Digital Photography – Crash Course

Friday I spent taking a photography course.  My friend Sarah (how has since moved to Dubai) recommended it to me – she took Salim’s class and it really got her started taking more than snapshots.  Since I love taking photos, and want to know how to use my camera and take great photos by choice instead of by accident, I enrolled.

Salim Al-Harthi only decided two years ago that he wanted to take great photos.  He made the usual beginner’s mistake of thinking that the equipment makes the photo.  His attention to detail and artistic eye have quickly made him an award winner.  You can see some of his work on  He is also a very good teacher.

We started out by taking a good look at our cameras…. my little Finepix S5100 was by far the least sophisticated one there, without even the choice of a detachable lens.  It does have the option to control aperture, shutter speed and ISO (when I figured out where the buttons were), so on we forged.

The first thing Salim told us was that good photos are made, not taken. By understanding what goes into taking a photo, and how your choices impact each other, good can turn into great.  We learned about aperture settings and shutter speed, and were then set loose to take some shots and experiment.  Here are two of mine, showing the difference between a low f-stop (wide aperture)and  a high f-stop (narrow aperture) .  Notice what happens to the background.Back to the drawing board, we learned about ISO ( film speed in the old film-camera days), white balance, RAW versus JPEG files, exposure value and bracketing.

After lunch, we got into the art of photography – and how thinking of the composition of your photo means you take a lot fewer shots and have a lot more to show for your time at the end of the day. Sometimes you find a unique subject – other times you use an unusual angle to make the ordinary unique.  Outside once more, we tried to put our artistic eyes to work and bring in some “masterpieces”. These are a few of mine.

And here is one of the four he picked as the “winners”.

The key is practice – and I was busy today with my camera – no longer set on “Auto”.  I’ve included a few older photos in the slide show…. a few I’ve lucked into getting in spite of letting the camera chose the settings……. and only a bit of cropping and tweaking… no major editing. I hope to get a better camera one day, but there is still lots to learn on the one I have… lots of photos to take… maybe even one or two worth framing???

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One Response to Digital Photography – Crash Course

  1. sue says:

    Aweome phots. . . sounds like you learned a lot. Some of them may even be quiltable. . .

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