Have a pro at your side - online, all the time
Learn how to capture great flower photos with proven techniques. Flowers are popular subjects, but they can be tricky to shoot. Because flowers are so beautiful, they fool you into thinking all you need is a good camera and a macro lens. But that often results in so-so photos that really don’t do justice to the flower or the art of photography. Instructor Rob Sheppard brings experience of shooting flowers professionally since he first started working as a pro. He has published over 40 books, many of which contain his flower photos. You will learn how to use all sorts of lenses for close-ups, about working with light and flowers, about getting the best flower portraits and getting the best flower and landscape shots.
- What makes a good flower photo?
- Why we see subjects but the camera does not and how that affects our images.
- How to work your flower subject for better photos.
- How to see the light rather than just the subject when dealing with flowers.
- How to gain better flower portraits through the use of composition, light, backgrounds, angle of view and more.
- How to create better flower and landscape photographs that beautifully integrate the flower and landscape into a connected relationship within the image.
- For Beginning and Intermediate Photographers.
- Learn how to improve your flower photographs to go beyond simply record or snapshots.
- Discover how to use light better on flowers with these key steps.
- Guidance from an experienced and published digital photographer and naturalist who knows how to help photographers succeed.
- Course designed for anyone who wants to get out and photograph flowers to the best effect and create great shots.
What You Get
You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.
- Learn at your pace, with structure.
- Be guided by a real pro instructor.
- Get your photos critiqued every week.
- Join students from around the world.
- Go far beyond any book or DVD.
- Make great pictures, again and again!
Rob Sheppard has had a long-time and nationally recognized commitment to helping photographers become better photographers, regardless of the equipment and technology. He was the editor of Outdoor Photographer
magazine for 12 years and was the original editor of PCPhoto
(now Digital Photo
). Now he is editor-at-large.
He is also the author/photographer of over thirty photo books, including The Magic of Digital Landscape Photography, The National Geographic Field Guide to Photography - Digital, and Adobe® Photoshop Lightroom for Digital Photographers Only. He writes regularly for Outdoor Photographer and teaches around the country, including workshops for the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and the Light Photographic Workshops. His Web site for workshops, books and photo tips is at www.robshepppardphoto.com, and his blog on nature and photography is at www.natureandphotography.com.
As a photographer, Rob worked for many years in Minnesota (before moving to Los Angeles), including doing work for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Norwest Banks (now Wells Fargo), Pillsbury, 3M, General Mills, Lutheran Brotherhood, Ciba-Geigy, Anderson Windows, and others. His photography has been published in many magazines, ranging from National Geographic to The Farmer to, of course, Outdoor Photographer and PCPhoto.
He and his wife, Vicky (married 30+ years), live in the Los Angeles area. They have a son working on his Ph.D. in youth sports and education, and a daughter studying communications/journalism.
Also see Rob's Nature and Photography blog.
A Couple of Photos by the Instructor
© Rob Sheppard
© Rob Sheppard
Lesson 1: Getting Started
How can you get started right away in creating more effective flower images? You will learn about gear that gets you close (and this may be a surprise - macro lenses are not arbitrarily best!). You will learn a unique manual focus technique that helps you deal with the shortcomings of autofocus up close. You will discover why cameras and our eyes see the world differently and how to deal with that. And you will gain ideas on working the flower subject to find better and better images. Plus, you’ll find some tips on dealing with wind.
Assignment: Solidify your technique as you work on finding fresh ways to capture flowers in your photographs. Following the tips and examples in the lesson, submit images that explore your relationship to a flower beyond simply seeing it as a subject.
Lesson 2: Seeing the Light on Flowers
Seeing the light may seem obvious, but a consistent problem with flower photography is that the flowers look so good that our adaptable eyes see them as subject and often miss the light that can make or break how the camera presents them in a photograph. You learn to work with dramatic light, backlight for color, sidelight for texture and form, soft light for gentle color and much more.
Assignment: You will be challenged to explore the possibilities that light offers flower photography so you go beyond simply illuminating the subject and finding effective and interesting light on the flowers.
Lesson 3: The Flower Portrait
Learn to create flower photographs that emphasize and feature the flower in such a way that it is very clear that the photo is about that flower and not anything else. Learn to create better compositions of flowers that go way beyond the tendency to do boring centered pictures. Learn to really see and control the background behind your subject. Discover the secrets of selective focus and why shooting at flower eye-level can be so important.
Assignment: Get down and get dirty as you explore the possibilities of true flower portraits that make both the flower and the photograph look good.
Lesson 4: Flower and Landscape Photography
In this lesson, you will be looking at landscapes with flowers and how to work with them so that the landscape itself is part of the photograph, not just a close-up of flowers. The details of the flower become less important than its role as color or pattern in the landscape. The landscape is now key to the image, but this is no ordinary landscape. Flowers are still important and you will learn how to make them show up in the photo or not.
Assignment: Explore the challenges of combining flowers and landscapes that still create coherent and effective images.
© Rob Sheppard
© Rob Sheppard
- A digital SLR with accessory lenses.
- A macro lens is not a necessity. The first lesson includes information on multiple paths to close-up work.
- A passion for flowers and photography and a need to share their beauty with others through photography.
- A willingness to critically examine your work and discover how you can develop new ideas about it.
- Desire to elevate your flower photography beyond the commonplace.
Will this class help me learn more about photography?
Definitely. The class will encourage you to look at flowers and photography from new perspectives.
Will this class help me learn more about my camera?
Absolutely. The class is not about any specific brand or model, but the lessons and assignments will get you exploring your camera and its controls, and especially how to use different approaches to close-up work.
Does my camera need to be expensive - a professional model?
No. Any SLR from the least expensive to the most expensive from a manufacturer will work just fine. You will need the creative options of using different shutter speeds, apertures and focal lengths, which all SLRs give you.
Do I need anything else in the way of equipment?
You do not need a lot of special equipment for this class. A camera and a couple of lenses are enough as long as you have a range of focal lengths to work with. It helps if your lenses focus up close, but again, in this class you will learn of types of equipment that can help you get close with any lens so you can better decide what equipment would work best for you.
© Rob Sheppard
© Rob Sheppard
Do I have to be online at any specific time?
No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.
Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.
Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.
For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.
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