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What makes a good teacher?
I'm thinking of doing some teaching of photography, primarily for adults but probably for some teenagers, too..

If you were going to spend $100 for a three hour course lots of subject specific courses on basics, specific cameras, on-camera flash, studio flash intro, and so on.

And you were going to be inside a room, rather than out on a photo-walk around town, what matters?.

Any ideas about the nature / personality of the teacher?.

What kind of course content, as in looking at existing pictures, having the teacher take pictures in front of you and project them, or having the students take pictures and everyone comments on, corrects, enhances them?.

Could we mix an audience of /img/avatar8.jpgs of the whole range of Canons D-slr cameras, or dioes iot need to be divided into the Rebel series, xxD series, and 1Dxseries? Same with Nikon?.

Can Sony and Olympus people attend a Canon or Nikon session? Too different, or close enough to count?.

Comments welcome..

BAK..

Comments (7)

For very basic theory tuition (aperture, shutter ISO, focal length etc) everyone can be together. For Beginners to make hands on use I think it needs to be at least brand specific. Most models in a brand work in similar way..

When you get to advanced sessions it does not need to be brand specific -advanced flash photography and the like..

As for personality I am no judge. Apart from formal education I am self taught on everything. I would choke at the thought of paying for lessons for most things and would tend to educate myself via the web and books! So I am not the right man to ask. I would say only that there may be a big difference between a good photographer and a good teacher of photography. You can be /..

Comment #1

Lot of gray area. Are you going to teach the very basics, or Canon SLR specifics, or both?.

If you are going for a basic Photography 101, why limit yourself to Canon? If the course is "Getting the most out of your Canon SLR", then that would make more sense. The trouble with a generic digital class, is that somebody is going to ask you a camera-specific question about a camera that you have never even heard of, let alone used. That can make for an awkward moment. I try to avoid awkward moments..

I have found that hands-on training will always work better than lecture alone, with lecture/presentation (powerpoint) somewhere in the middle. Students retain what you taught much better if they have actually done it themselves. A basic printed outline of the class, with space for notes, is also very helpful for the students..

Students expect a well-prepared teacher, who is engaging and personable. Droning on in a monotone is a no-no. Writing the whole presentation in Powerpoint, then reading every word on every slide, is also a *big* no-no. Watch the students as you talk. If you see the eyes glaze and the jaws go slack, you've lost them. The reading of slides and the monotone voice are the 2 fastest ways to do so..

I prefer to take questions as we go along, while everyone still knows what we are talking about. The only time I defer to answer is if the student is jumping ahead to something that has yet to be covered, but will be soon. Other instructors prefer to hold questions to the end. It is more of a personal choice on how to handle that..

I can go on for about 6 more pages... but that should be a start..

Crime Scene PhotographyA small gallery of personal work: http://picasaweb.google.com/PID885..

Comment #2

As a beginner I must say we look to see who is posting remarks on various threads. It is just my opinion but I always look for BAK, you always have something wise to say..

First of all I've been searching for someone who is willing to do this in my area (Detroit, unfortunately) or looking for a group or the like. I may decide to take a class in the fall, I just tend to like (or want) more one-on-one instruction and do not know what to expect of a class through the local school programs..

I think as a teacher as long as you keep it professional (obviously) and you are quite knowledgeable in what you do then you should have no issue, especially with beginners. I would like to see someone in my area offer something at a park like setting. If you had somewhere to instruct and go over the needs of your students then you could move right into the field and let the students shoot and critique each other from there. Something like putting my children in front of tulips and having the background blurred for a beautiful picture. It looks easy enough but I have yet to accomplish the task. I think I'm putting them too close to the flowers, I don't know but would just love to find out!!.

As a beginner the biggest problem is deciding what mode to use and when or why. I understand ISO and shutter speed and aperture but when I get in a situation to start taking shots (like I did over the weekend at my sister's farm - you can see them on my flickr site - http://www.flickr.com/photos/22846279@N04/) all of the sudden your head is spinning and you don't know where to begin. So in my case I just started using the different modes. I didn't know why or which to pick - I just did. I took 150 pictures, some good and some not so good. My point being, it would be nice to be in a setting where someone could tell you what the difference of modes would be and why - then maybe I would get the 'aha' and it would stick..

