First Week, first impressions

I am bad!  Ha!  Were you expecting that? I wasn’t.  I fully expected to be frazzled and at the end of my rope.  I’m not.  Not even close.  So far I am scoring well in the one class that has grades scored.  That’s Mass Comm 31 and I’m running at a 108%.  It would be 110% but for semantics.  Trick questions should be banned. ;~(

The first full week of school is behind me (coupled with my already in-progress online Mass Comm class) and it was a breeze.  I expect things will get a little more complex now, but not too much so.  I have to take and develop good pictures is all.  The morning class is about the basics (of taking a good picture) and we’ll probably shoot and develop at least ten rolls of B&W film.  The evening class is about individual projects, I have to turn in ten quality shots for the term in any discipline I choose…I’ll do five portraits and five landscape or animal shots.  The grading for the Individual Projects Class is based on improvement over the course of the term.  This should be relatively easy for me; since I’m a rank amateur, I will improve just showing up.

I am using the school’s film camera for this stage of my education.  The morning class is about film photography after all and I’ve always wanted to learn how to develop and make that particular kind of magic happen.  I’m easily fascinated with tech stuff, so this will capture my imagination and hold it for some time.  I decided to keep to the film process for the individual projects class too.  I’ll start using my Nikon DSLR next semester when I start Digital Photography classes.  I really want to learn this process from the ground up.  Photoshop can do some wondrous things, but imagine doing them without digital tech, eh.  Yeah, that’s why I’m doing it this way and you can do some amazing things in the darkroom.

The one thing that is standing out for me now is how unsteady my hands are.  Without the VR option (Vibration Reduction) of my DSLR, every shake is going to show.  I’ve fired off two rolls so far and I only notice the camera moved after I release the shutter, which is of course too late.  Unfortunately, there’s no “view” option on this thing.  I have to wait for it to be developed to see if anything came out at all.  :-O  Man, have we ever been spoiled!

As much as I thought I might be overextending myself, time wise, taking on a day class, a night class, and an online class; it hasn’t been near as bad as all that.  My one issue hasn’t been time, I have plenty of that.  It’s been that I’m not sitting in front of an instructor for the online course, so all the input comes from me and what I’m reading.  This is not optimal for me.  I get a lot from being in class it seems, and having to make up for that with my own reading is burdensome.  You all have read text books.  YECH!  Right?  Anyway, I don’t see them any differently.  For every module that called for reading from the text, I had to read it at least twice to capture the content, and still had to use the book to answer at least some of the quiz questions.  In my day,  that was unheard of…cheating.

In contrast, the photo classes are perfect.  well paced and I’m picking it up as I normally do, just from listening.  My Photo homework consists of rehashing my notes from the morning before, and I’m done.  Whereas, homework for Mass Comm takes hours, spent over days until I’m done.  Part of the issue Is that I’m so anal, the moment the instructor posts the lessons I’m on them and hammering away.  This is collaborative class so every chapter calls for some form of collaborative exercise.  The normal routine goes like this.  I slam through the reading and individual homework assignments/quizzes, then wait for the rest of the class to catch up so I can conclude that module.  These are mostly your typical teenage students who wait until ten minutes before the assignment is due to get it done.  This is great for them, but drives me bat-shit-crazy.  For instance, I would be done with this weeks assignments by now except that I have three collaborative exercises I need others to get on board for before I can continue.  UGH!  It’ll be Tuesday, end of day before they little bastiges get caught up.  ;~)  Anyway, unless I have no other way to fit a particular class into my schedule, I’ll be skipping the online option from now on.

I will say I am anxious about these two first rolls of film.  I’ve taken pics with a film camera before.  It was years ago though and I haven’t had to be concerned about shaky hands etc., since then…and I haven’t had to wait to see the results in years either.  I’ll develop these rolls this coming week and we’ll see.  I’ll post some here If I am able.  Black and White pictures are great to learn on.  With color, contrast is not as readily apparent.  We’ll see every nuance in a B&W pic, and every mistake too.  WHOOP!

I’ll post back here when the results are in.  Hopefully, we will like it!

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