The Perfect Picture School of Photography-- Bryan Peterson...

melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment*Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
edited October 6, 2007 in Technique
Well I bit the big one...

I just paid today to take on of Bryan's online courses.. I'm sure I won't regret it but I've never done an online class so I'm hoping it's helpful! I'm not sure WHAT To expect so if any of you can add some insight.. I'd be ever so grateful!

I'm scared they will say "Go take a picture of a flower and make it good" and I'll submit something and they say ok cool. And I"ll be out $400! LOL

AHHHH! I'm afraid
Missy Ü

Comments

  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 16, 2007
    AHHHH! I'm afraid
    Don't be.
    Classes like this don't make you take better pictures. THey teach you how to use your camera so you as a photog can take better pioctures.


    They will probably go over photo terms, explain DOF, what shutter speed and aperture controlls, how to compose a shot. Stuff like that. These courses (while there's allot of free stuff on the web) are great to help you get the basics and know what your shot is going to look like before you chimp your LCD.

    This also makes sure you stay on the courses. It's easier to drop out when your not shelling out your dough.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll learn tons!

    -Jon
  • windozewindoze a life long newbie Posts: 2,846Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 16, 2007
    Well I bit the big one...

    I just paid today to take on of Bryan's online courses.. I'm sure I won't regret it but I've never done an online class so I'm hoping it's helpful! I'm not sure WHAT To expect so if any of you can add some insight.. I'd be ever so grateful!

    I'm scared they will say "Go take a picture of a flower and make it good" and I'll submit something and they say ok cool. And I"ll be out $400! Laughing.gif

    AHHHH! I'm afraid

    i just finished the course with Bryan Peterson and it was not only very helpful and insightful BUT IT WAS A LOT OF FUN TOO! Well worth the money!
    Enjoy the course!!!!


    troy
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 16, 2007
    Hey Troy!
    windoze wrote:
    i just finished the course with Bryan Peterson and it was not only very helpful and insightful BUT IT WAS A LOT OF FUN TOO! Well worth the money!
    Enjoy the course!!!!


    troy

    hey troy! Nice to see you as always!

    Which course did you take? I'm taking Understanding Exposure. I've owned the book for ages but I've *gasp* never really opened it. Ok ok and I've never really RTFM much either but it's different now because all 5 of my kids are in school now so I'm finding things to do! and I'm excited about finding something for ME! i'm not looking to make a career (just wanted to make that clear) i just want to learn how to do things right so that when we do go to football games-- I'm getting those cheerleading pictures right almost every time-- ya know?
    Missy Ü
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 16, 2007
    hey troy! Nice to see you as always!

    Which course did you take? I'm taking Understanding Exposure. I've owned the book for ages but I've *gasp* never really opened it. Ok ok and I've never really RTFM much either but it's different now because all 5 of my kids are in school now so I'm finding things to do! and I'm excited about finding something for ME! i'm not looking to make a career (just wanted to make that clear) i just want to learn how to do things right so that when we do go to football games-- I'm getting those cheerleading pictures right almost every time-- ya know?

    Oh yeah and I just got the book "learn to see things creatively".... So we'll see what I LEARN! Laughing.gif
    Missy Ü
  • windozewindoze a life long newbie Posts: 2,846Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 16, 2007
    Oh yeah and I just got the book "learn to see things creatively".... So we'll see what I LEARN! Laughing.gif


    Bryan has a few new books coming out: Understanding: Shutter Speed and a Macro Book: 8 inches and less.
    Anyway, I took understanding exposure and I met him in person. He signed my book ( yay) for me too.....
    His images he will show you are gorgeous and the Q and A part of the course is what makes it worth the $$. You know how i can ask a million stupid questions - well they answered every single one of them ( that was worth the $$ alone ).

    troy
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 16, 2007
    windoze wrote:
    Bryan has a few new books coming out: Understanding: Shutter Speed and a Macro Book: 8 inches and less.
    Anyway, I took understanding exposure and I met him in person. He signed my book ( yay) for me too.....
    His images he will show you are gorgeous and the Q and A part of the course is what makes it worth the $$. You know how i can ask a million stupid questions - well they answered every single one of them ( that was worth the $$ alone ).

    troy

    Ha Q&A with me? Will be WELL worth it.. Ill be like Hi! How do you take a picture in focus hahaha
    Missy Ü
  • DaddyODaddyO Grins In Progress Posts: 4,466Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 18, 2007
    Don't know about the online courses. If you get to ask questions and actually get an on target answer back, then thats worth a bunch in itself.

    If its Bryan Peterson ( & crew I suppose ;-) ) then I would tend to trust it.

