About a year ago I gifted myself a fancy-pants digital SLR camera (the Nikon D5100 if anyone is interested) with an equally fancy lens. This was the cheapest full frame camera I could find online at the time. I love the camera but as I have no background in photography I knew I wasn’t getting the most out of it by leaving it on automatic mode and barely touching any of the features. I have this idea that this point and shoot camera was a good one in spite of me knowing nothing how to operate this, there are many features of it that I must know about. I had tried reading the manual and even watched a few tutorials on youtube, but none of it was making any sense. As B and I have a little holiday coming up in May I decided it was time to bite the bullet and learn how to properly use the camera, so I enrolled in an intensive Basic Digital SLR Photography Course through the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) in Melbourne.
The course is run as 6 x 2-hr classes, 4 x 3-hr classes or 2 x 6-hr classes. Because I’m somewhat impatient (and also would never be able to find 4 or 6 weeks free in a row!) I decided to go for the intensive, 2 class option, which was held on consecutive Sundays at the CBD campus. The course was taught by Glenn Guy, who has been a professional photographer for many years, and has a travel photography blog: http://travelphotographyguru.com/
The course covered all the basics and Glenn paced the sessions really well – giving us a lot of information but also going back over topics a few times as it all started to sink in and make sense. We ventured out and tried our new skills on the streets of Melbourne which was definitely useful, as we were able to play with the settings on our cameras in real situations and make sense of the theoretical information we had been learning previously.
It was great to start to get an understanding of what all the multitude of buttons and dials actually do, and I have now got the camera set-up in a way that makes sense for me, and that I understand, so I’m looking forward to getting more familiar with my camera and hopefully getting some great photos as a result! A lot of what we were taught will probably only start to really make sense once I have been playing around and taking photos a bit more, but that’s half the fun!
All in all it was a great class and I’m really glad I decided to take the plunge and sign up. I can’t wait to take my camera away with us now and see what shots I can take! I’m also thinking of doing some other classes through the CAE when we’re back – there’s so much choice and you can never do too much learning!
Have you done any classes recently?