Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First Shots

I've been in Madrid for a little over a month now.  (1 month and 3 days to be exact)  The beginning was a bit rough, getting my Foreign Identification Number (N.I.E.: Numero de Identidad de Extranjero) was tougher then I thought.  For now, I'll omit the messy details of getting settled in a new country and instead will focus on my reason for being here: PHOTOGRAPHY.

I started my Professional Digital Photography course about 3 weeks ago on April 15th.

First class was essentially reviewing school rules (Las Normas) and getting acquainted.  The course is 9 months long, give or take depending on Holidays and such.  We already had a Holiday on Friday, May 1st - (Dia Del Trabajador), and we have another one next week on Friday, May 15th.  If things continue at this rate I may be here for much longer then I anticipated.

Second class was more exciting.  We looked at various photographers, who by chance were mostly American.  I discovered a new photographer to admire: Mark Seliger (www.markseliger.com).  We also looked at Richard Avedon, Martin Parr, Joel Meyerowitz, Steve Hiett, Edward Burtinsky, and David LaChapelle.

The classes that followed became more technical and we reviewed the following:

Aperture (Diafragma); Shutter Speed (Velocidad de Obturador); Law of Reciprocity (Ley de Reciprocidad), ISO (Sensibilidad de Pelicula), Focal Length (Distancia Focal); Lenses (Objetivos); Depth of Field (Profundidad de Campo)

The photo classes double as spanish classes!

Our first excursion was to the park across from my apartment:

Profundidad de Campo (Aperture was open all the way)
Profundidad de Campo (Aperture was closed all the way)
Velocidad de Obturador (Fast Shutter to capture jump)
Barrido (Sweep or Swept): Follow moving object; object is focused, background is blurred. This is best done with a tripod but I didn't have one this day, you can still get a sense of the effect.  Fun times, I hadn't done this before.  I captured bicyclists, motorcycles, joggers, and below - cars.
That's all for now, Folks.

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