Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wow! My Photography Workshop with Micheal Maurus!

On Monday, I had the pleasure of taking the photography workshop that Puerto Morelian, Micheal Maurus, is offering each Monday and Saturday.

If you own an SLR camera (the kind that you can change the lenses on) and you are relegated to taking photos on "automatic" setting, YOU MUST TAKE THIS WORKSHOP!  If you are a more advanced photographer, some of the basic info may be old hat, but I am confident that Micheal has lots of tricks up his sleeves to share with you to improve your pics.

One day I would love to while away my days leisurely taking photos, but at the moment my photography needs are much more utilitarian in nature. I am busy capturing photos of Real Estate Listings, snapshots for this blog, and occasionally a photo of my kids -- when I remember to do so ;)

Until today, I had never had any type of photography instruction, so terms like f-stops, aperture, focal length, and shutter speeds were a foreign language to me. To date, my photography had consisted of removing my lens cap, setting my camera to "AUTO", and snapping my photos. So, while I was an avid point-and-shooter, my technical photography skills were Zip, Zero, Nada.

I was entered the workshop starting from the absolute beginning. Photography 101.

Well, I am happy to say that by the end of the day, I had the knowledge to control my photos! I am happily freed from the "AUTO" setting!!

Micheal's weekly workshops are held at the lovely Casa Caribe.  The morning is filled with Micheal's patient, simple explanation of basic photography terms and technical concepts.  By lunch, I was comfortable with how a camera captures light to expose a photo and in using the photography terminology that had mystified me before.

We broke mid-day for a great lunch prepared by Casa Caribe's Chef Pablo.

After lunch, with the technical aspects under our belts, we explored the creative side of photography -- Good Composition, Use of Natural Light and Shadows, The Rule of Thirds, and Creating Movement were all themes that were covered.

Throughout the day we took breaks from the lecture portions of the workshop to try our hand at taking photos, using the concepts that we had just learned.  Not only did it break up the course, but it really clarified what we were learning at each stage in an easy, step-by-step approach.

In all, I found the course to be extremely helpful. It was extremely informative, without being overwhelming.

Interested in the workshop? Here is the info!

Check out what I learned to do at today's workshop:

In this exercise, we were learning to control the focal point of our photo.
In this photo, I focused on the small flower hanging closest to my camera lens.
This is the same photo as above, but I was able to change my focus to the group
of flowers behind that little lone flower (which is now not in focus).

Similar to the example above, my depth of field was quite shallow in this photo.
I was only able to take this photo by using the manual settings on my camera --
I can't get these results on "AUTO".
The depth of field is deeper (and less interesting) here.
This is representative of the results I would get using the
"AUTO" settings on my camera.

While I need more practice with this technique, we learned how to pan with our
camera to capture action in a "blur" of motion. It's a bit like talking and chewing gum
at the same time. It will take me a bit to get the hang of it. ;)

At the end of the day, we headed to the beach to put it all together to create great photos that are interesting and well composed.  Here are some of my favs:

Twitter and Facebook Readers can view the original post and leave comments at:

Amber Pierce-Schulz is the Broker/Owner of Mayan Riviera Properties, specializing in Puerto Morelos Real Estate and Puerto Morelos Vacation Rentals. We are members of AMPI and Federally Certified Realtors.