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Five years ago, I decided that I wanted a Digital SLR camera. I researched and purchased a Canon Rebel XS. I was so excited to get the camera and played around with it a bit when I first got it. I took it on one vacation and then realized that my point and shoot took good pictures as well and was much easier to carry around. The SLR sat in the camera bag for a few years. My children were very young and I didn’t have time to learn how to use the camera for it’s intended purpose, which is to shoot in manual mode.

A few months ago, I happened upon an online photography course through Flying Photo School. I had always wanted to take a class to learn how to use my DSLR camera, but the ones I always found were very time consuming and very expensive. This online course that I found looked ideal! The class was 4 weeks, you could go through the material on your schedule, and you got feedback on the photos that you took and uploaded for the assignments. I figured I would give it a try!

If you are interested in checking out Flying Photo School, they are offering their courses at HALF price by using the special promo code “ALECIA49″. Enter this code during the check out process when purchasing your class.

Digital 101

My first course was their Digital 101 class. I have to say that I was learning from the first week and it was fun to learn how to take pictures inside without a flash. I always hated how the flash washed out the colors and made things look somewhat un-natural. I began taking pictures inside without a flash and got some great results! This course also discussed white balance, aperture, and shutter speed. It was a great introduction to my DSLR camera and I learned a lot to begin taking some interesting shots with my camera. The time invested each week was no more than 20 to 30 minutes to review the material and then I would take pictures when I had the chance, so maybe 30 minutes to an hour or less to get pictures ready for the assignments.

Digital 102

After the first course, I was hooked on learning more about my DSLR camera. I signed up for Digital 102 to learn how to shoot completely in manual mode. It was easier than I thought it would be. The class materials are very straight forward and the videos are extremely helpful. I felt comfortable taking shots in manual mode and posting them for my assignments. I now feel that I can get the shots that I’m wanting from my camera and this has also led me to get the bug to purchase some additional lenses besides the kit lens that came with my camera.

Creative Composition 

I signed up for this course at the same time as the Digital 102 to get some ideas on how to compose my shots so they look better and provide me with some additional effects. This course went beyond the rule of thirds and demonstrated other techniques such as reflection, framing, perspective, and leading lines. It really sparked my creativity when thinking of shots to take with my camera. This course also gave me a better appreciation for viewing other’s photographs. During the course, I was looking at a photo gallery on a news web site and several of the pictures just really made an impact on me. The reason they made an impact was how the pictures were composed and shot. It was interesting to see reflection and silhouette used in professional photographs and how they had a huge impact on the viewer’s emotions.

I can’t say enough about Flying Photo School, their course, and their staff. They are always available to assist you with questions you have with the course and the feedback each week is very constructive. It is also great to look at the feedback of your classmates to learn additional tips on taking a great picture with your DSLR. You can take a course with Flying Photo School for HALF OFF by using a special promotion code, “ALECIA49

To take a look at some of the pictures I submitted during my class experiences, visit my gallery. I mainly used natural subjects as well as my chocolate lab and new chocolate lab puppy. I tend to be extremely careful about taking pictures of my children and posting them on the Internet. Each of us makes our own decision on that, but I elected not to post pictures of my child in my courses, with the exception of one which does not show my sons face.

Are you a regular shutterbug, or does your camera sit in a closet somewhere? Tell me your story in the comments.