Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Choose The Best Workshop
From afternoon seminars to weekends in the field to full-blown exotic tours, you’ll get the most out of a workshop when you select one that’s suited to your goals and scheduleWeb-Based Workshops
Not everyone can take off and go to a location far from home for a workshop, yet it can be beneficial to take a course with other like-minded photographers as you study a particular topic about photography. This is where web-based workshops offer a lot of benefits to the photographer who still wants to learn and grow as a photographer. These workshops often offer the most diversity of topics, from getting the most from a particular brand of camera to advanced use of Photoshop. The instructor is important to a web-based workshop because you’ll be getting instruction directly from that instructor, as well as possibly getting critiques on assignments.
Web-based workshops work in a number of ways. Some send out lessons on a regular basis—you complete the lesson and do an assignment, and then you get a critique. If you want direct feedback on your work and a direct connection with the instructor, this can be a good way of getting it, but if you’re sensitive to critiques, this may not be the best option for you. I think it’s helpful when critiques are open for viewing by all students in the class. You’ll learn a lot from what your fellow students are doing and how the instructor sees their work through the critiques.
Other web-based workshops offer a series of lessons for a given class with availability at your convenience. You simply log on to the website and view the lessons whenever you can. That certainly helps with a busy schedule, but it may mean that there are no critiques because it’s difficult to offer critiques on a random schedule. Both types of workshops use text- and video-based instruction. I’ve worked with both, and I don’t see one as standing out over the other.
Preparing for a web-based workshop. Be ready for the class when it starts or when you’re prepared to start. You won’t get as much from a class if you start taking it and then quit along the way for any number of reasons. That’s not to say that “life sometimes gets in the way,” which can affect how you take the class. If that happens, let the instructor know and find out if it’s possible to change how you’re working with this class. Also, be sure you do all of the assignments or suggested exercises. Even if the class is strictly follow-along-at-your-own-pace instruction without assignments, do your own self-assignments to apply the ideas from the lessons in your photography.
See Rob Sheppard’s workshop schedule at robsheppardphoto.com.
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