Advanced DSLR & Mirrorless Camera Use


Advanced DSLR & Mirrorless Camera Use


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Instructor: John McComb
Time & Dates: 7 pm - 9 pm Tuesdays, Aug 7, 14, 21, 28, & Sept 4, 2018 (5 weeks)
Location: PhotoMidwest, 700 Rayovac Dr. Suite 212, Madison WI. ADA accessible.
Free convenient parking in our adjacent parking lot.
Class size: limited to 10 people; minimum class of 4.


Have you mastered the basics and want to take your photography to the next level?  This advanced level workshop will give you the tools and practical experience to take your photography to new, creative levels.

The emphasis will be hands-on doing with your equipment. There will be assignments, reviews of each other's work, and some post-processing to make your photographs their best. We will journey together to creating more satisfying, meaningful photographs and have some fun along the way. 

Intended Audience

This is an advanced-level course intended for anyone who has a basic understanding of their DLSR or mirroless interchangable lens camera, can shoot in Manual mode, and can produce good exposures now but wants to increase their photographic knowledge and their ability to create creative images.  

Course Goals

Through this course you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of light and exposure
  • Shoot in the RAW format
  • Enhance your sense of composition and learn new techniques for photographing people, places and things
  • Learn more about post-processing, using both Photoshop and Lightroom
  • Learn techniques for High Dynamic Range processing, Macro and Black & White photography

Course Requirements

Students must have a Digital SLR or Mirrorless Interchangable Lens Camera (MILC) and be able to shoot in manual mode. Students will be expected to complete weekly assignments and participate in critique.


Session One – Your Camera Revisited

  • Quick review of the camera: Image Quality, White Balance, Shooting Modes, Manual controls, ISO, Focus Points, Metering modes, Exposure modes, etc.
  • Quick review of lenses:  Which lens to choose, care of lenses, prime vs zoom lenses, lens quality, lens extenders, filters
  • Quick review of tripod/support devices
  • Flash overview
  • Assignment protocol and first assignment

Session Two – Understanding Light and Exposure  

  • Review of First assignment (Limit to 20 min. max)
  • The Essence of Light (Quality, Quantity, Direction, Source, Size)
  • What Your Camera Can Record (Dynamic range, Histograms, Color)
  • Getting the Right Exposure for What You Want (Metering, White balance, Camera Exposure Adjustment)
  • High Dynamic Range Capture (Processing HDR in later class)
  • Second assignment

Session Three – Composition

  • Review of Second assignment (Limit to 20 min. max)
  • Basic Composition Concepts
  • Working the scene
  • Advanced Composition Concepts
  • Color vs. Black & White
  • Breaking the rules
  • Third Assignment

Session Four – Photographing People,  Places and Things

  • Review of Third Assignment
  • Portraits
  • Street Photography
  • Family Photos
  • Landscape
  • Travel Photography
  • Macro Photography
  • Fourth Assignment

Session Five – Post Processing and Growth as a Photographer

  • Software Included with Your Camera
  • Review of Fourth Assignment
  • Using Lightroom Overview
  • Using Photoshop Overview
  • Other Photography Software/Techniques: From HDR to Focus Stacking
  • Additional Photo Critique
  • Improving Your Photography
  • Instructore Evaluation Forms

Instructor Bio: John McComb

 John McComb. All rights reserved by John McComb.

John McComb. All rights reserved by John McComb.

John is an avid wildlife and nature photographer, photography instructor, and photo group leader. For the past 10 years, he has been roaming throughout southern Wisconsin, discovering and capturing our states beautiful parks, rivers, wildlife and scenery. For the past 2 years, he worked full time teaching various photography classes and seminars, leading group outings, sales, freelance videography and is volunteer Photographer/Visual Story Teller for The American Red Cross.

John is very much looking forward to bringing his “show, tell, and try” style of teaching, where he likes to make a lecture/class feel more like workshop.



All student cancellations will incur a $10.00 processing fee, which will be deducted from any refund remitted. Cancellations more than thirty (30) days before the start of the first class session are refundable, less the above processing fee.

Cancellations at thirty (30) to fourteen (14) days before the start of the first class session will result in refunding half (50%) of the fees except for some classes where this is not feasible due to contractual arrangements with the instructor(s) and/or venue. Such exceptions will be noted in the listing of those classes.

Cancellations less than fourteen (14) days before the start of the first class session will result in the loss of all fees. You may arrange to have someone else fill your slot in the class but we must be notified of this substitution as soon as possible.  PhotoMidwest will have no involvement in any transfer of funds related to such substitutions.  If the slot in the class is not used, we will consider it as a donation to PhotoMidwest and as such, it may qualify as tax deductible.

In the rare case an entire class must be cancelled by PhotoMidwest, all students will receive a full refund. Partial cancellation of a single class session will typically be addressed via a rescheduled session, not a partial refund of fees.


By enrolling in this course, you consent to PhotoMidwest taking and publishing photographs of the course, which may include you, in its promotional materials to communicate what our classes, events, and/or facilities are like to potential members. To clarify, PhotoMidwest will never publish photographs YOU took without your specific written permission.