“Photographing Jupiter Florida” is an 8-week course beginning January 11, 2023 at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta. Below is a preview of Bob Gibson‘s teaching methodology and what camera enthusiasts of all skill levels can anticipate during this unique “hands on” master class.
PLAYING YOUR CAMERA LIKE AN ELECTRIC GUITAR
How many of you (like me) are a bit intimidated by this complex modern camera?
Being afraid of your camera makes a lot of sense.
You paid a lot of money for it. It has far too many buttons and menus. And you imagine that –with JUST ONE FALSE finger tap–
you could create a miserable disaster—like when you hit the wrong button on your TV remote or computer and must call a young person under twenty to fix it.
Instead of loathing this camera. I suggest you think of it as an electric guitar. And, then think of yourself as Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton because, like them, you are going to become a master of your instrument.
Did Mr. Hendrix or Mr. Clapton read the guitar manual.
No, I highly doubt it.
Did either of them study sound waves? Electricity? No.
What made them masters?
They picked up that guitar every day and noodled with it.
And, that is what I am asking you to do during this eight week session. Just a few minutes a day, and your brain and fingers will learn to follow your vision, you will achieve stardom, fortune—you will become a masterof this instrument and have a portfolio of exceptional images to post online or (if you choose) an actual museum exhibit.
Are you ready to become a master of your instrument?
Then, please pick up your camera.
Spin this dial to “M” “M” stands for Manual.
You are now a bad ass pilot and not a tourist sitting in coach.
Open your menu to picture quality and choose “RAW”
You are now commanding a powerful Atlas rocket instead of a wimpy bottle rocket.
Now, lets noodle with the dials.
Hold up your right forefinger.
You will no longer call this digit “Mr. or Mrs. Pointer”
You will NOW call him/her “Mr./Mrs APERTURE or F-Stop.
Spin to the right—the numbers get higher. At F-16 the diameter of the shutter opening gets smaller, the depth of field (amount of area in focus) gets deeper.
Spin to the left—the numbers get lower. At around F-2 depending on your lens, the diameter of the shutter opening becomes it largest, and the depth of field (amount of area in focus) get extremely shallow.
If you learn to control APERTURE (hold up your finger)
You become a fine art photographer.
There is only one bump in the road. And that is exposure.
Our modern digital camera makes fixing this easy. F-16 lets in less light—the back of your camera live view is too dark–so we compensate with a longer shutter speed. (That’s why landscape photographers carry a tripod)
Now the coolest thing of all—Learning to use shallow depth of field. Spin to the left. All the way to F4 or lower. Make your shutter speed fast to compensate. Take a portrait of a person or an animal or a flower. You have just learned to emphasize your subject. Now, you know more than 99% of all people who pick up a camera. You are becoming a fine art photographer.
Lets noodle with SHUTTER SPEED.
If you can control this, you can freeze a bird or a droplet of water in mid-air. You can also turn waterfalls and ocean waves into silky bands of cotton candy.
Hold up your right thumb. This is no longer Mr./Ms Thumb. This is Mr./Ms. SHUTTER SPEED.
Spin to the right, the numbers get higher. Spin until you get to 2,000. That indicates a shutter speed of 1/ 2,000 of a second. Now you can freeze water droplets in the air, or stop an Osprey in mid-flight.
Spin to the left, the numbers get lower until they have parenthesis around them. “1” is one second. Stop here, now you can soften a fountain, a wave or a waterfall. You can blur car lights into a long trail or give a skateboarder motion.
Now, you must compensate with the F-stop to get the exposure to look right on the back of the camera.
We are going to do both exercises every day we meet, and if you do these two exercises for a few moments a day (just like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton noodled chords and scales) you will become masters. Like the Dhali Llama or Confucious most surely said (I forget which), “To master a task, simply do it 1,000 times”.
That is what we are going to do each time we meet—at the ocean, in a cypress forest, at a botanical garden, a green market or even a waterfront motorcycle bar. We are going to make creative fine art images. I am going to show you about five or ten techniques for enhancing your waterscapes, and your portraits—be they people, animals, architecture or insects. You are unique from me and everyone else in this class. You might be passionate about orchids or egrets. You might be passionate about historic architecture, fishing boats or breaking waves. You may want to document a specific societal aspect of our town. This course will give you the opportunity to create an exhibition of five to eight amazing images that represent your unique passion. The name of this course is “Photographing Jupiter, Florida”. But, I believe we will have as many differing “exhibitions” of Jupiter Florida as we have participants.