If you're a hands-on learner, here is our prime course that will help you get along with your camera equipment. Like every painter needs to know his brushes, like every musician needs to know their instrument, you as photographer should know your tool. We'll walk you right through all the features and functions you need to know to get the most out of your camera.
With patience and kindness.
Day & Time
Thursdays 6:30 - 8:30
For kids ages 10-15
Wednesdays 10 AM - 12 PM
Sat& Sun 9:00 - 4:00
10/28 & 29/17
up to 6 months
up to you
wherever you are
whenever you're ready
In this hands-on course, we will demystify each of the systems that make up your camera, e.g: shutter, aperture, ISO, metering and whitebalance. We will explore how each of those work, why they are needed, how they do what they do and why you should care. Then we discover how to use each of them artistically to improve your photography. Classes are very laid back, fun and hands-on. It will help greatly if you have a sense of humor.
This course is part of our Foundations Series. For a side-by-side comparison of all our Foundations
courses, click here.
• You'd prefer to not trip over your camera anymore and want to start enjoying photography to its fullest.
• You have been photographing for a while and you know your camera can do more than automatic mode.
• You feel overwhelmed by your camera system and don't know what all the things on it are for.
• You just got a new DSLR and you would like to learn how to best use it.
• You know about shutter, aperture, ISO and could use a refresher with a little leg-up on connecting the dots.
• You're anywhere between 9 and 90 and prefer to study in a fun, hands-on, friendly,
safe, and non-judgmental environment.
Join us in our gorgeous classroom, located in our state-of-the-art facility in Amherst, NH. That's what most people do. Or, if that is not convenient, you can join us to learn the same material via a weekly webinar. We also offer this course as a weekend intensive or as a self-paced eLearning course, where you log in and learn at your own pace. Once you sign up for one of these options, you have access for 6 months to complete your learning. If you miss a few classes here or there, you can make them up at any time in the 6 months following your enrollment.
Or, for the most flexibilty, you can upgrade to our hybrid learning option. Build yourself a course that has a little bit of everything. If you want. Have it your way. - Wait. That slogan may be taken. If you chose this option, you'll have 12 months of access to complete your learning. If you start in the classroom and find the webinar more convenient, you can finish there. Or vice versa. We want to offer you the flexibility and the accessibility to learn in whichever way you desire, giving you the option to change along the way, should the need arise.
And just to make sure we didn't leave you befuddled after all, we include a free 20 minute personal coaching session with each course. With patience and kindness.
If you attend at least 3 of the 6 classes in our classroom or in the webinar, or attend 1 of the two days of the weekend intensive, you will receive a certificate in Digital Photography at the end of the course. For the self-paced students, each class ends with a short quiz that you'll have to pass before you can proceed. If you make it to the end, you passed and you'll get your certificate. Certificates are issued by C1M Academy and backed by the State of New Hampshire's Department of Education.
We have been teaching photography since 2006, and we found that while photography looks very easy, understanding all its elements and gaining control is a lot harder than it looks. The fact that camera systems continue to get more complicated isn't really helping here at all. Your camera consists of several complex systems, all interacting with each other. Trying to learn about aperture, shutter and ISO all at once has proved not to be an effective learning method. It's just too complicated.
We've discovered that the best way to learn photography seems to be when we break it down and teach it in fun and hands-on sections. One subject, one technical conundrum at a time. Our courses are geared for adult learning and we found the sweet spot to be at 2 hours per class.
If we go any longer students may get tired and absorb less. The segmented syllabus, together with hands-on learning and focused assignments, seems to make all the difference.
Students tell us what they enjoy the most is the light-hearted atmosphere and the structured approach. Each class introduces new subject matter where students explore their own camera systems, taking small steps, in the classroom, remote, or in our self study course. Making learning a fun experience and encouraging students to explore and learn with patience and kindness is what we stand for.
Why the classroom course may be for you
This is the ultimate hands-on, fun photography course. Come and enjoy learning in our modern classroom featuring a 14' projector screen for the first part of each class. After that we go into what is one of the most cutting edge digital photo studios in New England today for the practical demonstrations and more hands-on demonstrations. Learn how to use your camera while we show you how to take it through its paces.
