first steps with a DSLR

The New Year is right around the corner and with the New Year comes a new lineup of photography workshops through CMU.  With that lineup we have four (yes, FOUR) new workshops being introduced!  We’ll be introducing each one of them here on the Clickin Moms photography blog for you and the first one up is Shooting 101: First Steps With A DSLR by CMmentor and Click Magazine‘s Products Editor Amy Lucy Lockheart.  Amy has been kind enough to answer a few questions about the workshop for you!

first steps with a DSLR photo

Hi Amy!  You’re the instructor of CMU’s brand new workshops Shooting 101: First Steps With A DSLR.  Can you tell us a little about this online class and what you will be teaching?

I am so excited to be teaching this brand new course for Clickin Moms! For a long time I have wanted to teach new photographers, so I feel so grateful to have this opportunity. One of the things I love about Clickin Moms is that beginners and pros alike can interact and support each other in a welcoming environment. Instructing new photographers (and hopefully inspiring them along the way) is a big passion of mine. Photography has brought me so much joy! I can’t wait to share that joy with many budding photographers and see their skills and passion for photography grow throughout the workshop.

In First Steps with a DSLR we will be learning the basics about lighting, composition, aperture and shutter speed. My expectation is that the students will be given a solid foundation that will serve them well if they never take another photography course or if they opt to enroll in some of the many other wonderful workshops at CMU.

first steps with a DSLR photo

How does your workshop differ from Lynne Rigby’s popular Shooting 101: The Best Darn Beginner Course Ever?

Lynne’s class is definitely very popular and rightly so! Lynne’s workshop teaches photographers to shoot in manual mode and everything that goes along with it – the exposure triangle, metering, white balance, lighting, etc. First Steps with a DSLR will introduce students to the fundamentals of lighting and composition, teach them all about aperture and shooting in aperture priority mode, and teach them the importance of shutter speed and how to shoot in shutter priority mode. Throughout the course we will also cover important topics such as achieving focus, interacting with subjects, gaining inspiration, capturing details, and storytelling. In First Steps with a DSLR we will not delve into shooting in full manual mode.

If someone has already taken Lynne’s Beginner course would you still suggest that they take yours?

Nope! The topics covered in Lynne’s course are more advanced than what is covered in First Steps with a DSLR. Lynne’s course focuses on a number of concepts that we won’t cover in First Steps with a DSLR including the exposure triangle, proper metering for good skin tones, which metering modes to use and when, and white balance.

first steps with a DSLR photo

Who is the ideal student for this workshop?

The ideal student is someone who doesn’t have much experience in photography but has a strong desire to go beyond shooting in automatic mode. Perhaps they just got a brand new DSLR or maybe they’ve been shooting in auto for years. There are two groups of people that I believe would benefit from First Steps with a DSLR. The first group consists of people who want to go beyond auto mode but have no desire to learn to shoot in manual. For lots of people, shooting in a semi-automatic mode (like aperture priority or shutter priority) allows them the freedom to create the images they are envisioning and they have no need to venture into shooting in manual. First Steps with a DSLR will give these students the tools to make the most of their DSLRs without delving into the topic of shooting in manual mode.

The second group consists of people who are brand new to photography and want to dive right into learning what their DSLR can do. They may have a strong desire to progress to eventually shooting in manual, so First Steps with a DSLR could be seen as a course that will help prepare students for Lynne’s Shooting 101 Beginner Course.

So far, all of CMU’s photography workshops are four week courses.  Will this one also cover four weeks of material?

No, this course is a little different in that it spans 3 weeks instead of the typical 4 for other CMU courses. We wanted to keep this course a bit more brief and affordable so as to appeal to a segment of the population that wants to make the most of their DSLR camera without necessarily committing to a more advanced workshop. This course will consist of a preparation/pre-assignment week and three additional weeks of instruction.

first steps with a DSLR photo

Will this workshop also have teaching assistants?

Absolutely! We’ve got some great ones lined up. For the first run, April Nienhuis, Jennifer Dell, and Melissa Gibson will be joining us.

This class sounds incredible Amy!  Is there anything else we should know about it?

Thanks! I think the only other thing people should know is that, like all CMU courses, First Steps with a DSLR will be conducted in a supportive learning environment where questions are welcomed, students are encouraged to interact openly with other students, teaching assistants and the instructor, and individual progress and learning is the benchmark for success.

first steps with a DSLR photo

Thank you Amy for answering our questions!  Do you have more questions for Amy about this new workshop?  Please ask in the comments below as she’ll be back to answer those too!  Would you like to sign up for this course or know a friend who would?  You can find the workshop information here.  Registration is currently open to Lifetime members only but will open to everyone this Thursday, December 13th!

Read all photography interviews here.

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8 Responses to “first steps with a DSLR”

  1. Courtney
    Dec 10 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Amy is a wonderful, supportive, caring and inspirational leader. You will learn so much from her and get great feedback!

  2. Nicole
    Dec 10 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    How do I sign up for classes?

  3. Dec 11 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    this is going to be such an amazing class… esp great for all those ladies who santa was extra nice to this year with a “fancy” new camera!

  4. Katrina
    Dec 12 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    I have a canon T3i with just the kit lens. Will this class be good for just a kit Lens? Also if I do register for the class will I be able to access it from an IPad?

  5. Dec 13 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Hi Katrina,

    Thanks for your question. Yes, you would be able to access the class on your iPad using a browser or the Clickin Moms app available in iTunes (I believe it is 99 cents). The lessons will be PDFs that you can save to your iPad and view whenever you’d like.

    A prime lens (either the 50 1.8 or 35 1.8 would be a great option) is strongly encouraged. Some of the lessons are set up for shooting with a prime lens.

    Hope that helps!

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