Put your camera to good use
By Denise Baran-Unland Correspondent February 6, 2013 1:16PM
On Feb. 9, 2013, photojournalist John Dziekan will lead a 4-hour workshp in digital photography at the Three Rivers Public Library District, Minooka Branch. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
If you go
What: Digital photography workshop
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Three Rivers Public Library, Minooka Branch, 109 N. Wabena
Registration: Required by noon Friday
Contact: Sarah Robertson at 815-467-6200.
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:11AM
A simple piece of cardboard can redirect light back onto your subject. White foam board and colored foils can create different effects.
These are just some of the techniques people will learn Saturday in a digital photography workshop at the Three Rivers Public Library, Minooka branch, hosted by John Dziekan, a Batavia photojournalist and former Chicago Tribune photographer.
“Digital cameras are now such a big part of people’s lives. People even have cameras on their phones,” Dziekan said. “I just like to see people get good use out of them.”
Dziekan begins his workshop with a brief lecture about how to use the camera and search for different angles to improve one’s visual art. Then Dziekan sends the participants outside for an hour to shoot some pictures.
Sometimes, Dziekan will simply let people photograph whatever captures their interest. Other times, Dziekan will provide an assignment: shoot something abstract, with deep shades or in bright sunlight. Occasionally, Dziekan will pair up people and instruct them to photograph each other in different lighting.
“It’s always fun to see what others find visually interesting,” Dziekan said.
When the class returns, Dziekan gives each one a brief critique on their work. If a picture is outstanding, Dziekan will download it into his computer to share with everyone. The class votes on its favorites and then Dziekan awards simple prizes.
Feedback is crucial for improving one’s work.
“It’s not usually available to the average person,” Dziekan said. “Back in the film days, I always had two or three photo editors looking over my shoulder helping me pick out the best shot.”
As a free-lancer, Dziekan does a combination of commercial work, wedding photography (in collaboration with his wife Jodi) and even shoots for events at his church.
Invariably, someone will ask Dziekan to recommend the best camera on the market. And Dziekan will always say, “The one that’s with you.”
Dziekan recalled grocery shopping one day when two little boys, pushing toddler carts, ran up behind their mother calling, “Look at me!” The mother instantly grabbed her camera from her purse.
“She shot a really nice picture of them,” Dziekan said. “Thirty years from now, she’ll be able to look back on that day when they were 5 because she had the forethought to carry her camera with her.”
Finally, if people learn anything from one of Dziekan’s workshops, it’s to have fun experimenting with your camera.
For instance, if you’re on vacation and you want to shoot the Eiffel Tower, don’t be satisfied with a single snapshot. Use different lenses, shoot different angles and take advantage of various lighting by coming back at another time of day.
“That what having a photo vision is all about,” Dziekan said.