Week Five: Photography workshop with Pete Pin

    On Wednesday the 3rd of August, Voices Her’d had a photography work shop. Pete Pin, a Cambodian documentary photographer, was our host. He showed us some of his photography and talked about some of the projects he was involved in. One of his projects involved photographing people who lived on the streets and traveled from place to place. His long term project involves taking pictures of Cambodians across the states and incorporating old photographs of Cambodian refugees. The old photographs he is incorporating are of Cambodians fleeing genocide during the late 1970’s.

     Pete then proceeded to show us the basics of photography. He explained that the higher the ISO the more sensitive to light ones camera is. Your ISO would be high if you were taking pictures in a dark room or setting. The downside to a high ISO is that your pictures would show up grainy. For photography in the daylight, the camera’s ISO should be set to 100. After the information on ISO, he explained to us what aperture and shutter is on a camera. Aperture is the diameter of a camera’s lens opening. It is controlled by an iris, and the larger the aperture, the more light enters and vise-versa. A camera usually shoots with aperture priority, which is where the photographer will pick the aperture and the camera will find the shutter speed to match. Shutter is how fast or slow the aperture will open and close; how long light will pass.

    Pete brought in three books containing the photography of Eugene Richards, Richard Avedon, and Bruce Davidson. He explained their use of space and the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guide lines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. The rule of thirds is to discourage placement of the subject at the center, or prevent a horizon from appearing to divide the picture in half. Essentially the rule is there so the picture is not boring, and/or awkward looking.

We then proceeded to take some photos with the lessons we learned. Personally I learned that not all cameras have a zoom in/zoom out function. Pete’s camera does not have this function. He explained that not having a zoom in/zoom out function allows you to play with space and teaches you how to move with a camera. So cameras with out this function are an ideal to work with according to Pete. The workshop overall was great and very informative for everyone. —-Shianti, 18

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