Keep Growing


Recently, I had a tennis friend fix something for me that I had been struggling with for years. (Keep that left arm up when you’re serving. It helps you sight the ball.) I’m sure someone else had given me the same advice, but I didn’t hear it. When I was ready to hear it, it stuck.

This is how I felt after completing Lighting for Photographers at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design (PCAD). The basic concepts of photography finally came together and made sense in my mind. The class was twice a week for five weeks with an audience of five and one professional instructor, Ole Hongvanthong, of PhotoOle.

Ole graciously allowed us to use all his lighting equipment for the entire class, and now I have a firm idea of what I want to buy and full-on camera envy. That 5D Mark III will be mine someday! Every class was experiential. We learned by doing. When I lined up my photos from the first class to last, it was obvious that the lessons had been absorbed.

For the final night of class, we were invited to hear Ole speak to the League of Women Voters at the Candy Factory in Lancaster. More lessons. He was asked about removing scars in the final image and noted that he tells clients to embrace their imperfections because it makes them who they are. He talked about his own camera envy for a Canon Rebel owned by his cousin, and that she ended up giving him the camera and even named his business for him.

Ole Hongvanthong speaks at The Candy Factory, August 10, 2017. Photo by Justin Zook.

Finally, I couldn’t end this post without talking about the people. Justin was a passionate landscape photographer and the cousin of a good friend of mine. Mary Ellen was a reporter with LNP who was frequently tasked with taking her own photos. She was looking to improve. Rick was a former stay at home dad and teacher who once ran his own photography business. He was the most natural teacher of the group and was hoping to become an art instructor again now that his children were grown. I hope he does. At 19, Cameron was the baby of the group. She had started freelancing taking photos for friends and had some mad Photoshop skills. Her mom accompanied her to every class because she had seizures regularly and could not drive. She was a sweet and wonderful human.

This class ended but another one will begin shortly. Provided I can secure some equipment, there are two I am considering for the fall.

Get yourself out there and learn something new!

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