When I signed up for the class my goal was to learn more about the technical side of capturing a photo. I have never been formally trained in photography (or even cinematography) and I was very excited to learn more about aperture, shutter-speed, ISO - and general exposure techniques.
Even with my pretty solid understanding of those operations from years of filmmaking - I did find it challenging to really grasp how to properly exposure a picture from a technical standpoint. This class gave me the opportunity to experiment, fail, and eventually become more comfortable taking proper photos. Towards the end of the class I found myself focusing more on the creative aspects of photography and less on the technical side.
Being a Producer/Director in the commercial and advertising world I found this to be a great reset button. Very frequently I tell cinematographers how I want something to look and what the image should “feel” like. It was refreshing to finally have the camera in my hands and allow myself to experiment, figure out different lighting techniques, and discover my own look.
I think my growth as a photographer will only help me as a Director and Filmmaker. At the end of the day filmmaking is a visual medium - we tell stories through the movement of images. Generating shots that not only look purposeful and well crafted, but representative of the character and story is important. I found that this class allowed me to help discover new possibilities in that area.
The mini assignments really challenged my technical knowledge, which benefited me greatly. There were some frustrating times where I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Other assignments (such as the Art of Seeing) placed limitations on us - which helped me be more thoughtful and focused on the shots I was taking.
Overall this class sparked a renewed interest in photography/cinematography for me. I’m excited to continue to explore the world of digital filmmaking and photography. I look forward to developing my visual “look” and style - which is not only exciting but practical to my profession.
DGMD E-9: Fundamentals of Digital Photography