I’ve been in my new housing unit for just under a month now and life is shaping up nicely. I have 90% of the furniture that I need with plans to build the last remaining piece, a custom dresser. In preparation for that project I’ve purchased basic power tools and accessories to allow me to build just about anything. I now have a Black & Decker Workmate 425 clamping table that I’ve already modified to become a woodworker’s workbench. I used that new workbench this morning to build a computer stand with pull-out shelf for my pen/touch tablet, wireless keyboard and wireless scroll mouse. Thanks to that project my iMac and all the mentioned accessories are at the perfect height for comfort during the long editing hours I regularly put in.
A custom dresser will get all my socks & underwear off the open shelves I’m presently using. It will be a basic dresser, painted, built to fit in the available space I have at the end of my bed next to my bathroom. Since I have a receptacle on that same spot I’ll add a lamp and maybe a clapper switch to turn it on when I get up to tinkle. 🙂
My new workbench folds up and tucks away on the back wall of my main entrance closet. I can get it out and have it opened up for use in less than a minute. With a 2 foot by 4 foot top it’s big enough to handle fairly large sheet goods although I need to have some custom cuts by my lumber yard in order to tote it all in my SmartCar. 🙂 Life is good!
I have recently volunteered to teach a photography class at the Uxbridge Senior Center. Little did I know how little control I would have in setting up the logistics for this class. The representative for the Uxbridge Elderly Connection Inc. pretty much dictated the setup. We’re holding our first class May 12, 2016 at the Uxbridge Senior Center at 6:30 p.m.. That’s not only a tad late for seniors to be on the highway driving but it’s going to be dark or get dark before we even get into class time. Secondly, do the people who signed up for my class even own a camera? I’m not talking a cell phone here but a dedicated camera. Cell phone classes start next year. 🙂
Next we discussed editing software. Editing software? Cathy knew nothing about digital photography and the need to download the camera’s pictures onto a computer for postprocessing, another Greek word to her. I showed Cathy Photoshop Elements at $69.95 from Amazon.com. She’s going to her board of directors for the money for these items. There are three desktop computers, all hooked to the Internet, at the senior center. This will most assuredly help the photography/computer class for seniors before we’re done.
So you begin to see the logistical difficulty of teaching a group of people, any people, a hobby they may know nothing about in a manner where you don’t lose their attention in the first half hour they’re in the class.
What are we going to photograph in the course of this class? If we hold it at sundown, not much. We may just take turns taking pictures of each other. The bigger the class the slower this process will move along. If they’re not familiar with their cameras it could take forever. I know at least one of the students, Jack Keough, owns a top of the line Nikon D810 full frame DSLR. Is he going to get bored to death waiting for someone trying to figure out how to turn on their camera?
I think you get the idea behind this post. If I was King, as the old saying goes, I’d limit the class to 2-3 people with similar experience in photography itself and a prerequisite that the know the controls and settings of their own cameras. Ain’t gonna happen! Stay tuned for the subsequent posts on this class starting on May 12.
Since I teach photography I always like to keep around a few before and after edits just to show students what can be done in post processing with good software and the knowledge of its use. My best friend, Warren, sent me a selfie of his efforts to remodel his condo in preparation for sale. It’s a lot of work but he’s young and talented so eventually he’ll get it all done.
I wasn’t able to determine the kind of camera he used but I could immediately tell it had a wide angle lens causing the distortion in the original shot sent to me. I pulled it into Photoshop CC 2016 and was able to level the picture and correct for that distortion causing the vertical lines in the photo to collapse on themselves like a pyramid. A few other corrections and some vibration reduction applied to the original and you wind up with a better outcome.
I usually tell people I don’t volunteer for anything but reality shows me I’m actually just the opposite. There was the I’m Hooked fishing campaign in June of 2015 where I photographed city kids at Hagg Lake, OR for Will Warren. That was a 3 day event. Then there’s church and the senior center in Uxbridge where I photograph every event and distribute the photos freely to those involved. And finally just last week I photographed 107 paintings for a local artist, Jack Keough.