In our classroom course we bundle classroom learning with easy to follow studio demonstrations and hands-on learning. All in a clean, fun, and family friendly environment.
If anyone has a question, we stop and address it before moving on. The reason for that is that, most likely, others were wondering the same. We encourage you to explore and we support you in your quest. We try keep things light by not taking ourselves too seriously, creating an atmosphere of fearless learning and discovery. Students tell us that they like the calmness where they feel comfortable to ask question without fear of judgment. As we said, we love helping people. With patience and kindness.
Why the kids' classroom course may be for you
Although we welcome teens in our regular Photography the Basics course, it may be that kids will feel more comfortable in a group of their peers rather than mixed in with a group of adults. With this in mind, we are offering a summer Photography the Basics course for tweens and teens. The course content will be the same comprehensive education in camera and photography basics that we offer in our adult course. But we'll make sure the pace is geared to younger learners, with plenty of time to ask questions and engage in hands-on practice to really cement the skills we teach. If there's a young photography enthusiast in your life, and they are looking for a fun way to fill some of their summer vacation days, this course may be the perfect fit.
This course is offered once a year, in the summer.
Why the weekend intensive course may be for you
If Thursday nights don't work for you, maybe a weekend does. While this course is very intense, it'll teach you how to use your digital camera in only 2 days, taking you through the functions and features that are most important. Each day is filled with hands-on learning and examples that help you explore your digital camera. Our structured approach builds on lessons learned and you'll find the time flying by.
Based on or proven curriculum, we have taken our 6 weeks course and compacted it into 2 days. Each day will be a mix of classroom time and practical hands-on learning. What amounts to assignments in the 6 weeks course, we will be doing together; in fact you'll be learning under guidance the whole time.
This is your opportunity to get your certificate in digital photography backed by the State of New Hampshire in only a weekend. To qualify, you only have to be there half the time. But, who would you be cheating?
When you sign up, we'll send you your study kit right away. That means you can go through the book right away, and you can start watching the included videos right away. Yes, you may have questions, and not understand it all. But, you know what questions to ask, and you'll be prepared. And that'll make all the difference.
If you find you can't wait till the weekend intensive, come see me at the weekly webinar Thursdays at 5:30 and I'll help you along.
I cannot emphasize this enough: If you have the time, please read through the chapters and watch the videos ahead of time. You'll be glad you did, because you'll feel much more in control.
See you soon. I can't wait. You won't either.
Why the self paced online eLearning course is great
We have taken our proven curriculum and made it available as a comprehensive, interactive, learning experience. Read, watch, click your way through the same lessons that you'll find in your study kit. Each lesson ends with a short quiz that upon passing will allow you to advance. When you get to the end of the course your certificate in Digital Photography will be waiting for you.
You can study at your leisure and at your own speed. And if you get stuck you can always pop into one of our free weekly webinars to ask questions and find out what you are missing. And that makes all the difference.
When you sign up, we ship your study kit to your door and email you your access credentials to the eLearning web site. You'll still email your assignments to us and communicate with us on a regular basis. As we said earlier, even though this is an eLearning course, you won't be alone. Just like the Beatles, we wanna hold your hand.
Why the hybrid learning upgrade may work for you
Our hybrid learning option offers the most flexibility possible. If you start in the classroom, but then decide the webinar is better for you, you can switch. If you have a hellish week and you can't attend either the classroom course or the webinar, you can log in to the eLearning course and complete the lesson there, instead. If you miss, let's say, week 2 of the session you enrolled in, you can attend week 2 at a subsequent course anytime in the 12 months following your enrollment. (Just let us know you'll be attending, so we can be sure to have a chair and a cookie for you.)If you want to really reinforce or review what you've learned, you can repeat the entire course online. When you upgrade to hybrid learning, you really can have it your way. We want to help.
We've assembled this invaluable kit of information and tools that you'll be able to use long after your course is over. (Well ... maybe not the cookies. Those, you will have to eat by their freshness date for best value. But everything else in your kit will have a great shelf life.)
As the name implies, Photography the Basics is the starting point to explore your love of photography and begin building your skills. We believe that there is always something new to learn. Always a skill you can polish or a handy tip that will reveal some new facet of photography to you.
