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Photographer
ELiffmann
Posts: 1,396
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US


Carlos Occidental wrote:
Not necessarily in this order.  Aperture and shutter speed MUST be on manual for all assignments and exercises. 
Teach depth of field
         shutter speed
         exposure, including over and under for specific reasons
         bracketing
         night/low light shooting
         composition
         effect of wide angle and telephoto on size of aperture and depth of field. 

Encourage using a tripod for ALL basic assignments.  ALL of them! 

Show how the same shot with a 24mm will have to be close up, with great depth of field, while using a telephoto (say, 100mm) will be shot far away, with very shallow depth of field. 

Have several assignments for each item above, while encouraging good composition.  Explain how a crop will improve composition, where necessary. 

Have several assignments including several of the above. 

Encourage her to view as many photos online as possible.  Have her find examples of her own, and you find examples of your own to show her. 

If you have a macro lens, or if she does, include macro photography with a shallow depth of field, and a long depth of field. 

Don't worry about quality of work for exercises.  For depth of field, you could place three small figures 6 inches apart on a table vertically.  It'll explain and show clearly how this works, she can worry about composition later, when applying the concept. 

That's about it for a first level photography class, whether you teach digital, or film.  Those are the basics she needs to know.

I encourage using a book. Especially if she's got an analytical mind.  The more technical, the better.  Hearing it from you is one thing.  If she doesn't quite understand the concept, there's nothing like going home, and reading it again, and again, and again.  Shooting, then reading again and again.  Some things take time to sink in.  But, if she's got an expressive personality, it doesn't matter how great the book is, she's not going to even crack it.

Call your local University, College or CC.  Find out what books they teach out of.  See if you like them.  Maybe, visit their bookstores.

Thank you(and others)for your thorough reply.

Dec 30 12 09:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim Lafferty
Posts: 1,906
Brooklyn, New York, US


Dec 30 12 10:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TA Craft Photography
Posts: 2,875
Bristol, England, United Kingdom


There is no fixed way of teaching on a one 2 one basis, you need to meet the needs of each individual student.  From many of the youth I know they will be looking for pretty instant results. So forget film if you want to maintain their interest.

I teach without books, but only after spending time talking with the student to find out what they want from their photography, they are steeting out on their own road which they need a guide, their road is not your road.

Photography today is not photography from 20 years ago, neither should be the teaching.

If you do teach from books make sure you read and check them out first, here is a quote from a book I have "Avoid photographing fast moving subjects as these may appear blurred in the picture"

T
Dec 30 12 10:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ELiffmann
Posts: 1,396
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US


Jim Lafferty wrote:
This is fantastic:

http://www.alexandrebuisse.org/resources/photo-class

good stuff!

Dec 30 12 10:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,739
Fresno, California, US


One thing good about photography is the principles and rule have stayed the same even through the tech has changed so drasticly in the last 20 years. So exposure, lens behaviors have stayed a constant. If so even old books are useful. To new refenece books I recommend are:

Welcome to Oz 2.0: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) [Paperback]
http://www.amazon.com/Welcome-2-0-Cinem … nt+versace

From Oz to Kansas: Almost Every Black and White Conversion Technique Known to Man [Paperback]
http://www.amazon.com/Oz-Kansas-Almost- … nt+versace
Dec 30 12 10:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photo212grapher
Posts: 1,538
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

did you still not read my post even if you didnt read the OP? The OP asked for a book to use while teaching.  Feel all you want.  Thousands of years of teaching and studying the process of teaching have suggested otherwise.  we are supposed to go by your feelings?  and by your poor understanding of the process of teaching. you didnt have a text for shop. great. did you have one for physics? hmmm....wonder why? well good now you are on to something. there is a reason.  People go to school to learn the reasons.  Did you? no. but your feelings trump everything. great.

The OP is a teacher btw. Do you just like going into forums and talking out of your hat?

