Digital Photography in Florence, Italy

Digital Photography was the other class I took during my stay in Florence, totaling to 6 credits between that and Wine tasting. My wine class went from 1:15-3:45 Monday through Thursday, and my Digital Photography class was directly after from 4:10-7:50 more towards the center of the city. After 3ish hours of wine and nearly unlimited appetizer foods, I usually felt pretty groggy right in the middle of this longer class.

We started the course by going over the basics of our cameras, learning the different settings and modes. After several weeks of extensively using my camera on the trip already, it was great to learn these inner workings to produce better quality photos in a variety of settings. Throughout the month we went over the history of photography and the works of different photographers. We examined their styles and influences, and then tried to incorporate that into mini projects that we submitted each week.

These projects consisted of the photos we took in Florence and anywhere else in Italy we might have gone. For maybe an hour each day during class, our professor, Francesco Sammicheli, would take us to cool spots in Florence to get good shots of unique sights. We were expected to take photos outside of class as well to fufill assignments. I used a lot of my photos from my weekend trips in Italy.

The second part of learning in the class was all about using Photoshop to edit our photos. We played around with settings on pictures, made them more appealing when necessary, and learned to use a variety of techniques to emphasize some elements in the photos over others.

During the last couple weeks we went into the dark room to process analog camera shots, which I had never done before. And the photo turned out really well for my first time. We also used a photography room with the kind of equipment used by professional studios, where I took some cool profile shots of my classmates. The last thing we did was use a really high quality photography printer and paper to make a portfolio of my best shots around Italy that I took home with me.

My professor was a great guy that took the time to help us when we needed it on our edits and had insight as a semi-professional photographer and conisseur. He recommended places in Florence to visit or eat and gave me a good outline for my trip to Rome. Through this class I developed some practical photography experience as well as my own amature artistic expression. The work in the class was manageable within the day so that it didn’t stop me from doing my weekend trips or casual roaming around the city. I made out with a B+ in the class, and had the excuse of actual class credit to take more pictures of cool sights in Italy. I definitely made the right call there.

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