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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chung Li • Beginner's DSLR Photography Class

Better pictures for the blog. That was my goal when I signed up to take an all day workshop with one of my favorite Bay Area wedding photographers, Chung Li. If you are interested in learning the basics about DSLR photography I highly recommend contacting Chung and asking him to put you on his list so that he can let you know the next time he schedules a beginner or intermediate class: CLICK HERE to Contact Chung

I LOVE this photo by my friend and classmate for the day Diane Phillips of DK Designs. Thanks Diane!

This is my new camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera (Camera Body)

15.1Mp CMOS Sensor, HD 1080p, 720p, and VGA Video Capture, 3" Clear View LCD with Live View, DIGIC 4 Image Processor, ISO Expandable to 12,800, Compatible w/ 60-plus EF & EF-S Optics

The only thing that sucked was that I was hoping to use a couple of Sigma lenses I bought years ago for a film Canon Rebel body I'd owned. Unfortunately they didn't fit properly so I'll have to invest in some new lenses. I only used the film camera on the automatic settings and never learned anything about the manual and customizable options so I'm already way ahead of the learning curve now.

For the class Chung traded lenses with me and I used his honk'in huge professional lens that was so heavy my arms were burning within minutes. I really need to workout my arms if I'm ever going to use a lens like that again!

The format of the class is very intimate with only 8 students per session. When we arrived Chung had breakfast waiting for us. (I had water though.)

Mmmmmm I couldn't bring myself to eat a cupcake at 9:30 AM so I saved mine for the end of the day scarfing down the dark chocolate with cream filling treat just before heading home after 6:00 PM.

We spent the first half of the day watching Chung's keynote lecture presentation. FINALLY I understand what aperture and shutter speed are all about! He also discussed proper exposure, composition, lenses, photo editing (Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop) and more.

That's Chung Li. I took this photo during the second part of the day when we went to Ralston Hall in Belmont, CA and used their grounds to run through many exercises.

I took the class with friends Carl Mindling who wants to take better blog pictures too and Diane Phillips who wants to take better product shots of her handmade clay flowers.

Great examples of where I began the day with blurry, underexposed and over exposed photos.

Now you can see improvement.... From over exposed to an image with proper exposure.

The Goal: Was to create a short depth of field with the foreground in focus and the background blurry.

Playing with my aperture and shutter settings created both bad and good results.

Chung took this action shot photo while we were all busy shooting.

The Goal: Capture equal detail in the fore and background.

The Goal: Capture a sharp background while blurring Won's face as much as possible. It looks bad but was a successful shot!

The Goal: Create a blurry fore and background while keeping Cecile in focus.

And the class at the end of the day in a group photo.

The other cool thing about Chung's class is that I can apply everything I learned to my Panasonic Lumix point and shoot camera! This will create better pictures and save me time doing less post edit work in Photoshop. It's a win-win for me. Thanks so much for the wonderful experience Chung :D

Next on my agenda is to learn Adobe Illustrator. There's always something isn't there?


  1. Looks like an awesome class! Be careful, Stacie... that's how I started as well, with a Canon Rebel and a kit lens. I wanted to take better photos for my blog and now see what happens! I am an addict! :)

  2. Yay! You're in it now... Soon you'll be upgrading ALL your equipment and investing in multiple new lenses and... oh, you are soooooooo in trouble!!! Can't wait to see all the cool imagery you create with your newfound skillz! :-)

  3. LOL I know Evonne. Maybe by this time next year I will be a professional wedding photographer too :D (jk)

    Lisa yes, I can sense the upgrades and more equipment coming in my near future.

    For now my lens dilemma continues. Turns out my lenses are not adapter compatible and are too old to rechip so until I can afford a new lens the body sits in the camera bag :(

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