So I’m doing a Photography Course…

And guys, I’m really not sure!

I have been into taking photos for a while now, maybe since 2008. I am not brilliant but I can take a ‘nice’ photo. For this reason, my family gifted me a DSLR not long ago.

That is when it occured to me that all these years, I have been taking photos on auto-mode! I haven’t got a clue what to do on manual mode- at all!

So, after much convincing from some family members and a genuine interest in using my posh camera that was starting to gather dust- I signed up to a Digital Photography Course.

Lesson #1 was alright, mostly theory. I took four pages worth of notes and when I read them back- I genuinely understood nothing. I am sick of hearing the words; aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

Regardless of what everyone says and what video tutorials are telling me, I just do not know how to adjust them to take a photo and my teacher gave us homework!

I spent the whole afternoon trying to take photos on manual mode and was nearly in tears by the end of it. I have never been more frustrated with the camera in my life. My hobby was starting to feel like a chore! All my photos were coming out black / blurry or out of focus.

In the end, I went to auto-mode and observed what ISO, speed shutter and aperture were being used and copied it on manual which I am sure defies the objective of the assignment but I was getting no where trying on my own.

I am so close to not wanting to go to my next class. My teacher’s parting words were, “if your photo is shit I will tell you it’s shit.” Even if he was joking, I am not feeling great about going back.

Argh! Frustration guys! Hope your weekend is not as frustrating as mine 😧




  1. Did your teacher really say that? A colleague of mine gifted me a rather hefty (in price and weight) SLR film camera for Christmas. She’s a professional photographer herself and was raised in a family of them. She said to me, “twist there, point, depress shutter and when you do that a bunch of times, you will hear a whirring sound. Bring it back to me.” She does not mince her words either but her idea was for me to just use the thing. Can you try that, just playing around with the settings on your camera and pointing it at things?

    1. Maybe he was being funny, but I was far too nervous to recieve it as a joke and instead saw it as a threat πŸ˜‚. As far as the assignment; I just cheated re. what settings to use, as I copied the exact same numbers as auto mode and that wasn’t the purpose of the assignement. But it is better than turning up with nothing right? πŸ˜” Also, it’s a beginners class and everyone there seemed way ahead than beginner which annoyed me. Like they were planted there to make me look bad πŸ˜–

      1. I know the feeling. You’re supposed to be having fun and someone took all the eff out of it. Just go with what makes you feel comfortable. It is important to learn technical skills but certainly critique should encourage you.

  2. Hey. Thanks for the follow! Can l give you a small advice? Now that you’ve almost solved your assignment issue, take your toy, go out to some place where you can have some peace. Like, a park? DO NOT take your notes from class. Forget about your classes. Work on your thing as a kid who got a toy for the first time. And experiment on it. However u may mess it with its internal settings, there is always an option for reset. So nothing to worry about damage.
    You’re so lucky to own a DSLR. I’ve been dying for one, but for now I can’t afford it. More than your classes and notes, your time you spend on it will help you. πŸ™‚ all the best !!

    1. Thanks, this was one of the reservations I had about starting classes; that my hobby would start to feel like ‘work’. I hope subsequent lessons leave me feeling better than lesson 1 did! I shall try to start to love Manual mode- though for now I cannot see us being friends.

  3. I feel you. But if your camera has somewhat a “cheat mode” like mine has, AP/TV modes, then you can slowly ease into that before going full manual. What those modes are for example the AP mode (aperture priority) gives you the freedom to select your aperture settings but adjusts the rest (ISO and shutter speed) automatically. That way you wont get too confused by all the adjustments. I, too, am still scared to go on full manual. I usually have a settings on hand already written down in my handy dandy photography notebook from googling them, like say, taking a photo of the full moon. I also did an online tutorial video from “Fro knows Photo” which to me really helped me understand more as he explains things in a fun and simple way. And lastly, just go out and play with your camera! Thats the only way to learn. Good luck!

      1. You’re welcome. I’m not planning on becoming a pro anyway so just a basic know how of my camera’s buttons and other functions is helpful. Otherwise, just get a point and shoot. hehe. You can also always search for good and easy (sometimes free) tutorial stuff online!

  4. I can imagine how a hobby or a passion could turn into burden 😦 but don’t worry.. it is worth to try at least.. your hard work will pay off InshaAllah. once you learnt it well no looking back . Already waiting for the lovely pictures. haha

    1. Lesson no. 2 is later tonight, and I am absolutely dreading it. Let’s see if he declares my photos as “shit” or not. I emailed them to him in advance, so his eyes could adjust to how (below) average they were 😨

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