Capital Photography Center | Photography Classes in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia

Getting Back To The Learning - 8 Tips

August 23, 2018 by Marie Joabar

It’s the back to school time of year, why not use it as an excuse to crack the books, get down to studying and get that learning going again.

Whether you want to casually take classes to learn more about a hobby you’re passionate about, earn a degree, or take adult courses at a local community college, learning new things or getting stronger with a skill is a great pursuit.

We hope to see you at some of our classes soon but until then, here are a few ideas to help you with your learning.

1. Look at photos; the good, the bad and the ugly.

One of the best ways to learn what you like is to look at a lot of images and identify what you like about them and what you don’t. With the number of images on social media it should be easy to do, one of our favorite sites is Instagram. There are so many photos posted every day about every single subject you can spend hours browsing them.

2. Attend image reviews and critiques.

Whether they’re your photos or another’s, hearing a review of an images strengths and weaknesses will help you develop your eye.

3. Review your own photos and;

  • Look for patterns on how you shoot and see if these are the stories you want to tell. Are all of your images close-ups, are all of them wide views? Does the main subject make an impact? Is the frame too wide? Is there too much in the frame competing with the subject? Think of ways you can shake it up and try new things for some different looks.
  • Learn from your mistakes, what could you have done better or different.
  • Check your progress. It’s fun to go back a few years and see how you’ve improved and how much stronger your images are.

4. Make a list of what you want to improve on.

Think of the questions and problems you’re having and work to tackle those. Be specific and then look for ways you can do that. Whether it’s just a matter of practicing or if you need tutoring or a class, find a way to learn how you can improve.

5. Take classes in topics you want to learn more about or get stronger at.

After you’ve taken a class, take some time and review your notes and the main take always. What were the ah-ha moments, what questions were finally answered, what problems were finally resolved?  Make a commitment to keep this material fresh in your mind by practicing and practicing regularly.

6. Give yourself homework.

For example, “The assignment for this week or this month is…" Make yourself accountable to complete it and then celebrate when you do.

7. Join a camera club.

They’re a great way to learn and improve. We’re fortunate to have so many in this area, find one near you and attend a couple of their meetings as a guest to see if it’s a fit.  

8. Keep an eye out for photography shows and vendor demos.

Events like Nature Visions in November is all about learning where you can enjoy lectures and presentations from various speakers. In October, consider the New York Photo Plus Expo as another photo learning opportunity.  Also watch for vendor demos at your local camera stores as a great way to learn more about your camera and digital photography technology in general.  

And of course, regularly browse through the Capital Photography Center class list. Our mission with the classes is to help those with a love of photography learn the tools they need to perfect their craft. In addition to learning and improving your skills, being among a like-minded group of people in small, hands-on classes is just fun, not only for the participants but for the instructors too.  We hope to see you at a class soon.