creativeLIVE and my photographic exploits


Red ArrowsA year or so ago I decided I wanted to learn how to take better photo’s, I have always been interesting in photography but never really taken an active interest or used many of the options on my camera other than the shutter button.

Deciding I needed something or someone to push me in the correct direction of how to use my camera and it’s functions I had a hunt around on the internet for things I could do.

LizardAt first I was considering joining a local camera club, but having little spare time decided this wasn’t for me. Also I think I was slightly intimidated by how the other people at a club might treat a complete amateur such as myself.

I looked around for other options at the time including things like open university courses on photography, but after reading a lot of peoples opinions on photography courses decided I would probably be wasting my time trying to learn by my self at home, Especially if it cost me quite a bit of money.

AbbeyIn the end I stumbled across a web site called creativeLIVE. The basis of the web site is to provide live courses about all sorts of things to do with Photography. Including everything from how to take better photographs, maintaning your body and how to run a business and make it profitable.

The courses take place with real people who visit the studio to take part in the course live, they usually send an email out before the course asking people to volunteer to come and take part.  Usually after sending a little video interview or something. The fact that the whole course is filmed live makes the whole thing feel a lot more like having a one to one tutor.

Boardwalk LighthouseWhat is amazing about the whole thing is you can take part in the courses through a live stream while it is being filmed, completely free. You can even send in questions to be answered while it is being filmed. Sometimes they have competitions too during the course where you can win items like photography equipment.

The courses are sometimes filmed at awkward times if you are in the UK, But fortunately as soon as it has been streamed, they re-play the course online so you can watch it at a more respectable time. To make things easier to watch there is also a calendar available online so you can browse the up coming courses and set a calendar reminder. This will automatically send you an email a day or two before the course starts so you can get ready.

Epcot BirdWhen I first looked at the site, I was looking for an all round course on Photography to try and give me a good grounding. I found a course on there called Fundamentals of Digital Photography by John Greengo. It had already been filmed a while ago which meant I couldn’t watch it for free but after viewing the free samples which where available I decided I would give it a go. I think at the time the course cost approximately 100 dollars, which is quite a bit for me but after watching the quality of the free samples I couldn’t resist. An advantage with buying the course afterwards is that you can watch higher definition video and also take it with you on an ipad or some other device rather than having to watch it over the internet. Of course you can also watch it as many times as you want.

 

Anderton Boat LiftI’m so glad I did pay, the whole course was so much fun to do. John really makes the time fly by while watching and his teaching technique is so friendly. You can’t help but learn from him. I think the whole course was supposed to take place over a week, but being able to play it when I want I think it took me about 3 weeks at my own pace to complete it. The course itself will be more useful to people who have their own DSLR camera rather than one of the more usual point and click cameras, but I think it is useful to anyone who simply wants to learn a bit more about using their camera.

I was so taken with the course, I purchased my first DSLR a Nikon D5000 specifically for using with the course. The new 2013 course by John is being filmed in a few days time so If you think you would like to learn some more about photography why not sign up and watch it, Don’t forget it’s free while it’s being shown live.

After watching the course, I now know how to fully use my camera in Manual Mode now. If feels so much better to use it this way, not having to rely on the camera picking all the correct options for me. I know my family sometimes thinks I’m annoying taking my time when we are out and I start taking photo’s but I enjoy it so much more now, and I hope when they do see the photo’s nowadays they agree with me that the photo’s I’m now taking are much better.

Disney FireworkOn the creativeLIVE site they even had a short free course on taking photo’s of fireworks. I  found this really handy to brush up on techniques before we went to Disney World last year.

Our son has got his first DSLR this Christmas as well and is going to watch the Fundamentals course, Hopefully he will enjoy it as much as I have. As long as he doesn’t start taking better photo’s than me :)

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