The induction class had certainly set high standards. I couldn’t wait for the introduction class and I must say that I wasn’t disappointed. I got to class 15 minutes ahead of time and shock on me, teacher Gibson and a couple of my classmates were already there. Notes had been circulated way in advance and a team whatsapp chatroom created to ease communication. We had already been advised to bring along our cameras for class. Enjoying the refreshments, we chatted away as we waited for class to begin.
I had already met Gibson at the ‘Photography in the Wild’ event organized by the school 3 days before. At the event, the photographers (most alumni of Versatile) freely interacted with him. He was at hand providing guidance to the photographers and constantly inviting questions as we went on with the game drives. Thankfully, I sat next to him on two occasions during the game drive sessions and I kid you not, he knows a lot about photography! I listened to him critic ‘perfect’ pictures (according to me) taken by the participants – gently pointing out areas of improvement. I could only pity myself for the little I knew, ha-ha! I was honored to sit by him as I learnt firsthand the basics of handling my camera.
The class kicked off on time. Gibson taught effortlessly, leaving nothing to chance – treating pros and amateurs alike. He explained what each and every function or button on the body of the camera did. The diopter, control dial, view finder, the exposure compensation button (yay, I still remember!) and a score of other buttons and functions were mentioned, defined – shown on projected camera images and the best part, learning practically using our own cameras. Every little bit of detail, bottom, top and sides of the camera were explained. We then moved to accessories where the topic was covered comprehensively – named and defined, and function properly explained. Accessories are added to the camera not only for flare as is expected, but also for protection.
We then tackled the topic of protection and cleaning of the camera and this teacher, Gibson Maina, is a real freak in this area. It would be great injustice to not follow his lead after listening to him explain how one should take care of the body, sensor, rechargeable batteries, the memory card and the lenses. Things that could easily be taken lightly like the danger of storing the body of the camera with the lens attached were strongly discouraged. He went on – “…covers should always be used for protection of the lens. The camera strap should be well fastened around the wrist or should hang around one’s neck. The lenses should be cleaned gently with the right media…” Taking care of the camera to prevent theft and also ensuring that the cameras were insured was also emphasized.
As we got into the meat of the matter, I confirmed that Versatile School of Photography and Videography was not just any other photography school but more. The sessions are very interactive. The instructors not only lecture, students learn, watch and do. The lessons being so practical; one can’t help it but enjoy the class. The teachers are very professional. They have mustered their craft and in class, they share what they know best giving illustrations based on their day to day experiences. Though the school has enough cameras for use by its trainees, use of own camera was encouraged for the obvious reason of getting accustomed to own equipment. In closing, we were encouraged to set aside a little time each day for photography following which, all the technicalities would become second to nature.
Walking out of the class that evening, I felt more confident using my camera. Just being able to understand the functions of the various buttons made me feel like a pro. When I got home that evening, I kept clicking away. I took pictures of the kids, their dad, daughter dancing, son eating, they together, then individually – so many, till the battery went low & I couldn’t take more pictures. I even taught them how to hold a camera correctly and to take pictures on auto mode (ha ha!).
I am grateful for that great foundation. I learnt so much, it certainly was no usual introduction class. Asante Gibson for sharing information so effectively and to the Versatile School of Photography and Videography for the opportunity to study this great art of photography. I am a happy student. A very happy one!
The Travelling Accountant
Versatile School of Photography