Welcome to the Distance Learning Photographic Workshop section.
Here you will find details of the Elements of Photography, a course for beginners and novices and Practising Photography, designed to take your photography to the next level




Who are they for?

There are currently two courses, one designed for the complete novice, beginner or improver called The Elements of Photography and the other course called Practising Photography which has been designed as a follow on course, but is also available to anyone that has the attained that same level of competence which develops your photography skills to the next level.

How do the courses work?
The courses are set out over a series of modules. You will be emailed the series of Modules, only one at a time so that you build on your understanding progressively.
Each module is broken down into relevant topics which are to be completed together. The modules are made up of comprehensive tuition notes with illustrative photographs to guide you through each topic and the all important practical exercises for you to complete.
Once you have completed each exercise you will then email me your resulting images, sometimes with a small piece of written work so that I can see that you comprehend the various points. Once received, I will email back with comments on the work you have sent, maybe with additional exercises to ensure that you have understood fully. Some lessons are lengthier than others. This is to keep the various factors combined and in a logical progression.

The Elements of Photography

Modules1 and 2 comprise aspects of composition; Module 3 covers Exposure. This module is necessarily detailed but fundamental and once grasped, you will not be using the ‘Auto’ setting again! Module 4 moves on a stage with ISO and Exposure Compensation; Module 5 is all about Focus, Depth of Field and Movement with Module 6 covering Histogram, Tone and Colour. You will end with that all important Summary session where it is all put together.

Rule of Thirds


What knowledge do you need to have?
None really other than how your own camera operates. Your camera is a tool for taking pictures. You need to know how to operate the tool. Therefore ideally you should read your camera manual and practice how to change the settings. DON'T worry, guidance is given and likewise I’ll tell you what they do or what they're for, just understand and practice how to change them.

The essence of what this course is about improving your photography. There are plenty of books and magazines telling you ‘how to improve your photography’ etc. You may have already read one or two. Having read them you may think, ‘Yes, I understand that.’ But until you put it into practice and the method becomes automatic and ingrained; you won’t truly understand it.

It will be a waste of your money to enrol for this course, and just read the notes without going through the practical processes. You are advised to print the course notes and take them with you when you are following the exercises, on the ‘shoot’ so to speak. The course and the way it is written, is designed for you to do this. This method of teaching has been honed by me for over 5 years on the many practical workshops I run. It works, but you have to put in the time.



What equipment will you need to complete the course?

CAMERA

Your camera can be a compact, SLR (Single Lens Reflex), DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) or a bridge camera (a camera for bridging the gap between a compact and a DSLR). On the camera, you will need to be able to select shutter speed (speed priority, ‘S’ or timer value ‘TV’) and aperture (aperture priority ‘A’ or aperture value ‘AV’). The camera will almost certainly also have ‘exposure compensation’ facilities. Don’t worry if you do not understand these terms. I will explain what they are and how to use them but, you must know how to select them on your camera.

Whether your camera is film or digital does not matter to me. For me to view your images, you will need to email them to me, which if you are a film user will mean you getting the film scanned.

LENS

If you have a camera with one zoom lens fixed to your camera that will be fine. If your camera has interchangeable lenses, then for this course, the Standard zoom lens will be perfect. This is likely to be an 18-70mm, 18-55mm or 24-70mm lens. All are fine for this stage of development.

TRIPOD

You will need a tripod for taking images in certain circumstances. Avoid tripods with what are termed ‘video heads’. These are for video use and cumbersome for ‘still’ cameras. My advice is to try before you buy.

REMOTE RELEASE

When using a tripod it is best if you use a remote release cable or infra red remote switch to fire the shutter as opposed to using your finger. If you do not have one of these and do not want to buy one (they are available on the internet for less than £10 in most cases), you can suffice by using the timer delay facility built into your
camera if you wish.

COMPUTER

You are reading this so you therefore have access to a computer! You will need camera software to help you do slight corrections to images: save the images at different sizes: crop the image into different formats, change the image to black and white etc. The software that came with your camera is usually the best first program so try this initially.

The course is designed for you to complete within 12 months. When you have successfully completed all the modules, you will have a greater knowledge and of equal importance, be taking better photographs with a greater understanding of how to achieve the photographs you want.

The cost for the course including all the elements, (excuse the pun), listed in this section, is £299. As an added bonus, you will also receive a 10% discount on the follow on course, ‘Practising Photography’, to help you take your photography to the next level plus a discount voucher for one of the practical photography workshops that I run (see workshops page on website for further details).


EMAIL ME HERE for more information on equipment and to receive an enrolment form, or if you have any queries about the course. Elements can be paid for by cheque or credit card, full details being available on the form.





’PRACTISING PHOTOGRAPHY’


This is the follow on course to Elements. Practising Photography is again a Distance Learning Course designed to take your photography to the next level. Before enrolling for Practising Photography you need to understand the basic Elements of Photography. You may well have attended one of my photographic workshops or PhotoTreks for beginners, completed the Elements of Photography distance learning course or have built up your knowledge with experience. Either way to benefit from Practising Photography, you must have the following:
  • A good working knowledge of your camera
  • A fundamental understanding and practical use of exposure and the reciprocal nature of aperture, speed and ISO
  • The compositional tools of Rule of Thirds, Golden Rule and Fibonacci Principal ingrained within you
  • Demonstration of practical use of lead-In lines, foreground interest and the importance of diagonals
  • An understanding of Depth of Field, what effects it and what effects can be created with it
  • An understanding of the histogram and how to read it
Please note that as the points above are the pre-required knowledge, only a few notes are provided on these subjects in this course. If you are unsure whether you have this knowledge or not, please ask. It may be better for you to undertake the Elements of Photography Course first, where notes on these topics are provided. Equipment wise, it is the same as the Elements course listed above, plus some filters, both neutral density plain and graduated. In Practising Photography by working through each Module my aim is for you to
  • Build on your existing knowledge
  • Consolidate, and augment this with further methods
  • Learn new techniques
  • Increase your practical understanding
  • Raise your photography to the next level
  • Plan your photo shoots
  • Expand your field craft
  • Release the potential of your camera and lens
  • Use Mother Nature
  • Visualise the image
  • Compose, compose compose
  • Understand how to use the light
  • Think outside the box
  • Be creative
  • Create impact in your photographs
This is not a definitive list, but will give you an idea of what is in store. The modules and exercises will be challenging for some, but then you wouldn’t want them to be easy would you? Module 1 includes a refresher with exercises in aperture, speed and movement plus a demonstration of your composition skills; Module 2 delves into that murky world of hyperfocal distance and depth of field with your practical use in landscapes and portraiture; Module 3 requires you to work with light involving sun angles, intensity, filters and the use of the histogram; Module 4 is all about low light before sunrise and after sunset; Module 5 involves people, Module 6 monochrome and colour; Module 7 is all about visualisation and the final Module is where you put it all together and demonstrate your photographic advancement!
The course is designed for you to complete within 12 months. When you have successfully completed all the modules, you will have a greater knowledge and of equal importance, be taking better photographs with a greater understanding of how to achieve the photographs you want.
The cost for the course is £299 which includes all the modules listed in this section, plus my advice, critique and guidance.

EMAIL ME HERE to receive an enrolment form, or if you have any queries about the course. Practising Photography can be paid for by cheque or credit card, full details being available on the form.

Ian