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Author Topic: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..  (Read 5982 times)

sanj

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2013, 12:16:16 AM »
I think I will take 'advantage' of all you people here and prepare the .pdf soon enough and post it here for you all to modify it. That will be a super help. Ya.....!!!!

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2013, 12:16:16 AM »

rpt

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2013, 12:31:10 AM »
Sanj, who are you kidding? You are a cinematographer. You can teach them stuff till the wildebeest come home! :)

sanj

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2013, 12:35:56 AM »
Sanj, who are you kidding? You are a cinematographer. You can teach them stuff till the wildebeest come home! :)

hahahahhaha. BUT still photography has its own processes. Besides on a set I work with over 6 assistant and 15 lighting guys. Here I will be alone. What if they ask me a question I do not know the answer to? Eiks!

rpt

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2013, 06:41:55 AM »
Sanj, who are you kidding? You are a cinematographer. You can teach them stuff till the wildebeest come home! :)

hahahahhaha. BUT still photography has its own processes. Besides on a set I work with over 6 assistant and 15 lighting guys. Here I will be alone. What if they ask me a question I do not know the answer to? Eiks!
So look at it for what it is. You are able to set a scene with 15 off-camera light sources! Work from your strengths. Acknowledge your fears but don't let them control you.

Enough talk. Best of luck. Go break a 200-400L ;)

Valvebounce

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2013, 06:54:19 AM »
Sanj, who are you kidding? You are a cinematographer. You can teach them stuff till the wildebeest come home! :)

hahahahhaha. BUT still photography has its own processes. Besides on a set I work with over 6 assistant and 15 lighting guys. Here I will be alone. What if they ask me a question I do not know the answer to? Eiks!

Sanj, who are you kidding? You are a cinematographer. You can teach them stuff till the wildebeest come home! :)

hahahahhaha. BUT still photography has its own processes. Besides on a set I work with over 6 assistant and 15 lighting guys. Here I will be alone. What if they ask me a question I do not know the answer to? Eiks!

Hi Sanj
My expertise is classic cars and I run technical sessions to teach car club members (some friends, others just clients) the finer points of working on cars.
From this experience I would say the answer is I don't know but I will try to find out for you, don't blather and make it up they will know from your change in demeanour.
As for an accent if they don't care to be taught by some one who has English as a second language? or just has an accent different from their own, they are not worthy of your expertise.
I have no idea how good yor spoken English is or how broad your accent, If you are worried they may not understand you make it clear that they should ask you to repeat anything they are uncertain about.
I think you should be ok, the Indian friends I had at school all seemed to have a much better grasp of English than many English students.

Good luck.
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Don Haines

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2013, 09:43:44 AM »
Spokane: I am making notes here and reading up stuff. 5 days before I leave I will make my own .pdf and print it out. I have download various different manuals. Great tips...

Distant Star: Yes, I am bit conscious of my Indian accent. It is not over the top, I have travelled the world and interacted with foreign crew members but still the fear of not sounding perfect to the Brit, Americans etc. I will be on the watch out for the 'moments'.

You have people travelling to a foreign land.... a foreign accent is to be expected... They will all have foreign accents relative to each other... it all adds to the flavour and makes the trip more interesting.

Have you considered assigning each participant a five minute slideshow at the end of the event? It gives them a goal for editing and presentation skills and makes for a good floor show at the last group meal....
The best camera is the one in your hands

sanj

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2013, 11:21:46 AM »
Valvebounce and Don: Thank you so much. Points noted. :)

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2013, 11:21:46 AM »

agierke

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2013, 11:33:53 AM »
a good photographer does not make a good teacher. quite often they make terrible teachers because they cannot impart what they know in an effective manner to a student who knows much less.

the first class i was asked to teach was a digital class at a local college for continuing education. i didnt even own a digital camera at the time and i swore up and down that i was not fully qualified to teach the class. didnt matter to them...the woman who hired me asked me a simple question, "can you learn the material the week before you teach it?". i decided that i could and off i went. spent the next 10 years teaching at a couple different colleges including digital, color darkroom, B&W darkroom, and studio classes.

