Landing East, together with passionate photographer Bettina Kasperowski, put on a photography workshop on Saturday, May 13th, at Yuqinfu Residence. With one unfortunate last-minute cancellation, 19 eager photography students were present, ready to extract a maximum amount of knowledge of this busy afternoon.
Our lecturer Bettina started by explaining her passion for photography. An introduction round of the participants revealed that there were variying degrees of expertise in the room when it comes to taking pictures, but everyone was united in their desire to improve their skills and share in this exciting hobby.
A discussion of the basics needed to take a good picture included thoughts about not only finding the right subject, but also assessing one’s available technology and combining the correct aperture, shutter speed and composition for the desired effect. What made Bettina’s presentation so interesting for those taking part was that she would pause periodically to let everyone try things out with the camera they brought and play around with the various features.
Bettina would go around the room helping the novice photographers discover their cameras and demonstrating certain features.
This practice time enabled the students to try out things like how to pull certain parts of the picture into focus with a shallow depth of field by simply changing the aperture of their device.
After the “lecture” part of the afternoon was over, the training wheels came off and Bettina sent her students out into the world to practice. The workshop was designed like a mini Fotomarathon: Bettina had devised an overall theme (Life in the City) and 4 topics (street food, busy, relaxed and colorful) and it now fell to participants to represent the topics in one picture each, while keeping the overall theme in mind. The bustling area around Yuqinfu Residence lent itself perfectly to depict city life, so there was no shortage of picture opportunities. It was more the time constraint, coupled with the need for finding the perfect pictures in the order of the topics – all while battling the camera’s technical intricacies – that proved to be the real challenge.
Something else that was reminiscent of the Fotomarathon was the fact that participants had to include their starting number into the first picture they handed in – like this participant did below:
hich number does that represent – can you guess?
With their photo series complete, our aspiring photographers returned after roaming the vicinity for two hours. Then, participants got a taste of what the Fotomarathon judges feel like – we pulled up all the series, went through them and discussed the quality of the pictures: Was the theme represented? How well could we see the topics in the pictures? Had the photographer mastered the technical aspects, taking a “good” picture? … participants then voted for their favorite picture series, awarding their own personal first, second and third place. The numbers were very clear – 3 photo series were crowned the winner – with the exact same numbers of points allocated to them by the crowd.
The winning series managed to best capture both the overall theme and the topics and were the ones judged most emotionally evocative.
Here are the promising new talents who captured the audience with their works and took a special Fotomarathon Shenyang tote bag home with them as their prize. Congratulations!
Have a look at our winners’ photo series below. First up are the pictures Wu Di (left in the picture above) handed in.
Then we can admire LeeAnn Webb’s (pictured in the middle) series.
And finally Ingo von Wurmb’s contribution.
We hope that this little workshop encouraged all to pursue photography and maybe also participate in the Shenyang Fotomarathon on June 3rd.
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by Julie Marx