When I lived in Portland, OR I taught photography to students for free for as long as they wanted to learn. I photographed all the Oregon Zoo animals and grounds and gave them to the zoo for whatever they could use them for. I also gave free tours in the zoo to total strangers, enriching their experiences because of my familiarity with the zoo and animals.
I guess being a volunteer isn’t all that bad! It gives me an opportunity to play it forward, to give back to society for all the gifts God has given me. I’m about to embark on a new adventure by teaching anyone at the Uxbridge Senior Center photography. That will be different for sure. Seniors can be wild and crazy and get totally out of control at times. I know, I are one! 🙂
Share Your World – 2016 Week 17
When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?
I’m a pen kind of guy. I haven’t used a #2 pencil since grade school.
What’s your choice: jigsaw, word, maze or numeric puzzles?
It’s a tie between jigsaw or word puzzles. I could spend hours with a good jigsaw puzzle.
Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?
I never got into the “hippy” era so I prefer a very short haircut.
List five some of your favorite blogs.
Spring can’t make up its mind if it wants to join us this year. It will be 70 and sunny one day and 42 with a cold rain hovering just above freezing the next. We’ve had frost warnings a couple of times already due to this roller coaster between Winter and Summer. We’re in for another cold rainy kind of day today.
The staff & volunteers at the Uxbridge decided to plant flowers in the boxes at the entrance to the center. I took a couple of photos of the pansies and daisies that took root. Here’s a photo of the first life since last Autumn.
p.s. – This might be as aster.
When a music school across the street from the Uxbridge Senior Center offers to send us a group of their singers to perform at lunchtime we say “sure”! Keep in mind some of these young ladies have never sung in front of an audience and we still enjoyed their fearless efforts. Shoot, half our seniors are deaf as a post anyway! 🙂
The young girls enjoyed their opportunity and we asked them to return to practice on us anytime. Sadly, some of our seniors are shut ins who relish any human contact at this point in their lives. The senior center strives to help old folk out, provide them a good meal and keep social groups strong and available to all at no cost. I find myself drawn there just because I can offer conversation and utilize my photography to put a smile on someone’s face now and then.
Relatives of the young singers were welcomed to the center to enjoy the performance along with the staff and seniors. We gave them all a rousing round of applause as they finished their second set after lunch.
At Pleasant Street Church yesterday we had a potluck dinner to send our pastor & his family off on a 4 month sabbatical. Everyone was welcomed to join in this feast whether they remembered to bring a dish or not. There was plenty of great food to sample so I decided to sample each dish by taking one spoonful. There were LOTS of dishes! 😦
I thought of the famous Christian movie “Left Behind” when I took this picture of one of our practicing praise and worship team this Sunday. No sense in stay all formal when just practicing, right?
I’m in the process of putting together a lesson plan for a class full of senior citizens. I know yet their physical limits or experience with cameras. I’m thinking I will only briefly touch on their actual cameras as there are so many possibilities that nobody can everything about every camera on the market. The one requirement I will have is that they bring, or own, a real camera. Cellphone photographers need not apply for my class. The reasons are too lengthy to list here but I’m going to be teaching the art and science of photography not how to take snapshots with little or no control over the outcome.
I’ll start by using my own camera, the Fuji X-E1 as an example to demonstrate the actual parts of a camera. Since this is a basic photography class I won’t need to get too technical on the myriad of camera type through the years. I have 45 years of personal experience with dozens of different kinds of cameras, film, darkrooms and editing software. I was alive and involved in most of the different processes.
My goal is to open their eyes to the wondrous world around them, to change the way they perceive their environment. I want them to learn how to tell stories with their cameras, to relax and think about what they and their cameras are doing.
I’m ready to meet with the elderly connection director next week to discuss the class and let her see my lesson plan and hear what i have in store for the students. I’m open to any suggestions but since I’ve been teaching photography for many years you must start with getting to know your camera. If and when we goo on a photography safari I want them concentrating to taking the shot rather than looking for buttons and dials. I’m in no hurry. I can spend a few weeks or a few years working with anyone genuinely interested in learning more. Photography is addicting so the more you know the more you want to learn more.