first off, you do not necessarily need to be in expert. a teacher is simply a facilitator who relays the information to the students in a clear way. you need to be good at that or you will have a tough time. you can be a bad photographer and still be a great photography teacher. i was honest when i didnt know the answer to a question but what i would do is jump on the internet in the classroom and look up the info on the spot. if i couldnt do that, i would find the answer by the next class. be honest about what you know and dont know but be prepared to find the information and deliver it the next day.

find out what they know on day one. do a 30 minute "get to know you" session where they introduce themselves, everyone describes what their prior experience in photography is, and what they hope to learn or accomplish on this particular trip. i would give a 15 question "quiz" covering the basics in photography (shutterspeed, aperture, iso, metering, etc) on the first day as well so i could see exactly who was at what level. expect the responses to vary greatly, but it will provide a framework for you of what subjects need to be covered. don't assume to go in their with advanced techniques as losing your students to stuff that is beyond their current skill level is awkward and uncomfortable.

cover the basics regardless....even if i knew i had advanced students i would go over shutterspeed, aperture, ISO, metering modes, and my philosophy towards proper exposure. review is healthy practice for students so even if someone thinks they know it, the students who dont still need to hear it. plus i found that seeing a different approach was beneficial to students who may have already been familiar with the subject matter.

plan each days lesson but expect to deviate often. come up with a list of topics to cover over a day but order them in a way that stuff at the end can be cut or bumped to the next day. get the essentials covered first. each group of students is unique and they will dictate how fast you get through the material. covering less more thoroughly is far better than jamming a ton of material down their throat of which they will forget most of it. the beauty of a creative class is that if you run short on planned material you can always fill up time with more shooting and more critique.

your primary focus should be the students. its very difficult if not impossible to seriously shoot your own stuff during classtime. your students will need/want your attention virtually the whole time. if you do dedicate time for yourself to shoot then it should be for the purpose of illustrating points you made during the lecture or be relative to the next days lesson.

if your primary purpose for going is to teach then you should have a great experience. if you primarily want to get a safari trip in then you may find the experience less rewarding and maybe a bit frustrating. either way it will be a learning experience. good luck!

 

 
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sanj

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2013, 12:07:48 PM »
Thank you Agierke. Nice points!
Yes, my primary aim is to get photos for myself but I will need to juggle as I need to keep up my commitment also. :)

phoyager

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2013, 01:15:45 PM »
Sanjay,
I think you already got some great advise, but let me add some points that come to my mind:
- The hint in regard to the various brands and models is imo very valid and it's good that you already downloaded some manuals. In your position I would probably try to get for an hour to some shop and gain first hand experience on several models of the two, three major brands. And if you have a way to get in touch with the participants now, then think about a 'happy to meet you folks in just a few days' eMail. There I would also include the kind request that they bring their own manuals, in case they think they will need help with their cams.
- One of the best advises I got from a trainer was to always criticize in a positive way or at least in a 3:1 ratio.
- Also you can always help them by asking their opinion: "What do you think is the best aspect of your picture?" "What would you think could have been done better?"
- While you own them and you should be the leader it doesn't means that you can't throw in some anecdotes of moments where you struggled or failed.
- Take a moment and try to google up some 'In my bag' posts of wedding photographers. I' m not talking about the gear they use but of the stuff they bring to a wedding for the bride, the groom and the guests. A lot of these things would be things I would bring too. E.g. some headache-pills, some tissue, insect repellent, some lens cleaning microfiber (there are so cheap ones, that you can hand them as a present, who cares for 1 buck?), some band-aides, one or two multi-outlet powerstrips, maybe one or two spare plug-adapters, ......... and many other things.
If you are not only the teacher but also the problem-solver and helpful hand, it will give you a much better standing with your group and there will certainly be quite a lot of "I forgot ...", "I ran out of ...", "I need ..." moments.
- Don't let their gear fool you! Within the group of well settled people is a significant amount of Noobs with high[est] quality gear. Ppl I met: Mrs. Dr. med who ownes a 1Dx, some nice L glass and shoots on high-ISO in P-Mode pics of her newborn. Or Mr. Executive who started with a 1DsIII, then switched to D3 and after establishing that it's just a piece of junk finally(?) settled for a Phase to shoot his holiday snapshots.
- On the first day, during the greeting-session, ask them what they expect from the tour, what they would like to learn.
- Half way into the time you could ask them how satisfied they are and towards the end have a ups-and-downs session. What they liked with you, what don't.
- Finally, if you ask me what to teach them there would be some positions on my list, marked in red:
-- A good picture creates emotion in the person looking at it; a bad picture only revives memories an the person that took that picture.
-- 'Only show your best.' Rather show 10 good pictures instead of torturing your friend,guest,whoever with 100 bad or mediocre pictures.
-- How to hold a camera
-- Portrait orientation is not only for portraits (or landscape sometimes sucks.)
-- Why a tripod is not an obsolete piece of equipment and why the $$$ for a better one are a good investment