    At the time when I read his book Understanding Exposure, the lights came on fast. It was like fast track to getting the camera set correctly for what ever shot. Finally I could take a picture with my camera and feel like I knew what I was doing. That was soooo cool! Still is.

    Books stays my shelf for reference. For those days when I feel like I forget what the heck I'm doing. :D Trust me it happens.
    Michael
  • windozewindoze a life long newbie Posts: 2,846Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 18, 2007
    DaddyO wrote:
    Don't know about the online courses. If you get to ask questions and actually get an on target answer back, then thats worth a bunch in itself.

    If its Bryan Peterson ( & crew I suppose ;-) ) then I would tend to trust it.

    At the time when I read his book Understanding Exposure, the lights came on fast. It was like fast track to getting the camera set correctly for what ever shot. Finally I could take a picture with my camera and feel like I knew what I was doing. That was soooo cool! Still is.

    Books stays my shelf for reference. For those days when I feel like I forget what the heck I'm doing. :D Trust me it happens.


    to give you an example of how this course works, today early in the am. I was shooting a sunrise, thing is i ran into some difficulties with flare and other issues. When i got to work I uploaded it to Bryan Peterson et al. within a few minutes i got his response back - its a great course and I highly recommend it!

    troy
  • PindyPindy Major grins Posts: 1,102Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 20, 2007
    I like PPSOP a lot. I've taken Understanding Exposure and also a couple of composition-type classes and I find their style suits me well. The online aspect is such that you work at your own pace, but there's a Q&A forum where Bryan, Chris or any of the instructors are very active, so you're never on your own. In my UE class, we had so many people, all of whom were active in commenting on each other's work that a Flickr group was created because of the level of interest. The fun part is being able to look at how every body else interpreted the lessons. Every Sunday night, my missus and I would look at all the submissions and some were very inspiring.

    Some classes have short videos as part of the lessons, and Bryan has a style all his own, shall we say. I never once had a critique that wasn't constructive or useful and I learned a lot.

    A fringe benefit of having to cull through your selects and rejects and posting them online is that it gives you editing skills you may not have had. As soon as there's time in my schedule, I want to take the flash course.
  • Stella BellaStella Bella Big grins Posts: 104Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 27, 2007
    Have fun! Understanding Exposure was the best photo book I ever read and I'm strongly considering taking some classes with him. I can't wait to hear how you like it!
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    Have fun! Understanding Exposure was the best photo book I ever read and I'm strongly considering taking some classes with him. I can't wait to hear how you like it!

    Ok so I'm week 3 of this class and I'm really second guessing this for a few reasons.

    I have the book already. The lessons are word for word sections from the book.

    There is no interactions between any students and Bryan except his critiques which aren't really critiques but more or less compliments. He encourages you to include ISO, aperature, shutter speed etc but none of that really plays into his comments. (Not all,but the majority)

    His video streaming are clips from his DVD. All of this could have been obtained by purchasing his book and his DVD. When I'm confused? I'm told to re-read the lesson. I don't know-- I just feel like maybe the Whipping post is more my style.

    Maybe I should have just sent Andy Williams my $395
    Missy Ü
  • PindyPindy Major grins Posts: 1,102Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    Well, the class got me out shooting using the techniques. I found Bryan was always available on the Q&A forum. My feeling is that because UE is kind of their "introductory" course, Bryan's critiquing bedside manner is not as critical as you'd get here, among your peers who aren't making any money off their comments or have anything remotely like an axe to grind. I imagine they want you to be encouraged enough to return and take higher level classes. I'll re-iterate that I got great value from comparing my work with the others, since we were all working toward the same assignments.

    If you have the book already, I agree, you've heard most of it before in this particular course and he's assuming you don't have the book. Your mileage may vary. Hope it gets better for you.
    When I'm confused? I'm told to re-read the lesson. I don't know-- I just feel like maybe the Whipping post is more my style.

    Did you find the book to be easy to understand? I'm curious if you find something clear in the book but not in the lesson or vice versa.
    Maybe I should have just sent Andy Williams my $395


    We should all leave big tips for our resident pros and super brilliant dgrin mods! I've grown more as a photographer from hanging out here than from anything else.
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    Pindy wrote:
    Well, the class got me out shooting using the techniques. I found Bryan was always available on the Q&A forum. My feeling is that because UE is kind of their "introductory" course, Bryan's critiquing bedside manner is not as critical as you'd get here, among your peers who aren't making any money off their comments or have anything remotely like an axe to grind. I imagine they want you to be encouraged enough to return and take higher level classes. I'll re-iterate that I got great value from comparing my work with the others, since we were all working toward the same assignments. If you have the book already, I agree, you've heard most of it before in this

    particular course and he's assuming you don't have the book. Your mileage may vary. Hope it gets better for you.




