Over the years i found out that I tend to learn faster on my own, making bigger strides when doing individual research than sitting in a classroom setting listening to a teacher. I also figured out that i retain more information by doing things myself than just being shown what to do. Given that experiential bias, I still think some things are best learned when learned under a true master of the art.
Like a lot of jobs that require creativity and crafting, my personal opinion is that you become a photographer by learning from A photographer. Similar to blacksmiths, artisans and the like, the skill required to do these jobs is passed on via apprenticeship so i set out to find where i can attend a photographer’s workshop via facebook or via friend referral.
There are a lot of individuals and groups offering some kind of workshop on photography online, some are quite technical while some are more photoshoots than workshops. But i decided to attend Mr. Winston Baltazar’s workshop seminar at Winsam Studio because of a few things: 1) I was living close by at the time (pasong tamo area), 2) I like the idea of having a technical workshop during the morning and letting us do a “hands-on” experience in the afternoon. 3) Excellent feedback from previous attendees and 4) excellent photos from the attendees as well. Master Winston’s style is called “strobist” which uses a variety of off-camera flashes that are triggered to take photos.
The first Winsam workshop i attended was i think around July 2012, and our guest model was FHM model Kristine Santamena. I was still using a Nikon D60 and a 50mm f1.8D manual lens (i still have it!) at the time and wasn’t really that confident of what i can do. So what i did during the afternoon shoot was to ask questions and see what settings the other attendees were using and adjusting them to my liking. Here are some shots i got during the afternoon shoot:
I remember having some trouble initially again with my manual focus, as well as the need to go back to auto and multiple shot mode. This is the part where Master Winston suddenly says “One shot only, ‘Wag Chamba” or something to that effect where he admonishes us to know our settings and try to take as less shots as possible. I was also still in JPG mode and i remember asking one of the attendees about RAW and it’s benefits.
The afternoon workshop session was capped off with Master Winston’s trademark water bending shoot – basically we ask the models to react as water was being thrown at them to create a splash effect, like this one below:
This kind of shot needs a few preparations – knowing your settings based on your location and light sources, enough room and making sure your electric equipment isn’t at risk and knowing the timing of when to shoot. I took like 20 shots during my turn to shoot and i think only 2 of them came out ok like the one above. It was my first time to experience something like this and i was very impatient as well as frustrated that i wasn’t able to take good shots. Eventually, i nailed the process down quite a bit but the only way i did it was to keep repeating the process all over.
[zilla_alert style=”grey”] You can contact Mr. Winston Baltazar regarding his Photography Workshops on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/winston.baltasar – Tell him Kiven sent ya! =) [/zilla_alert]
My first Winsam workshop for me was an eye opener – it made me realize the value of having enough light available, the value of being able to change your settings as your situation requires and that i need to get more actual photography experience in order to improve. This workshop also gave me a glimpse of what equipment other photographers were using and as well as being exposed to some of the issues/discussions that are native to Photography. I also made a couple of new friends that day, some who would be joining me in the numerous car shows, photoshoots, shoot-for-a-cause events and workshops that i will attend in the next months. All in all, my Winsam workshop was great experience for a photography n00b.
Time to spread our wings and try out what we learned! Next time – Photoshoot Galore!