ONE-ON-ONE CAMERA CLASSESDSLR CAMERA LESSONS
Palo Alto, CA 94306 (and nearby)
=====================================>>> Why not get Camera lessons on how to use that new DSLR camera to make beutiful images >>> Private, one-on-one, in person, Camera Tutoring in Palo Alto, CA 94306>>> Groups up to 3 people for same price as 1 person
=====================================Learn to use your DSLR Camera in a private digital camera class
You’ve been taking snapshots for years with various point-and-shoot cameras or (shudder) even your cell phone. But now you have a great DSLR camera with all the bells and whistles and have no clue what to do with it. Or, you’ve had your DSLR for awhile and are less than satisfied with the results. You know how to set the dial to “Automatic” and push the button – just like you did with your point and shoot but that’s about it. Now what?
Reading the 200 page camera manual is of no help. It tells you what the buttons do, but not why you would want to do that or what benefits or detriments come along with those settings. It tells you how to display the menu, but not the meaning of the 80+ items in 3 levels of options or when one would want to use those options.
It doesn't matter if you have a Canon Camera, a Nikon Camera, or a Sony Camera, you want to move from just “Taking Pictures” to “Making Photographs” – which is why you got that camera in the first place.
I’m an award winning photographer with great teaching skills who can teach you how to “Escape the Green Box” (get off of the Auto setting) and really use your DSLR. My one-on-one lessons are tailored to your camera and your skill level. These are the highest quality. professional and in depth, lessons and should not be confused with quickie 2 hour overviews. I don't just tell you to "push that button" or "turn that dial", I teach you how the various camera settings impact your images. I give you the understanding required to fully understand, control and utilize your camera to make beautiful images matching your artistic vision.
If you take my structured course format I also provide, free of charge, PDF copies of the class presentation material (over 150 PowerPoint slides) we use during the class, including my instructor notes so you can refer back to them later. After you have finished my course, you should feel free to send me emails with questions, issues or problems that may come up or ask me to look over a few of your photos to offer suggestions - all at no charge.
I give my lessons at my place in Palo Alto (near San Antonio and El Camino) but can come to your place in nearby cities for a small extra travel reimbursement fee depending on distance.
I tailor the Material to your needs based on how deep you want to go and even what things you want to concentrate on. My Rate is $50/hr
of instruction and you can bring up to 2 friends at no additonal cost.
If, after the first hour you are not completely satisfied, we can stop there and there will be no charge. Call or email for info on specials and discounts
Lessons can be arranged in sessions of 1 to 3 hours duration each (2 hr minimum on first lesson). As a guide, for a novice covering all material to an in-depth level, will take about 6 to 8 total hours. However a light once over of the key points can be covered in 3 to 4 hours
Click on "Guestbook Entries" in upper right corner of this screen for student reviews of my lessons. Most of these can also be found on Yelp.BELOW IS A LIST OF TOPICS WHICH ARE INCLUDED IN THE LESSONS. General overview of Photography Basics
The Light Path from light source to memory card and what controls you have to shape it along the way:
- Light sources and Color Temperature
- Subject reflectivity
- Camera lens and what it does
- Camera shutter and what it does
- Camera Sensor and what it does
- Camera Processor and what it does
- The memory card
Your Camera controls:
- Picture Mode or Main Dial
- Other Wheels, dials and buttons
- How to control your, Shutter Speed, Aperture, Focus Pattern, ISO, WB, ISO,
- Metering Mode, Exposure Compensation, Exposure Shift, Drive Mode and Storage format
The things you have control over and when/why you should control them (rather than let the camera decide)
- Flash – When to use it and when to turn it off.
- White Balance – What it is, how to control it.
- ISO – What it does and what to watch out for (noise)
- Drive Mode – how to increase your odds of “getting the shot”
- Auto Focus – the various Auto Focus modes and situations where you would choose one over another – or even turn it off
- Focus point – Why is the fence in focus but Grandma is all blurry?
- Metering Mode – How the camera evaluates the scene and helping it choose the right method
- Jpg vs RAW – Overcome your fear of RAW. Learn what it is and why it is your friend.
- Other settings and terms explained (Color space, Contrast, Vibrance/Saturation, Sharpness, Etc)
The In’s and Out’s of exposure
- Exposure explained
- How your camera sensor deals with light and the “Gotcha” of the dynamic range limit of your sensor as well as how to over come it.
- 18% gray and why it may be the most important thing to know about your camera that most people don’t know
- Controlling exposure
- The trade off’s of your settings. What you get and lose as you make adjustments to
Using your Camera’s Manual controls:
- What the main dial settings on your camera mean and when to use them
- When and why you should use exposure compensation and/or exposure shift
- Your histogram – Understand what it is telling you and read it with confidence. Use it in the field while you still have a chance to shoot again.