You should re-read the OP, "Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated." Stop trying to push your single-minded approach, and let the readers decide. Your thousands of years is a bit troubling to the educated. The masses never learned to book study until the masses were able to acquire books. Gutenberg in the 15th century made that possible. So perhaps a few centuries, not the plural of a millennium, and yet even into the 18th century books were rare in teaching.

Books have their place. Not all studies require a book to start. Apprenticeships were the foundation of study in various skills for thousands of years. You learned by observing and doing, not reading. Reading comes later to more fully understand your observations.

Physics. We observe the world first. We have elementary science courses where the teacher performs an experiment for the class. No books required. They discuss the demonstration. As the child grows, books become part of the learning. But the basis for physics started long before the student picked up a physics book.

You can learn about photography by reading textbooks on CMOS and how pixels gathering lightwaves to convert to an electrical signal, along with the RGBG theories. Or you can go out in the field with a learned photographer who establishes an experiment for you to shoot. Those experiments will demonstrate principles of DoF, shutter speed, etc. Then you discuss the experiment, and perhaps then seek a reference material to consult. But you will find the lastly memory of the concept is the one the student actually participated in doing more so than the chapter in a book.

Dec 30 12 11:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tracy Bellar
Posts: 219
Wheelersburg, Ohio, US


As with teaching anything the first thing anyone needs to understand is the multiple ways of learning and photography is the perfect skill to use them all.
Use as many ways as possible. books show basic skills and lighting technique and inspire. Use magazines books and have the student try and figure out how each photo was shot. Learn from reverse engineering. Show examples show hardback books and magazines. go to art exhibits, use technical manuals, experiment with the camera limitations and range with SS/Aperature, focus white balamce. Don't just use Film or digital in this newer world use both. Find out what interests the student. If they like flowers Irving Penn and Maplethorpe had great books. Avedon, Ritts had amazing fashion beauty and nudes, Ansel Adams, the Westons were best landscapes. variety and trying to show the vastness of photography to expand the persons ideas as to what can be possible.
Dec 31 12 12:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Brian Hubbs Photography
Posts: 68
Chesapeake, Virginia, US


ELiffmann wrote:
Hi Folks,
  I've been approached by someone about giving their daughter photography lessons.  Can anybody recommend a not-to-heavy book to teach out of?  Any other resources?  The girl is 13 or 14 by the way.  I'm kind of leaning toward having her get an old Nikon Ai/Ais and having her only shoot in manual for a bit.  I figure actually seeing the aperture blades open and close might be helpful, as well as learning the stops.  Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

I have a 14 year old daughter, so i feel I can give a little advice:

1. Teach the basics of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed first.  Keep it simple...no in-depth theory. Teach her about basic composition next. 

2. Use digital to see immediate results.

3. Shoot, shoot, shoot.  She'll learn better by doing. 

4.  Categorize shooting by People, Places, Things.  You decide what goes into each category and focus on color and composition.  Teach her that to stand out, she needs to consider looks, views, and angles an ordinary "snapshot shooter" wouldn't.

5.  Make sure she is having fun!

Dec 31 12 05:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Barely StL
Posts: 764
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Last year a friend asked me to help her select a film camera for her niece, who was starting college and needed a film camera for photography classes. I checked around, and there are several colleges and universities that still teach basic classes using black-and-white film. Unless the instructors are getting kickbacks from Kodak or Ilford, there has to be a reason.

I don't know that a book is essential. But very few people have 100% recall. Whether you teach from the book or not, having a basic photography book would not only organize the lessons for you. They'd give her something to review and refresh her memory over time.

Sorry, though. I can't recommend one. I think the last time I read a "basics" book that starts at Square 1 was in the 1960's. You might check out the Idiot's Guide and/or Dummies series.
Dec 31 12 05:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Collins
Posts: 1,793
Orlando, Florida, US


There are a million books out there.  But this is the author of the book we used as a textbook, "Beyond Basic Photography", when I went to photo school at Daytona Beach CC back in the mid 80's, which was a great program at the time.

