by Heather Strafuss, Assistant Circulation Manager
Lynda.com is now a resource you can use with your library card, and they have lots of fantastic tutorials on how to help improve certain skills in your life.
As part of the library’s social media team, I decided to try out Lynda.com’s expertise and up my photography game. My previous experience with photography has been minimal. I love how new cameras can make taking a nice picture relatively easy but feel I could learn more to make them really pop and stand out.
To get started, I chose a “Photography 101” course. The classes are broken down into a variety of five to eight minute sessions so that you can pause and start again easily if you’re not able to watch the whole tutorial. Before getting started I snapped this picture of the MPL sign so I can compare all I’ve learned against it:
The tutorial starts with a man informing me that this is a class for anyone who’s never taken a DSL camera out of automatic mode.*hangs head* Yup, that’s totally me! Let’s hope I learn something helpful.
Next the instructor goes over how to hold the camera. At first my thoughts were, Oh, come on, we all know how to hold a camera, but quickly turned into…Ooh wait. Oh jeez. I’ve been holding it wrong this whole time. In what’s known as a “tourist” hold? Oh, dear. I don’t wanna be known as a tourist! Luckily, the instructor provides several suggestions on how to hold and carry the camera so I no longer look like a tourist.
Shortly after is a brief explanation on how to hold the camera steady. This is helpful, as the camera is a little bulky and I don’t want to look like an amateur again.
Next we go over all the little dials on the camera. Ha! Knew those were important. The instructor explains aperture mode and how a large aperture and a shallow depth of field can create a great shot. I grimace, still not entirely sure what that means. But after several example shots showing how changing the aperture can change a picture, I think I’ve got it. We then go over shutter speed: the time for which a shutter is open at a given setting, changing ISO: which is adjusting your camera’s sensitivity to light, and the exposure compensation dial: a way to correct improper exposure. The instructor is calm and explains things well, and I find myself following him without a problem.
Fabulous! I shall soon be a pro, and will have gorgeous pictures forever more.
We continue to learn additional procedures for fantastic shots. I learn that dropping down into a crouch is an easy way to change perspective, and a small tilt or rotate of the camera can a big difference.
We wrap up with a “Buying New Gear” section which is very tempting to this librarian to go out and get more fun gear. With that, I’ve finished my course and am ready to be a solid photographer! Here is my after shot using all the tricks I learned using Lynda.com:
Not too shabby! I will definitely be checking out the rest of the videos, and you should too! Make sure you have your library card and know your PIN, and you will be good to go! Call the library at 785-776-4741 for further details!