On Wednesday I started a photography course focusing on vacation photography. I was midway through the class before I realized that in anticipation of the course I had spent more time thinking about the fact that it would be in Dutch than about who else would be in the class, what I should take with me, or, most importantly, what form the classes would take. Instead I worried over the idea of having to speak Dutch in front of strangers. But in the end it all went ok. And if I removed the foreign language element from the class, I really enjoyed it.
I didn’t set out to take classes specifically on vacation photography. It’s just that the basic photography classes had already started and were more expensive anyway. Plus I figure that what we learn in this course could be applied to photography in general. And I certainly wouldn’t mind improving my holiday photos. The class turned out to be small, only 7 of us, only one of which is a guy (a rather poncy-looking Leiden student type, but relatively ok as those types go). None of us are very experienced with photography and our interests and experiences vary. One girl admitted that she isn't really that into photography, but she is trying new things, so she signed up for the class. The SLR she brought with her was borrowed from a neighbor. Still, she seemed enthusiastic.
Learning depends so much on the teacher and fortunately we have a good one. At least I quite like him so far. He seems to have a broad interest in different types of photography and quite a lot of experience in it. He has an enthusiastic presentation style and a good sense of humor, so I think we all felt pretty comfortable with each other by the end of the first class. Which was spent going over the very basics of photography and the elements that make up every photo. It’s not completely new for me, but I did learn some things which are useful. I even came up with the answer to a question at one point, in fairly correct Dutch, which was my big achievement of the evening.
We left the class with two assignments: to bring in some photos (not taken by us) which we find good or interesting, and, a bit contradictory for a course in vacation photography, to take photos in our home. I walked home happy about the class and our assignments, and feeling pretty proud of myself for being able to follow the Dutch so well, that I’m finally at that level of being able to understand. Speaking is a whole other matter, but that’s ok. I’m already very much looking forward to our next class.