The Introduction to DSLR’s course is designed for amateur photographers wanting to master the use of DSLR and/or mirrorless cameras. If you’ve recently acquired a DSLR or if you’ve had a camera laying around but never learned how to use it, then this course is perfect for you.
This course is kept to a maximum of 4 students and a minimum of 1 mentor, allowing your mentor to spend quality time with you, and ensuring you receive the most out of your experience.
Please note: For simplicity the terms ‘DSLR’ and ‘Mirrorless camera’ are interchangeable for the purpose of this course. As part of the lesson plan you will be introduced to the differences between these two camera types.
What is the duration of the course?
The duration for the course is 4 hours generally running from 09:00am to 1:00pm, however this can be tailored to suit times for students.
Please note: Subject to your mentors availability course durations may be extended to ensure you receive the most out of the course.
What can you expect?
On the day you will be guided through a series of topics that will introduce you to the basic principles of photography, and increase your confidence in using your DSLR.
Each topic will be accompanied by a series of short practice shoots, wherein you will put what you have learned to the test.
The course will conclude with an In-the-Field practice shoot, applying your new skills to real world situations. Please see the section on Limitations for more detail.
♦ A camera that can be used in Manual or Aperture mode – DSLR or mirrorless camera (contact us to discuss)
♦ Camera manual (only if available)
♦ Charged batteries
♦ Sensible clothing
♦ Good walking shoes
♦ Water, snacks
Our photography short courses are organised casually throughout the year and are held on Saturdays and Sundays in the following locations:
♦ Newcastle, NSW
♦ Taree/Forster, NSW
♦ Port Macquarie, NSW
This gives us great variety to shoot in a range of locations, all of which have been selected for their suitability.
Topics and Practice Exercises
Meet and greet
Get to know your mentor, and they’ll get to know you!
Introduction to DSLRs & Mirrorless Cameras
The course commences with an introduction to DSLR and mirrorless cameras. In this lesson you will develop an understanding of the basics of how DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras operate, and if available you will have access to both types of cameras. You will also be introduced to interchangeable lenses and we’ll discuss how lenses work.
It is through understanding the mechanics of cameras and lenses that you will work toward developing an understanding of exposure.
Getting exposed: The Exposure Triangle
The foundation of digital photography rests on the exposure triangle, and it is in this lesson you will be introduced to all three. This introduction will develop into an understanding of the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
Exercise: Your exercise at the end of this lesson will be to photograph subjects modifying aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and visually learning how these change the image.
Lenses: Focal Range and Focal Length
In this lesson you will learn the terms focal range and focal length and how these relate to lenses and in turn depth of field. You will also be introduced to focal length dependent composition – choosing compositions with the lens you have at hand.
Exercise: Your exercise for this lesson will be to observe how the focal range of a lens enhances and limits your creativity. You will also be quizzed on lens selection for differing types of photography (we’ll go easy on you!).
Focal Plane and Depth of Field
You’re understanding of the exposure triangle will progress into understanding the focal plane, and most importantly depth of field. Modifying aperture, adjusting focal length and your relative position to the subject you’ll see how the focal plane changes and how the depth of field increases and narrows.
Exercise: You’re exercise here will be two-fold. Firstly you’ll shoot a series of photos adjusting aperture to modify the depth of field. You’ll also experiment with recomposing your shots, a topic that will be discussed further on in more detail.
Camera Modes: Manual, Shutter and Aperture
The camera modes lesson plan is a direct step forward from understanding the exposure triangle. Taking what you’ve learned about aperture, shutter speed and ISO, you will learn to identify which of these your camera is capable of shooting, and how you differentiate when one mode might be selected over another.
Light is a tricky thing for a camera that lacks the complexity of how humans perceive light and colour.
In this lesson you will develop an understanding of white balance, how this is determined by your camera, and when manual selection is preferred. We will also introduce you to the Kelvin scale of colour temperature.
Exercise: In this exercise you will experiment with your cameras white balance,modifying the white balance options available and visually observing how this affects your image.
Shooting JPEG vs RAW
Its at this point that we may need to have a serious discussion. Shooting JPEG vs RAW may not mean much to an amateur photographer but it has been a topic that has caused considerable debate on the internet.
In this lesson you will learn the difference between JPEG and RAW images and what the benefits and drawbacks of each are. We’ll discuss when you may choose one over the other, and what the pros and cons of your selection may be.
Nothing will ruin an image faster that it being out of focus, when it was meant to be in focus. A soft image doesn’t give the eye anything to lock onto and seems distracting overall.
In this lesson you will learn about auto and manual focus, as well as focus points that your camera is capable of utilising. You will also develop an understanding of recomposing a shot.
Exercise: In this exercise in focus points you will explore your cameras focus point options, and with each explore how they affect your ability to focus on a subject. You will also get hands on at re-composition.
Progressing from focussing we move into Shutter Modes, with the primary focus (pun intended) being on single shot and burst mode.
Exercise: You will explore the use of burst mode and discuss the pros and cons of this shutter mode.
In the final lesson of the course you will be introduced to the basic principles of composition listed below. Each one of these will be discussed and demonstrated. While they are not rules to strictly adhere to they should serve as guides to follow at the outset as you increase your understanding of composition over time.
Rule of Thirds
In the Field Practice Shoot
Our day will conclude by putting into practice all of the lessons you have learned. With your mentor you will shoot a series of photos exploring elements such as depth of field, focal length, and composition and developing a practical understanding of how these contribute to successful photography.
NB: At the discretion of your mentor lunch may be had prior to the In the Field practice shoot.
What is included in the course?
The cost for the Introduction to DSLR’s course includes the following:
4-hours of personal guidance with a professional photography mentor who will guide you through each of the topics in the introductory course
In-the-Field Pratice Shoots
Take what you’ve learned and put it into practice with In-the-Field practice shoots
Use of Gear
Tripods, filters, Olympus cameras and lenses, such as the Olympus EM-1 Mark II and the EM-5 Mark II – subject to availability
$150 per person
Course limited to a maximum of 4 students, and a minimum of 1 mentor. This allows us to ensure you achieve the most out of the course.
The Introduction to DSLR’s short course will be held at a public location selected for comfort and suitability. As such the course is not contingent on weather conditions. In the event the weather precludes In-the-Field practice shooting outdoors, this component of the course will be held indoors.
In the event a course is postponed or cancelled you will be entitled to a full refund.
Food and drinks are not provided in this short course.