Saturday, November 21, 2009

Time for school!

Saturday mornings are usually pretty sacred lazy time to me.  Sleeping in is considered highly necessary, usually followed by excessive cups of coffee and an indeterminate amount of time lounging in pjs.  There are some things that will get me up and going, though, like maybe an early kick-off for a Texas Tech football game or the promise of an awesome brunch somewhere. 

Turns out I'll also get up early (and not hit snooze even once!!  unheard of for me!  and it was actually early, not just "early" to me - wowza) on a Saturday morning to go to school.  Not "school" school, where even if you enjoy the subject there's a certain amount of "sigh, school again" resignation, but Nikon School!  I'm basically in love with my new camera, but there are so many more things it can do and I can do with it that I'm just not going to learn by reading books, much as I love reading books.  So, I decided to sign up for this class to actually focus for a few hours and learn how to use the small computer I'm holding in my hands.  9:30 AM - 4:30 PM (don't be fooled by that start time, I had to drive about 30 miles in always iffy D.C. traffic to get out that, which actually did equal a relatively early wake-up time, especially for a Saturday), nothing but photography.  Bring it on.

For the short was great!  I learned SO MUCH and met some great people and got even more excited about something I've always loved.  I am a little concerned that my inherent nature to overanalyze may lead to (1) me sitting in one place for hours on the National Mall taking the same five pictures over and over with different settings and different light to see how they turn out, (2) me sitting at my computer for hours editing said photos, and (3) me sitting at my computer for even more hours finding the best way to get those photos into printed form, whether it be a set of prints or a book or some massive beast that I'll use to wallpaper any available wall in my apartment.

Social/random highlights from the day:
  • Hotel conference center lunches are pretty much the same the world over.  It kinda felt like I was back in the dining hall days of the color-coded hell at the good ol' National Conference Center.  Eeekk!
  • Every class has that guy who thinks he knows everything.  Why is that?
  • Some degree of humor injected into the technical learning info is always, always appreciated.  Thanks, Bob and Reed!
  • I bonded with a stay-at-home mom of three married to an Army guy, a middle-aged trio who made the drive in from Richmond, and an elderly woman with an undetermined Eastern European accent over lunch.  Talk about different worlds.
  • What is it about conference centers and their inability to effectively control the temperature of a room to anyone's liking?
Technical highlights from the day:
  • I'm not going to go there, considering the most interested parties in this information likely consist of three:  myself (I got a new book and guides and took notes all day, so I'm set), my dad (we're going to have a camera pow-wow over Thanksgiving, so set), and Sarah (who's taking a similar class herself next month!  Go photography kids!  Set!). 
  • So...let's just say that I'm super-pumped about white balance and exposure control and highlights.
I don't think I'm ready for the more advanced Sunday session on color, light, and technology, but I might be up for it when they roll through Baltimore at the end of March.  Bit of a learning curve for me to explore over the next few months.
Now I want to go on photography expeditions and play with all the settings and take about eighteen thousand pictures in the next two days.  And then go spend approximately eleventy billion dollars on new lenses and editing software and accessories, accessories, accessories.  Oh heavens.

Does anyone else find it ironic that the photography course post has zero pictures?  I was slightly amused.  Don't worry, there will be many, many photos to come.


Sarah said...

I'm so impressed with your early rising. And I might need a camera pow wow over Thanksgiving as well :). I can't believe that even without the class I'm ready for a new lens (or 3). And hard to believe you could put the National Conference Center days into the photography school post...that's just sad!

Erin said...

We should totally have a camera pow-wow!! And then you can tell me I don't need a fisheye AND a variable telephoto AND a fixed 105mm portrait lens. Yipes.

And so sorry about the Lansdowne reference - I just had SUCH a sense of déjà vu today. It was scary.