Beginner Digital Photography Series

A complete introduction to the fundamentals of photography in four engaging and interactive classes.
Upcoming Classes

This four-class series is ONLINE using Zoom. See Details tab for dates and times.

These classes build from a basic introduction of the camera and its controls to the concepts and settings that determine exposure and focus. If you have a new digital camera or are coming back to photography after a long break this is the place to start.

This series of four sessions replaces the DSLR-1 and DSLR-2 classes that we’ve taught to more than 1,300 novice photographers over the last 10 years. Camera technology is evolving, and we’ve reworked the classes with new visuals, added a shoot and review session, and created teaching materials to include the increasing use of mirrorless cameras along with traditional DSLRs. If you’re not sure whether your camera is right for this class, check the FAQ tab or email us from the CONTACT page.

CLASS ONE
The Basics: A tour of your camera and a thorough overview of the fundamentals of exposure.

  • Buttons and dials: locating and deciphering the physical controls on your camera.
  • Basic menus & settings: file size, quality, file formats (JPG, RAW) white balance and ISO.
  • How it works: the difference between mirrorless and DSLR cameras and what goes on when you take a picture.
  • Exposure: a thorough explanation of shutter speeds, f-stops, and their relationship to ISO and light.
  • Motion blur and depth of field: understanding the creative side of f-stops and shutter speed is key to better photos!

CLASS TWO AND THREE
Taking Control: Exposure modes and focus control.

  • Exposure modes: you’ll learn how to actually control f-stop, shutter speed and exposure by moving beyond the green Auto mode and understanding the difference between P-A-S-M, (P-Av-Tv-M)
  • Variable program mode: the hidden Program exposure mode that allows quick, creative control.
  • Built-in flash: when to just say no and how to keep the flash from popping up at the wrong times.
  • Focusing modes: If it’s called auto focus, why do some photos still turn out blurry or are focused in the wrong place? Learn control of where your camera focuses with focus point selection. Then learn about when the camera focuses and the difference between settings like AF-S/A/C (Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Lumix) and One Shot, Ai Focus, Ai Servo (Canon).
  • Putting your new skills to work: You’ll receive some prompts and ideas for shooting photos using the concepts you’ve learned.

CLASS FOUR
Image review:
Learning by doing.

In this class, we’ll join in a fun and supportive image review of the photos you shot and submitted. If you’ve never had your images shown in front of others, don’t fret! Our teachers are gentle and encouraging, which we think is the best way to learn. This is usually the favorite part of any workshop and by bringing this experience to our class series, everyone will have a chance to share their successes and near-misses and learn from each other.

For online classes:
  • Cost per person is $150 early registration (available until 5 days before class start date), $175 late registration.
  • This series runs 4 consecutive Mondays (Sept 28, Oct 5, 12, 19) from 6:30-8pm CST.
  • Login in to Zoom meeting at least 15 minutes before the class starts to become familiar with the program and work out any technical issues that may occur.
  • Classes start promptly at 6:30pm.
  • Classes are 90 minutes long.
  • Advance registration and payment is required.
  • Maximum number of students is 20, minimum number to make a class is 8.
  • The material in this class is also taught as a full day workshop. The choice lets you find the best timing and structure for your schedule and learning style. More details in the FAQ tab. If you’re not sure whether your camera is right for this class, just drop us a line from the CONTACT page and we’ll be happy to let you know.
How to submit your images for the fourth class

Submit via WeTransfer. You don’t need an account or any login information. Just add your photos, your email address, and the special submissions email address that you’ll receive in the second class. Your images must be submitted no later than 24 hours before the class starts.

Q: How will the online sessions be different from being in the classroom?
A: Like in the classroom, the instructor will explain the concepts of photography using visuals and informative presentations. Even though they are online, these classes are interactive, with live demonstrations and various exercises for students to do together throughout the class. These are not YouTube videos!

