My Visit to Nikon School
Nikon School ~ Phoenix, Arizona – I just spent the last two days at Nikon’s traveling Nikon School here in Phoenix, Arizona.
Although I have been shooting photographs since my college days, I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to strengthen my skills, to understand the inner-workings of my Nikon D80, and to sit at the feet of very seasoned professional photographers.
I highly recommend that you click these photographer’s links to fully appreciate the quality of the instruction given. Both men were seasoned pros at the top of their game.
As our first session began, our instructors gave us the following instructions:
- Don’t try to take notes on everything we will share.
- Please don’t interrupt our sessions with questions or we’ll never get finished.
I was a little taken back by these instructions, but as we got into the sessions I clearly understood why — these two guys opened up a fire hose of information and trying to drink from it would have been an ugly mess.
Besides, we were provided with .pdf files which gave us wonderful session notes, and there were structured question and answer sessions throughout the series.
Day 1 – Introduction to Digital SLR Photography
The first day is an excellent class for the person who desires to better understand their camera, would like to learn to take better photographs, and perhaps even get beyond the “automatic” functions of their camera.
The class was designed to help the student come away with three things:
- An understanding of how exposure works and the different ways to control exposure with the camera.
- An appreciation for what it is that makes a photo special – subject, composition, background and light.
- The knowledge that good organization, from where you store your images to how you manipulate them in software, is key to a successful digital photography experience.
Day 2 – Color, Light, Technology
The second day was a more advanced class and built upon the skills of the previous day. The four topics covered on this day were:
- Color – Gaining a better understanding of file formats and when and how to use them as well as delving into the more involved menu choices.
- Understanding Light – Light has many qualities that are important to photographers. We’ll go into those qualities and how we can play to the strengths of each kind. Our goal is to understand light so that we can take better control of our photography. Light, after all, is what photography is all about.
- Flash – Once we understand light, then we can start creating our own light. Learning how to use strobes opens up an entirely new way to approach photography, as you’re no longer limited by the available light.
- Edit and Output – If you ever worked in a darkroom, then you know that the capture of the image with the camera is just the first step in the creative process of photography. One of the greatest gifts of digital photography is that the ability to take that original capture further is available to anyone with a computer and some software.
Have you ever heard the saying, “I don’t know what I don’t know”?
Well, here is the great benefit from two days of classes at Nikon School: I now know what I don’t know.
Furthermore, I have over 60 pages of detailed notes provided by the Nikon School, two professional photographers willing to answer an e-mail from me if I get stuck, the Nikon website which if full of instructional materials, and a completely broadened horizon of where I would like the next steps of my photographic journey to go.
I found the Nikon School to be a wonderful investment, and would highly recommend it to anyone serious about learning to shoot beautiful photographs with their Nikon DSLR.