There is a mom I know who is skilled at seeking out experts in the field and asking them to create educational opportunities for homeschooled children. She organized Soundwaters, one of our all time favorite classes, and she has done it again with Digital Photography I and II with a professional photographer working in New York City. We opted to pass on level I because Grace had covered all the topics through her online class and her class at Milford Photo, however, in hindsight I wish she took it simply because Gus is a great teacher and he has fanned the flame of her interest and has taken her photography to a whole new level.
This class meets weekly for 90 minutes. In addition to the class there is at least 90 minutes of homework each week and the assignments are challenging. This is not a point and shoot class. Grace purchased herself a good quality tripod with Christmas money as it is necessary in order to capture quality photos when using long exposures, otherwise every little shake will affect the outcome.
|We subscribed to a 90 day trial of Adobe Photoshop which they love. It had a large learning curve but now that they understand it, they want to extend the subscription so they don't lose access when class ends.|
We are a third of the way through the class. Lilah has felt in over her head at times and we came to an understanding that for her course of study, this class is not required for high school or middle school credit. It is a learning opportunity and what she takes away is more than what she took into the class. She is trying so hard, but photography is like a foreign language. The talk of f-stops, aperture and ISO settings, depth of field, panning, and noise can be overwhelming and this week an email was sent asking for clarification of the difference between light painting and light trails, because after all can’t a light trail also be a painting or a cool painting can create a light trail?......this was a huge point of contention in our house this week!
The results speak for themselves but the most amazing thing I realized is that because Gus sets such high standards for his students, his students meet them. Grace puts hours of effort into planning her photos knowing that when she uploads them to the group Flickr account, she wants to match the quality of her peers. Her competitive nature runs deep and in this case it is propelling her forward. Lilah is focused more on beauty and cares not about her class standing. During a recent photo shoot in our home that was not for class, she spoke at length about the quality of her photos and how quality is affected by the age of my dslr camera and I just smiled because she is battling through frustration and she is learning.