This past weekend I taught two wonderful analog photography classes on two wonderful subjects that I am incredibly passionate about: natural lighting and Impossible Project instant film for Polaroid cameras. Here's a peek behind both classes: The Teahouse Studio in Berkeley CA is a place that truly fosters creativity and encouragement. Their classes range from painting, to journaling, to multi-media creations to photography. My day-long seminar was about harnessing the power of natural light for portraiture photography. I brought students through the somewhat intimidating land of camera basics (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focal length), required them to turn their cameras to MANUAL mode (horrors!), and then blew them away with a few magical demonstrations on reflecting natural sunlight, creating open shadows on a sunny day, and using a bounce card for a little flattering fill light. I love making photography simple, and giving students very simple tools. It's then up to them to use those simple tools in a creative way. And this group truly took those skills and ran with them. Our final critique was exciting and impressive, and everyone walked away with a new understanding of the magic of natural light. Here are my students hard at work in the Berkeley sunshine:

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natural light photography class

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We ended the day with a critique, where I of course had to talk with my hands a lot.

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The following day I met the crew at Photoworks SF (San Francisco's best source for analog film of all formats, instant film, film processing, scanning, digital prints, canvas prints, and an incredible collection of refurbished Polaroid cameras and Lomo supplies) to teach a class on the new instant film for polaroid cameras: Impossible Project film. Again, we started with the basics- how to load this crazy film, how to ensure strong exposures and development, how to trouble shoot, how to manage the simple settings on your old Polaroid cameras, etc. Then we took a little photo walk to Dolores Park where I set my students free to create their own Impossible imiages. My students did a great job and came away with some strong instant images with great exposures. Here I am proudly holding up a student's wonderful Impossible Project photo:

Jesse Freidin photography class


Find more classes at Teahouse Studio here:

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