Me as photography instructor? Surely you jest.
The thought of me teaching photography is something I never imagined I would ever do. The idea that my images and photographic knowledge would ever be at a level where someone would actually request my instruction seemed ludicrous. Hell would likely freeze over first. Or so I thought…
Well, it looks like the Stanley Cup is in Hades this year.
Several months ago blogger Nate Bush contacted me to ask if I would be willing to teach him how I made my waterfall images. We had been following each others blogs for a while, I enjoy his my.travel.map blog because it allows me to vicariously visit places I will probably never see in person. I wish I was as adventurous when I was his age.
Nate wanted to know if I would be willing to show him the ins and outs of my waterfall images. Tips, tricks, camera, lenses, settings, the works. To say I had serious reservations about my abilities as an instructor would be an understatement!
Yes, I know my way around my camera, and I’m proud of the images I create with it, but could I teach someone else how to do it? Sure I’ve given friends help with learning how to use their new dslr, but all that proves is that I can read a manual and use a mechanical device, not that I can teach. Could I teach both the technical aspects of photography, along with the artistic side, in a meaningful way? Would I be able I offer a learning experience that would be worth Nate’s, or any other potential student’s, time and effort?
I had a lot of thinking to do before saying yes.
During the time leading up to my final decision to give it a try, there was one nagging thought in the back of my mind. Was I really that good? Good enough to even consider offering instruction? I still look in awe at so many other “established” photographers and can’t help but think I’ll never be in their league. But what the heck, Nate has hiked all over the world, if he is brave enough to be my first student, how could I say no?
You talk too fast.
I’m not going to go into details about what I taught, I’ll save that for another time, but based on the images Nate made, I have to say I was at least partly successful in passing on some of the knowledge I have. Suffice it to say, after a few tips on composition, shutter speed, and aperture, Nate was off and running. A few of the images Nate made last Saturday can be seen, here and here. You can also see more of Nate’s other work on his photography blog, NBush Photography. Based on the images I’ve seen, I think young Mr. Bush was sand-bagging, and didn’t really need that much help. I still like to think I did help a little though.
I have no idea if teaching workshops is something I plan to pursue in the future, but one thing I learned from Nate as I asked him if the experience was worth his time, “You talk too fast.” was the one thing that stuck in my mind. Thanks for that Nate, I knew I talked too much, but not that I talked too fast. Good to know 😀