Late last year, as readers of this blog may know, I got my first DSLR and made a short-lived attempt to teach myself how to use it by reading the instruction manual and the first few pages of this book. I found myself giving up pretty quickly when within first few pages the author instructed readers to take pictures using the camera’s light meter as a guide, and I had no clue what the light meter was or where to find it. With a growing sense of frustration, I realized that a photography class was the only option that was going to work for me. A friend of mine had positive things to say about a beginner’s course that he had taken at Photo Uno on East 46th street, and that was enough to sell me. I’m the type of learner who needs in-person instruction and someone to ask questions of, so I knew this was the only way for me to get a grip on how to use my camera. For anyone who might be considering the same course of action, I thought I’d share a quick overview of my experience.
Pretty much my only complaint was that I felt the class could have been tighter – meaning it could have been much more condensed. There seemed to be a lot of time wasted or kind of spent dawdling, so in effect I thought the material could have been taught in a shorter period of time, or we could have learned more within the allotted time.
I would say to consider what type of learner you are. The things we learned were pretty basic, and if you’re the type of person who can pick things up just by reading about them, you could probably learn most of what we did by Googling around and looking at online guides and tutorials. However, it’s also worth considering whether you might enjoy the social aspect – bouncing ideas off of other people, getting your work critiqued, individualized attention and the ability to ask a teacher questions, hanging out for a few hours per week with like-minded people who share an interest, etc.