Asmaa Al Hameli | May 19, 2013
Since childhood, I enjoyed looking at all the images my family took. It was fun going through the albums and laughing at how each member looked, from having funny hairstyles to wearing glasses that were bigger then their faces. Time takes away the memories, but those photographs bring them back. In university, I had the opportunity to take a course in photojournalism. I was optimistic about the whole process, but I did not enjoy my classes with the new teacher. Although our teacher was a nice person, my over-expectation eventually led to heartache. Our teacher explained over and over again the concepts of aperture and shutter speed, but I just could not get a good grasp of these two concepts.
In my class, there were some students who already had some photography skills, while myself and a few other students were at a basic level. It is logical that the teacher would be impressed by students who are good photographers. The more I tried to please my teacher with my photography, the more I left in disappointment. I reached a point where I couldn’t wait for the semester to end. I wish I left the course with some passion toward photography, but alas, I ended up having a grudge against my poor Canon 40D.
This is my second-month working in the photography department. For the past two-weeks, I have been shadowing The National’s photographer, Silvia Razgova. Although I have a strong urge to heap praise on Silvia, I will refrain because I know she will be reading this post and she doesn’t enjoy the attention. So I will keep my praise moderate.
Silvia has been a great teacher. I wholeheartedly enjoy shadowing her because she is fun to be with and passionate about her work. She is a hard-worker and I know that she wants to pass on her photography skills to me.
This week, we went to photograph some interviews. I observed Silvia and I find it funny when she redesigns the settings. A few days ago, we went to Al Khalifa Hospital to photograph two women who have epilepsy. The doctor’s office is always dull without a doubt, but our tenacious Silvia found her own way of photographing these women in a way that was creative and interesting to look at. I took some photographs of them and I noticed my images were nice. Unfortunately, I formatted my camera and forgot to ingest the pictures into my computer beforehand. As Silvia said: “We learn from mistakes”.
Now I am proud that I can explain to someone what a shutter speed and aperture are in a simplified way. Shutter speed is the length of time the shutter remains open when taking a picture. The aperture is an opening within the lens through which light passes. I am optimistic and confident in my photography skill this time around because I am constantly getting encouragement and support from my new teacher.
I have a lovely cousin who is good at taking pictures. She tried teaching me how to take proper shots ages ago, but I didn’t do well. Next time, when she pays me a visit, I will show off my photography skills, but I will make sure not to reveal how I learnt.