Photography Basics

10/23/2017 - 11/6/2017


This six-session class is designed for the beginner (or intermediate photographer) who is looking for a solid foundation in photography. If you have always wanted to learn more about photography but aren’t sure where to start, this course would be an excellent starting place.

The instructor will cover topics including how to use f-stops, shutter speeds and ISO to achieve proper exposure, the basics of composition, photo equipment including cameras, lenses and tripods, as well as techniques for creating better nature images and photographs of people. This course will prepare a photographer to take properly exposed images in almost any situation and give them a foundation in image editing with Adobe Lightroom.

Classes will include lectures, demonstrations, Q & A, assignments, and image critique. The session on October 28th is a field shoot outdoors in the Missoula area.

Topics Include:

  • Exposure
  • F-Stops
  • Shutter Speeds
  • ISO
  • How the meter works
  • Histograms
  • Using Manual
  • Outsmarting the Meter
  • Lightroom
  • Importing
  • Basic editing
  • Basic organization
  • Exporting using the built-in presets
  • Sharing your images
  • Composition
  • Nature and people photography

This class meets on October 23, 25, 30, November 1 and 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  There is a field trip on October 28, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.


This three-session class will delve deep into the back-end of Adobe Lightroom and give students a complete and comprehensive knowledge on how they can best use Lightroom to manage and organize their images. Starting with importing images from your memory card to your computer or external hard drive, Forest walks you through the process of managing your images in the Library module. Once you have your bearings here, you will rate, keyword, sort, group and organize your images.

Topics Include:

  • Lightroom Catalog structure
  • Creating new catalogs
  • Where to store your catalog
  • Where to store your images
  • Importing images
  • Exporting images
  • Keywording
  • Collections, Smart Collections and Collection Sets
  • Labels, flags, ratings
  • Searching your image library
  • Backing up your images
  • Cleaning up Lightroom
  • Moving images and folders in Lightroom

No Lightroom knowledge is required to take this course. If you don’t fully understand Lightroom’s organization system, this class is for you!

This class meets on November 8, 13 and 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.


Are you considering buying a camera for yourself or someone else this holiday season? Maybe you’re in the market for your first camera or perhaps you’re ready to purchase a new lens. If so, this is the class for you. This class is for beginner, intermediate, advanced or professional photographers who are looking to upgrade their gear this holiday season – or perhaps looking to switch to a smaller, lighter, mirrorless option.

In this two-session class, Neil will focus primarily on camera systems ranging from DSLRs to mirrorless cameras.  He will discuss the pros and cons of each, and will illustrate how it is not necessary to spend a fortune on a camera capable of producing amazingly high-quality images. This class will save you money!

Neil will cover camera sensors, megapixel misconceptions, appropriate lens choices for each system and generally strive to arm you with information before you head into a camera store this season. Neil will talk about where to buy and the pros and cons of buying new or used.

Handouts that compare the features of various camera models will be provided so you have them to refer to down the road.

Topics Include: 

  • Choosing a DSLR camera
  • Choosing a Mirrorless camera
  • Choosing a lens

This class meets on November 9 and 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.


This two-session class is for intermediate or advanced photographers who feel their photographic style isn’t where they want it to be, or photographers who are curious about the current style trends in photography. Students who take this class need to be comfortable using their camera and have a working knowledge of Adobe Lightroom. We recommend that the participants of this class have at least a couple of years of shooting experience. If you are looking to develop a more consistent photographic style, this class is for you!  (Please note: Students will need a laptop computer to participate fully in this class).

Topics Include:

  • Current style trends in photography
  • Matching your style to your genre
  • How to develop a style
  • Creating consistency in your work
  • Using Lightroom to edit images with a consistent style
  • How to choose the best and most consistent images from a shoot

This class meets on December 5 and 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

How to Use Your New Camera

1/22/2018 - 1/31/2018


We built this three-session class to provide a thorough introduction to using a DSLR or mirrorless camera comfortably in a wide variety of situations. This course it built for people who have a camera and want to learn more about taking beautiful images but don’t necessarily want to take their photographic journey any further than images of friends, family or pretty landscapes.

This class will teach you how to set up and operate your camera in Aperture Priority mode and take beautiful photographs in a wide variety of shooting situations! If you own a camera and want to spend three full evenings learning more about how to use it, this is the class for you!

Topics Include:

  • Initial camera set up
  • Settings to worry about and things to leave alone
  • Formatting memory cards and why that’s important
  • Raw and JPEG and when to use each one
  • Lens choices and what lenses are good for different shooting situations
  • Exposure
  • F-Stops
  • Shutter Speeds
  • ISO
  • Using Aperture Priority mode
  • How to use Aperture Priority in a variety of shooting conditions
  • When to use your pop-up flash as well as how to avoid using it
  • Getting your images from your camera to your computer to your phone
  • Emailing and sharing images on social media

This class meets on January 22, 24 and 31, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.