Disclosure: Classes were paid for me on behalf of Nikon School, and I was loaned a NIKON D5500 18-140MM VR KIT.
I bet if I were to survey my friends online the majority of them would tell me they shoot their DSLR in Manual Mode. I confess, I do it myself. It isn’t that Manual Mode is taboo, or that shooting in this mode makes you a bad photographer, but it does me that you are probably missing out on a lot of amazing shots.
When I bought my first DSLR, I was so impressed with how well Manual Mode worked that I never bothered to learn the basics of exposure and camera controls. I did look online to see if there were classes offered by the camera manufacturer, but there was nothing. Needless to say, if you guessed that my DSLR isn’t a Nikon you would be right. If I had done more research I would have figured out that Nikon offers something that most brands don’t, classes. From Basics of Exposure & Camera Controls to more advanced, hands-on classes like a Portrait & Lighting Workshop. Granted ANYONE can take a Nikon School class, but having a Nikon brand camera does make it easier.
Although the awesome folks signed me up to take the Landscape & Travel Photography, Basics of Exposure & Camera Controls, Action & People Photography, and the Portrait & Lighting Workshop (a hands-on class) I was only able to make it to the Basics of Exposure & Camera Controls class due to various schedule problems and illnesses. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t get to the other classes because if they were anything like the one I got to attend I certainly missed out.
The Basics of Exposure and Camera Controls class was perfect for me because I’m relatively a beginner. The instructors were engaging and I loved that they were actually professional photographers who admitted that sometimes they shoot in Manual Mode. It made me feel less stressed about learning the camera. I loved that they showed us which each of the buttons, dials and menus were on our camera and gave us sound advice as to when to use what. Also, a few days before your class you will be sent a great study sheet that offers all kinds of notes so that in class you can really concentrate on what they are teaching and not have to worry about writing down every single thing they say. I wish I had brought a tape recorder though so this is something I might do the next time. The three-hour class only cost, $99.00
The other classes I missed that weekend were:
- Action & People – During Nikon School’s 3-Hour class on Action & People, you’ll Improve your knowledge of action, sports, people and portrait photography, both creatively and technically. You’ll learn from professionals about important skills like anticipating action and reaction, overcoming poor lighting, choosing the right lens and camera settings, using light background, and more. $99.00
- Landscape & Travel– You will explore the different qualities of light and learn how to use light to your advantage. Find out what techniques and accessories will help you create more rewarding travel photographs on your trips and vacations—even get advice on planning for a trip and what to pack. $99.00
You can find a class near you here. They update the schedule regularly and they offer classes in different parts of the country every few months so be sure to check back often.
What you can find at the Nikon School:
- Classes for both beginners & advanced shooters
- 3-hour and full-day classes conveniently scheduled
- Locations across the country
- Hands-on instruction from working pros
- Wide range of technical and creative topics
- Prices Ranging from $99.00 to $599.00
Be looking for my upcoming article on what I thought about the camera they loaned me to use, the NIKON D5500 18-140MM VR KIT.