Last week, I met up with a friend on London’s South Bank. She has had a digital SLR camera for some years but has never really gone beyond the automatic settings on it. We were both on a break from work and decided to have a day out together, taking photos. I offered to show her how to use her more advanced camera settings.
My friend is a teacher. It’s a profession I’ve always admired and one which, in modern times, seems to be sadly under-appreciated by many people.
I soon had even more admiration for teachers when I realised how hard it can be to effectively, yet simply, explain a concept. I had prepared some brief notes to explain, over coffee, the three main ways light is controlled in photography – aperture, shutter speed, ISO. But, as I started to explain, I quickly started to over-complicate things; going off at tangents, letting the technical side of my brain dominate, losing my thread.
So, instead, we finished our drink and got out there and took photos. At that point, with specific things to photograph, it became a little easier to explain when and why certain settings can be used to create different effects.
In terms of my own photography that day, I became very drawn to shapes and light, as you can see from the images in this post.
By the end of a couple of lovely hours walking in the sun, I sensed my friend felt a little more confident about utilising her camera’s more creative settings. The day certainly left me thinking about the importance of teachers; not just in the education system – but throughout life in general. I have been fortunate to have many inspiring teachers and mentors and each of them has added something valuable to ultimately help shape me into the person I am today.