Friday, October 7, 2011

Moving off Auto

There is so much information on digital photography on the web, it is fantastic. It can also be overwhelming, when you are a beginner. Where do you start?

I thought I would take a moment today to talk about Digital Photography Basics, an online course I'm teaching starting October 16. I've mentioned registration is open but I haven't talked much about the "why" behind this course on the blog. 

It is no secret that I love the creative aspects of photography. I love to study composition, and why a photograph works visually. I love exploring how to express myself through my images, and helping others do the same. Underlying all of that, there is a technical foundation that I build on. I couldn't express myself in the way that I do without having a good understanding of how to use my equipment. Exposure and post-processing are just as critical as composition for that expression, look at today's photo as an example. The technical and creative aspects all work together.

That's where Digital Photography Basics comes in. The technical foundation you need for expression is not as complicated as you might think. There are some basics you need to understand about how a digital camera works, and how you can use that basic information to create better images. It doesn't take expensive cameras or complicated software to create great images, it takes your unique vision and an understanding of the camera and software YOU have. This course helps you learn to use what you have better, whether it's a point-and-shoot or a dSLR. It takes you off "auto" so that you can express yourself in new ways in your photography.

Here's what past participants in this class have said:
"[My favorite thing about the course] was the simplicity of the technical information. There was no confusion - just straight forward... here's the info of how and why, set your camera like this, go play. Perfect!"  
"I loved learning about the technical aspects of photography. I'd always found it challenging before but you presented it in an easy, understandable way. I loved that you paired each lesson with photographs. That made everything so easy to grasp."  
"You really do have an artist's eye and a visual way of presenting the information, yet with the thoroughness of a scientist... both of which I appreciate." 
I especially like that last one... I think this course may be where my artistic side and my technical side truly do come together. As an engineer for my "day job," Digital Photography Basics is the place I bring that "techiness" to my classes. For me, the technical aspects of photography are secondary to the artistic aspects, but only because I understand the technical part enough I don't have to consciously think about it. It takes a little bit of time and study to get to that point. You can get there too!

If you are looking to get to "move off auto" and get a better understanding of the technical side of photography, Digital Photography Basics is a great step for you to take. I'd love to have you join me! 

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