That's why we emphasize hands-on learning in all our courses. It's also why we created our Study Kit. We believe curiosity and a desire to learn are continuous, not something to turn on for class and off when you go home. And with our Study Kit, you don't have to be in the classroom to benefit from our course.
We also include a 20 minute private coaching session with each course. Just in case. Plus, you can always come visit us at the weekly webinar that we run Thursdays 5:30pm if you have a question.
No need to take notes. We've done it for you. You can focus entirely on the night's lesson, knowing that you can refer back to each night's material anytime you need to.
Our courses build communities. Many of our students form friendships that endure long after the course ends. We love that. And we love to facilitate it.
Student discounts on computer equipment and editing software, among other things, let you feed your passion for photography for less. And who doesn't love that?
Let's face it, when you're out with camera in hand, you've got enough gear to juggle. You can't be thumbing through your camera's manual or our course book for information when you want to be taking a great photo. Our Quick Reference card is packed with helpful reminders that will help you get your shot. And we'll show you how to use it throughout this course.
In class 4, we’ll discuss metering and exposure. That’s where a Gray Card comes in handy. We’ll show you how to use it.
In class 5, we will be discussing light and Whitebalance. We’ll show you how to use the Whitebalance Target on the back of the C1M Gray Card to get correct colors with any exposure.
We know that schedules don't always work the way we want them to. Over the course of 6 weeks, missing a class is sometimes unavoidable. While our make-up policy is very liberal, we know that you might not want to wait. Now, you don't have to. You can simply pop in your DVD. Each class will be there in video form, allowing you to cover the missed material at your convenience. (And, you can still make the class up in a later course if you need to.)
There's nothing more fun than sharing something you love with someone you love. Our Intro to Digital Photography passes allow you to share our two-hour quick-start course with three of your favorite people. Then you'll have someone to go take pictures with.
We thinks this speaks for itself. You can never be too prepared in this area.
Just in case you still need some help in some areas we included a private coaching session for you. In the classroom course, you can talk to your teacher easily enough. But, if you take the self paced or webinar based course you may need additional time if you feel stuck. Of course, you can always log on to our weekly webinar and ask questions there, or, use your included private coaching session. You can come visit us in the studio, use it over the phone, or use Skype. Facetime may be available also, if you need to show me something. In either case, scheduling is required.
Our Photography The Basics course consists of 6 classes that build on each other to help you learn all you need to know about camera systems. Each class is structured to make learning fun and comprehensible. Using live demonstrations, photos, or hands-on training (when possible) we will guide you through the exploration of your camera system. Even at our remote learning courses, we will have you turn on your camera and take it through its paces. One function at a time. Assignments for each class are very similar to what you just did in class. Throughout the course, we'll spend some time learning classroom material and some time doing hands-on explorations.
Throughout the course, you will learn what each of the systems that make up your camera is for and how to use it. As part of your study kit you'll receive a Quick Reference Card that is intended to be placed in your camera bag. This card contains a wealth of information that will prove its worth over and over to you. And we will show you how to use it. Step by step.
We'll end the course by tying it all together, and we will be using all the systems in concert to take photographs. When the course ends you will have a decent understanding of how to use your camera and how to get better photos from it.
If you would like to sign up, you can do so right here on this web site. All you need is a credit card. Select your course type and click the Add to Cart button, and you're nearly done.
Once you sign up, you'll receive an email saying thank you and telling you what to expect next. We may need to contact you for additional information to satisfy the NH Department of Education requirements. Please make sure we have your phone number.
About a week before the course starts, we'll send you an email reminder. If you take part in a classroom course, you can find us here.
We've got you covered. People missing classes now and again is quite common and we want to make things easy for you. All classes are available as a video and are included in your Study Kit for you to watch at your leisure.
If you'd like to make up any missed class, you can do so, within a 6 month period, at any of the upcoming courses in any of our course locations or any upcoming webinars. Or, if you choose the hybrid learning upgrade, you have 12 months to make up any missed classes. All we ask is that you let us know you will be joining us.
• Your sense of humor. (Required)
• Your camera, that can be set to S,A and M modes. (DSLR type recommended)
• The booklet that came with your camera.
