The Teacher Becomes the Student


I am taking an introductory photography class at Showcase School of Photography, and today was my first class. It was fun to be a true student again. It’s not that I have not had countless classes, training sessions, and professional development over the last several years as a teacher, but every one of those classes or sessions has related to my career. Today I was a learner in a class unrelated to teaching for the first time in YEARS! How refreshing. 🙂

I learned a lot of technical information in my class today related to my DSLR camera and how it functions. The coolest thing I learned was about white balance. I have always wondered why pictures I take inside always look so yellow – now I know! My white balance was wrong. White balance refers to “removing unrealistic color casts” from a photo, and it needs to be adjusted according to the source of light on your subject. Here are pictures I took with three different white balance settings. I was amazed when I saw what a difference it makes to set this correctly!

White balance set on auto:


White balance set for shade:


White balance set for incandescent indoor light:


The third picture is supposed to be the best one, I think, but I also like the first. It could be that auto worked better with the afternoon light coming in the window. Who knows? But I am excited to have learned something new today that I will use now whenever I take a picture.

A small realization: many of my students have the wonderful habit of thanking me at the end of each class. Like every day. I was surprised the first time a middle schooler did that, but it happens so regularly now that, sadly, I barely notice it. Today, I realized when I got in my car after class that I had adopted my students’ custom of thanking the teacher! They have taught me well!


3 thoughts on “The Teacher Becomes the Student

  1. Cool! I am learning about my new camera by reading the super boring manual while Anne does gymnastics on Wednesdays. I would much rather be in a photography class with you! I love to hear your voice through the blog writing. I look forward to reading more!

  2. Hey, Anna! This is wonderful. I look forward to reading more. I never knew about the white balance – pretty cool. See, now the teacher who has become the student is the teacher again. Almost Zen:)

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