Hope at least some points were useful for you.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 01:24:55 PM by phoyager »

bvukich

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2013, 01:41:21 PM »
Sanj, who are you kidding? You are a cinematographer. You can teach them stuff till the wildebeest come home! :)

hahahahhaha. BUT still photography has its own processes. Besides on a set I work with over 6 assistant and 15 lighting guys. Here I will be alone. What if they ask me a question I do not know the answer to? Eiks!

Admit you don't know, or that have an incomplete answer, but that you'll look into it and get back to them.  People that think they know everything and will give a false answer to maintain the facade, are the worst people to be teachers.

You had the humility to come here to ask for help, so I already know you're not that type of person.  And I wholeheartedly agree with everyone else when I say you produce magnificent work.  If you can impart even a tiny fraction of that on your students, they will have gotten their monies worth tenfold.

But that's the difficult part, isn't it?  Giving them the tools (rules/fundamentals) is easy, helping them understand and find their own vision is quite difficult.

I wish you the best of luck, I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job!  Don't forget to take some pictures for yourself and have some fun :)

sanj

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2013, 12:45:03 AM »
Phoyager and Bvukich.
Such great advice and encouragement!!!!!
THANK YOU.

I am soon going to make a checklist based on all these points.
And yes will ask people to take photos of me and post when back... :) :)

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2013, 02:49:27 AM »
Why don't you get the client email list and ask them what they expect to get out of it and what they would consider a successful experience.

Also, find out what gear they have.

Then get back to them with a useful list of items.  That would start with a great impression!  A beanbag would help.  Two camera bodies with two different lens lengths would help.  Going over gear that would be helpful would help. 

I went twice and knowing what other gear besides basic camera gear does make a difference.  Safari vest (beige/khaki, extra cards and batteries, backup devices, etc.).

Knowing what they want and need and meeting their needs will ensure they will be happy, help you prepare and be confident, and will eliminate your angst.  I could be available as your assistant too for just getting me there for free...just saying.  Plus, I have experience there and my passport is up to date.
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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2013, 02:49:27 AM »

sanj

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2013, 03:43:20 AM »
Scot the lodge is being bit secretive about the client list. Perhaps they are waiting to get to know me better first.
I think I will prepare a letter for the lodge management to send to the clients.
I wish I could take you with me!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 04:19:28 AM by sanj »

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2013, 04:06:52 AM »
Spokane: I am making notes here and reading up stuff. 5 days before I leave I will make my own .pdf and print it out. I have download various different manuals. Great tips...

Distant Star: Yes, I am bit conscious of my Indian accent. It is not over the top, I have travelled the world and interacted with foreign crew members but still the fear of not sounding perfect to the Brit, Americans etc. I will be on the watch out for the 'moments'.

There is absolutely no reason to be concerned about speaking English with an Indian accent ! Us Brits are totally used to that ! If your speech is as your writing then it's probably better than mine. Honestly, a non issue.

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Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2013, 04:06:52 AM »