I see he has a digital book out as well so I thought I'd pass it along.  Looking at the contents he seems to cover all the basics.  I have not read it but again, if his books are used as textbooks in schools, I'd say that says at least something for the author.

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Photograp … pd_sim_b_5
Dec 31 12 06:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,085
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Carlos Occidental wrote:
Not necessarily in this order.  Aperture and shutter speed MUST be on manual for all assignments and exercises. 
Teach depth of field
         shutter speed
         exposure, including over and under for specific reasons
         bracketing
         night/low light shooting
         composition
         effect of wide angle and telephoto on size of aperture and depth of field. 

Encourage using a tripod for ALL basic assignments.  ALL of them! 

Show how the same shot with a 24mm will have to be close up, with great depth of field, while using a telephoto (say, 100mm) will be shot far away, with very shallow depth of field. 

Have several assignments for each item above, while encouraging good composition.  Explain how a crop will improve composition, where necessary. 

Have several assignments including several of the above. 

Encourage her to view as many photos online as possible.  Have her find examples of her own, and you find examples of your own to show her. 

If you have a macro lens, or if she does, include macro photography with a shallow depth of field, and a long depth of field. 

Don't worry about quality of work for exercises.  For depth of field, you could place three small figures 6 inches apart on a table vertically.  It'll explain and show clearly how this works, she can worry about composition later, when applying the concept. 

That's about it for a first level photography class, whether you teach digital, or film.  Those are the basics she needs to know.

I encourage using a book. Especially if she's got an analytical mind.  The more technical, the better.  Hearing it from you is one thing.  If she doesn't quite understand the concept, there's nothing like going home, and reading it again, and again, and again.  Shooting, then reading again and again.  Some things take time to sink in.  But, if she's got an expressive personality, it doesn't matter how great the book is, she's not going to even crack it.

Call your local University, College or CC.  Find out what books they teach out of.  See if you like them.  Maybe, visit their bookstores.

This is excellent. I would add two things.

1) Show her how improper use of lenses can introduce unwanted distortion in a photo.

2) Many people think of a normal lens as being the lens that's used most, that a wide-angle lens is to get more stuff in the photo, and a telephoto allows the photographer to "get closer" to the subject.

While there's some truth in some of the above, I find it more useful to think of the function of a wide-angle lens as allowing you to show the relationship between things (objects, people) and the function of a telephoto as to isolate the subject from its surroundings.

If you agree and find it useful, I'd work that into the lessons.

Dec 31 12 06:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Matty272
Posts: 218
Dunfermline, Scotland, United Kingdom


Barely StL wrote:
Last year a friend asked me to help her select a film camera for her niece, who was starting college and needed a film camera for photography classes. I checked around, and there are several colleges and universities that still teach basic classes using black-and-white film. Unless the instructors are getting kickbacks from Kodak or Ilford, there has to be a reason.

I'd suggest that the course was written before digital and getting a new course approved would be expensive and/or the cost of getting rid of all the basic kit and replacing with digital may be more expensive than the photography department has in its budget.

Not for definite, just suggestions as to why.

Dec 31 12 06:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DavidCoward Photography
Posts: 629
Sandy Springs, Georgia, US


I've done corporate training, and I've taught middle school and high school students in various subjects.

What's important to remember is that everyone, kid or adult, has a preferred learning style. Some are visual learners, others learn by listening, others by hands-on. Or any combination.

Since a young girl probably isn't going to know her preferred learning style yet, you should spend some time at first helping her figure it out. In other words, don't develop an entire curriculum around one type of teaching. Get to know the girl and then customize your delivery method to suit her needs.

Good luck!
Dec 31 12 06:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orcatek Photography
Posts: 1,686
Tempe, Arizona, US


I teach classes all the time, typically 50+ students a month.

I just walk thru the camera, each setting, what it does and why and when you might prefer to use this setting. 

