How do you go through over 2,000 photos and select the best 20? Each day, Day of the Dead Photography Expedition participants culled through and selected their best 10 to 15, which we presented for review and discussion. By the end of the week, we had about 100 photos from which to choose the best 20. A difficult task. If we wanted feedback about choice, instructor Frank Hunter was there to help.
This was a breakthrough week for me. I thought I was doing pretty well using the aperture priority setting on my camera. From the first day, Frank said, This is a week to experiment. I want everyone to use manual mode at least part of the time. I confess, I struggled with this. But, the more I practiced, the more I understood how to control for light, shutter speed and “film” speed. There is no actual film in a DSLR, but the camera operates like there is with the ISO setting. (I still have a lot to learn!) Practice, practice became my mantra. Frank’s expertise and gentle coaching style was something I appreciated and he was always accessible to answer questions.
I loved the night photography in the cemetery, taking portraits of village friends, and experimenting by taking photos of people through glass display cases in markets and at private homes.
Let me know if you are interested in next year’s expedition.
Here are Norma Hawthorne’s Best of Week photos.
A few key concepts that Frank taught us:
- Turn the auto focus off and focus manually as best as you can for night photography
- Take five frames of the same subject using the same aperture and ISO with a different F-stop for each to see the light variables
- Experiment and don’t be afraid to make a mistake — this is an art form not a science
- Look up and look down, there are photos everywhere