you take them in black and white or in colour...or is that a bit of a sweeping statement?
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Old 25-08-2006, 11:36   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Doing a basic photography course including darkroom skills will be wonderfull, you will enjoy it and learn a lot from it.
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Old 25-08-2006, 11:56   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Thanks Gary!

My only concern, reading the desctiption again properly , is that is says For people with little or no experience of photography. You will gain a solid grounding in basic skills and principles of black and white photography, starting by looking at the facilities of a 35mm SLR camera, how the settings affect the pictures you take and going on to process your own films and produce prints from your negatives in the darkroom

Are the "facilities" of a 35mm SLR camera going to be the same as a dSLR?
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Old 25-08-2006, 12:25   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Yes they are, the facilities and principals will be the same and I would expect this course to lead you through things such a shutter speeds, apertures, lighting etc and how they all interact with each other and how you can control them to get the results that you are seeking. Shooting things like sport and landscapes require completely different approaches and that is borne out regardless of if your end results are in colour or B&W.

I would definitely give it a try, you will learn some stuff from class and may meet other photographers like yourself and that could lead to joint trips out, something that as photographers we all learn from as you can see how others frame and shoot theirshots as well.
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Old 25-08-2006, 12:32   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Thanks very much Steve! I shall go ahead and book it then!!
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Old 25-08-2006, 17:56   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Angela, the reason they are using B&W darkroom work is that it is easier and cheaper to do than colour. Plus the fact that with colour, everyone will see things a little differently.

The processing needs to have good temperature control, uses mechanical processing equipment (at a basic level) and makes a lot of use of different filters - or at least, it did when I last did colour processing. In other words, it is complex and tricky. You also need total blackouts.

B&W, on the other hand, is pretty straightforward in principal, and only needs to get complicated as your proficiency increases. The processing is a doddle because it is less sensitive on temeratures etc, and it is cheap. You can have a safe light on in the darkroom, so you can see what you are doing.

I bet you will grow to like B&W. It is a superb medium to work with, but you need to be in B&W mode right from when the camera comes out of the bag. It is a differnt mindset. Enjoy!
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Old 25-08-2006, 18:19   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

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I bet you will grow to like B&W. It is a superb medium to work with, but you need to be in B&W mode right from when the camera comes out of the bag. It is a differnt mindset. Enjoy!
Oh yes
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Old 29-08-2006, 19:54   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

So agree with Graham and Dave's comments re. B&W. To be honest, for me, B&W is waaaaaay more difficult than colour (you can "get away" with more using the compexities of colour). I hope to get good colour shots but aspire to get good B&W!
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Old 31-08-2006, 08:54   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Well I am going to poo poo that notion straight away

Black and white is no more difficult than colour and neither is colour more difficult than B&W, to do either properly is difficult and a whole lot different than getting away with something by using the colours. Its very easy to spot an excellent shot be it colour or black and white, it will always stand out and make you look at it (even if the subject is not to your liking).

What is different though is the processing skills needed to make the best of both, this to an extent plays a bigger part in the final outcome over the difficulty in capturing the image in the first place. I guess that’s the subject of another thread though
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Old 31-08-2006, 09:02   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Poo poo all you want, Steve!

Still maintain that 'cos B/W is so much simpler that, like all things that are simple, much more difficult to get right! So there! Boo sucks! LOL!

But all this talk (and someone prodding me, who's a big advocate of B/W) has got me to thinking more monochromatically!
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Old 31-08-2006, 09:10   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

I say its the opposite though, because colour contains so many distractions that a photographer needs to be aware of, the composition and final shot is often much more difficult to get spot on when compared to a simple black and white Not only are you balancing the image, the composition, the blend and the subject, but you also have to factor in the colour influences on all those areas, with b&w it one less thing to worry about

BTW I am not talking about your average to good colour and black and white images, I am talking about the excellent photography done by some of the greats and that is way past my skill levels.
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Old 31-08-2006, 09:43   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Ahh, maybe that's where we are currently disagreeing: my poor attempts vs the great shots. I was coming at it from what I do/can achieve, rather than that which is beyond my grasp! LOL!

As an example of what I'm saying, this shot typifies: colour there to "distract" from the not great B/W, tho' the overall effect is not displeasing (well, to me!)

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Old 31-08-2006, 10:14   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Ohh.... well I hate to be blunt but your example shot doesn't work for me in either colour or black and white, sorry

The problem with it is that the sea (at the top) is reflecting the harsh light and is probably the brightest part of the shot, this will always attract your eyes and make it a focal point (intentional or not). Then your main subjects are 90% black and have been photographed against a mainly black background which makes them blend in rather than stand out. They can't compete with the bright sea. In colour you can pick out their beaks though and that is the only saving grace for this shot but its not enough to make it work.

Now lets look at this…I am making an educated guess that your eyes picked out the birds moving along at the waters edge, this is more than likely due to them moving more than the contrasting effect of their beaks against the bright sea but that obviously doesn’t work on a static photograph. Now if you where shooting black and white at the time and viewed this scene I think you wouldn't have taken the shot, as you had colour in mind (or rather where not thinking black and white) you probably hoped to capture the impression you saw with the birds moving. You subconsciously thought that the camera would capture the colour of the beaks against the sea and make the picture work when really it more likely that the movement of the birds caught your eye rather than the contrast of them against the background.

This is why good, no, excellent photography captures the shot and conveys a point of view irrespective of it being colour or b&w, we need to learn and understand that so it becomes second nature and then we will be able to know what our final picture will capture and convey at the time we shoot it. In this case the colour aspect backs up my argument that as a photographer colour can make it more difficult, but either way before we get into the delicacies of is black and white harder to shoot than colour, we need to fully understand the rest of the factors
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Old 31-08-2006, 10:21   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Quote:
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Ohh.... well I hate to be blunt but your example shot doesn't work for me in either colour or black and white, sorry
No worries, Steve! Appreciate honesty. And your comments/critique I can't fault, however hard I try! Appreciate you spending the time. And I'm coming around to your POV - just not quite there yet! LOL!

Cheers!
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Old 31-08-2006, 10:30   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

I appreciate you not taking it personally and I am glad that I have been able to show you another side of the argument.

Good debate is great
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Old 31-08-2006, 12:17   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

But Mono is better
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Old 31-08-2006, 12:21   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Syllabic?
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Old 31-08-2006, 13:04   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

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But Mono is better
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Old 31-08-2006, 15:43   #19 (permalink)
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Old 31-08-2006, 15:51   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

Nothing like bringing a debate back to basics!!
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Old 31-08-2006, 18:46   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

He started first , Miss !!!!!
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Old 09-09-2006, 17:26   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Photography Courses - help please!

well speaking as someone who isnt particularly good at either Mono OR Colour, i think one as is hard as the other! lol
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