Online Photography Class Review


One of our awesome Tech4Moms readers Kristen jumped at the opportunity last month when we asked her to try out an online photo class. I get constant requests as to where people can go online to learn more about photography. Kristen was thrilled to try out Nicole Hill Gerulat’s online class: Photo 101. Here’s is Kristen’s wonderful review: 

I received a Nikon D3100 as a gift for Christmas.  I was excited when I got my camera, but quickly realized I did not know how to use it properly.  I watched all of the DVD’s that Nikon provided, but I knew little more than how to turn the nob and select a different preset – I needed more instructions on how to use my camera.

When I first started the class I was only using the presets on my camera – point and shoot.  Nicole’s classes were set up to teach a novice like me how to really use the camera, and most importantly how to understand the concepts around taking great photos.

I am a Mom of four.  Being a Mom of one means you are busy enough.  Being a Mom of four (all under the age of 8) means I am sometimes lucky to have any time for myself.  Taking this online class was the only way I was going to find time to get this type of learning. The class was four weeks long, broken up as:
Week One: Camera Basics – digital vs. film cameras and exposures.  This helped me to know what all of those buttons on my camera were for and to help me feel comfortable using my camera.
Shutter speed showing motion.
Shutter speed freezing the fan while moving.
Week Two: Composition – this week focused on all the technical basics of a good shot: composition, white balance, lighting and lenses.
Using white balance settings.
Changing focal length by adjusting lens.
Week Three: Positions – positioning subjects and lighting patterns.
Lighting.
Week Four: Lighting expanded – this week Nicole gave a lighting demonstration we were encouraged to submit a final project to show off the skills learned over the last four weeks.

Nicole’s classes had great interactive media – from videos (which were transcribed in the body of the class) to photo examples.  Nicole uses a Canon but I never felt I was at a disadvantage using my Nikon.  She tailored the class so I never felt lost with her examples.  Likewise, she treated the class like real school work, at the end of each week there was a quiz over that weeks lesson.  There is also a homework assignment at the end of each week putting the newly learned skills to test.  The quizzes and homework assignments are optional, but are encouraged to help you really learn and become comfortable with your camera.  The truth is, if you skip the assignments there really is no reason to take the class – the assignments push you to use what you just learned.  I found that I had to take and retake pictures to fully understand in practice what was presented in the lessons.

Once your homework was done it was critiqued by Nicole or her staff.  She was really honest in her critiques and she even made me redo some of the shots I had taken.  She gave suggestions that pointed out mistakes I thought I had been doing correctly.  There is also an online chat that is held once a week.  This is a chance for you to ask any questions you have or any problems that you are experiencing with your camera or taking photographs.  Unfortunately the chat was never well attended by the participants and one week I found Nicole and me to be the only ones on the chat.  The opportunity was there to learn in a class-chat, but in this session there wasn’t a lot of participation from the students.

I learned a lot from this class and would suggest it to everyone who is interested in learning more about photography, their camera, or how to take great pictures.

 

Thank you Kristen for taking the time to review this wonderful class for us! And thank you Nicole for sponsoring her attendance! The Photo 101 classes are held on a monthly basis from January to October. The cost is $125. Nicole’s Classes also offers courses in Photoshop, Illustrator, Photoshop Actions, and many more! To learn more, or to view a complete class list, go HERE

Not able to attend a  class online? Nicole has published three helpful textbooks that can also guide you in the right direction. Priced at just $40, they are a wonderfully helpful tool to get you started in photography, Photoshop, and beginning Illustrator. Go HERE to learn more. 

Natalie Wright is a contributing writer at Organized Mom and Tech4Moms. You can also find her DIY blog online at natalme.com.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.

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  • Hi Nat,
    Great post. Actually it is somewhat inspirational stuff. I am an amateur in photography but I have purchased Nikon D5100. There is a a lot to learn yet but I’m going there.