Learning to see in Siouxland, Sioux City

13 Oct

I teach a few photo courses through a lifelong learning program at the local community college. One of the courses deals with some technical aspects all cameras have in common, such as exposure and color space and learning to use manual and Aperture preferred settings. Mostly I spend time with teaching various compositional techniques and then giving “assignments” asking those taking the class to go out and photograph subjects using specific compositional approaches, like the rule of thirds, leading lines, shapes and patterns and repetition. All to get the attending students to learn to see. However their own particular vision directs them. Another course is a Photo Safari course, where I meet with students in the field at various locations and we just photograph. I help them with some technical aspects, but mostly point out possible photographs that might involve light, shapes and patterns that intersect, leading lines, etc. My goal is just to get them to expand beyond whatever snapshots they may currently shooting. I also challenge them while out shooting to use only one lens. And if that happens to be a “kit” lens, to use only one or two focal lengths. These photos were shot recently using only a 50mm. A few with a Holga 50, and the rest with a Canon 50. It forces one to “zoom” with your feet and to work your composition more. But above all, to photograph how one sees the world and just enjoy it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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