“Mr. J., isn’t there a YouTube video that could show us this concept?”
I’m in a university digital photography class and the professor is trying to explain how aperture affects depth of field. For twenty minutes, using a whiteboard and hand gestures, he has been trying explain.
On my laptop, I do a quick Google search, and find a few online tutorials and a concise, clear written explanation on the topic.
- A professor in the computer science department at Michigan Tech created this detailed, visual explanation of depth of field.
- A professional photographer created this tutorial entitled “DOF Depth Of Field - Photography & Filmmaking Tutorial”. (This video is a keeper; I’ve added it to my delicious bookmarks for future reference.)
- In a tutorial created by AdoramaTV for Digital Photography One on One, Mark Wallace talks about how aperture, focal length and distance from subject impact DOF.
Online tutorials are excellent educational resources. Having a few links available can really help students learn difficult concepts. As a visual learner who finds numbers and diagrams difficult to absorb, I found that online video tutorials at YouTube and Vimeo were just what I needed to learn about aperture and depth of field.
For seventeen years I've been a high school teacher. In my beginning years, I didn't feel I was giving my students a true education unless I had a prepared lecture, with notes, and lots of chalk dust on my hands by the end of the class. Over the years, however, my view of the teacher as the "sage on the stage" has morphed into a "guide on the side". I write about how my view on the role of the teacher has changed. This post explores my teaching philosophy and this change in perspective.
Traditional classroom lectures just aren't cutting it in many secondary school and university classrooms. My professor is a brilliant photographer and he is knowledgeable in his field. For this reason I stay in his class, anxious to learn from his expertise. However, today's lesson wasn't learned from drawings on a whiteboard with my professor standing in the front of the room lecturing. I learned today's content by accessing online sources and referring to a photography book that a friend lent me. (Check out Scott Kelby’s “Digital Photogaphy : 3-Volume Set”- a great resource for digital photographers).
I spoke with my professor after class, telling him that I had found a few online resources and that I’d send him the links. He didn't seem very interested. I suspect that he will continue his whiteboard lectures which are given twice a week in a high-tech computer lab that is outfitted with an LCD projector and plasma wall monitors.
As long as he lets me surf the web while he’s lecturing, I’m learning a lot.
Note: It would be hard for a traditional classroom lecture to trump this visually rich video tutorial on how the 180 Degree Rule is used in film. Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" is used as a model.