    We should all leave big tips for our resident pros and super brilliant dgrin mods! I've grown more as a photographer from hanging out here than from anything else.


    Well I will say it HAS made me go out and shoot more but I feel like i'm NOT getting what I want. I want better pictures. I want Andy William pictures (haha-that was a joke)

    If you see people aren't "getting it" or if you see they are having problem getting ISO's or something? IMaybe you could break it down into "dummie" work and say Hey. if it's bright out--- you want to keep it on this--or hey... we tend to do use the lower F stops if we want to keep the DOF shallow.

    I don't know. Never mind. I'm just venting. I'm frustrated today I guess.
    Missy Ü
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    Oh I wanted to say---

    I 110% agree that although I don't post here alot? I do read and the tips that are given here are invaluable. The people here really know there stuff and wonderful at sharing their knowledge!
    Missy Ü
  • windozewindoze a life long newbie Posts: 2,846Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    Well I will say it HAS made me go out and shoot more but I feel like i'm NOT getting what I want. I want better pictures. I want Andy William pictures (haha-that was a joke)

    If you see people aren't "getting it" or if you see they are having problem getting ISO's or something? IMaybe you could break it down into "dummie" work and say Hey. if it's bright out--- you want to keep it on this--or hey... we tend to do use the lower F stops if we want to keep the DOF shallow.

    I don't know. Never mind. I'm just venting. I'm frustrated today I guess.


    stop whining! (J/k)
    when i took the class a few weeks ago - i asked on average a question everyday and chris and bryan responded asap. There is more info presented than what is presented in the book. They will and often break down techniques into dummie lessons and they do explain the necessary. Melissa -
    Bryan and Chris can not learn the lessons for you... meaning they assume that you are reading and understanding. If not ask them!
    Let me tell you what I learned from the class - this is what I wrote to Bryan on our "last" day........

    "Prior to taking this course I had read Bryan’s Book “Understanding Exposure” and while it is a fairly easy to read book I was left with many questions. The Q and A section of this course is what separates this course from other online courses. Chris you answered every question I asked and that is so important to me as a learner! I learn best from the interaction that accompanies written responses between myself and the instructor ( and other classmates). It is how I best assimilate and accommodate new knowledge with what I already know. I understand something when I can write about it as if im explaining it to someone else. Chris, you responses are informed, truthful and relevant to my needs and that has made a huge difference in my understanding. The assignments Bryan provided with his critiques adds another dimension to help foster learning. The practical experience gained from trial and error is what most produces consistent success. The critiques ( always positive ) reinforce our hard efforts but more importantly validate learning – it’s what compels us to “move on” and to learn more! I am grateful.

    As this course approaches its last days I take with me more than some knowledge about how to take a “perfect picture”. I have a better understanding, a “BETTER APPRECIATION” for life. I started taking pictures because I am a very forgetful person and I wanted to capture some moments of my family and events that I could keep so that I would never forget. But this course also taught me to see things I really never saw at all or didn’t bother to take notice of. The sunrise and sunsets are beautiful. Im 46 years old and never payed attention to them as I do now. The light and its warmth is a dimension I failed to see, but now I embrace it as a gift. The motion around us gives more than something to take notice of , it involves us. It takes us for the ride along this great adventure. The motion we create inspires us to be creative. It teaches us that we are not just observers but we are creators too.

    I started this course wanting to learn how to take a better image. I found that part of the answer lies in 1st being able to see. I can thank you and Bryan for opening my eyes. The rest of the course taught me to take what I see ( be it a storytelling composition, a who cares aperture image or even an implied motion image .. to name a few ) and bring it to life. I used to think that “Where to meter” is at the heart of a great image, but it really isn’t. It’s more that seeing what you want to convey lies at the heart of a great image. The “where to meter” is what gives it its first breath. "

    Melissa -
    I thought the class was well worth the $$


    troy
  • PindyPindy Major grins Posts: 1,102Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    windoze wrote:
    The sunrise and sunsets are beautiful. Im 46 years old and never payed attention to them as I do now. The light and its warmth is a dimension I failed to see, but now I embrace it as a gift. The motion around us gives more than something to take notice of , it involves us. It takes us for the ride along this great adventure. The motion we create inspires us to be creative. It teaches us that we are not just observers but we are creators too.

    Well said—I have a similar experience and the course helped a lot with what I was seeing, rather than what I was pointing the camera at. I also agree with the Q&A section. That was a hotbed with my particular class and I checked it and contributed nearly every day of the course. Like most things, you get out of it what you put in.
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    Pindy wrote:
    Well said—I have a similar experience and the course helped a lot with what I was seeing, rather than what I was pointing the camera at. I also agree with the Q&A section. That was a hotbed with my particular class and I checked it and contributed nearly every day of the course. Like most things, you get out of it what you put in.

