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Open Aperture

A short introduction of who I am and what I hope to accomplish this Jan Term.
SLR Film Camera

Hello! My name is Jane Wetherholt. This Jan Term I will be taking a class at the Sawtooth Center focusing on photography. I will be using a single-lens reflex (SLR) film camera that belonged to my grandfather. He passed away in August, so it will be really special to be using something that belonged to him. 

I started becoming interested in photography in high school. I took a class my junior year of high school and my dad got a refurbished Canon SLR film camera, so I've had some experience with dark room photography. I wasn't very good at all, and I didn't really improve much that first year because there was a misunderstanding and I ended up almost teaching myself. However, I did learn a lot about the mechanics of an SLR and the mechanics of the dark room. My first year in college, my dad got me a digital SLR camera and it's been a learning process ever since. I've learned the most just taking pictures recreationally and learning what works and what doesn't. It's been really great to have the digital SLR because I can see immediately what works and what doesn't and really get a chance to experiment without wasting film. It may sound conceited, but I really think I've improved over the last few years and really firmed the basics of photography. The summer after my first year I also took a week-long photography course with a camera similar to the one I'll be using for this class. The course was extremely helpful in learning the basics of SLR film photography and dark room mechanics. 

Though photography is one my hobbies and has been since high school, there are still several areas in which I need improvement. I'm not very good at taking pictures in low light or with a flash. I'd also like to learn more about taking pictures of people and landscapes. I think some of my framing definitely needs improvement and I could probably use more practice at finding patterns and focal points. Having a basic working knowledge of photography and SLR cameras will help me in this class because I can hone in on the areas that need improvement. I also want to find out if I've cultivated bad habits in taking pictures. It could be that I've got the basics completely wrong. 

I've been meaning to take more photography courses, but I've never had time in my schedule, so this Jan Term is a perfect way to accomplish this. I'd also like to learn how to use my grandfather's camera, since I've been used to more modern cameras.

I'm very excited about this Jan Term! I'll also be posting the photographs I'll be taking and developing, since I just got a snazzy new printer for Christmas and can scan the photographs onto my computer. 

I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I'll be enjoying making it!

- Jane Wetherholt