Exposure – First Things First!

I’ve been into photography for awhile now. I got into it because of my passion for scrapbooking. Scrapbooking paved the way for me to appreciate taking pictures more, thus, the art of photography.

It’s much easier and nicer to come up with stunning scrapbook pages when you’ve great pictures to work with. I also learned how to take pictures that actually tell a story and not to take “snapshots” all the time. I scrapbook first and foremost to provide a chronicle of the activities of my children and family so that when they grow up and I am no longer there for them, they would still be able to get some sort of answers hopefully to some of their questions from the journals that go together with the layouts that I make. Though admittedly, I am so behind in the actual process of chronicling the most important events into scrapbook layouts – I am getting there. Thanks to digital photography – I can always go back to the pictures I’ve taken of them when I have the time and have it printed at home or in a photo processing shop.

I am very thankful to the teachers I’ve had (Manny Librodo, Aly Reyes, Joel Garcia, and Don Abrenica) for their patience (am not called the Question Mark Kid for nothing), kindness and passion for teaching people like me who started out with no knowledge of photography other than a point-and-shoot camera where my only task was to point and shoot! I never knew why my pictures looked blurred at times – too dark, too much light and the list goes on. My handy solution before was just to simply shoot more! I always thought that the more I shoot the bigger the possibility that I will be able to come up with good enough pictures. Was I dead wrong!

Cameras nowadays are so “smart” that they actually do the computation for us – but somehow I still wanted to know how and why some pictures are more stunning than others. How were these pictures taken?

A co-parent in GCF International Christian School and an avid photographer himself had painstakingly tried to crack down my dilemma in a nut shell and slowly taught me and another fellow parent – Diego – the basics of photography. Teacher as we fondly call him is DON ABRENICA. He patiently led me and Diego to understand “Exposure.” I was always trying to fast forward everything. I wanted to learn already how to come up with National Geographic kind of quality pictures. I read the books, I watched the videos but somehow what I’ve read and seen were not being translated to the pictures that I took. Then, he made us realize that in good time, we will be able to get there if we PRACTICE first long and hard and if we MASTER and PRACTICE the BASICS. There is no short cut. When I finally understood this then I obligingly got into practice mode. I also got to familiarize myself better with the cameras I have. I have a Nikon D40 and Canon 5D Mark II dSLR but I barely know how the controls of any of these worked.

I am still a work in progress. OH, a very long work in progress I must say. But at the end of the day, I know I will never be a MASTER as we fondly call our photography teachers but the thought of being able to capture meaningful enough pictures of my children and family is enough for me. Everything else is just icing on the cake. So, to all my teachers – SALAMAT PO!

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