When the Teacher Becomes the Student

One of the things I LOVE about teaching an online night photography class with my friend Donna Eaton is seeing some of the terrific images submitted by the students. One of the things I HATE about teaching an online night photography class is seeing some of the terrific images submitted by the students!

I love it because it makes me feel good to know that other people are enjoying themselves and creating images they can be proud of. Also, the fact that the students are from all over the world means that I get to see some fabulous night-photography locations that I ordinarily wouldn’t know about and I learn a lot of new ideas from everyone. The best way for anyone to learn something is to teach it to someone else and I always learn a great deal from the participants.

Light painting at the beach
Light painting photo by Elizabeth Ryan

Elizabeth Ryan, a participant in one of my recent classes, wrote to tell me about an award she received for a photo that she had created while taking the class. She won first place in the altered digital category at the annual Winter Juried Show at the Art Complex in Duxbury, MA. Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth created her image by combining three separate exposures. This technique makes it much easier, if not the only possible way, to get a proper exposure for the sky, the landscape, and the light painting. Her first exposure was to get the twilight sky over the dunes. In the second exposure, she light painted the walkway and fence with a green flashlight. For the third shot, she set the camera on bulb and ran along the walkway while waving the flashlight. She stacked all three layers in Photoshop using the Lighten blend mode to get the result you see here.

Well done, Elizabeth!

So, why do I hate seeing all these terrific images from my students? Cause I want ’em for myself! But noooo, I have to sit here at this darn computer all the time and see everyone else out there having fun. Oh well, at least I can drink red wine while I work! Is it 5pm yet?

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