Before entering this class, my knowledge of all things photography were little to none. In addition to that, I have never used Photoshop in my entire life. Within the first two sessions of class, I had become familiar with how to adjust exposures, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and the light meter accordingly. Being able to understand the basic functions of the camera had allowed me to produce photos with motion blurs or differences in depth of field. Due to the fact that I relied on my iPhone and the basic photo editing apps as the only source of taking/editing pictures, there were several concepts that I found to be challenging when taking this course. One main challenge was to decide whether or not to rely on the light meter, in terms of whether I should over expose or under expose an photo. As we learned in this class, the light meter is simply a tool used to find "middle grey", thus may not always produce the photo I desired. What was even more challenging for me was the use of Photoshop tools, although I was able to learn technical editing tools that helped to enhance my photos in ways that I never thought possible.
After learning about the basic skills in terms of how to use a camera, I was able to focus more on the technical skills involved in capturing pictures and editing via Photoshop. A technical skill I learned was how to change up the depth of field of an image. Meaning that I was able to control what parts of my photo I wanted to be in focus, whether the depth of field was shallow or deep. I learned how to control the motion blur of my images through the use of either fast or slow shutter speed. In order to capture a moving image, as if it were frozen in time, I adjusted my camera so that it had a faster shutter speed. When taking pictures, I always kept in mind the rule of thirds that allowed my pictures to become more compositionally appealing as well as interesting to the viewer. Photoshop has allowed me the ability to enhance my photos in so many ways. Through the use of Photoshop, I've been able to add layers adjustments so that my pictures could be perfectly exposed. I learned how to burn and dodge features within my pictures that required more or less exposure. With the surrealism project, I learned how to not only combine two pictures, but I also learned how to solarize images through the use of a curves adjustment. Lastly, for our digital collage project I learned how to use the lasso tool in order to cut out portions of an image that I wanted to use as I combined multiple parts of different images to create these DADA inspired photo collages. Over the course of this semester, I have gained a greater appreciation for the art of photography and not just photos taken through an iPhone.