Last night we had my daughter's preschool graduation in a classroom packed with people. I know I had my camera set on ISO 200, I put on my 430EX and snapped away in only the 'safe' modes in fear of getting bad results. I couldn't afford to miss shots on such an important event. I never even thought to turn the ISO up (until today) so I did get some blurry pictures. Again, when you are new and you have little time to prepare it becomes very intimidating..

Sorry to ramble, just my input on the desires of a beginner, we all learn differently and I prefer hands on. You did say comments welcome!.

Trisha. (PS- for the price and time you suggested I would say sign me up if I were in your area!)..

Comment #3

BAK wrote:.

I'm thinking of doing some teaching of photography, primarily foradults but probably for some teenagers, too..

If you were going to spend $100 for a three hour course lots ofsubject specific courses on basics, specific cameras, on-cameraflash, studio flash intro, and so on and you were going to be inside a room, rather than out on aphoto-walk around town, what matters?.

Any ideas about the nature / personality of the teacher?.

You will be a good teacher! I think honesty, humor, and intelligence are important..

What kind of course content, as in looking at existing pictures,having the teacher take pictures in front of you and project them, orhaving the students take pictures and everyone comments on, corrects,enhances them?.

Do ALL these things!.

Could we mix an audience of owners of the whole range of Canons D-slrcameras, or dioes iot need to be divided into the Rebel series, xxDseries, and 1Dxseries? Same with Nikon?.

It depends on how you structure the course..

Can Sony and Olympus people attend a Canon or Nikon session? Toodifferent, or close enough to count?.

I would NEVER let Oly people in one of my courses. .

I've always heard that the most important thing to do is to let the students know that you have vast knowledge, but $100 is not enough to get you to "spill" all of it for them. That gets them wanting a 2nd and 3rd course!.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #4

...are you teaching photography, or camera?.

If you are teaching photography, and the skills to photograph, then camera differences don't matter when teaching subjects such as depth of field, aperture, ISO, shutter speed, light theory, composition, etc..

I teach college level photography when not working for clients. When it comes to the basics, camera does not make a difference. I always get one or two who want direct answers on how to do things with their camera. They seem to want an instruction manual for their camera...only in human form!.

I explain that what they are learning pertains to all cameras, and not just their brand. I am always happy to help them one-on-one, just not in the class as it muddies the waters for the others.Regards, KevinMember PPA, WPPI, NAPP..

Comment #5

BAK wrote:.

I'm thinking of doing some teaching of photography, primarily foradults but probably for some teenagers, too..

If you were going to spend $100 for a three hour course lots ofsubject specific courses on basics, specific cameras, on-cameraflash, studio flash intro, and so on and you were going to be inside a room, rather than out on aphoto-walk around town, what matters?.

Depends on what you are teaching. You need to create a course outline, and then design activities, lectures, field trips, whatever necessary to teach each aspect of your material. Different content needs different presentations. Different people have different learning styles, and need different presentations of the concepts..

Any ideas about the nature / personality of the teacher?.

There isn't any such thing..

What kind of course content, as in looking at existing pictures,having the teacher take pictures in front of you and project them, orhaving the students take pictures and everyone comments on, corrects,enhances them?.

Depends on what you are trying to teach and to whom..

Could we mix an audience of owners of the whole range of Canons D-slrcameras, or dioes iot need to be divided into the Rebel series, xxDseries, and 1Dxseries? Same with Nikon?.

Depends on whether you are teaching a Canon Camera course, or a course on photography. A photography course is not equipment centered..

Can Sony and Olympus people attend a Canon or Nikon session? Toodifferent, or close enough to count?.

See above..

The first thing a good teacher does is design the course content and then make choices about the best method of presentation of each section of that content. Preparation is the key to effective teaching. If you are well prepared, presentation will tend to be more effective, and your preparation will give you the confidence necessary to present the material well. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for experience in front of a class, and there is only one way to get it..

Do you have any prior teaching experience of any kind?.

I taught high school, including photography at times, for 30 years. I am currently retired, but still instruct part time at a local community college..

Email me if you think anything I said was worth exploring..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #6

Thanks for the kind comments..

Re>(PS- for the price and time you suggested I would say sign me up if I were in your area!)<.

Tryhttp://www.henrys.com and click on the school part. Henry's teaches some courses in Windsor..

BAK..

Comment #7

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