Portrait Photography 101

Glen and I slept for 10-11 hours last night. I don’t think we realised how tired we were after that day of skiing. Despite all that sleep, I woke up with a headache, a sore neck, and a craving for a few more hours of shuteye. But we both had stuff to do.

I left the house a little after eleven to go to a portraiture photography class downtown. I thought it was meant to start at 12 and the instructions said to be there five minutes early to be let into the building so I arrived with enough time to get a hot chocolate down the street at a cafe that was full of people on laptops, and return to the building to be let in.

Twelve o’clock came and went, and there were no other attendees waiting to be let in. I checked my phone. It started at 12:30. I was very early. Not the best when you’re standing outside in –12°C weather. It was freezing! I went for a walk down Queen St West, ducking into a homeware store for a little while to chip off some of the ice that had formed on me during my walk.

I then went walking a bit more and saw a man with a dog going into his apartment building and then a homeless man try to get in after him. The man with the dog stood his ground and stopped the guy from coming in; he moved on. I can’t say I blame the guy though, it was bloody cold out there.

I arrived back at the building just before half past and other people soon started to congregate. We were let in pretty quickly then. My portraiture class had nine other people in it, plus the teacher. When it started, I was a bit worried the class would be beyond me as eight of the people had done the Photography 101 class and it was specifically mentioned. Never mind that I’ve been taking quality photos for about eight years now and know my way around I camera, I still got concerned that they had learned something I was lacking.

I soon got over it and focussed on what I could actually learn from the class. One thing I learned is that trying to get adults to answer questions in a group setting is a major teeth-pulling exercise. It irritates me because it makes the class drag. I answered the first question wrong but after that, and waiting a couple of seconds to give someone else the chance of answering, I just answered everything after that. I sound like one of those annoying mature age students but I don’t think it came across that way. I also volunteered to be the model when we went outside (!!!!) for a practical demo, purely because no one else put their hand up and we were all freezing to death. People are weird.

We had two practical demos during the four hour course, both of which were short, and the rest was spent listening to the teacher and reading off slides. I would have preferred a full-day course that gave us plenty of opportunities to put into practise what we were learning about. I learn by doing so only having two chances to try something (and they were very quick) wasn’t all that useful for me.

I did, however, get a few new bits of knowledge and things to try out. Mostly it was about getting tips and tricks on lighting and posing that I could probably have read about online, but going to the class and forcing myself to do it means it’s now in my head somewhere and I can’t start putting it into practise. I was even thinking about how I could use it at work back home with people and with animals.

The class finished at half four. I caught the streetcar home (thankfully the streetcar driver waited at the green light until I got across the road and into the streetcar. I didn’t fancy waiting outside very long). I got home, made some pizza dough, downloaded my photos and saw that Tony Abbott has kept his job as PM.

I’m not too unhappy about this because it just means he has longer to destroy the party. I think Turnbull getting in would be harder to topple at an election.

Unfortunately Glen’s on-call today and won’t get home until after 10. Poor baby.

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One Reply to “Portrait Photography 101”

  1. I appreciate your optimistic pessimism about Abbott–I hadn’t yet got beyond rage that he has survived the spill, to think about how that means that a few more “captain’s calls” (more consultative, my arse!) will drag the Liberals still further into the mire of their own making and choosing . . .

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