Q: What computer equipment do I need for the Zoom classes?
You will need to be on camera during the Zoom class! It will help us feel connected and engaged, even though we aren’t all in one place. It’s so much better to see your fellow photographers than just a list of names. Getting ready to show up for an online class like you’d get ready to drive to a classroom helps to break out of the isolation of social distancing. Participants will also need a microphone to be able to be heard in the Zoom session. Most computers have a built-in microphone.

Q: What if I have to miss one of the online classes? Will they be recorded?
A: We strongly encourage you to attend the live class to take part in the exercises and discussion. If you have an emergency and have to miss a class you will have 24 hours to view the recording.

Q: Do I have to live in North Texas to take the online classes?
A: No! Have you always wanted to take a photography class with your friend or family member but you aren’t in the same location? This is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill with a buddy near or far

Q: How much do the classes cost?
A: The early registration fee is $150 if you register at least 5 days before the class date. Late registration is $175.

Q: Can I take individual classes instead of the series?
A: These classes are bundled as a series and cannot be taken individually.

Q: How will I know if a class makes or not?
A: If a class doesn’t make and has to be canceled, you will receive an email no later than the night before the scheduled class date.

Q: How late can I sign up for a class?
A: As long as the class doesn’t show as “sold out” or “ticket sales over” you can register and pay up to six hours before the starting time of the class.

Q: What if I have to cancel?
A: If you cancel 3-7 days ahead of the scheduled date of the class, you will receive no refund or 50% transfer credit toward another similar class within 3 months of the cancellation date. There is no refund or transfer credit for cancellations within 48 hours of start time of the class or workshop. Full details on cancellations are on our Policies page.

Q: What’s the difference between the full day workshops and the class series?
A: The material in this class is also taught as a full day workshop which will be offered once we can safely reopen the DCP facility. This choice lets you find the best timing and structure for your schedule and learning style. The workshops are smaller, more hands-on and there is time for shooting with a model. We’ve found that some people enjoy the intensity of an all day workshop while others prefer to have the material spread out over several classes.

Q: Where are the classes held?
A: Currently, these classes are offered online. When DCP decides to hold in-person classes again, they will be at Dallas Center for Photography located at 4756 Algiers, Dallas, 75207.

Q: Can I and my friend/spouse/etc. share one camera for the class?
A: Yes, we frequently have couples and friends who share equipment

For online classes, registration is per computer. If you want to take this class with your partner, child or friend with which you are sharing a camera and at the same location, we can provide a discount for the second person’s registration. Contact us for more information.

For in-person classes, registration is per person, not per camera, so you would each need to register individually.

Q: What kind of camera is best for these classes?
A: The classes are geared toward mirrorless and DSLR cameras that have exposure control with PASM or P/Av/Tv/M settings. That includes the Nikon D3000/5000/7000 series, D600/700/800, D4/5/6 series or the Z mirrorless. On the Canon side the Rebel or EOS T or D series of DSLRs and the M/R mirrorless. Most of the Sony Alpha series, Fuji T series and many others including Lumix, Ricoh, Leica, etc.. The classes may also be appropriate for smaller, high quality cameras that offer manual controls, such as the Canon G series, Lumix LX, Ricoh GX, Sony RX, etc. If you’re not sure if your camera is appropriate for the classes just drop us a note through the Contact page.

Peter Poulides

Peter is the director of Dallas Center for Photography and teaches several of the classes and workshops. In over 30 years of shooting assignments for national magazines and corporate/stock photography he’s learned a few things and likes to pass it on. His favorite student review is “You remember what it’s like to not know”.

He also works one-on-one with clients to further particular shootings skills, organize their photos with Lightroom or work on projects like books and exhibitions. He still shoots occasional commercial jobs but is busy with personal book projects and running the expanding DCP.

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Richard Klein

Richard is committed to passing on the craft and joy of image making by teaching classes and workshops at the Dallas Center for Photography, University of Texas at Arlington, the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and as a contributor to lynda.com.

“Learning is a process and I see myself as a lifelong learner continually taking on new subjects, being in a state of Beginners Mind. My commitment as an educator is to share complicated material in a way that is easily understood by the student regardless of their experience level.”

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