Hands On

While the facilitators were taking us through Module 1 of the curriculum that will be taught during this 6-month program, I wondered in amazement at when I will master the use of these rectangular- or square-shaped metal equipment called cameras; especially because of some of its features like, the focal length, ISO, aperture, depth of field & shutter speed. It also dawned on me that mastery of these features will only come through constant practice of what has been taught.

True to my thoughts, I practiced a lot after the classes by taking shots with these features at the back of my mind. Today, I have a better understanding of the aperture, focal length and shutter speed; and how it borders around the depth of field.

Next came the session on lighting and the facilitator this time was no other person than The Boss himself, Mr. Seun Akisanmi. I got to understand that light and photography are like Siamese twins, and that one’s choice of lighting (whether voluntary or not) will either make or mar the photo shots. He then gave us an assignment to replicate a picture from a scene in the Minority Report movie, after which we were divided into 3 groups of 4 members each.

Seeing the grey background of the picture, one would be quick to conclude that it was shot originally with a grey background. However, when The Boss played a trailer of the movie, we observed that it was actually a subtle white background. And, in the recess of my mind, I believed that this assignment will not be such a difficult task. But, by the time we started taking the shots with the help of our models (also from eloPhotos), I had my mind reset to the reality on ground.

My right hand hurt so much from repeatedly holding a flash high above my head so that we can achieve the best shot for the assignment. At some point, we even had to diffuse the light on one of the models by wrapping the flash I held with polythene nylon. Also, in our quest for our group to replicate an almost-perfect picture with respect to the assignment, we took so many snap shots that our models became grumpy at some point. So we had to end the session and settle for the best of all the shots. One other task we had to handle was to replicate another picture, this time, of a silhouette with a white background.

Another facilitator gave us an introduction to editing and here we worked with Light Room. Mastery of this too, I discovered, will be achieved with constant practice.

By the weekend, a colleague and I joined Kike (Red 19) for a baby photo shoot and this was quite an experience, as I had never experienced one taken by a professional photographer. When we got to baby Giovanni’s house for the session, he was quite drowsy and his mum and Kike agreed that we let him have a short nap so that we can get the best of him during the photo session. After almost an hour, baby Giovanni’s mum had to wake him up. According to her, it did not look like he was going to wake up anytime soon. She also fed him before we started the session.

Giogio (one of the many names we called him so as to get and retain his attention) did not have many smiles for us because he was teething. He was also restless. Oscar the dog and Phoebe the turtle (his stuffed toys) also tried to help lighten his mood during the shoot but the pair did not succeed. Then we danced and did a sing-along to a nursery rhyme video CD that was played for him. And, that did the trick!

Of the whole lot that played, “Old McDonald had a farm…” held the magic wand that had him sit still and Red 19 did not miss that rare and golden opportunity to take great shots of Nini (another pet name for the baby).

In all, baby Giogio had his photo session with 4 attires but my best was that last one where he wore a pair of trousers with suspenders, a bow tie and papa’s cap (a type of fez cap initially worn only by our fathers and grandfathers but now worn by people of all ages). For this shot, we wanted him to do justice to his cake by smashing it but instead, our VIP Giogio was more intrigued by the 8-inch cream icing before him.

All in all, it was an interesting outing and week for me.

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