Private Photography Lessons

Learn & Master your craft…

Offering private lessons in the greater San Francisco Bay area, join me for a fun and informative session tailored to you.

I always learn better by “doing” rather than reading or just watching a video and I know many of you do as well. Sometimes we just need to have someone show us the “how-to” of photography. Learn tips, techniques and the “wow, I didn’t think of that”, suggestions which can accelerate you in your photography and are of substantial benefit and often priceless.

From day ‘one’ of owning your camera on to advanced topics and planning your photo trips, you should take a consider the sessions I offer. We can cover a lot of ground. Not only will you gain valuable experience, you’ll likely save money going forward in your journey.

Because my private sessions are tailored specifically to you, as such, they are more relevant and comprehensive since you have my complete attention. We will cover the many aspects of photography at a pace most comfortable for you.

When you select a session, you can: pick a convenient date, location, even specify particular subjects. Best efforts are made to make learning convenient for you.

Visit my Private Lessons page for more information on topics and session availability.

Learning your camera

Learn how to set up your camera. From image formats, color space, and all the controls.

The Exposure triangle

Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO. It’s all about controlling Light…

Composition

If your Composition is the song…sing it well.

There is an incredible difference between a snapshot and a work of Art.

Here is where you learn the difference…

Advanced Techniques

It all comes together here. Whether this is the “next step” in your journey or revisiting an old passion, you’ll love what we do here…

Artisan

 

This is where you decide a direction…let’s start your journey!

Don’t Miss

News And Events

Accepting new Private Session Sign-ups Beginning in Late May 2021!

On-Line Sessions are available now

Information on photography topics; discussions, tips and more…
“Gotta have those megapixels…” Really?

“Gotta have those megapixels…” Really?

Recently a camera was announced having 64-megapixels. 64 MEGAPIXELS!!!! Each RAW image will be 64 megabytes - are you kidding me? Oh, I'd love to have one... That's going to take a wee bit of computer processing, especially when you have a whole card (or cards) full...

Hard Life

Hard Life

Sometimes we need to pull ourselves back a bit from our frenetic "modern life"...so it is for me when I am in the White Mountains just south and east of Bishop California. Known for the famous Bristle Cone Pine trees growing at 11,000' feet elevation, life is harsh....

iPhoneography

iPhoneography

For the last few years I have been using iPhones as my Smartphone and for making images. It started out simple enough, a snap here and there when visiting friends and such...  But then one day I had an idea. I would use it when scouting locations for workshops and...

Please drop me a line if you have any questions

On-Site Workflow

On-Site Workflow

On-Site Workflow

A while ago I did an article on Pre-Shoot Workflow…well that’s all fine and dandy….Pretty straight forward.

But what do you do on scene? What do you do and what do you look for?

It’s one thing to research your trip from your nice chair in your office or wherever, but once you’re there maybe it doesn’t look quite like you thought it would.

Here’s what I do.

Weather:

Usually the first wrench in the monkeyworks is weather…if it’s too bad but worth waiting, have a cup of coffee and hang out. Kind of like fishing…
If its just uncomfortable, well then, put on your best “uncomfortable weather clothes” and get out there!

I first think, ‘well if its gray and gloomy – black & white images might be the order of the day’

Storm clouds can add incredible drama to many images…Quite often you also have wind. So the consideration is shutter speed. Long slow speeds get those dreamy, ethereal images. (Man, I love my 10-stop ND) Otherwise super fast speeds will stop most any action such as trees or grasses, or waves or anything else blowing around. Just remember, the faster stuffs moving the faster your shutter speed needs to be. If 1/8000 sec doesn’t do it – go back and enjoy that coffee you were nursing…
Tip: if it’s really howling wind – maybe there’s something nearby that you can use as a shelter and can still get a nice composition from that place.

People:

Is it just me or are there more tourists messing places up? (and I mean REALLY messing places up – no regard for the environment)
My friend Andy used to say “there’s too many people suckin’ up my air” – well said Andy (R.I.P.)
We’ve all been there, but what do you do? Well, you can ‘try’ and nicely ask them to step 3 feet to the left so they’re not in your shot. That don’t work…

Here’s my suggestion. I know we all have time issues as to when we can get away but I make sure I don’t go out until 2 weeks AFTER Labor Day and 1 Week BEFORE Memorial Day (USA)  That way the crowds (most of ’em) have gone back to wherever they came from and there’s less pressure on the location.
Tip: Check with the local Rangers or coffee shop waitress and see when they say they can catch their breath – wait a couple of days and then go.

Okay here’s where I get a bit serious…

When you’re on site and looking for your composition here are some things to consider.  Aside from what you have researched and why you’re there in the first place…

Look for shapes – not only shapes that might be interesting but how they jive with other shapes.
Look for patterns – check for repetitious patterns. Maybe you find a nice abstract image.
Look for textures – texture brings detail to your images – definitely use them
Look for tonalities – Look for lights and darks and how they relate, particularly to the fore mentioned.
TIP: I like to include a strong element in my foregrounds. I like to anchor my image and then have something else lead the eye to the main subject of the image.

When you’re scoping out the above don’t forget to get low, get high (you know what I mean – bring a ladder – seriously I have a step ladder in my truck) go left, go right, check your best aspect for your compostion.
And don’t forget to look back over your shoulder from whence you came – it’s amazing sometimes what compostions are laughing behind your back…

So you see? it’s not rocket science…but coming from an “Old Guy” whose made many mistakes, well, this is what I’ve learned…

Hope it helps.

Cheers and Happy Clicks!

John