Learn the basics of photography in a flash
NORTH LIBERTY– To Charles Christie, owner of Tyme Photography, there is no wrong way to take a photograph. Instead, it’s about applying better techniques to the process. It is this philosophy that he is passing down to his students.
“The class is designed in a progression of steps,” explained Christie. “When you buy a book on photography, you really don’t know what you’re getting. It will cover one subject when you should be reading about that subject much later on, so you’re kind of skipping around.”
Christie currently offers four classes: Digital Basics and More; Digital II; Flash and Natural Light; and, Christie’s forte, Wedding Photography.
“The challenge with weddings is everyone is different. The churches are different, the lighting is different, the people are different,” said Christie. “In weddings, you only have one shot. At a wedding, you can’t go back and take it over again. I still try to get it right the first time. That’s how I learned, and that’s what I stress to students.”
The classes are geared toward learning and developing good photography techniques, not teaching students how to operate their individual cameras. Christie cautioned that, although it’s not necessary to know what each setting on the camera does, it is imperative to know how to adjust those settings prior to beginning the class.
“We take it one step at a time,” said Christie. “What I try to stress is, instead of taking six pictures and picking the best one, learn to see how your camera sees the image. There are ways of controlling that, especially with a digital camera.”
In class, Christie will introduce a topic before allowing the students to practice, providing feedback along the way. From there, the students are encouraged to practice outside of class and to bring their questions to the next session where they will be addressed prior to moving on to the next subject.
Jennifer Wilson, a student of Digital Basics and More, has a background in photojournalism and enrolled in the class after being invited by a coworker.
“I wanted to learn more about the technical side,” said Wilson. “Some of the stuff I had learned in class [in college] hadn’t really stuck with me.”
Wilson enjoys shooting nature photographs while traveling and is also interested in portrait photography.
“Everything I had done before was for a newspaper, so it’s fun to take a step back and look at the creative side,” explained Wilson.
According to Wilson, the hardest part about beginning to learn photography is understanding that not every shot taken is going to be perfect.
“You’re going to expect everything to look perfect right away,” said Wilson. “It’s something that you just have to keep doing. Even if you’re really good, you’re still not going to have great shots all the time. I think that’s one of the hardest things to grasp. Sometimes you’re not going to get the right shot the first time, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from experimenting with it.”
Christie agrees with this mentality.
“The more you practice, the better you’re going to become at it,” said Christie. “You don’t have to go out and take pictures. You can practice sitting in the living room with your camera in your hand and going through the settings.”
Group classes are held in three-hour sessions once a week for a duration of five weeks and contain no more than five students. The rate for group classes is $89. Private lessons are also available at $29 an hour, or students may opt to complete a whole class in three segments, each one running for four hours, for $269. Referral discounts are offered and are described fully on the Tyme Photography website.
At the end of the class, each student will receive a certificate as well as six months of free telephone consultations with Christie.
“If you’re even slightly interested, I’d say go for it,” said Wilson. “He’s a really fun guy.”
When just beginning to learn photography, Wilson recommended holding off on purchasing a really expensive camera.
“Don’t go out and invest in a ton of equipment right away,” she advised. “Just get a good camera that will take good shots, but don’t go crazy thinking you have to have the absolute best and have all the bells and whistles before you even understand how it works.”
“It’s not the equipment,” agreed Christie. “It’s when you apply that knowledge to use that equipment. Taking pictures isn’t complicated. It’s just knowing what to look for. The little things make a big difference.”
Prospective students can inquire about openings by visiting www.tymephotog.com or contacting Charles Christie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-333-0920. New sessions will begin in the fall.