Photography Classes, Workshops and Instruction
Have Projector; Will Travel
My classes may be challenging, but they're never boring. I have both a fine arts and an engineering degree, plus 15 years of experience with digital imaging and Photoshop. Contact me about any of the following classes, or inquire about specific types of training for your club or group.
:: Private Photography Lessons
If your preference is for individual training, one-on-one or in a small group, I'd be glad to discuss the arrangements with you. Aspiring photographers may need tutoring on:
Call 540.239.2118 or email me: email@example.com
"Kirk gave an excellent presentation on a tricky subject. He gave just enough detail and pointed to other resources for those who want to learn more."
-- Nancy Brauer
"Kirk is a great teacher. He certainly has all his ducks in a row. His presentation was clear and to the point. Great job!"
-- Jean Poff Galloway
"Kirk, a fine job as usual. You tied the whole subject of Color Management together so it made sense."
-- Tom Cerul
:: Color Management Made Easy
Capture, process and print with reliable, accurate color.
How to calibrate your camera, monitor and printer for accurate color every time. How to get prints that match what you see on your monitor. How to get much better color without buying a new camera or printer. I begin with simple ideas and show how they lead to logical choices for managing color.
The presentation lasts about 75 minutes, including time to answer audience questions. Aspiring photographers with knowledge of how to set their camera's white balance and capture in a RAW format will benefit the most.
Detailed knowledge of Lightroom or Photoshop is not required, but you'll need access to Photoshop CS3 or Lightroom 4 and up to take advantage of all the information. A link to a PDF of the slides is made available at the end.
:: How to Shoot RAW & Improve Your Photography
"Very good event. Kirk did a great job and I look forward to more of his classes."
-- Jake Aaron
"Kirk presented an awesome program. Very informative and well done!"
-- Jon Wilson
"Kirk Carter is a great speaker! He is so great that he can make a complicated subject seem simple and easy to understand."
-- Art Sellers
Maximize the potential of every image.
This class covers the basics of the RAW file plus the pros and cons of shooting RAW, so you can decide for yourself. How to handle exposure, white balance, noise and lens problems with RAW files. How to read a histogram. The limitations of the camera's monitor display. How to import, process and store your digital photographs while preserving all the original image data.
The presentation and demonstrations last about 60 minutes, including time to answer audience questions.
A RAW-capable camera and access to RAW file converter software will allow participants to benefit from all the information.
:: Sharpness: The Whole Story
Everything you always wanted to know about sharpness.
Tack-sharp captures let you retouch more easily, print larger, and reduce noise more effectively. And, you can't really sharpen an image in processing, in the optical sense. Or can you?
This class covers what kinds of lenses are the sharpest, how sharpness varies across the focus plane, anti-aliasing filters, the effect of shutter speed, sharpening, diffraction, all the factors in creating bokeh, noise vs. sharpness and digital enlarging.
Plus, how much sharpness do you really need?
The class is structured to run about one hour, with questions.
"Excellent...learned a lot. These classes are so helpful."
-- Brenda Hendricks
:: The Formal Tools of Photography
Examining the "atomic structure" of the medium.
Like the parts of speech in a language, photography has formal tools such as Vantage Point, Framing and Angle of View. They're called "formal" because they impact the form of the photograph.
In 3 90-minute sessions, we explore the expressive possibilities for each of the 12 formal tools, including examples from the classic photographers.
Along the way we'll show how to use the formal tools to achieve compositional balance, put attention on the center of interest, and direct the viewer's eye.
Most importantly, the formal tools provide a clear and meaningful breakdown of the medium. By paying separate attention to each one, aspiring photographers can rapidly improve their visual craftsmanship.
"Excellent, thank you Kirk! Five stars"
-- Trish Richardson, Twin Maples Labradors
:: Seeing Photographically
How cameras really "see."
For aspiring photographers, it's far too easy to imagine that the camera captures exactly what we see, automatically. But this is an illusion.
One by one we demonstrate the ways human vision differs from the way photographs depict and portray reality. Many of these differences map to the formal tools of photography, because the formal tools are means of expression inherent to the medium.
By attending to all the ways cameras do not see like ourselves, we explain how photographers can use the medium to best express their intents. The class runs about an hour, with questions.
"Great job Kirk! Loved your visuals."
-- June Bydamanti
:: Photographing Intuitively
Training your intuitive mind to make better photographs.
Have you ever wondered why professional photographers cannot explain how they make oustanding images? (Hint: they work intuitively.)
Photography is a complex medium -- so complex it actually requires working intuitively. It's too much for the rational mind alone.
This class delves into the intuitive and rational minds, and how best to train each side. We explain how the intuitive mind learns and how it guides our choices by making metaphorical comparisons. Includes why making mistakes is so enormously useful.
We'll examine each of the formal tools of photography (and other helpful metaphors useful to the intuitive mind) as a means of training the intuitive mind in the language of photography.
The class runs for about one hour, with questions.
:: Processing Photographs on the Fast Track
Time-efficient methods for maximizing the impact of your final photograph.
Unlike other media, photography has 2 steps: capture and processing. Yet the array of post-processing software, tools and options can boggle the mind.
In this 90-minute class, I begin by explaining which tools get the job done most easily, and which tools photographers can safely ignore. I demonstrate the basic steps for optimizing the captured picture data. Then I show how -- and why -- to apply additional transformations for more "punch."
The reasons for each processing step are explained in terms of the formal tools of photography, the photographer's intent, composition, center of interest and directing the eye.
You can choose whether the demonstrations are done in Lightroom or in Photoshop.
"Wow!! That was a lot of information. I really liked the mental image of cooking a turkey as it relates to getting your images just right."
-- Teri Hoover
:: Photography Workshops
Blue Hour Light Painting
Custom-designed photography experiences.
Contact me about designing and conducting a workshop for your photography group. You can specify the mix of technical and aesthetic topics, hands-on activities vs. classroom time and the capture / processing balance. I'll propose a schedule of sessions to suit your needs.
For example, the Virginia Tech Alumni Association recently asked me to create a 1.5-day workshop emphasizing hands-on photography activities, with several guest photographers on hand for individualized attention. Sessions began with a short presentation on one of the formal tools of photography, then participants went on a Photo Hunt for items on a list, to be photographed with special attention to the formal tool. Attendees found this a satisfying and enjoyable experience. They all said they would definitely or probably come back again for another workshop.
Topics can include basic camera operation, practice sessions with a set of subjects, flash photography, posing and photographing models, composition and how photographs work, processing in Lightroom or Photoshop, and/or printing and creating your own photography book.
Feel free to call me at 540.239.2118 about your next photography workshop.