DSLR Short Courses

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Presented by Competitive Cameras

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 almost 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 are stand-alone classes which together form a series of steps to take you from a beginner’s introduction through a fuller understanding of how to use your camera to consistently take great photos. You can sign up for any or all of the classes. 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 D3100, D5100, D90, D300, D7000 etc., the Sony Alpha series and the Canon Rebel and EOS series. The classes may also be appropriate for non reflex, high quality cameras that offer manual controls, such as the Canon G series, Lumix LX, Ricoh GX, etc.

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.

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 class includes material from 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: Getting started

This class is for beginners. Highly recommended for those new to digital photography or if you just stepped up to a DSLR from a compact camera. You will learn the basics of settings and exposure and get comfortable with some of the controls on your camera.

  • 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!

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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: A deeper understanding of exposure and focus.

  • Brief review: Follow up questions about f-stops, shutter speeds and ISO from DSLR-1 class
  • Exposure modes: getting off the green Auto mode and understanding the difference between P-A-S-M, (P-Av-Tv-M)
  • Built-in flash: when to just say no, how to keep the flash from popping up at the wrong times.
  • Focal length and maximum aperture: deciphering the numbers on your lens.
  • Focusing modes: if it’s called auto focus, why do some photos still turn out blurry?
  • Taking control of how, when and where your camera focuses.

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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:

  • P*: the hidden Program mode that allows quick, creative control.
  • Metering & exposure control: bracketing, exposure compensation, reading a histogram.
  • When the camera gets it wrong: getting good exposures in tricky situations.
  • Metering patterns: understanding how your camera reads and measures light.
  • Lenses: creativity vs practicality (and cost!). We’ll look at everything from fisheye to long telephoto and how to select lenses as creative tools.
  • Composition: rules and breaking them, finding out what works and what you like.
  • Dust & cleaning: when to worry about lens and sensor dust, how to find it and how to get rid of it.

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