• A charged battery and a chip-card for your camera.
Introductions, introducing your Study Kit, camera systems, exposure modes.
Demo: Tripods, heads, monopods and when you need them.
Assignment: Take 3 images in Program mode and note aperture, shutter and ISO.
Using your autofocus like a pro. The shutter, how it controls light entering you camera and how you can use it to control motion in your photos.
Demo: How to use the shutter to show motion. Shooting in shutter priority mode.
Assignment: Take 2 images at different shutter speeds, showing how a slow shutter can show motion and a faster shutter stops it. Using panning to create dramatic motion effects.
The aperture, how it controls light entering your camera and how you can use it to control the depth of field. What the numbers on your lens mean.
Demo: How to use the aperture to control the depth of field. Shooting in aperture priority mode.
Assignment: Take 2 images, one with a large depth of field and one with a shallow one.
ISO, metering systems and how they work with aperture and shutter to control exposure. Elements of composition and how to use them to take better photos.
Demo: How your cameras metering system works. Shooting in manual mode.
Assignment: Use the elements of composition to take some stunning photos.
The 4 properties of light that you should be aware of. Lighting and how to use it in your photos. How to use the Whitebalance setting on your camera.
Perspective: The difference between zooming in and getting closer. Lenses and their focal length.
Demo: Different lighting styles. How to tell if your Whitebalance is off and what to do about it.
Assignment: Take 3 photos using perspective.
Bringing it all together. Walking you through the process of How to Take a Photo in manual mode. Leading with the shutter or leading with the aperture, we'll show you how you can tell the difference and how to set your camera controls for a perfect exposure either way.
Graduation! Handing you your Certificate of Completion
(if you didn't miss more than 3 classes).
See you in class. This will be fun. We can't wait! -
Photography the Basics is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. We offer a full range of courses and classes that can take you from absolute beginner all the way to advanced (or even pro), if that's what you want. We've found that a lot of our Basics students plan to take our intermediate and advanced courses, too. If you already know that you want to run as far as you can with this photography thing, it may benefit you to buy a Package Deal, rather than buying the courses one at a time. You'll save on your comprehensive photography education. And you'll find that we're very flexible on scheduling, so you aren't locking yourself into certain dates by pre-buying the courses you want to take. If photography is your passion, there is really no down side here.
Get Package Deal details
If Photography the Basics feels like just too much, either financially or in terms of time, there may be another option for you. In each Photography the Basics course, we offer a limited number of seats for students who prefer to register as Basics Lite students. As a Basics Lite student, you would not be eligible for your Certificate in Basic Photography. You would attend only the first three weeks of the course, learning all we have to impart about shutter, aperture, and autofocus, and you'd then be unleashed on the world as a better photographer than when you started. If this sounds like something that might be a good fit for you, visit our The Basics Lite page to learn more.
Get The Basics Lite details
Your $599 course retainer reserves your seat in the next Photography The Basics course. Please select your course type and share your phone number, so we can reach out to you in case of email troubles.
Your personal Study Kit is included and we'll ship it to you, or you'll receive it in class.
You also receive a 20 minute private coaching sessions with this course. Scheduling is required.
To reserve your seat in the course C1MAC1A, select your course type and click on Add to Cart. After the transaction completes, you will be taken to a sign-up form that we need you to complete. Please share the requested information with us, so we can reach you.
Or sign up for our Easy Pay installment plan
and pay in 2 easy installments:
Pay one payment of $262.50 at checkout
and 1 further monthly payment of $262.50
for a total of $525
including a $26 installment plan admin cost.
Please tell us your course type on your sign-up form.
By purchasing a seat in this course you agree to our terms and conditions of sale. Your retainer fee reserves your seat and is fully refunded if the course is canceled. Per RSA 361-B, you may cancel this transaction any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of this transaction. When you sign up we'll send you an email to confirm. If you do not hear from us within 48 hours, please call us. From time to time, we videotape our classes, so it is possible that you will be recorded while studying with us. Warning: On rare occasions we do run out of chocolate chip cookies.
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Walter teaches classes and courses in our Amherst location, as well as the webinars.
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