Which course should I take?

If you answer NO to any of these questions, you would benefit by Introductory Photography.
(NB: These questions also give you a pretty good idea of some of the course topics.)
  • Are you comfortable and confident when using your camera when it’s NOT in Auto mode?
  • Do you know how to create a picture that has the main subject sharp and the background blurry?
  • Can you use your knowledge of shutter speed to create an image that implies motion?
  • If you were shooting outdoors and then brought your camera indoors to shoot, do you know what adjustments to make with your ISO?
  • Do you understand and regularly use these concepts: exposure compensation? spot metering? depth of field preview?
  • Are you able to assess the natural light in a situation and use it to your advantage?
  • Can you identify several compositional principles that will help you create a compelling image?
  • When photographing people, can you identify three important considerations to strengthen your image?
If you answer NO to any of these questions, you would benefit by Intermediate Photography.
  • Can you use flash on your camera so that no one can tell? (You know flash has been used if you see red eye, harsh shadows and exposure problems)
  • Are you comfortable shooting with your camera set in manual mode?
  • Have you experienced the joy and surprise of photography in the dark? That is, do you understand how to make successful images at night? And do you know when is the best time for night shots?
  • Do you have strategies to kickstart your own creativity and develop your personal vision?
  • Do you have a toolkit of strategies to use, both in-camera and in post-processing, to add an extra dimension of interest and uniqueness to your images?

Registration for Courses and Payment

  • How can I register for a course? After deciding on the course for you, go to the Registration page and click the link next to your course. Registration is complete and guaranteed when payment is made.
  • What about refunds? If you register for a course and you are no longer able to attend, here are a few options for you:
    – a full refund is available if there are more than 30 days until your course begins.
    – If there are fewer than 30 but more than 7 days until your course begins, AND I can fill your spot from a waitlist, I’ll send you a full refund. If there is no one to fill your spot, a 75% refund is available.
    – If there are fewer than 7 days before your course begins, a 50% refund is available.
    – Once the start date for the course arrives, there are no refunds available or credits for future courses.

Questions about Courses

  • What is included in each course?
    For every session of every course, you will get:
    – a clear indication of the purpose of that session.
    – practice opportunities to discuss and work with your camera on that topic.
    – electronic notes that review the concepts of the session, written in a way that is practical and useful for future reference.
    – feedback on your images. For this to happen, you need to upload images to our private Facebook page.
  • What if I can’t attend one or two sessions of a course?
    In most cases, courses are taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays in different locations. If you are registered in a Tuesday course but can’t attend one week, you are welcome to join the Thursday group that week. Also, each session of a course includes electronic notes. You will get the notes whether or not you attend. Further, our private, online community on Facebook is a place to ask questions about any topic you need to have clarified.
  • How large are the classes?
    The maximum for Introductory and Intermediate Photography is 15. Each of these courses includes a teaching assistant so everyone can get their questions answered. The maximum enrolment for the Lightroom courses is 6.
  • Why are Saturday outings included?
    Although the classes are very much hands-on, the best practice is outside in a real photography situation. Saturday outings are included in Introductory and Intermediate courses to practice the skills taught in class with direct supervision and suggestions. Many students often mention these as one of the most valuable aspects of the course.
  • What equipment do I need for a photography course?
    For Introductory photography, your camera and lens is enough. Recommended accessories are a polarizing filter and a tripod. Recommendations for these are made during the course and discounts may be available at Kerrisdale Cameras in Langley. For Intermediate Photography, a tripod is essential as well as a speedlight flash that fits on your camera hotshoe. See below for flash recommendations.
  • What if I need a flash for my camera?
    A flash unit must have the ability to rotate the head so it can be pointed 90º to the left and 90º to the right as well as behind you (180º). This is very important. Also, ensure your flash has TTL (Through the Lens) capability. This means that the flash automatically calculates the strength of the flash output for each situation. Camera manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon make excellent flash units. However, there are very effective and much less expensive options from other sources.
    I personally use speed light flash units from Strobepro. This is a Calgary company that imports high quality equipment and stands behind their products. I have three of these flash units. The cost is less than half the price of a similar Nikon or Canon flash. You can save even more if you choose the model that uses AA batteries. But after years of recharging those, I prefer the version with the larger lithium battery. It holds its charge almost forever and has a very fast recycle time. The friendly staff at Strobepro welcome your phone call to ensure you get the right speedlight unit.
  • Is it necessary to have a DSLR camera?
    Can I take the course with a Point & Shoot camera? Yes, you can definitely benefit from the course with a point & shoot camera and some people have. The cameras operate in the same way. The difference is in the purpose of the camera. With a DSLR, the controls are designed to be quickly accessible and under your thumb or finger tips. With a point & shoot camera, the designers assume that most users will operate in Auto mode and therefore, the essential camera controls are in the menu system, making them harder to locate and adjust.  If you are just starting out, definitely use the point & shoot and, if you plan to move to a DSLR, you will learn a lot about what to look for in a camera. Alternatively, a used DSLR camera can be a very effective and inexpensive camera to learn with. Also, many people today are moving to mirrorless cameras. These cameras are small and lightweight and many have outstanding image quality with all of the features of a DSLR. I have both Nikon DSLRs and Fuji mirrorless cameras.
  • I want to buy a new camera. What should I get?
    That’s a tough question because there are so many factors, with budget usually being the biggest one. In general, the newer the camera, the better it will be because the technology continues to advance. Also, keep in mind that you are buying into a system when you choose a camera. That means that if your first camera is a Nikon, then you’ll probably have 2-3 lenses before long. Then, when it comes time to update your camera, you’ll stick with the Nikon system because you already have the lenses. Another point is that many people end up buying two cameras within the first year or two. Why? Because they try to economize on their first camera, not realizing what all the features are and what the important ones are. They become disappointed with it and then buy, with more knowledge, a camera they’ll be happy with for a longer period. So, choose wisely on your first one. I strongly recommend doing lots of research and using a local camera specialty store rather than a big box retailer or online stores. The local specialty shop has knowledgeable staff who can help you make these hard decisions. After your purchase, they’ll be there to help with your questions and offer support if anything goes wrong. You just don’t get knowledgeable, supportive service from the big box stores. The two stores mentioned above provide exceptional service at very competitive prices.
  • My advice for beginners who need a camera … Buy or borrow a used one. Yes, a used camera. As you can read above, many beginners buy a second camera soon after realizing their first camera was not a great match. So, make your first camera one that is inexpensive. Even better, borrow one. Through the course, you’ll learn a great deal about the features of a camera that are important to you and by the time the course is over, you’ll know what you need. Then, you can buy one with confidence. There, I just saved you several hundred dollars!
  • Why Should I Learn Photography from Double Exposure Photography?
    Glad you asked! To read what former students say, click here or on my Facebook page or check out the Google reviews below.