Aspicus and the Art of Photography

From Snapper to Shooter (hopefully)

Early thoughts

After 10 or so projects and beginning to think about the first assignment I thought I would hack down some early impressions of the course.  Hopefully this may be of use to anyone else starting the course (or considering to start it), and I would also be interested if anyone else has had similar experiences – particular in terms of finding time.

The course started out quite slowly, but I think that was a good thing.  It’s quite easy to read about focal length, aperture etc, but there is nothing like doing it for real to gain a real understanding – experimenting and so forth.  That has always been one of the things “I would get round to” but never did.  I’m glad that the course encourages students to do so, and I am adamant that I wont skip any projects in order to ensure that I follow this encouragement (even though I may have to come back to some of them!).

The last few projects and some of the ones I am doing at the moment are really hitting the nail on the head for me.  Reading through my introduction notes about why I was doing the course, I think the real thing I was looking for was some ideas as to how to compose an image and the course is certainly teaching me things there.  Looking through the forthcoming assignments and projects it appears to continue in the vain which is a good thing.

Time has been difficult.  I’ve been surprised at how little time the weekend offers.  I originally planned to get 2 or 3 projects done per weekend but I’m currently lucky if it is 1.  I have been busy most weekends though so a fair few have been wiped out, and the tentative target of mid April for the first assignment my tutor suggested has been missed in spectacular fashion.  I must therefore make more of an effort to keep up the tempo.  One key lesson I’ve learned is that going out looking for shots with other people is not necessarily the best way.  They may be patient the first few times as you walk around a scene contemplate it, shoot it several times and then walk back a couple of times as you think of something, but after a while patience does start to wear a little and it is not really fair on them (I only tried taking a tripod out once in these circumstances – never again!), especially when you bin the image the moment you get home because you’re not happy with it.  I must therefore learn to go out on my own a few times so not to be a drag on others and make the most of the opportunity while I am doing so.  Now that it’s light in the evening perhaps I can get out after work a couple of days too.

I must also learn to read ahead of the course.  I have been going out focused on a project or two, and I think I must make a note in my notebook of all the projects up to the next assignment (including the assignment) and keep those in mind when shooting.

In conclusion then, I am really enjoying the course – it is exactly what I was hoping it would be.  The main issue is to do with finding time at the moment, and this is more to do with me rather than any huge demands from the course.  I think though that I am beginning to settle into a rhythm, but maybe just a little slower than I originally anticipated.  It’s a (very very) good thing that the course is so flexible in its milestones.


1 May 2009 - Posted by | General


  1. Hi, I’m interested to read your comments and have to say I agree totally with you! I am finding time a real challenge too. With the second lot of projects (design/colour etc) I have actually worked on about half the projects at once, and just keep watching out for appropriate subjects. This makes it more interesting and varied also, instead of just photographing horizontal lines for a day! I also discovered that it’s important to look ahead in the notes, it’s good to be constantly on the watch for potential subjects. Your comments about going with other people are true too, I don’t bother at all now, unless I need someone for a prop, it’s much easier to go on my own. Good luck with Assignment 1. Cheers, Selina

    Comment by selina | 11 May 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks for commenting Selina. It’s heartening to know that my experiences are the norm.

    Comment by aspicus | 11 May 2009 | Reply

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