Teaching Techniques -1

by William Lulow

Being a trained teacher, I have noticed over the years that the most successful instruction is accomplished by modeling a certain task for the student and then letting the student try doing the same thing, just the way the teacher did it. A “hands on” approach is the best and fastest way to teach a technique for doing most anything. The student needs to have the same kind of equipment (not necessarily the same brand) and be shown how to use it effectively. There are many levels of equipment these days in the photographic field from cheap, amateur quality to expensive, professional quality. If you are an occasional photographer, just shooting images for yourself and your family, probably and iPhone or a decent point-and-shoot camera would suffice. If you become even a more serious amateur, you then need to upgrade your equipment to more expensive models because you are becoming more discerning about the quality of your images. When you expect more quality from your own images, you need to have good quality equipment and expect to pay more for it.

I recently was working with a student and as we were shooting the same images with our respective cameras, she noticed how much better my images were with a better quality lens. You can say the same thing over and over but until one can actually see the difference, it won’t make much sense.

These shots were taken with good quality cameras but one lens was a f/3.5 15-85mm zoom lens while the other was an f/2.8 17-55mm zoom lens. The faster lens (f/2.8) was much sharper through the various apertures and the aperture remained constant through the various focal lengths. The slower, cheaper lens could not shoot at f/3.5 at 85mm. Both lenses were made by the same manufacturer but the faster lens cost about twice what the slower one did.


To be continued…