After 40 years of point-and-shoot photography while herding butterflies (my kids) or chasing Alan (my husband), as his frame slowly disappeared over the horizon of the photo I was trying to frame, I’ve finally reached the stage of life where I can start to think about what it is I’m trying to accomplish beyond capturing precious memories and creating chronicles of beauty. Well, that’s probably all I’ll ever try to do, but I finally have some time for study and practice. However, have you noticed how taking classes is generally the privilege of the young or else the socially unencumbered? Being neither, it seemed impossible to find a class where I wouldn’t miss at least every other session…until. Until I discovered Great Courses through a friend who lent us a bunch of classes he’d absorbed while commuting as an E.R. doctor. Long story short, I’m now happily immersed in a video course by Joel Sartore, who’s an award-winning photographer and National Geographic fellow. His Fundamentals in Photography through “The Great Courses” is a perfect fit for me, because I can watch the half-hour sessions while working out on my elliptical, and I can read the short texts either before or after (or both, in my case, now that my memory isn’t so sharp). If you’re not interested in photography but have wished for expertise in some other field, you might consider looking online to see what’s available. One of The Great Courses only costs a fraction of a college class, and they’re flexible enough to fit even the oddest schedules! No matter what, continuing to learn is good for the mind and soul, and I hope we’re all lifelong learners. 🙂
For any fellow photographers, here are a few of my favorite quotes from Joe Sartore’s book:
- “Sometimes, you’ve just got to pet the whale.” (Don’t be so intent on your photography that you miss out on life’s great experiences and don’t feel their emotional impact.)
- “What makes a photo iconic is that it surpasses the original situation in which it was taken.”
- “Train the eyes and the brain to look for three elements: great light, good composition, and an interesting subject.”
- “Quite literally, light makes a photograph.”
- “The ultimate use of photography is to tell a great story—one that moves people, perhaps simply to smile or to do something significant, such as save the planet.”
There’s more, lots more! Sartore’s illustrations are all top quality, G-rated, and family friendly. I sit smiling through each session! Happy learning, ya’ll!
“The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge” Proverbs 18:15.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” Proverbs 4:7.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 3:18.