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Unleashing Your Inner Photographer: Recap of "Getting Out of Auto Mode" Class for Adults

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

As a professional photographer, there's nothing more rewarding than seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of my students as they master new skills and gain confidence in their ability to capture stunning images. Over the past four weeks, I had the pleasure of teaching a basic photography class for adults called "Getting Out of Auto Mode", and what an incredible journey it has been!

ballet slippers and tutu
Some amazing work as part of a "homework" assignment!

Throughout the course, we delved into the basics of photography, exploring various modes and settings of the camera to unlock its full potential. Our class met once a week, and the interactive environment allowed for hands-on learning experiences that were both fun and informative.


One of the key concepts we covered was the "rule of thirds", a fundamental principle of composition. Students learned how to use the grid lines in their camera's viewfinder to place their subjects off-center, creating more dynamic and visually appealing images. They also learned about other considerations such as framing, and focal points to elevate their compositions to a new level.


Understanding the relationship between aperture, ISO, and shutter speed was another crucial aspect of the class. Students learned how to adjust these settings to achieve the desired effects in different lighting situations. Through practical exercises, they experimented with different aperture settings to control depth of field, adjusted ISO to manage noise in low-light conditions, and played with shutter speed to capture motion and create artistic effects.


nature photography by a lake
Getting a grasp of light and depth of field outside during class.

To truly grasp the impact of lighting on photography, we ventured both indoors and outdoors. Students learned how to adapt their camera settings to different lighting scenarios and experimented with natural light, artificial light, and the use of reflectors. They discovered how lighting can dramatically change the mood and atmosphere of a photograph, and how to harness it to their advantage.



In the final class, we explored the world of flash photography. Students gained insights into using both on-camera and off-camera flash to add depth, dimension, and drama to their images. They also got a sneak peek into the power of post-processing by using Adobe Lightroom to enhance and polish their photos, unleashing their creative vision.


It's truly amazing to see the progress and growth made over the course of just four weeks. They started off with little to no knowledge of their camera's settings, and now they have gained a solid understanding of how to use their camera in manual mode and make informed decisions based on the setting and environment. Their confidence and creativity have soared, and I look forward to seeing them continue to hone their craft!



"Getting Out of Auto Mode" was a fulfilling and enriching experience for both me as a teacher and my students as aspiring photographers. I am incredibly proud of their accomplishments and look forward to seeing their continued growth in their photographic journey. If you're an adult who wants to take your photography skills to the next level, keep an eye out for the next round of classes! Trust me, it's worth it!


*Student work displayed on right. Shot in manual mode, using on and off camera flash in the studio. Editing sampling completed by instructor during Adobe LR demo.


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