The goal of my photography courses
My goal in my photography workshops is always to teach something. Private photography lessons are the best way to ensure that my students come out of the workshops knowing more than they did before.
One of the most frequent complaints I heard from my students is that when they attended a large group photography workshop they learned absolutely nothing and just got even more confused than they were before. In my private photography lessons, I can go as slow or fast as necessary to deliver knowledge my students can digest and understand. I don’t need to stick to a particular curriculum, I don’t need to rush through my material. I’d rather my students learned and understood a few great new things about photography than being introduced to 20 new concepts, and understanding none of them.
I would never promise anyone that I can teach them photography is a few hours. Having been a student of this art form for the last 25 years I still learn something new and exciting almost every day.
My goal is to de-mystify the process of taking pictures. To show and explain in simple words what it takes to make an image, and to prove that technically speaking there is really nothing to it. By removing the mystery from the process of taking a picture we open ourselves to infinite possibilities of creative expression.
Photography is NOT about the camera
My workshops are never about what camera brand to use, what gear to buy or upgrade. I do my best to persuade my students not to worry too much about the gear, be happy with the camera they have and just concentrate on the art. There are always some photographers who still insist that if only they had better and more expensive lens their photography would improve. In this case, I always suggest buying the best and most expensive lens there is. Once they are in possession of something that cannot be surpassed, they may stop blaming the gear and actually learn how to take pictures.
My message to those obsessed with getting new, better or shinier gear is this: Just about any camera manufactured in the last couple of years will be better than anything Henri Cartier-Bresson or Ansel Adams had access to 60 years ago. When they start taking their pictures off the walls of museums and art galleries to make room for your pictures, then you may have exhausted the capability of your camera, and maybe it’s time to upgrade.
I don’t want to suggest that gear has no impact on the quality of produced images, but it’s certainly not the most important factor. If during my photography workshop I notice that my student wants to re-create an image they saw on the internet and their camera or lens is not capable of it, I will suggest an upgrade.
In most cases, it will be someone who wants to take a picture of their children with a nice blurry background. Kit lenses that most cameras come with are not capable of a great portrait. I will then suggest investing in a prime lens with longer focal length and aperture of about f1.8. My suggestion, however, will not cost them thousands of dollars, maybe hundreds, and often just dozens of dollars if they are adventurous enough to get and use some of the great old manual lenses on eBay.
My private photography courses and workshops are meant to teach you becoming a better photographer, using the gear you already have. I am always open to questions and happy to explain in detail any concept that you are struggling with. In a photography workshop environment you will be able to not just hear the answer, but also see how to solve the problem and that will make it so much easier to understand.
If you decide to do a private photography workshop, I am pretty sure you will come out a better photographer. I will teach you how to control your camera, explain how to decide on your aperture value, shutter speed, and Iso, but most importantly, how to use your camera as a tool to achieve what is the real goal of every photographer – great images.
Advanced photography courses
If you take one of my advanced classes I will also teach you “how to see”. Don’t laugh. Our brains are conditioned to skip over most of what we see and only just notice things that practically scream at us. A photographer will notice infinitely more details in a frame than an average person. We actually have to force ourselves to notice things. Little things sometimes that often give us so much pleasure to observe.
I will also make you obsessed about light, not about gear. If you learn to see the light, photographically, you will be better than most photographers, even the professionals. With our obsessions about gear, we forgot what photography actually is. It literally means “painting with light”. Come to my photography workshops in Sydney and let’s start painting.