I’ve been dreaming about taking this class for YEARS … literally.  Now that I’m in it, I’m wondering if I wasted my money.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am learning.  But I have some issues with my instructor.  Well, actually not my instructor, but my instructor’s sidekick.  They own a photography business together.  The actual instructor is the techno-geek.  The sidekick is the “artsy fartsy” one.  His words, not mine.  He’s the one that’s ticking me off.  I think he is so impressed with his “artsy fartsy-ness” that he can’t be bothered with technical questions.  In the first class, he emphasized that we have to learn how to work our cameras … that’s not something that he can teach us.  Read the manual over and over again until we understand it.


Well, my homeschooled kid tested at Post High School level on reading comprehension last year.  I guess I could set the curriculum we purchased this year on the kitchen table and say “good luck.”  Read it and read it again until you understand it.  I’m off to do a little shopping and get my nails done.

Get my point???  Yes, we’re responsible for familiarizing ourselves with our cameras, but I’m paying HIM to lend clarification when something is not clear to me.  I actually said, jokingly, “What if the manual is Greek to me?”  His response?  He is currently trying to figure out how to do something with his Nikon and he’s read the book 14 times and still doesn’t understand it, but he’ll keep reading it until he figures it out.  Sounds like a huge waste of time to me.  Why not find someone who can help you work through the challenge a little more quickly?

Last night they split the class in two — one half practiced with depth of field while the other practiced with fast and slow shutter speeds.  Artsy-fartsy stood in front of a dark background tossing a ping pong ball in the air while we took pics using different settings … striving for blurred images (that’s a first!) and crisp images in mid-air.  When we first went in the room, he said “Set your cameras at 1/15th …”  Well, on a Canon Rebel XT, there is NO fraction on the menu display and that threw me off.  Another girl was having some problems, too.  Instead of coming over and assisting us, he just said, “Let me know when ya’ll figure it out.”  We finally did, but it really ticked me off.

Then we got stuck with him on the depth of field work, too.  He was explaining that you can focus 1/3 between the object in front and the middle object to get a fairly good focus on both.  I’ve always been told that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, so I (foolishly) asked if that’s the same thing as focusing on an object and then recomposing your shot.  He said, quite dismissively, “No, that’s locking your focus.”  And then turned to the next person.

The last part of class was the evaluation of the self-portraits.  There were some good ones, a couple of really good ones and one really GREAT one.  When mine came up on the screen, everyone seemed to like it pretty well and Eddie (the real instructor) commented that I’d sent him a book with it (explanation of the settings I used and how I got the shot).  He said he liked that (more information) and asked me to tell the class.  So I did, and Artsy-Fartsy interrupted me when I said something about focusing the camera and running around the corner … he said, “It’s a little out of focus …” and then said, “What kind of glasses are you wearing that you can hold the book that close to your face?”

Unless something changes quickly, I’m renaming him the Artsy-Fartsy JERK.

From  MTnesting
I’ve been tagged!  I don’t know how “fun” these will be, but there you go:  Four fun facts about me:

1.  I love photography … my first camera was a Polaroid One Step that shot the little square pictures out and then let you watch the “miracle” develop right before your eyes.  LOL  From that point, I borrowed my mom’s instamatic until my parents gave me a Canon Sure Shot in 1984, before I went to visit a friend for spring break in Virginia.  I had a wonderful time taking pictures on that trip, and I’ve never stopped since.  Sadly, that camera bit the dust (I wish I’d kept it … it was really neat in that it had a “telephoto” lens that screwed to a mounting ring on the front of the camera … very unusual.)  I had another Canon Sure Shot, and then for my 10th anniversary in 2002, my husband bought me a Canon Rebel 2000.  A couple of years later, I dipped my toe in the digital pool with an HP 735, and last year for my 15th anniversary, my sweet husband gave me a Canon Rebel XT. 

I’m not real big on posed shots, preferring candids (“sneek and shoot” heh heh …) and architecture.

2.  My favorite book of all time is probably “Gone With the Wind” … I was in seventh grade the first time they played the movie on t.v., I couldn’t watch it because of a church function.  So I checked the book out from the library.  Then my parents gave me a 40th anniversary edition with a foreword written by James Michener.  I read the book SEVEN times in one year, until my mother threatened to take it away from me.  The shortest amount of time it’s ever taken me to read it is just under two days, breaking only for potty breaks.  LOL

3.  My favorite author of all time is probably James Michener.   After reading the foreword in GWTW, I had to find out about this fellow who wrote historical novels.  I read Centennial, Hawaii, The Fires of Spring, Sayonara, The Drifters, The Source, Chesapeake, Tales of the South Pacific, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, and Caravans.  I must confess that I had a difficult time with Poland and Texas … but my understanding is that his later works relied heavily on the assistance of graduate students at The University of Texas – Austin.  So they are not “pure” Michener, like the earlier works.

4.  I can’t stand Hemingway.  Or Faulkner.  Hemingway didn’t use enough adjectives.  Faulkner used too many.  And literature teachers who insist on finding symbolism in each and every comma of a work should be shot at dawn.

6 thoughts on “Photography Class Gripes

  1. The fact is he’s never read the manual and wants you to read it and explain it to HIM. I’ve been to art school and know these types well. They are so taken with themselves that any real contribution they make is overshadowed by the fact that no one can stand them.


  2. I agree with John.   And, those types are in all areas of life, not just the arts.
    Is it possible to ask the techno-geek to explain the settings without the Art-Fart hearing?
    What a jerk.  Try not to let him know, if you haven’t already, that he’s getting to you.  
    Put his photo with the ping-pong ball up on your wall and shoot nerf bullets at it.


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