Back To (Teaching) The Basics of Photography

Written by stuestler on July 26th, 2009
(c) 2007 Stu Estler

(c) 2007 Stu Estler

Have you ever wondered why it is that two people, standing side-by-side, even with the same cameras, can each take a photo of the same subject? One takes a dramatic, emotionally-charged image, while the other’s photos are … dull, uninteresting – you just don’t get that emotional “aha” that you get from really great photos, that feeling of becoming drawn in and becoming part of the picture.

In the 25 plus years I’ve been a professional photographer so many people have asked me how to improve their photos, that I’ve taken all of the knowledge, experience, techniques and tricks that I’ve leaned over my photography career and put it all together in a photo course.




Here are some of the things I cover:

  • Have you ever taken a great shot, and thought “wow, how do I do that again?” You’ll learn how to use all those controls and settings on your camera so that you are able to reliably and easily get consistent results from your photos.
  • Imagine how the impact of little differences in framing and composition can have a dramatic effect on the impact of your photo. You discover how to compose your pictures to capture and lead your viewer’s emotions.
  • We’ll look at design elements in a photograph, how they affect your photos and why they’re such a critical cornerstone in taking really great pictures.
  •  You’ll learn how to see and understand all about light – front lighting, side lighting, back lighting, the color of light, how different times of day makes a difference … remember, photography is all about light. Even the word photography means “drawing with light”.

The course is a self-directed, self-paced program, delivered online via email and a website where you download your weekly lesson. I’m close to releasing the online course, but first I want to fine-tune it to be sure I’m on the right track with what everyone’s looking for.

Before this course goes live, it’s important that I’m certain my students are achieving the success they desire.

What I’ve decided to do is put together a class – a live face-to-face class – as a Beta-test to put the finishing touches on the course.

I’ll get input from all of the members to learn exactly what is most important – what you’d like to learn to help improve your photography.

 We’ll meet for an hour once a week, for six weeks, partly on location where I can demonstrate and you can practice techniques, and partly inside where we can review photos and see examples.

 Now, since you’re reading this photo blog, I’m guessing you have some kind of an interest in photography. So how about chiming in and helping me out?

What three things are you most interested in learning about photography? Doesn’t matter if you’re a working pro or a new beginner. Those of us who are working pros all know the way we got here is through constantly learning. And if you are a pro, what are people asking you?

(c) 2009 Stu Estler

(c) 2009 Stu Estler

This will also help us develop the program for the next Design4Kids workshop in Guatemala this December. So even if you can’t come along and volunteer this time, you can still participate in helping out the kids.


So go ahead and leave a short (or long) answer in the comments below.

I realize it’s kind of hard to find – it’s buried at the end of each post, as “responses”. I’m still looking for a template I like that handles comments better, haven’t found one yet. Any ideas there are welcome, too!


P.S.  – If you’re in the Washington DC area and would like more info on the live class, let me know how to contact you.

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