Following Up…

This is not going to be your “typical” Atlanta Metblogs posting.

A couple of weekends ago I, along with two fortunate Atlanta Metblogs readers, were able to sit in on the day-and-a-half photography workshop offered by Digital Days Photography at Atlanta’s Downtown Sheraton Hotel. I mentioned this workshop in this forum a few weeks before it occurred and this is an evaluation of the workshop.

If you are one of those people who likes to “get to the point,” my assessment of the workshop is positive, I feel that you get what you pay for, and if you are new to photography and Digital Days Photography is holding this workshop somewhere near you (they will be visiting eighteen United States cities in total) then you should consider taking it.

The workshop ran for a day-and-a-half; from 1pm – 5pm on Saturday afternoon, and 9am – 5pm on Sunday.

Saturday was billed as the “Basics” day. The instructor, Phil Mistry, had a lot of photographic experience and enough humorous anecdotes to keep the class engaged as he presented technical details. This day, $69, was all about introducing you to your digital camera (mostly aimed toward DSLR owners, but much of the information applied to point-and-shoot owners as well).

  • What is photography?
  • What do we mean by the term “Exposure”, and how does one achieve “proper Exposure?
  • What is a JPEG file? and a RAW file?
  • What is “focal length?”
  • What is “aperture?”
  • What is this thing labelled “ISO” and why would I ever want to change it?
  • My whites aren’t white? What happened?
  • My photo is blurry… what went wrong?
  • Depth of field? What’s that?
  • What are all these modes on my camera? When would I use them?

By and large, the above list of questions were answered in this four-hour session. Saturday’s session was completed with a quick overview of digital photograph retouching using Adobe’s Photoshop Elements.

On Sunday, which cost $99 to attend, Mistry pushed the photographers in attendance further. Not only would this day contain a quick recap of the basics, it would explain why one might use Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority modes instead of the many other modes available, as well as talk briefly about the light and its qualities. At midday the photographers in attendance had an opportunity to move into another large room and practice shooting models (my only gripe — I’ll discuss later). After a break for lunch John Omvik took over the teaching responsibilities for the remainder of the day. Omvik started out by critiquing some of the shots taken by the photographers during the model shoot, and then presented a practical discussion of the digital photographer’s workflow through the use of Adobe’s Lightroom.

My Conclusion
As I stated at the beginning of this critique, I felt that the information presented was worth the money. (Full Disclosure: I attended each day’s session courtesy of Digital Days Photography.) I have been shooting for some years and have taken many workshops so much of the information is redundant to me, which of course meant that I understood it regardless of how it was presented.

The Pros

  • The price charged for each session was very fair, and if you registered for both days the cost was only $139.
  • Digital Days Photography runs an organized workshop.
  • The instructors were highly knowledgeable and able to convey their information well.
  • The scope of the information was presented as advertised.
  • At the end of each session at least one camera bag was given away at random.
  • I learned things.

The Cons

  • The seating was less than ideal, especially for the Sunday session. There seats were not very comfortable and there were no tables so it was very hard to take notes. This ultimately may be a fault of the venue, but it’s up to the organizer to guarantee that its participants have a functional workspace.
  • Like with almost every mass-attended model shoot, it was tough to get a decent photo. Here is a shot I took of the scene around one of the models at any given time.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all associated with this workshop for making the experience a positive one.

2 Comments so far

  1. jamsmooth on June 17th, 2009 @ 9:21 am

    Thanks for the review. Sounds like I would’ve gotten a lot out of it.

  2. james hervey (jeherv) on June 17th, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

    i def. would have. wish i could have gone. i have always wondered what that iso crap is and have been too lazy to look it up.

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