Workshop 101: Composition and Lighting

I have quite a few fellow photo-enthusiastic friends at various levels. I noticed that some people may have had no photography background but still displayed an amazing artistic perspective in their images. I was just stunned to think what they might be able to do with even a bit of composition techniques. And, selfishly, I just wanted to hang out with other photo-loving people and do something just focused around photography. I did a trial run with a small mini-workshop, teaching the basic rules of composition and the basic functions of a camera. Luckily, my hubby works for a church that supports outreach opportunities. Just last week, my husband helped his friend, David, to hold a class on “Smoking Meat.” So, the workshop was held at church, Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, but open to anyone. I kept the seating limited and lunch was provided in the cost. All the proceeds went to the church and a Japan Mission Team.

Class started at 10 am on a Saturday morning. It was beautiful weather. I injected the class with photo assignments, photo scavenger hunts to challenge them and to help them think outside the box. That was probably my favorite part. I love seeing how everyone can look at the same object in a multitude of ways. I had these beautiful powerpoints, monstrous powerpoints, to go through helpful tips on how anyone can better compose their pictures, even with a simple point and shoot camera. Then, classic Keao kicked in. I was pulling on a cord and knocked my cup of water over…splash. Water was pulled around my laptop and racing towards my camera. I jerked my camera up in time but my laptop went black. When I picked it up…water just poured out. Oh, goodness. Scott didn’t even blink an eye, he knows these things just happen when I come into contact with tools of technology. He took it into the other room to let it sit in front of fan and we moved on working with our cameras and their functions.

The class was a mix of point and shoot and beginner dSLR cameras. I think learning about the macro mode was the biggest surprise for most of the class. Someone exclaimed after learning the icon for macro mode “Oh, I thought that was only if you wanted to take pictures of flowers.” Then they went crazy taking close-ups of everything they could think of.

The best part was just getting to meet some new faces and finding fellow photobugs. We will follow up with photo-walks and more mini-workshops for the windward side. If you’re interested, send me a shout-out at

There’s me (powerpointless at this point) going over camera functions. Notice the hubby in the right corner clearly paying me no attention. He was just there for support. Thanks, sweetie!!

Class Photo by Joy

Here are some examples from the student’s on their photo scavenger hunt assignments. These have been processed by me prior to this posting for contrast and some color boosting. Kardyn processed her own. I had too many favorites but I would have run out of room…
Sachie's PHoto

Kathy's Photo

Kardyn's Photo

Kardyn's Photo Too

Joy's PHoto

Joy's Photo Too

Joe's Photo

Joe's Photo

Jan's Photo

Cece's Photo

Bow's Photo

For the class gallery, click here

Follow-up: My prayers that night were for a laptop miracle. My laptop sat in front of a fan for 24 hours. Hearing that people are sometimes told to put their waterlogged cellphones in bags of uncooked rice to help absorb moisture, I also just poured rice over the keyboard. Laugh at me if you will, but it worked. My computer turned back on the next day completely fine. Well, almost perfect, there’s still some rice kernels permanently stuck beneath the keys (especially the backspace button).

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