Warning: Unterminated comment starting line 482 in /home/content/97/9574797/html/new/modules/rdf/rdf.module on line 482
Michael Freeman’s Photography Foundation Course | Webheath Digital Photography Club

You are here

Michael Freeman’s Photography Foundation Course

Recently I took an on-line course on photographic composition. The course was run by My-Photo School and presented by the well known photographer and author Michael Freeman, based on his excellent book The Photographer’s Eye. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and thought I would share my experiences. If you are thinking whether to take a course like this, this article may help you make up your mind.

I was keen to follow a course that covered the more creative aspects of photography rather than something purely technical. This course soon had me thinking much more about what I was photographing and why and more importantly what I wanted my images to show to the viewer.

Shoppers in BirminghamThe course content followed Michael Freeman’s book, The Photographer’s Eye. It was eight weeks long and structured around weekly half-hour streamed video lectures by Michael Freeman, accompanied by weekly assignments. Assignments meant going out and taking photos to a brief to go with each lectures. Some of my assignment images accompany this article. On-line feedback was provided by Michael Freeman himself and other students on the course. This was enabled by a virtual classroom. Each lecture was accompanied by a really good set of notes in e-book form. I’m sure I will be going back to these again.

The assignments were big part of the course and were harder than I expected, but fun. Completing the assignments in a week was sometimes a challenge and I found I submitted some where I could have done better with more time or thought. With the limited daylight of October / November I could mainly work at the weekends, which was a challenge. Doing the course in the summer would allow more time to get out and take photos. Getting out, motivated to take specific types of picture was a really good aspect of the course that I hadn’t considered before the start. Michael encouraged us to try techniques I hadn’t used before and to think carefully about what I wanted to do and whether I had achieved it.

HandsMichael’s feedback was fair and honest. He had a good eye for post- processing and mistakes. He made good suggestions on how to improve. The comments from class mates were also very useful. It was also useful to see other people’s work and their feedback. Overall I found the feedback encouraging and motivating. It has definitely increased my confidence, especially when it comes to breaking the “rules”.

The course went through many compositional approaches and why you would or wouldn’t use them. A key theme was that there are no “rules”. Some things work better than others and some things have a specific effect. The creative part is to think about composition and how that can improve an image. Only one week covered technical aspects of photography – shutter speed, depth of field, etc. Michael answered questions on technical matters but the content of the course was creative and the process behind photography.

The topics for the eight weeks were: The Job of Composition, Frame and Framing, Contrast and Balance, The Viewer’s Eye, The Graphic Elements, The Photographic Elements, Composing with Light and Colour, and The Process of Shooting. They were all good but I particularly enjoyed the last two.

It was great to get feedback from Michael Freeman and learn some tools to help me improve my photography. I feel much more able to review my photos and comment on others.  I’ve a long way to go but this has really helped.

The course was good but there were a few technical issues. I had problems with registration and some assignments and posts to the classroom occasionally went missing. Having said that, all problems were quickly sorted out either by mentioning it in the classroom or direct to the technical help.  I would also say that the website is a little clunky to use. The classroom navigation could definitely be improved. You have to do quite a lot of clicks to view posts or assignments that have been uploaded.

I suppose the big question is whether on-line training like this really works. Can it really take the place of a real classroom? To me the answer is a qualified yes. This course was great. Would it have been better in person – probably? But that would have cost a lot more and required more time and travelling by me. However, I did get personal feedback from the Miacael Freeman, a very well known and respected photography eductaor. I also wouldn’t have got contact with other photographers from around the world. The community aspect of this kind of training is important and you are a little isolated on-line. However the course encouraged us to comment in images and exchange views. The format of the course does rely on you to get out on your own to take photos. You really have to be prepared to put some work in to get the most from the training. Compared to some face to face training there is no in-the-field practical training. If you need that I don’t think this would be right for you. If you feel able to do that and are comfortable on-line this way of training works well.

By the way, My-Photo School is a useful photography resource, publishing blogs, tutorials, competitions and so on. Take a look.

David Walker
Great results Greame

As always I remain impressed by your output Greame and wonder how much you have improved as a result of your participation in this course?
I like what you have written and would certainly consider such a training opportunity, and concur that any similar classroom based course would almost certainly be considerably more expensive.
The more I see and do in the amazing world of photography, the more I get the impression that most if not all great images will have almost certainly received an amount post camera editing which leaves me wondering how much better you are able to capture the image in camera as a result of this training, or put another way has the time spent in LR / Photo Shop reduced?

David

David Walker
Great results Greame

As always I remain impressed by your output Greame and wonder how much you have improved as a result of your participation in this course?
I like what you have written and would certainly consider such a training opportunity, and concur that any similar classroom based course would almost certainly be considerably more expensive.
The more I see and do in the amazing world of photography, the more I get the impression that most if not all great images will have almost certainly received an amount post camera editing which leaves me wondering how much better you are able to capture the image in camera as a result of this training, or put another way has the time spent in LR / Photo Shop reduced?

David

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer