Exploring Creative Photography
with april nienhuis
April 10, 2017
May 22, 2017
register now >
Full Participation sold out.
Are you bored with your photography? I get it. I’ve been there. You know how the story goes – get a fancy new dSLR, learned how to shoot in manual, figured out the basics of natural light, and the rules of composition. As satisfying as it was for me to learn all that and be able to take a technically good photo, it didn’t fully satisfy me. I still craved something more… creativity. With this four week creative photography workshop, we will push past the basic rules of photography and explore how to create truly captivating imagery. We’ll study how to break the basic rules of photography to help you tell the story you wish with your pictures. Let’s break out of the mold and tap into your creativity!
daily shooting encouraged
4 hours of work per week
this course has prerequisites
Students should be experienced shooting in manual mode and have a solid understanding and experience with the technicalities of photography including ISO, exposure, shutter speed, aperture, and focus. A basic understanding of light and how it influences an image is strongly suggested. We will discuss using a Neutral Density Filter, tripod, prism, creativity lenses like a Lensbaby and tilt-shift, and artificial light but none of these are required for the course. Lightroom and/or Photoshop is helpful but not required since editing is optional in this course (you will receive some minor editing suggestions on your assignments and the materials include multiple how-to videos for editing). An open mind is a must since we will be exploring our creative photography choices throughout the month.
April Nienhuis has been a second shooter for the past eight years and it has encouraged her to find a creative approach to photography. While the main photographer works her magic posing and taking the more timeless images, April searches for unique perspectives and compositions that will be complimentary. As much as she enjoys fun and somewhat quirky imagery, her work tends to elicit a tranquil factor that many find soothing yet mysterious. Not believing in tying yourself down to one style, she loves a bit of everything – color and black and white, natural and artificial light, traditional portraiture along with the more abstract. April Nienhuis is a self taught photographer located in rural Oklahoma. She lives with her firefighter husband of 15 years and their three beautiful children whom she homeschools. She is also the Director of Online Media for Clickin Moms. Her portfolio is available here.
The following photographers also participate in discussions and provide assignment critiques as teaching assistants: Danielle Hatcher, Meg Loeks, Jan Tyler
• 4 Weekly Lesson Downloads with Assignments (outlined in syllabus- one per week)
• 9 Editing Videos
• Instructor-Led Online Q&A for Each Lesson
• Critiques of Weekly Assignments by Instructor & TAs
Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.
Welcome & Preassignment
Week One: Textures
Reading: textures and how they affect imagery; where to find natural and added textures; how to apply textures in post processing; exposure and how it affects the overall texture of a photo; when underexposure and overexposure works; textures and the intentional application of low and high ISO; how your ISO may affect your color; how to add grain when editing
Assignment: finding and photographing textures with the discussed techniques
Week Two: Depth
Reading: understanding depth and isolating subjects; creative tools and techniques to add depth; creating intentional out of focus imagery; unexpected apertures to draw out depth; creative focus lenses (Lensbaby and tilt-shifts); freelensing; the Brenizer method; prisming; adding depth with light (natural and artificial); creative perspectives; how to add depth and blur when editing
Assignment: capturing depth to pull the viewer in
Week Three: Motion
Reading: how to draw out motion in photography; how to add movement when there is none; stop motion photography; how to effectively show motion with a slow shutter speed; the techniques of panning; shutter painting; the purpose of neutral density filters; capturing fireworks; star and moon photography;
Week Four: Creative Vision
Reading: breaking compositional rules; effectively cropping your subject; unconventional lens choices; the meaning of colors in your photography; atmospheric white balance; artistic processing; alternative crop ratios
Assignment: putting it all together
The CMU workshop is a 100% online classroom experience. Once you sign up, you have access to a course forum that is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.
Each week students receive a set of course materials– these materials generally include a PDF and/or videos. Throughout the week, instructors and TAs are present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement. Students receive an assignment each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and class discussion throughout the week.
Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive instructor and TA critiques each week. They also have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.
Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.
Whether you are a Full Participation student or a Study Along student, the course materials are yours to keep.