Solutions: eLearning

Modern online courses allow you to learn from and interact with excellent instructors in your spare time at home

Craftsy is one online learning resource where students can get direct feedback from instructors.

There has been a flood of new options for photographers looking to take a class over the past few years. More than ever, photographers have a thirst for knowledge about everything from setting up macro shots to learning the ins and outs of Lightroom. Reflecting this, we’ve changed up the OP Travel & Workshops section; in our new Classes, Tours & Workshops section, you’ll be able to find information about all sorts of educational options, from live online courses to home-study programs to traditional in-the-field workshops to domestic and international photo tours. No matter what you want to learn, we want to connect you with a program that’s ideal for your goals.

That brings us to the burgeoning arena of online learning. There’s a range of options, from attending live webinars to the modern version of a correspondence class available online. Former OP editor Rob Sheppard offers a class through Craftsy called “Shooting Intimate Landscapes” (craftsy.com). The class costs $59.99, and it includes 8 HD lessons that can be accessed at anytime. There’s also a virtual classroom where students can get direct feedback from Sheppard. That direct feedback is key in a program like this, and it’s what sets apart many paid programs from free tutorials that you can find on YouTube and other venues. Being able to interact with the instructor is key to comprehending the material and applying the lessons to oneself. Craftsy offers a number of additional photography courses. They’re categorized as Essentials and Skill Building. Essentials classes are designed for novices, and Skill Building programs are well suited to photographers with some experience.

At a different end of the spectrum is the New York Institute Of Photography nyip.edu). It has been a fixture among photographers since 1910. To say the world has changed since then is both an understatement and obvious. That history has given NYIP perspective on how to structure their classes for student success. To put it another way, you don’t last 100-plus years without adapting to the times.

NYIP offers classes for beginners and for photographers looking to turn pro. One of their newest classes is “Video Making and Storytelling.” Among the prospective filmmakers the course was designed for are amateur photographers looking to learn the video functions of their cameras. There are 22 interactive lessons, 6 video projects that are reviewed by the instructor, plus access to a personal student advisor by phone or email. Total tuition for the class is $1,499.

A different approach is taken by KelbyOne. Earlier this year, Kelby Training, known for Scott Kelby’s highly regarded educational programs, merged with the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. The new company is known as KelbyOne (kelbyone.com), and it offers a subscription model for its educational programs. For $249 a year, you get access to hundreds of classes and lessons, as well as a range of industry discounts. New webcasts are available weekly. KelbyOne also offers KelbyOne LIVE in-person programs for $99 (members pay $79).

These are just a few examples of online learning options. In today’s world where the ability to schedule an in-person class over more than just a weekend is increasingly difficult, online learning’s benefits and convenience are obvious. And the online classes you take will make you all that much better equipped and prepared for the next time you sign up for a good, in-person, hands-on workshop.