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Posts from the ‘Lessons’ Category

“Learning isn’t a means to an end; it is an end in itself.” ~ Robert Heinlein

In the last 10 or so years I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn how to be better at manipulating images.  I purchased a book by Scott Kelby on Photoshop about 3 or 4 years ago and I haven’t looked back.  I really pushed myself to keep learning more, and I have, but there are always new things to learn.

I initially looked into courses on Photoshop, but they were so expensive, hundreds of dollars for one day, and you couldn’t take it away with you.  Then someone I knew introduced me to online learning, and I haven’t looked back.  I have spoken often about one particular place, but after sending emails to them about some ideas, I received nothing back.  I am sure most of you know this is a pet hate with me, how hard is it to send an email back to say “thanks for your interest, but it isn’t something we are interested in right now”.  There you go, took me 10 seconds to type that.  So I decided that if they were going to be silent with me, I would be the same, which meant that I had to find something else, and I did.

I know that many of my followers are new to photography, or know that their skill level needs work, I don’t mean that in a horrible way, but I realise that many of you do want to learn, so I have been doing some research.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:37:32When I was doing some research on Joel Grimes he mentioned somewhere that he had done some courses for KelbyOne.  I had never heard of it, of course, I knew who Scott Kelby was, but not this website.  I decided I had to do more research.  So from what I can work out it seems fantastic.  It is another one of those pay by the month sort of deals, but at only $25 per month, and you get a discount if you pay for the whole year, it is really reasonable, especially when you consider what you are getting.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:21:48

It is a site for photographers.  It is where photographers share what they do to other photographers.  There are so many courses available.  There are courses on Photography, courses on Photoshop, Lightroom, then there are courses for running a photography business.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:19:50Business for photography is not something I have wanted to watch much. How you run a business in the US can be very different to how you run a business in Australia.  I have often found that much of the information is not relevant, but then there is always something you can pick up, so I have been watching this one about Social Media, which isn’t country specific, and I have picked up some great information from it.

Once you pay your monthly membership you can view the courses online anytime, where and when it is convenient for you.  At least that is the impression I get.  If you want to download the courses and have them on your computer, then you can pay for specific ones as well.

One of the things I enjoy about the courses is that they aren’t too long, a couple of hours or a few hours, but not for days.  If you are like me, and find it hard to concentrate and just stare at the computer, then this is good, it doesn’t require hours of attention.  Actually, it is perfect for me.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:22:56There is a long list of instructors and I have found some of my favourites here as well.  It has been great going through what courses there are and working out which ones I would like to watch.  Ben Willmore is there, Joel Grimes, Dave Cross and Lindsay Adler, and I am sure some others that will become favourites too.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:23:32It seems to be more than just a site to learn and there seems to be a real community there and you are encouraged to participate in that as well.  I haven’t gone into it yet, but it will be interesting to see what is there.

They release new courses every week, at least one or two, and you receive emails from them to let you know what is available.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:20:21They are doing a Creative Cloud Month and a new course is being released every day for the whole month.  I imagine you would learn everything you needed to know about CC here.  Creative Cloud is the new thing that Adobe are doing, my version of Photoshop is Photoshop Creative Cloud, and I pay a monthly subscription fee to be able to use it.  However Creative Cloud is a lot more than just Photoshop, there are more programs that come under that “cloud”.

I think this is the best online service I’ve seen for photographers.  At $25 a month, it is reasonably priced, and what you get for that money is amazing.  It is something I would definitely do.  If you want a discount, then paying the yearly amount is good, you get 12 months for the price of 10, so you basically get 2 months free.  I think I am going to save the $249 and do that.  I love a bargain.

The courses are designed for all levels of knowledge and experience.  There are courses for the beginners, and there are courses for those who have more experience, but want to know more, or try something different.  I am sure as the community grows, the number of courses being offered will grow as well.

I hope you will all go and take a look at KelbyOne, it really is a great place for learning.  Going back to the top bit, of course the best thing about them is that I sent an email and I got a response, you have to love companies that realise customer service is important.  The idea that if you don’t hear from them then they aren’t interested, says to me, we aren’t interested in providing good customer service, we don’t care about our customers.

So KelbyOne, go check them out.

Just going to add a gallery so you can see the screenshots better.

Rules, Rules, Rules

scfalls-0002bw1My latest post on is now up, I hope you will go and check it out.  It is about the rules that we follow or don’t follow about composition.

