September 2008

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We have to go through some admin stuff first — so that means checking all the following boxes:

1. Fire exits and procedure.

2. VERY IMPORTANT – toilets

3. Smoking

4. To break or not to break – now that is THE question.

5. Class start times and end times and importance of getting the homework done for your own learning.

6. If there is any one needing additional assistance in terms of learning to speak to me at the end of the class.

7. Oh yes — almost forgot — eating and drinking in the class — but please not around the computers.

8. Handout of student ID cards — if they are available.

9. MIDTERM Oct 27 – 31, 2008.

10. Passwords for computers/ set up/ class photo

( I think now will be a good time for everyone to introduce themselves ).

Done that — Ok.

Well here we go … learning about these amazingly complexed tools in our hands in the form of the camera.

Before we begin though thought you might like a look ahead to our weeks together.

W1. Introduction/ Exploration/ introduction of vocabulary/ registration to online gallery.

W2. Shutter speed explore/ lab 1.

W3. Shutter speed review/ lab 1 due/ Aperture explore/ lab 2.

W4. Aperture review/ lab 2 due/ Metering/lab 3.

W5. Lab 3 due/ Focal length/ white balance/ image type and file size.

W6. Composition – Line

W7. Review photos of line. Composition – Light, shade and shadow

W8. Light, shade and shadow due. Composition – Expression

W9. Expression assignment due.

W10. Light lab due/Class reviews and comments/Exhibition.


We begin the course by introducing the terminology and concepts behind the following:

* ambient light
* meters
* focal length
* aperture
* depth of field
* shutterspeed
* iso
* white balance

By the end of the class most of you will able to successfully produce your first manual exposure and understand what was technically happening between the subject matter and the available light and the combination of iso, shutterspeed, and aperture you chose and metered for.

Your homework over the next week is to set up a photographic account to view your images in places like Flickr or something similar.

Have a great week!


9:00 am.

knock knock knock.

oh — i know it’s the postman. he’s here with my copy of the book.

(open door – it’s him. sign paper – contain my excitement – close door – now jump up and down releasing said contained excitement).

rip open solid packaging and there she is.

wrapped in beautiful plastic. YUM.

and the wait is now over.

I have been very eager to see how this one would turn out and I am really pleased with it. Great work by the summer alumni of the Toy Camera course at CSM. Those of you who ordered I think you will be quite impressed by it. Those of you who didn’t or waiting for my report on production once i got it — get yours here.

Now back to flippin’ through the pages….. cha cha chaaaaaaa.









A book I had the pleasure of designing which features the awesome work of the summer school TOY CAMERA students from Central Saint Martins. Click on the link to take a preview of the first 15 pages. Amazing what you can do with a bit of plastic and loads of enthusiasm and creative drive. Applause to the artists!



It was wonderful meeting you all on Tuesday and Thursday evening. The photography program has been growing year by year, moving from strength to strength. Beginner Digital Photography has SOLD OUT for the autumn term and the school is now taking bookings for the winter term. However there are still some courses to indulge in if you would like your learning to grow in the visual field.

The Art of Photography. This course is open to anyone who has a love or desire to visually communicate. Whether you are required to do so in your job or are looking to create more interesting photos for photo competitions and online photo communities, this is a course focused on developing an eye to see the picture. You will investigate your use of the visual language and through a series of exercises, in class crits and a gallery visit progress towards a personal style which will serve as your visual voice.

Intermediate Photography (link). Feel you know the basics but need a bit more of a challenge in the technical front? Looking for some practical exercises which require you to think not only creatively about your photos but also focus on the technical aspects of it? This is a class that makes you use the basic technical approaches to a higher standard as we will be looking at not only that you can complete an exercise, but its execution is done to a certain quality level. This is a course where you control the camera, not the other way around. Basic knowledge of shutterspeed, aperture, iso, meter reading, focal lengths and white balance is required. We will do a brush up class in the first, and if required, the second week. We will be introducing Photoshop in this class as the next step to shooting your photographs is digitally developing them. Students will learn about the Photoshop environment and how it can compliment the digital photographer.

What people said about this course.

Introduction to Photoshop (sample 1) (sample 2) (sample 3) (sample 4) (sample 5). You have your photographs in your camera but now what do you do with them. The digital capture has allowed many amateur photographers to move into the digital darkroom with ease. No longer do you need to renovate your bathroom to accommodate the chemistry and enlarging equipment of the analog technology – processing, retouching and project production are all available to the person who owns a computer and has the access to the software and a printer. Just like in traditional photography where darkroom knowledge helped produce better photographers, Photoshop can produce better photographers because of the way you begin to view and study images. From such basic tool as cropping, contrast control, burning and dodging and levels to more complicated applications such as filters and layers in combination with text use – you will learn about the creative milage you can get with a single digital capture. After this course you will see what a lab produces is for sale is something you can easily do at your fingertips. From funky portraits to greeting cards to calendar art — classes follow the format of a lecture focusing on a feature followed by exercises with a practical application.

So lots to think about. Feel free to contact me about any of these and I look forward to meeting you soon.





Notes to discuss:

• Online vs. in store purchasing

• the difference between makes of cameras – sony to canon to nikon — where do you see the difference?

• what is a point and shoot?

• what is a dslr?

• which one is the right one for your needs A? or B.

• trading up – should you do it? moving from point and shoot to dslr?

• (of there is time) accessories – tripods, flash systems, lens, lens shades.

photo credit: Karen Apps from Street and Studio assignment

To all of those who attended the Photography and Narrative week long workshop at Central Saint Martin’s I would just like to say thank you for an extraordinary week. I know we only had the four days but the amount of information we covered and the level of work which grew in that time was something to be proud of. I wish you well in your future endeavors and do keep in touch with word of your photography journey.