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Dover Post
  • Biggs Museum aims the lens at smartphone photography

  • In conjunction with the Biggs Museum's perennial juried photography exhibit, Biggs Shot, the museum is offering a new class that promises to make cell phone users better photographers.
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  • Everybody over the age of 30 probably remembers when a photo taken with a phone was just a fuzzy, one-inch square. But, the times, they are a-changing and now many smartphones boast an 8-megapixel camera, rivaling many traditional point-and-shoot cameras.
    Most importanty, though, these smartphones come with camera applications, which means that every friend on Facebook seems to fancy themselves as the next Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz. Using the filters and enhancements that can be found through applications like Instagram or RetroCamera, no longer do photographers have to slave in dark rooms to achieve the kind of lighting and after-effects of professionals.
    But, you still have to have some photography knowledge. Some knowledge of the applications would be handy too, right?
    That's where the Biggs Museum comes in. Education Programs Manager Beccy Cooper said the museum always tries to offer classes and programs that complement the museum's exhibits. So, as Cooper and other staff members were brain-storming program ideas for "Biggs Shot III," the museum's perennial juried photography exhibit, someone suggested something new, something modern: a smartphone photography class.
    "So many people use their phones in place of their cameras," Cooper said. "It seemed like a great modern fit for the contemporary photography that's exhibited during 'Bigg's Shot.'"
    So, this month the museum will offer two classes: "Smartphone Photography" and "iPhone Workshop," which will offer insights into better phone photography.
    Over the course of a couple of hours, the instructors, both professional photographers, will give participants some technical and creative advice.
    Nancy Breslin, a professional photographer, who teaches parttime at the University of Delaware, will delve into the more creative aspects of photography. In her class, which will be held this Saturday, students will hear a little bit about the history of some of the toy cameras that the smartphone camera applications mimic and will also get to practice perspective, using objects from the museum's permanent exhibits.
    "The lessons you get from shooting these objects are lessons that you can apply to shooting photos of your friends," Breslin said. "Do you want to take the same boring pictures of do you want to take cool pictures?"
    Of course, people want to take cool pictures.
    "A real gift that photographers, or anybody with a camera, can give people is to give them a picture they've never seen before," Breslin said. "Can you take your picture from an interesting angle? Can you crop it in an interesting way? Or, can you juxtapose the object again with something else?"
    Later in January, Buckalew will teach iPhone users how to become real iPhoneographers. Unlike Breslin's class, this workshop is specific for Apple users. But, like the general smartphone class, participants will be guided through the whole photo process, from taking a picture and applying the image enhancement applications to practice and critique.
    Page 2 of 2 - The class size is small (15 people) so everyone will have ample time to ask questions and practice new techniques. And, as an added bonus, participants will be given the opportunity to possibly have their photos added to a social media site. Then, QR codes will be posted at gallery entrances, which will allow future museum visitors the opportunity to retrieve images taken during the class.
    "Artful photographs are not impossible with a phone," Breslin said. "You just have to find something interesting to capture. Then, if you take care in how you take the picture and you've got a good eye, something artful will definitely come of that."
    IF YOU GO
    Smartphone Photography
    WHERE The Biggs Museum, 406 Federal St., Dover
    WHEN 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12
    COST $50 per person
    INFO www.biggsmuseum.org
    iPhone Workshop
    WHERE The Biggs Museum, 406 Federal St., Dover
    WHEN 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26
    COST $50 per person
    INFO www.biggsmuseum.org

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