Return to Teaching

I apologize for the lack of a post last week. It was a rough week, busy at work and beset with medical complications from my dad’s surgery. All’s well now and I should be able to resume regular weekly posting. At least I think so: I’m on vacation all next week and that might come into play. OTOH, it gives me all week to kick back and just write for my blog and the new Pa’adhe story I’ve been poking at instead of working on my astrophotography ebook. We’ll see.

Well, it’s official. I’ll once again be teaching a beginning class in the Boise Community Education system, this time on Astrophotography.

After the original email inviting me back for the next semester, I was waffling between what to teach and whether to teach at all. I began teaching photography in the BCE system with a very good friend that died some time ago. I had been teaching with him for a few years and dropped out of that when he died. Until now, I didn’t want to teach a photography class without him. It was something we did together.

It’s time to move on, though. I know he’d be pissed at me for waiting this long to get back into teaching photography of any kind. I never quite fully stopped since I can say I’ve taught a few people either about photography or their cameras here and there. I just stopped doing it in any sort of formal setting.

I’m both excited to be teaching again, and nervous. This time I’m going to have to carry the whole class by myself. Still, it being a subject I enjoy, it shouldn’t be too hard. The real question is going to be whether or not there’s enough students interested that sign up to actually have the class. BCE set a minimum of 3 students otherwise the class will be canceled. If it does get canceled I will probably ask if BCE can pass my contact information on to anyone that signed up with an invitation to contact me.

I also plan, as usual, to invite any students to contact me after the class if they’d like to go out some night with me along to help them work things out. I believe Astrophotography, and photography in general, is something that it’s best if you can try it hands-on. Of course, that may be because that’s how I learn best — by doing. Unfortunately for various legal reasons BCE won’t allow a field trip so I have to offer that separately on my own rather than as part of the class.

Astrophotography is wonderfully simple and wonderfully complicated. It’ll be just as simple or complicated as you want it to be. However, it’s also one of those fields where unless you’re really interested in it, it’s easy enough to get discouraged if you’re not getting the pictures you want. Eventually you learn that no matter what there are going to be times when you just can’t get the photo you want. It’s part of what makes astrophotography fun for me, that hunting for a specific image. Getting the pictures and refining the process and skills is another aspect that I really enjoy. I’m always looking at other people’s pictures and trying to read their EXIF data.

If I can get a few students interested enough in astrophotography to enable them to continue long after the class, I’ll be happy. I bet I’ll learn from them, too. I always do when I teach a class.

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