I even explain the built in modes consumer cameras have such as landscape and portrait.  I do this first, and then later I show how to do it controlling the camera.

After that I go thru some basic composition concepts, rules of thirds, leading lines, light vs dark etc.

A intro session like this takes between 4-5 hours to make sure they understand.

Dean
www.Orcatek-Photography-Workshops.com
Dec 31 12 07:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


Brian Hubbs Photography wrote:
I have a 14 year old daughter, so i feel I can give a little advice:

1. Teach the basics of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed first.  Keep it simple...no in-depth theory. Teach her about basic composition next. 

2. Use digital to see immediate results.

3. Shoot, shoot, shoot.  She'll learn better by doing. 

4.  Categorize shooting by People, Places, Things.  You decide what goes into each category and focus on color and composition.  Teach her that to stand out, she needs to consider looks, views, and angles an ordinary "snapshot shooter" wouldn't.

5.  Make sure she is having fun!

I'd also focus on reviewing what happened and why it happened, especially on the spot, to help her know what's going on and what happens when settings change. This is the beauty of digital, the instant feedback is an amazing teaching tool that should be used to it's full extent.

I would even go so far as to have her write a short paragraph on each assigned shot (for example "take a picture of a tree") and have her go over what went well and didn't go well and why she thinks that happened.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Dec 31 12 05:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,085
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Barely StL wrote:
Last year a friend asked me to help her select a film camera for her niece, who was starting college and needed a film camera for photography classes. I checked around, and there are several colleges and universities that still teach basic classes using black-and-white film. Unless the instructors are getting kickbacks from Kodak or Ilford, there has to be a reason.
Matty272 wrote:
I'd suggest that the course was written before digital and getting a new course approved would be expensive and/or the cost of getting rid of all the basic kit and replacing with digital may be more expensive than the photography department has in its budget.

Not for definite, just suggestions as to why.

I suppose that's possible. However, when I was in college, the university didn't provide cameras for the students. To enroll in a photography class, the student had to have a 35mm camera with at least one interchangeable lens, an electronic flash and an exposure meter.

The student supplied his own film and paper, and the university provided chemistry and a darkroom. That still seems to be the practice, and my friend's niece had to provide those things.

Of course I never had a college-level course in photography. I told the associate professor that I intended to enroll in his class - but since I had worked for two daily newspapers by then, he drafted me as his lab assistant. (Same thing had happened to me in high school.)

The darkroom was large enough that eliminating it would have provided another revenue-producing classroom - although it would become a computer lab with the transition to digital. However, it seems that the advanced classes are digital, which means that the university now has to maintain both.

I intended to post from my Barely StL account. Having two MM accounts can be confusing at times.

Dec 31 12 06:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
sidney_k
Posts: 874
Paris, Île-de-France, France


ELiffmann wrote:
Hi Folks,
    Can anybody recommend a not-to-heavy book to teach out of?

If you need a book to teach out of, you might as well give her 'that' book in the first place, it would make it easier for the both of you?

Correlation between f/stop and exposure speed can be taught in an afternoon.
Practice doesn't exist in books.

The best way to learn Photography, is by doing it, plenty.

Dec 31 12 06:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,739
Fresno, California, US


Camerosity wrote:

Barely StL wrote:
Last year a friend asked me to help her select a film camera for her niece, who was starting college and needed a film camera for photography classes. I checked around, and there are several colleges and universities that still teach basic classes using black-and-white film. Unless the instructors are getting kickbacks from Kodak or Ilford, there has to be a reason.

I suppose that's possible. However, when I was in college, the university didn't provide cameras for the students. To enroll in a photography class, the student had to have a 35mm camera with at least one interchangeable lens, an electronic flash and an exposure meter.

The student supplied his own film and paper, and the university provided chemistry and a darkroom. That still seems to be the practice, and my friend's niece had to provide those things.

