On Saturday, September 29, 2012, I had the privilege of attending the first Calvert Photography Club workshop entitled Photography Boot Camp: A Hands-on Exploration of Exposure. The workshop was a full day, from 9:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and was held at Annmarie Sculpture Park and Arts Center, in Dowell, Maryland.
Designed to help photographers move past the auto modes on their cameras, the lessons presented delved into the principles of exposure. We began the day by checking in at the registration table, where we were greeted with a warm welcome, and a hefty folder of informational materials to use and later, take home with us. Included with the folder was our agenda, which was outlined by CPC President Guy Stephens.
Our game plan for the day was to meet as a large group and be introduced to an exposure principle. Then, we would break out into pre-arranged smaller groups, to move through targeted exercises which demonstrated and reinforced the principle which was introduced. It was a beautiful fall day, as we moved into the great outdoors, to work in small groups with the experienced photographers who graciously volunteered to lead us.
As a member of the CPC, I have been taking pictures successfully for many years. My goal in signing up for the course was to take it as a refresher/re-enforcement of the principles which are the foundation of photography. At the end of the day, I was well pleased with my experience. I found the boot camp to be well-organized, full of meaningful content, and appropriate for not only an experienced photographer, but also for a true beginner.
While a few of the participants were CPC club members, the vast majority were visitors, who came to the workshop as novice photographers. I had the privilege to talk with several throughout the day, who were excited to join us. One gal came with her husband’s Nikon camera as a “replacement ” for her husband, who originally paid to attend the workshop, but had to cancel at the last minute. She was a true beginner. As we moved through the exercises, I watched as her face lit up as she figured out the controls of her camera, and successfully took the practice shots.
Everyone seemed to agree that we received wonderful, one-on-one instruction, and so much for our money, not the least of which was the folder of informational materials. We also received a free Sigma tote bag and other Sigma goodies, a wonderful boxed lunch, afternoon snacks, and everyone went home with a door prize! Many photography vendors graciously provided free software, photography camera bags, books, gift certificates, and other photo-related items for our day.
It was a wonderful experience, and a great investment of both my time, and money. I came away with a renewed sense of mastery of the basics of exposure, and took those principles to heart as I shot the splendors of fall, this past weekend.