Digital Photography Workshop (Class #4)

In the first half of tonight’s class we covered digital workflow &#8212 basically what digital photographers call the period that starts when one inserts the memory card containing their pictures in the computer and wonders, “What next?” The second half was dedicated to reviewing the shots each student took in last week’s Pike Place Market adventure.

In discussing digital workflow, the instructor did a good job keeping his foot out of his mouth with the exception of one lowlight. In discussing Photoshop’s 16 bits/channel mode vs. 8 bits/channel mode he once again illustrated his technical shortcomings by proclaiming, “16 bit images contain exactly twice the number of colors as 8 bit images.” (FACT)

Thankfully, the workflow portion of the class was a relatively short jaunt through the cumbersome image handling functionality built into Windows peppered with gratuitous plugs for standalone, dedicated workflow programs which cost more than most people pay for Windows. Digital workflow is such a personal thing (kinda like grooming, in my opinion) so there is no silver bullet solution that works best for everyone. Sadly, I did not really learn much from that portion of the class.

The highlight, at least for me, was the second half of class which began at the halfway point of the three-hour session following a 15-minute break. It was time for us to present the photos we had taken during the class field trip to Pike Place Market. I included six representative samples of my pictures in an earlier post though I took 24 to share with the class.

The instructor said he would project our pictures onto the wall and have us talk about each shot (what we were attempting to capture, what steps we took to capture it, etc.). He and the other students would then critique our work. He asked for a volunteer to go first. Only four of us had actually participated in last week’s trip and that same four were in attendance this evening. Oddly, the other three students indicated they had no desire to go first and I really did not care so I volunteered. That turned out very bad for them.

The very first of my photos was the black-and-white image of Pike Place Market. The instructor said he had seen that view of the market photographed hundreds of times but never in black-and-white. He went on to shower the picture with praise and gave me high marks for trying something different and succeeding. He was really impressed with the composition and my decision to go black-and-white which helps draw attention to the reflection off the damp (this is Seattle) pavement. The other students said, “Wow.” We went through each of my remaining photos spending at least a minute on each one. I received lots of praise for my work and some helpful criticisms. After we finished discussing my last photo the instructor began to applaud. The other students begrudgingly joined in. The bar had been set.

Realizing the inevitable, the other students hurriedly asked to go next. In retrospect, this was probably them hoping their work would quickly fade from memory as the class proceeded. The good news is each of the other students had one or two really nice shots and there was one other “wow” in the bunch. The bad news is each brought two to four times the number of images as I. The worst news is we spent less time reviewing their images collectively as we did mine and there was no more applause from the instructor. One of the other students conceded, “Keith made us look bad.” :crying:

Initially I was delighted my images were so well received but I neither bask in the misery of others nor relish being teacher’s pet so the entire experience was bittersweet and awkward. There is only one session remaining which is scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving so the other students won’t have to put up with me much longer.


3 Replies to “Digital Photography Workshop (Class #4)”

  1. This has got to be one of my favorite blog entries. I love how honest you are about how that felt. That is so real. Your teacher isn’t an older lady named Mrs. Letourneau, is she?


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