Of course I never had a college-level course in photography. I told the associate professor that I intended to enroll in his class - but since I had worked for two daily newspapers by then, he drafted me as his lab assistant. (Same thing had happened to me in high school.)

The darkroom was large enough that eliminating it would have provided another revenue-producing classroom - although it would become a computer lab with the transition to digital. However, it seems that the advanced classes are digital, which means that the university now has to maintain both.

I intended to post from my Barely StL account. Having two MM accounts can be confusing at times.

I was a member of Kings Regional Occupational Program (KROP). I was basically roped into it by a friend who taught junior college and high school. Because I had a degree shot for a chain of Pulitzer papers and was also doing commercial work he wanted me on the KROP advisory board so I could help advise what was need to be an employable photographer.

The whole debate about film came up. It came down to a couple of reasons.
(1) There was a few places that still processed film in our area, like White House Color; so it would not be a bad skill to know.

(2) If the student was to go into commercial and use large format the film background would be a plus.

(3) The biggest reason is that it far easier to teach the fundamentals with film than digital. things like exposure, using light meters, or shooting manually. Film makes a person think about process of taking a photo and visualizing an omage before the shutter is released. People with straight digital tend to be more difficulties with manual shooting and are a little more reactionary than proactive.

This is my personal rant, I had a couple of second shooters who did not know an f/stop from a hole in the ground. I was hired by a state agency to be in charge of photographing a two hotel conference on economic development. I was in charge of the 2nd shooter they had hired locally. I made the mistake of relying  on the agency to hire the shooter. In fairness they an decent portfolio, but they relied totally on auto.

So at one point she had to shoot some conference sessions without flash with out so not disturb the attendees. I get a call asking how are they supposed to shoot this without flash. I raced to the next hotel. look at their gear told what lenses to shoot and went into every room they had to shoot grab quick meter readings and photos wrote down the exposures and told them to set their camera to these setting when they were in the different rooms.

Another time a PR company I was working for double book me. I was schedule to shoot a series of exec portraits. The company then got a last minute call from a big corporate client to shoot a major event in their plant. So they set over a kid to take over the portraits. I told him what to set the ISO, f/stop and shutter speed. I get a call from him that his TTL is not work with the studio flashes.

My first question was; you are a professional shooter right? He said yes. Then why you trying to use ttl with studio strobes? I called a friend and had him take over. Luckily it cost me some Tequila. wink

So these days I will hire the second shooter. I make sure they have a degree and/or a lot of verifiable experience.

Jan 01 13 02:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
portraitsforever707
Posts: 34
Rohnert Park, California, US


She can Youtube any thing on it
Jan 03 13 03:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,009
New York, New York, US


The Effective Image wrote:
I don't know that teaching her on a film camera is the way to go... She'll wind up using a digital anyway.

Just my opinion.

Agreed!

To the OP:

Just teach the kid to shoot Manual with the digital camera anyway, not just for a short amount a time, but she should use manual only!

She'll understand the camera this way just the same as when using film... except that you can vary the ISO setting, which you can't to with film... otherwise... light and shadow is just the same, isn't it? smile

Jan 03 13 12:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PS201
Posts: 188
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom


ELiffmann wrote:
Hi Folks,
  I've been approached by someone about giving their daughter photography lessons.  Can anybody recommend a not-to-heavy book to teach out of?  Any other resources?  The girl is 13 or 14 by the way.  I'm kind of leaning toward having her get an old Nikon Ai/Ais and having her only shoot in manual for a bit.  I figure actually seeing the aperture blades open and close might be helpful, as well as learning the stops.  Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

I wouldn't use a manual lens just yet, it is a good idea to show her how it actually aperture works but focusing with a manual lens in an AF body is a real pig, without the focusing aids MF cameras used to have.

Saying that, it should be ok when photographing static subjects.

You have already got some fantastic book suggestions.

Good luck.

Jan 03 13 12:53 pm  Link  Quote 
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