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Aperture Academy has many classes to offer. Instructors are often asked, "which class do you recommend taking next?" While most of the workshops have a specific theme or focus, students are most likely to pick up tips for different types of photography from any of of them. They are designed to fit many needs and interests! For instance, if you want something that will give you a lot of learning packed into a few hours, you might want to consider this Natural Light Portrait workshop. It is the perfect class if you don't have all day to shoot, or, if you want to brush up your portrait photography by learning some tricks of the trade.
With the end of summer just around the corner, our photographers, on this beautiful sunny Saturday in September, had that extra hour of light at the end of the day. This day we conducted two Natural Light Portrait workshops in the afternoon, which gave students in both classes a chance to seek out the best lighting available for the bright sunny conditions.
Instructors Ellie Stone and Alicia Telfer always start off the class with introductions, which gives them an idea of where each student is coming from and what they specifically want to learn during the workshop. After intros, Ellie went over the basics of photography (perfect for refreshing memories) and Alicia shared some samples of portraits taken in the Pruneyard Shopping Mall. With that, the group headed right outside with the ApCad models, Hannah and Sarah, to get started with the hands-on portion of the workshop.
In this workshop we have students shoot in the AV (Canon) or A (Nikon) mode because we want them to have an opportunity to focus on the aperture and f/stop settings. In this mode, the photographer chooses the f number, and the camera chooses the shutter speed. A great way to get beautiful images and learn how to use your camera. Alicia shared her "go-to" settings that she uses with her portrait clients, and encouraged everyone letting them know that these setting are not rules, they are only guidelines!
In this workshop, we make sure that we have two models available, so the class can split up and shoot one with different backgrounds from the other, also to practice posing two people together. As the students and instructors snaked through the shopping center, the shutters were snapping and everyone was getting fantastic images!
One of the stops we made was in a very dark, poorly lit hallway. Typically one would never think to shoot a portrait there, but at ApCad we like to push the limits and teach the students to utilize their gear under any circumstances. For this exercise, we pushed our ISO setting all the way up and opened up our apertures to expose a unique and very yellow portrait.
Reminding everyone to shoot vertically as well as horizontally, we snapped some fantastic portraits of the lovely ladies through the fountain in front of the hotel. With the correct aperture, it looked as if it was snowing! As the group rounded the Bascom side of the mall, we stopped in the bamboo bushes, hiding the ladies lunching and practiced more head shots, face shots and full length poses.
After that, we made our way back towards the Aperture Academy gallery for the now famous group shot. Sometimes we'll have a fun, quickie quiz of what the settings should be for the group photo, too. As always, students are encouraged to continue shooting, that day and weekend especially, to practice their new skills and knowledge! The workshops concluded and the newest members of the ApCad family went about their weekends with a new skill set in hand, and camera!
Until next time,
Ellie, Alicia and the rest of the ApCad crew
P.S. If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.