As someone with significant interest in digital photography, but with little skill or expertise, I became rather excited when I discovered that Legacy Learning Systems was releasing an A-Z digital photography course aptly named, Learn and Master Photography.
While the course will benefit both casual and intermediate photographers, it assumes that you have at least a digital SLR camera to work with. Of course, if you’ve spent $700-1000+ on a nice D-SLR camera (and all the required accessories), it only makes sense that you’ll want to make use of its full potential, and that’s where L&M Photography comes into the picture.
Vital statistics on Learn and Master Photography are as follows: 30+ hours of video lessons, 24 sessions across 15 DVDs with an extra 2 discs containing supplemental course files, and a full-color companion workbook.
OFFER DETAILS: Right now, Learn and Master Photography is currently holding their Tis the Season to be Learning Sale, where you can SAVE $100 OFF on their Learn and Master Photography course!
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Vince Wallace, the course instructor, is a pro photographer based out of Nashville, TN. In his career he’s has a wide range of photographic experience from architectural, corporate PR and portraiture, musicians and artists, editorial, to weddings and family portraits. A couple of his bigger clients have been Dreamworks Interactive and International Living Magazine. In his worldwide travels, he’s taught photography seminars, classes, and private sessions. I checked his rates and you may be interested that a session with Vince can cost up to $199 for 3 hours of instruction, significantly more than what you’ll pay for this course which runs ten times as long.
What you get: 15 professionally shot and produced DVDs stored in the signature Learn and Master deluxe course case. Inside you’ll find that L&M Photography comes with a gorgeous, full-colour printed workbook, which oddly covers only the first 10 sessions. For the remaining 14 sessions, you’ll need to reference the PDF which can be found on one of the extra 2 discs included in the course (the first 10 sessions aren’t available in PDF format). Now, while the printed workbook is a great easy-reference tool, it doesn't really add any new information to the video lessons, so this isn’t a big problem. Also on the extra 2 discs are editable RAW picture files that were taken during the course sessions.
Unlike most resources out there, Learn and Master Photography provides an all-in-one educational solution to becoming a significantly better photographer, and gives you everything you need to create interesting and well-composed images on your own.
The DVD lessons deal with the technical aspects of photography such as, lighting, choosing lenses, metering, exposure, white balance, shutter speeds, and ISO settings, while others deal with the elements of art, like how to frame and compose your pictures, and how to use the principles of design. You’ll also learn how to manage and organize your digital files, colour management, image editing basics, and later, how to show off your photography to the world.
Editor's Note: If you are interested in learning more about how to edit your photos using Photoshop or other software, we recommend Lynda.com as the best online resource for learning these technical skills.
The course progresses linearly, with each lesson building on the next. Most sessions have exercises for you to complete and a “Ready to Move On” section which outlines what you should have learned before you continue on to the next session.
One especially cool feature of L&M Photography I want to highlight is the on-location sessions. Here you’ll get the chance to follow a pro photographer around in common scenarios you’ll find yourself in and learn his thought-processes and techniques to get those excellent shots that we all want. Some of these on-location sessions include taking sports/action photography at a soccer game, night-life shooting in the city, taking group photos outdoors, and photographing kids on a playground. There are also some studio sessions which demonstrate how to take professional studio portrait shots, how to setup a studio and explain the basics of studio lighting.
Unlike most resources out there, Learn and Master Photography provides an all-in-one educational solution to becoming a significantly better photographer, and gives you everything you need to create interesting and well-composed images on your own. The course is, in fact, quite comprehensive and rather long, possibly even a bit longer than it had to be.
If you need help or want to ask a lesson-specific question, you’ll have free access to the L&M Photography online forums. There you can post your shots and get helpful feedback. Mr. Wallace himself occasionally checks in to answer questions from the students. When we last checked, there wasn’t a lot activity in the forums, which is not surprising as the course and the forum is still relatively new.
Learn and Master Photography is sold on the company’s website, LearnAndMaster.com. There are payment plans available, as well as a no-questions-asked 60-day return policy on all of Legacy’s products.
Obviously, just like getting a really expensive camera won’t necessarily give you great pictures, a hi-end educational product, such as Learn and Master Photography won’t automatically make you a better photographer. However, if you take the time to go through the course and to learn and experiment, I guarantee you’ll see dramatic improvement in both your photos and in your enjoyment of this great hobby.
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