Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Art of Chautauqua

     As promised, here are the "best" of the photographs I shot while taking a photography class last week at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY.

     B and I were there for a week -- week No. 8 in their 9 week season. Our week centered on the international global situation, with a 1-1/2 hour lecture every morning by a renowned expert. The speakers covered various global hotspots, but focused primarily on the Middle East.

     We also saw a production of The Tempest, and we went to three different classical music performances, including a magnificent rendition of Beethoven's 5th symphony.

     We saw a brass band, attended several other lectures, and took a few classes. Well . . . B took a few classes. I took just the one. In the class we learned a few things about focus and exposure and shutter speed. But mostly we learned about composition -- how to frame a photograph, look for patterns and lines; get rid of clutter and focus in on what we truly want the photograph to be about.

     So, drum roll please, here are the Top Ten:

This one's about flowers. Our instructor liked flowers, and almost every porch at Chautauqua has flowers.

The instructor told us to look for diagonal lines.

I found this fire hydrant, hidden among the flowers, and I "filled the frame" as the teacher suggested.

The instructor liked this one-- she thought it was evocative.

I told you -- the instructor liked flowers! Especially when they're diagonal.

This one kind of tells a story.

The excursion boat on Lake Chautauqua.

This illustrates how to use foreground and background in a photo.

One of my fellow students was from England. He has a better camera than I do.

The teacher liked my view of the Hall of Philosophy where a speaker gives a lecture every afternoon.

And she thought I captured the grandeur of the flagship Athenaeum Hotel. You gotta admit, it's pretty grand!

     I hope you appreciate my restraint in selecting just these few photos. After all, the class was all about taking photographs, and I took well over 200 of them. And it could be a lot worse. B took a class in PowerPoint. She's going to use my photos for a PowerPoint presentation which she's going to inflict on her family and her friends at work.

     But anyway, I hope this selection gives you a peek into the world that is Chautauqua. If anyone's looking for an educational week in the summer, it's a great place to go.


Juhli said...

I think those are terrific photos! Thanks for sharing them.

Tabor said...

Dearie, I took over 1,000 and I was just on a two-week vacation. I will post 10 or so in the coming weeks. If I may comment, I would suggest getting a tiny bit more level or rotating a few of those photos to the left just a degree or two. Otherwise I think they are excellent!

DJan said...

I especially like the "evocative" one, it's really nice. You've done a great job here, and the fire hydrant comes in a close second for me. :-)

Anonymous said...

I could not have done better.

JudyC said...

Great photos. I agree that "evocative" and the fire hydrant are the best, but all are excellent. I wouldn't change anything about any of them.

Dick Klade said...

Nice work. We now look forward to seeing at least three photos with every one of your posts. (Is that possible?)

Linda Myers said...

I just read about this place last week, and I have a friend here in Seattle who also attended. It sounds like a wonderful place - may go myself.

Olga Hebert said...

I love the idea of that place and will check it out for future opportunities. I enjoyed your photographs. I can never get the camera to see what my eye sees. Perhaps I should take a class.

Stephen Hayes said...

Your photos look great and what a wonderfully picturesque setting. I can tell how inspired you were.

Anonymous said...

Sounds ideal. I like the 'evocative' swing best. And your fire hydrant photo is superb. Thanks for the mini lesson

I would have enjoyed the lectures on the Middle East, one of the most evocative places on earth in history and today. In fact the area around the Mediterranean is very evocative for most Westerners.