DSLR Short Courses

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Presented by Competitive Cameras

After 5 years and over 50 class series, the popular DSLR Evening Classes have been expanded from three to four sessions. This gives more time for group exercises with your cameras and time for more thorough coverage of important concepts.

This series of classes was developed by the owners of Competitive Cameras in conjunction with photographer and instructor Peter Poulides. Peter has been shooting professionally for over 30 years and will be teaching this series of classes. Learn more about him here. Peter will be working with a camera tethered to a computer and projector so you can see what he’s shooting and follow along with camera settings. To see what past students have to say about the classes, check the Reviews page.

These classes start at the beginning and progress through all the major controls, settings and concepts you’ll need to use your camera to consistently take great photos. It is highly recommended that you take all four classes but you can sign up for them individually. Each class is 2 ½ hours long. Advance registration and payment is required. Maximum number of students is 20, minimum number to make a class is 8.

The classes are geared toward Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras like the Nikon D3200, D5300, D7100 etc., the Sony Alpha series and the Canon Rebel and EOS series including T4i, T59, 70D, 7D, 5D etc.  The classes may also be appropriate for non reflex, mirrorless, high quality cameras that offer manual controls, such as the Canon G series, Lumix LX, Ricoh GX, etc. If you’re not sure, write us from the Contact page.

Once you’ve made your selections, proceed to checkout and you will be taken to a secure PayPal site to enter your credit card information. You do not need a PayPal account. If you do have a PayPal account you can choose to pay with a credit card or log in to you PayPal account and use other funding methods. Otherwise, just click on “I don’t have a Paypal account” to use any credit card.

Important: During checkout you’ll be asked to agree to the terms and conditions. Please be sure to read this carefully for information about cancellations and refunds. If you have any questions before you sign up, please use the contact page.

Q: How much do the classes cost?
A: The early registration fee is $50/person per class if you register at least 7 days before the class date. Otherwise the fee is $60 per class.

Q: How will I know if a class makes or not?
A: If a class doesn’t make and has to be canceled, you will receive an email by the night before the scheduled class date.

Q: How late can I sign up for a class?
A: As long as the class doesn’t show as “sold out”, you can register and pay up to two hours before the starting time of the class.

Q: What’s the difference between the Full Day Workshops and the evening Short Courses?
A: The DSLR-1 and DSLR-2 classes cover the same material as the Beginner Full Day Workshop. The DSLR-3 and DSLR-4 classes cover the same material as the Intermediate Full Day Workshop. The workshops are smaller, more hands-on and there is time for shooting with a model. We’ve found that some people enjoy the intensity of an all day workshop while others prefer to have the material spread out over several classes.

Q: Where are the classes held?
A: At The Spot Studio, 4756 Algiers, Dallas, 75207 – map link

Competitive Cameras Presents: DSLR-1 Short Course

2-1/2 hours
*Early Registration: $50/person (up to 7 days before class date)
Regular Registration: $60/person
Maximum number of students is 20, minimum number to make a class is 8.

The Basics: A tour of your camera and a thorough demonstration of the fundamentals of exposure.

  • Your new collection of stuff: batteries, chargers, memory cards, readers, filters, caps and hoods.
  • Buttons and dials: locating and deciphering the physical controls on your camera
  • Basic menus & settings: file size, quality, JPG, RAW, TIFF, white balance and ISO
  • The viewfinder: what information is available and how it helps you
  • Why your camera is called a DSLR and what goes on when you take a picture.
  • Exposure: a thorough explanation of shutter speeds, f-stops and their relationship to ISO and light
  • Motion blur and depth of field: understanding these creative tools is the key to better photos!

$50.00Price:
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Competitive Cameras Presents: DSLR-2 Short Course

2-1/2 hours
*Early Registration: $50/person (up to 7 days before class date)
Regular Registration: $60/person
Maximum number of students is 20, minimum number to make a class is 8.

Taking Control: Exposure modes and focus control.

  • Exposure modes: getting off the green Auto mode and understanding the difference between P-A-S-M, (P-Av-Tv-M)
  • P*: the hidden Program exposure mode that allows quick, creative control
  • Built-in flash: when to just say no and how to keep the flash from popping up at the wrong times
  • Focusing modes: If it’s called auto focus, why do some photos still turn out blurry? Taking control of where your camera focuses.
  • Understanding when the camera focuses and the difference between AF-S/A/C (Nikon) and One Shot, Ai Focus, Ai Servo (Canon)

$50.00Price:
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Competitive Cameras Presents: DSLR-3 Short Course

2-1/2 hours
*Early Registration: $50/person (up to 7 days before class date)
Regular Registration: $60/person
Maximum number of students is 20, minimum number to make a class is 8.

Beyond the Basics: Light metering, exposure control, camera stability & sensor issues.

  • The light meter: understanding how your camera reads and measures light and how it can sometimes cause exposure problems
  • Exposure control: bracketing, exposure compensation and reading a histogram
  • How to get good exposures in tricky situations including backlight and high contrast settings
  • Support & stability: keeping your images sharp and vibration free through the proper use of tripods, monopods, stance, leaning & breathing
  • Dust & cleaning: when to worry about lens and sensor dust and how to get rid of it

$60.00Price:
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Competitive Cameras Presents: DSLR-4 Short Course

2-1/2 hours
*Early Registration: $50/person (up to 7 days before class date)
Regular Registration: $60/person
Maximum number of students is 20, minimum number to make a class is 8.

Creative intent: The world of lenses and the artistic, human side of photography.

  • Focal length and maximum aperture: deciphering the numbers on your lens
  • Lenses: creativity vs practicality (and cost!). How to select lenses as creative tools.  A look at ultra wides, telephoto, zooms, primes, macro and some surprisingly affordable options.
  • Sensor sizes: full frame vs. cropped sensor and what difference it makes to your photography and lens selections
  • Creative motion blur: using slow shutter speeds as a creative tool for both low light situations and to purposely blur movement
  • Composition: the architecture of a photograph, some rules and when to break them
  • The art of photography: stepping beyond the elements of exposure and focus and thinking about color, gesture, timing and other creative aspects of photography.

$50.00Price:
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