Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photography 101 - Review

Hello All,

As some of you may know, I got my brandy-new D-SLR camera for Christmas along with a class on how to use it. So, I took a Photography 101 class with Nicole's Classes in January.

The class is four weeks long and covers the basics of exposure, composition and shooting portraits. I learned how to work with f-stop, also known as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to take good photos in any light. I learned how to shoot photos to capture motion and how to make it look like there's motion when there isn't. I learned about how to set the white balance and the different metering modes.

Yes, now I am master of the camera. I can bend it to my will, muah ha ha-OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I am definitely comfortable shooting in manual mode and my pictures are a gazillion times better. Apparently "gazillion" is a bona-fide word, as least I'm guessing it is since I didn't get the red line under it... unlike "bona fide," which did.  Weird.

Anyway, I now know the basics of good composition, like the rule of thirds, framing, and leading lines. And I have some information on how to shoot good portraits.

Every week you upload your homework for Nicole to critique and her insight is very helpful in fine-tuning your technique. The homework has you practice the specifics of the lesson and also gives you the opportunity to take some shots of subjects of your choosing. Every week there's a live chat so you can get your questions answered in real time. She is also available for questions via email and their turn-around time is pretty fast.

One of my favorite things about the class is the textbook, It is fantastic! At first I thought that, at $40.00, it was a little pricey, but now that I have it I think it's totally worth it.

It's little, only 7" x 7," but it's beautifully laid out and she manages to cram TONS of information into it despite its size.You can find the information you need very quickly and easily, the photos are great, there are great examples for all of the concepts, and the layout makes it super easy to read.

It's size makes it easy to put in your camera bag so you can haul it out when you need to reference it. Like when you're trying to figure out why your photos are looking blueish. (It's a white balance thing, FYI).

I should say that the manual and the class are almost identical. The benefit of the class is the critique and the chat. If you learn well from a book and you are not looking for a critique, you may find that the manual is all you need.

All in all Nicole does an excellent job giving newbie photographers a good start on their journey. I enjoyed the class and I do recommend it.

On another note, I get to cross "Take a Photography Class" off my 40 x 40. It's also one class down out of the seven I need to take. Progress! Love it.

I will see you all tomorrow!


  1. heather - good for you! i'm excited for your camera and all the learning you are doing. looks like a very useful class. can't wait to see your experiments with it!

  2. Aloha...thanks so much for sharing your link on the BYW page, you're light years ahead of me (I just got a slr for Xmas too and am still struggling.

    Had to pull out of my live class at the local college due to the flu so I really appreciate this.

  3. I would really, really need a class like that... Maybe sometime this year.

    You seem to be full of energy right now, taking on Lu's room, taking photography and illustrator classes, cutting sixteen heartshaped glasses, planning your business and blogging. Good for you! Have fun!

    Hope you will have a great weekend!

  4. Sounds like an awesome class, and a great book! I'm glad you got the book too because you can refer to it again and again...the two really are apples and oranges, you know? Can't wait to see how your photos evolve!


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