    I wish you could see my Q&A. I ask a billion questions on there every day. If I don't? It wouldn't move. Bryan has posted on his critiques and his opening instructor comments. Other than that? We haven't heard from him, any where.

    Troy, You are just a fabulous photographer to begin with. You are someone that I would be scratching my head going.. huh? What is he even IN This class!?! hahahaha I just think you're that good!

    Chris is trying his best and do agree that when I ask the questions, he is trying to answer them.

    I have to run out the door right now to take the kids to the movies, but Ill be back....
    Missy Ü
  • PindyPindy Major grins Posts: 1,102Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    I wish you could see my Q&A.

    Do your classmates respond?
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    Pindy wrote:
    Do your classmates respond?

    There are about 45 people in the class and probably only 6-10 of us participate on the Q&A and out of that number? 6 of us are confused.

    After I was whining tonight? Low and behold.. Bryan made an appearance.

    Imagine that.
    Missy Ü
  • windozewindoze a life long newbie Posts: 2,846Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    There are about 45 people in the class and probably only 6-10 of us participate on the Q&A and out of that number? 6 of us are confused.

    After I was whining tonight? Low and behold.. Bryan made an appearance.

    Imagine that.


    i was kidding about the whining - you know im youre greatest fan!
    Mel, what is it that you're not understanding or having issues with?
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    windoze wrote:
    i was kidding about the whining - you know im youre greatest fan!
    Mel, what is it that you're not understanding or having issues with?
    I can't for the life of me get a story telling photo. I just can't.

    I have tried and tried but they are just not coming together for me. I don't know what else to do! I'm just not getting it....




    204374645-M.jpg



    204374698-M.jpg

    204483991-M.jpg
    Missy Ü
  • windozewindoze a life long newbie Posts: 2,846Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2007
    I can't for the life of me get a story telling photo. I just can't.

    I have tried and tried but they are just not coming together for me. I don't know what else to do! I'm just not getting it....




    204374645-M.jpg



    204374698-M.jpg

    204483991-M.jpg


    Melissa - get in closer..... you're missing the "opening" to the story!
    Look at pic#1, where's the fence? Use it to frame or point to the the subject and your done
    Look at pic #3, see that tractor, here's what to do........
    get real low to the ground and frame some real tall blades of glass about 3 feet away from you. Put the Tractor in the distance. Now got to get everything sharp! Tripod, Take off AF, manual mode of course, set the distance scale on the barrel of the lens to the appropriate distance, shoot at f/16 - f/22 and close the exposure with the creatively correct shutter speed and you're good to go!
    This was my storytelling composition...

    183221354-M.jpg
  • PindyPindy Major grins Posts: 1,102Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 6, 2007
    and these were mine:

    204508728-M.png

    142251394-S.jpg

    The mechanics of the technique are straightforward; use an aperture that gives you maximum DOF and manually focus about 1/3 of the way into the scene in order to let the narrow aperture capture as much of it as possible. What you take the picture of is the hard part and I couldn't find anything really great in the FG. Pine cones aren't enough, but they made a path, which I suppose satisfied the assignment. Perhaps if I got down really low and there was a single pine cone near the camera and pine trees in the distance...

    Getting down low is important, otherwise you're just taking a landscape shot if the camera is up at tripod height.

    The blown-out sky was also a factor in the critique. (discussion of graduated NDFs ensued afterward).

    Melissa, I thought your 2nd photo, the country path photo, was very nice. Add something compelling to the FG and you'd be there.

    (Later, I dredged up the critique which I will print here)

    "Yep, the overexposed sky is a constant challenge and the GND will help in a lot of cases! What a great hike you had and the storytelling shots are both really nice. On the San Jacinto Mountain shot I would love to see you down a bit lower and I am sure the bjorn was a factor here [note:I was carrying my baby in one of those baby Bjorn things], but I think that would really make it POP! Also, a horizontal might get rid of most of that blown out sky by only including part of the trees. The Joshua shot is nice and kudos on the perspective. Would've loved to see a little more interest like we had in the other shot in terms of foreground."

    I know what he means. Scrub brush isn't terribly interesting. It's all about what begins the "story" and ends it.

    Frankly, I like Troy's better.
  • melissa6631melissa6631 *insert witty comment* Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 6, 2007
    Pindy wrote:
    and these were mine:

    204508728-M.png

    142251394-S.jpg



    Wow, both of yours were really great.

    I"m glad neither of you are in my class. I'd feel like a dunce with the two of you haha.. The guy in my class is Bert Fukuda? or something like that. The name is very familiar to me and I can't put a finger on how I know the name. He somehow knows Andy.

    This is what i"m submitting for mine...
    204716895-M.jpg
    Missy Ü
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