Please take a look, here is the link to the post

Rules, Rules, Rules  and it would be great if you could let me know on that blog what you think.

Can I just add, that all the photos in the post are from my film days.  One taken in my first couple of months of getting a SLR camera.

Weekend Wanderings – Pony Clubs

For the last couple of months I’ve been teaching some classes to people on the outskirts of one the Councils near me, this Council is on the fringe of the city, Nillumbik, and the idea was to involve local community groups.  We have taken photos of football and cricket, and this morning we went to the St Andrews Pony Club and took photos of some of the people there with their horses.

equestrian-20131110-1080This is the view from the club house.  Who couldn’t sit here all day watching the world go by, you can even see the top of the city buildings here.

equestrian-20131110-1093One of the things that I found really amazing was how friendly everyone was.  They seemed to be really happy to see us there, and it was not a problem for us to be taking photos.  They asked everyone and only one person said no.

equestrian-20131110-1081There were three girls who had put their hands up before we went saying they wanted us, or didn’t mind us photographing them.  Two of them were sisters, and I went with them to take photos of them getting ready.  The above photo is of their horses, Arnie on the left and Montana on the right.  I hope I got their names right.

equestrian-20131110-1103I have never photographed anything like this before.  So I had to play it by ear, and I am not an expert, but I did really enjoy it.  It was a great experience.  I was surprised at how happy they were for us to take photos.  I wondered if they get many people going and taking photos.  I am sure if others wanted to go and take photos they would be welcomed.  Trading photos is a great way of being allowed to do it, though you need to be very careful, follow all instructions and always be aware of what is around you.

I have about 40 photos, and I hope you don’t mind, I have quickly gone through them and told the people at the pony club that I would put some up for them today.  I hope you enjoy them as well.  I hope they don’t look to amateurish.

Where to From Here

Sun setting behind the Cliffs

I have to make some serious decisions about where to go to from here.  The cycling photography is fun, but let’s face it when everyone just steals the photos and almost no one buys any, I have to reconsider what my options are.  I have been trying several things, but one thing that I have been wanting to do it field trips.  I’m sure you have seen the links at the top of the blog.

There are other photographers out there who run workshops for photographers, and I want to do it as well.  I love photography and it really is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I enjoy showing people tricks and helping them improve their own photography, so I thought, why not start a business doing it.

Woomelang Train Station and Silos

I love sitting around with other photographers and talking to them about what they like to do and what sort of photos they like to take.  It is nice to meet people with the same kinds of obsessions as me.  Are you one of them?

I think the type of person I want to attract for the field trips are people who want to go out and take photos, but don’t like to do it on their own.  I hate going out on my own, not all the time, but there are places that I want to take photos, but I don’t feel safe doing it on my own.  It isn’t that I feel that someone will attract me, but I do get worried about my camera gear.  I have a nice camera.

I figure that if I feel this way about going out and taking photos, then surely there are other people who feel the same.

Safety in Numbers

There is also the aspect of teaching or giving tuition as well.  I don’t consider myself an expert, though I’ve been learning constantly for many many years, I know I can help people learn photography.  I like sharing knowledge and I love teaching people, so this should be perfect.

When I’ve taken my friends away I have enjoyed showing them how to do stuff.  Answering their questions, giving them some advice.  Confusing them sometimes, and then helping them see their way out of the fog.

I have tried to think of everything for the field trips, but I guess I will never know exactly everything until I start doing them.  If you do go through the information please let me know if you think I have something wrong or I have forgotten something, it would really be appreciated.

Trying to Find a Direction

Ever since I started this blog I’ve been playing with how best to use it.  Originally I started it to help with my business and to share my knowledge of photography.  Since then it has gone through many changes, and evolved one way and then another, until we are where we are now.  I want this blog to have a direction, and so I have decided to make some more changes.

I have decided to go back to using this blog for what I had intended at the beginning, as a place to teach and share knowledge.  I have found friends who want to learn how to take better photos and they want me to teach them.  So I thought, there is a lot of basic information that I could put on here and maybe help other people as well.

Also, I thought I could reviews of magazines, or books I find, not that there will be many of them.  I am going to be taking people out for photography excursions, so I will do reports here.

This is going to be a place to learn about photography.  Now, I don’t pretend to be a guru, or an expert, but I’ve been around for a while, and recently I’ve been surprising myself with how much I do actually know.  Of course, if someone wants to know something and I don’t know, then I will do my best to find out the answer for them.

So please join me on this new journey.