After over 7 years of blogging, my photography style has changed considerably. Blogging was the initial motivator which drove me to slowly learn how to take better photos. In the beginning, I spent some time wondering how the images on blogs I enjoyed were just so much better than mine! I knew these people weren't all professional photographers, so I guessed it must have been a difference of equipment. In 2010 I decided that it was time to invest in a digital SLR camera. Instantly I noticed a huge difference from the photos I took with my old point and shoot style camera. But, I still was encountering a lot of issues. I honestly expected that in spending $700 on equipment, all my photos would turn out perfectly with just the click of a button. When I discovered that shooting in Auto mode wasn't going to give me the results I desired, I began to do some research. In a very slow meandering way, I learned how to work my manual settings, how to adjust for lighting and how to become creative with framing and focusing my photos. I googled answers to questions as I came across them and got advice here and there from friends, but my working knowledge is still lacking to this day.
Although I now take a lot of pride in how far I've come as a hobby photographer, I'm also very aware of how far I have to go. Which is why when Photography Concentrate contacted us about reviewing one of their tutorials "Extreemly Essential Camera Skills" I was all in!
I felt like I was a great candidate to give an honest review of photography concentrate tutorials because:
1) I still have so much to learn, especially on the technical end of things.
2) Having developed and co-taught 3 successful e-courses myself, I am familiar with how much work goes into creating one and what makes an engaging online learning experience.
I am so impressed by Extremely Essential Camera Skills. First off, it's a visually stimulating product which is easily downloaded in PDF form to access either on your laptop or iPad (I used both to go through the course). There is so much essential material, very clearly explained and illustrated with charts and diagrams that can be easily referenced at any point. The design of the course is cohesive throughout, making it a breeze to go through a wealth of information. I especially appreciated that although this particular tutorial covers so much, it remains focused on truly making you understand how EXACTLY your DSLR functions and how you can consistently use this information to your advantage each time you take a photo. Nothing covered is glossed over or assumed.
The tutorial videos by teacher and author Lauren are crisp, clear and very enjoyable to watch. It is a similar experience to being in class with a teacher, with the added benefits of clear close up demonstrations and the ability to re-wind parts of the instruction that you wanted to hear again. And, just like you would expect in a photography class, assignments are given at the end of each lesson. I enjoyed working through each lesson with my camera in hand, experimenting with the different settings (some of which I hadn't ever used. Aha! That's what that A stands for!)
Below I'm practicing applying depth-of-field to a vignette by adjusting the focus and the aperture. Wheeee ...
You don't have to be a blogger to reap the benefits of taking better photos.
Yes, it'll elevate your blog to have images that inspire your readership. It'll also make those vacation photos so enjoyable to look at that you'll want to create albums, slideshows, and have them made into prints to decorate your home with. Living around visual reminders of times when you felt the happiest is a fantastic way to improve your every day mood. Catching an image of someone you love which mirrors their personality perfectly is so rewarding! If you've been wondering how you can get the most out of the DSLR you already own, I KNOW you'll love Extremely Essential Camera Skills by Photography Concentrate. For the complete course overview visit HERE.