I’ll admit to being a teacher’s nightmare. It’s not that I was a discipline problem (I was so scared of my own shadow that causing trouble was the last thing I was apt to do) or even that I intended to be difficult, but I truly did not have a clue about the positive effects studying would have on my class performance or test results. From elementary through high school, I managed a pretty solid “C” average based solely on what I retained from classroom sessions, Cliff’s Notes, and occasional pre-test cramming.
I enlisted in the U.S. Navy shortly after I graduated from high school in 1969 and, via a combination of entrance assessments and my bootcamp “dream sheet,” ended up qualifying for Photographer’s Mate “A” school (an intensive 10-week course that covered the basics of several still cameras, black & white film and paper processing, motion picture photography, and aerial film processing). My study skills had not improved in the few months since high school, and I still consider it a minor miracle that I graduated from that course. Time passed, I earned a promotion or two and, in due time, was transferred from my initial duty station to a new command where I was nominated, and subsequently selected, to attend an elite summer-long photographic quality control control (QC) course at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Talk about being out of my element…slide rules, logarithms, formulas, chemistry, film sensitivity, sensitometry, densitometry…oh, my! I don’t remember much about that course except the mentoring I was fortunate enough to receive from our class study group. Without their help, I would never have survived that QC course but, more importantly, their influence and encouragement became the foundation for my subsequent educational endeavors.
Forty-plus years later, I definitely get the connection between studying and practicing and results, and I now appreciate the effort teachers put into preparation and presentation. Thus, I acknowledge Kim Klassen’s hard work in developing and presenting the year-long Beyond Layers e-course. The first couple of months have been amazing and I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the year.
Still, there’s a bit of a disconnect between what I see and hear and my ability to apply those lessons to my own images. The photo that accompanies this post is a case in point. As much as possible, I tried to duplicate Kim’s setting and subject matter (imitation is the best form of flattery, isn’t it?), but the end result isn’t quite what I was hoping for. It’s too busy, too contrasty, too (fill in the blank)…just too much. But even though the image and the post-processing isn’t quite what I imagined, I thoroughly enjoyed the process. What fun it was to see the effect of actions, layer masks, and adjustment layers on a single image!
Image: Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens; 1/125 sec @ f/4.5; ISO 200
Post processing: Pioneer Woman Soft & Faded action, Kim Klassen’s Happy Heart texture, and Hue/Saturation and Gradient Map adjustment layers