- Depth of Field (DOF) and Hyper Focal Distance (Hyper Focal Point)
- How to convey a sense of motion in your images. Motion Blur or Motion Freezing.
- How different lighting and subject situations fool your camera and what to do about it
- Flash Exposure Compensation (including Fill Flash)
Artistic – Composition:
- What is it?
- Rule of thirds
- Leading Lines
- Single Subject
- The Story
- Selective Focus
- Subject Separation
- Shooting for HDR or PANORAMA processing
- 10 deadly sins of composition
Putting it all together
- 6 steps to use in the field.
Give me a try. If you’re not completely satisfied after the first hour, there will be no charge (except for travel fee if I come to your location).
Thanks – Dan
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(Copied from Yelp Review 8/30/2013)
I feel very fortunate to have been referred to Dan. Dan did a terrific job teaching me both basic photography theory and concepts as well as practical technical skills customized to my specific camera and accessories. Whereas before I was a little intimidated to use my camera I now feel excited to go out and take shots and continue the learning process. I took Dan's structured classes which were tailored to my specific pace of learning and I feel where good value for the money.
I have 2 daughters that play Volleyball, school, club and beach. So, when both their teams qualified for Junior Nationals I thought I'd buy a good camera and lens.
I bought a Nikon D7000 and a few pricey 2.8 lenses. Well, I went to to a Volleyball practice to take some sample photos with my new toy, they were horrible!!!!.
I went to a beach practice the following day and could barely make out who was who.
I went to Craigslist and found Dan Hartford. My wife told me to check out Yelp. (OK ya sure Yelp) so when she went to sleep I read the Yelp reviews and thought OK I will give Dan a try. After my first 2 hour lesson I was armed with some knowledge and some homework. I went back to the gym and took a few photos and they were worse than my originals. I looked at my notes to see if I had missed some step and sure enough I had my White Balance way off. After an adjustment I was back in business. I finished my last 2 days last week and all I have to say WOW!!! My kids and wife can not believe their eyes, Dad can take a picture both stopped motion and a little blurr to show action.
I would highly recommend this class and Dan to anyone who is a beginner. Not only will you learn how to take great photos but you will learn why. You will come away with an understanding of how to correct a bad shot. It is easy to tell a person what to do but to teach them a skill is what a teacher is all about.
I went in as a beginner and came out enthusiastic about taking photos.
Thanks Dan for being a teacher.
(Copied from Yelp 4/9/2013 by Dan)
My favorite thing about Yelp is that it helps people find great businesses they never would have found otherwise. Dan Hartford Photo is a perfect example of this truth in my life.
After receiving a Canon Rebel for Christmas (and having zero idea how to use the darn thing), I went on Yelp to find a photography class. I found the options to be pricey and the classes large.
So when I found Dan and read his reviews, I knew instantly that he was the photography teacher for me. Most of the things I want to say have already been said - Dan is professional, enthusiastic, friendly, and great at what he does. You will walk out after your 6 hours feeling much more confident with your camera and artistically inspired.
1.) Dan returns e-mails with lightning speed. From my initial inquiry, I was always impressed with how quick and thoughtfully Dan responded.
2.) Dan allowed my husband to attend the classes with me, and didn't charge us anything extra (he charges the same thing for a group of up to 3 as he does for 1). This was great, as now photography is a hobby we both enjoy and if I forget how to do something, my hubby can remind me :)
3.) Dan stands by his classes - which I respect and believe proves the quality. If you don't think the class is for you after the first hour, he won't charge you a thing! (I'd be surprised if he's ever had someone take him up on this)
If you are considering photography classes (which I assume you are since you are reading this review), you'd be crazy not to pick Dan as your teacher.
[Copied from Yelp Review 3/25/2013 -- Dan]
We just took a camera class with Dan and wanted to give him a great review. My feedback is very similar to Ron Y's (his review was the reason why we chose Dan's class and it was right on the mark).
We liked both the structured as well as the customized aspect of the class and found the one-on-one interaction really helpful. We have a Canon T3i that we just got and Dan's knowledge of the Canon camera/menu and detailed descriptions of the functions were immensely useful. The slide deck is a great reference for definitions, examples, and points to consider.
This is a good basics class for beginners who don't know much about photography. Dan is an avid photographer who give practical tips and we appreciated his time and help with the type of photos we wanted to take.
Thanks much and we may take the Adobe Lightroom class in the future! :)
[copied from Yelp Review 7/21/2012 -- Dan]
If you are looking for an alternative to a classroom setting to learn more about photography, this is a great option. I wanted some pointers on taking better photos prior to a trip to Glacier National Park so I signed up for two sessions with Dan. The material is presented in a way that is easy to understand and it motivated me to spend more time reading and experimenting with my Nikon D90. I would highly recommend Dan's lessons for anyone wanting to start using your camera the way it was meant to be used. I plan to sign up for more lessons in the future.
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