We often have aspiring photographers come into the store and ask for help designing a curriculum to fit their particular photographic interests. A popular request is landscape photography — what types of classes can you take to become a better landscape photographer in 3-4 months?

Here’s a recommended schedule of classes and workshops, starting you off with the basics and ending up with an amazing photo trip that will get you out in the world and inspire you to put your new skills to good use.

Where to start? If someone came into the store right now and asked me for a recommended schedule, this is what I would offer them:

The "WOW!" Pictures

landscape photography

This is our most popular beginner level class. It doesn't focus specifically on landscapes, but it's an excellent introduction to thinking like a pro and stepping up your photography from "good" to "GREAT." It will put you in the right mindset to start taking better landscape photos in your everyday life.

Upcoming sessions: Sat, October 19, 9-11am.

Photo Walk: Polarizing and Gradient Filters at Signal Hill

landscape photography

A photo walk is the perfect opportunity to practice landscape photography. It gets you out of the classroom and in the middle of actual landscapes, which is pretty helpful. During this particular walk, learn about how filters can drastically improve the quality of your photos. Filters can add color, create depth, and add richness to otherwise washed-out photos on really sunny or gloomy days.  Learn about polarizing filters, gradient filters, color filters, and more!

Upcoming session: Saturday, October 19, 1-4pm

HDR Photography

hdr photography

This class is for anyone ready to take their landscape photography to the next level. Instead of choosing between exposing for highlights or exposing for shadows, HDR lets you have the best of both worlds. Create an HDR image from several different images taken at different exposure levels and stitch them together to create a scene that more closely resembles the image you imagined taking in your head.

Upcoming session: Wednesday, October 16, 7-9pm

Mastering Lightroom or Getting Started with Photoshop Elements 11

landscape photography

A solid editing program is essential to any photographer's repertoire. Many photographers use both Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, depending on what they want to accomplish with their photos. We have two separate series running on different days of the week so that you don't need to choose which program to learn -- you can easily master both! Each series is broken down into four classes.

Upcoming sessions:
Photoshop Elements: Thursday nights, 7-9pm, October 10, October 17, October 24, November 7
Mastering Lightroom: Saturdays, 10am-1pm, October 26, November 2, November 16 (2-5pm), November 23

Yosemite Fall Photo Adventure

landscape photography

What better place to find inspiration for beautiful landscape photos than one of the USA's most beautiful national parks? Photographers of all skill levels are welcome on our fall photo trips, where we take advantage of the colorful fall foliage and moody weather to capture some really captivating shots.

Upcoming session: November 14 - 17, 2013

Ireland Photo Adventure

landscape photography

Now that you've gotten some practice during one of our "local" photo trips, come abroad with us as we experience one of the most magical and enchanting landscapes of all: Ireland. We'll spend equal amounts of time in the city and countryside, soaking up as much culture and history and scenery as we can. Be one of the first photographers to come with us on our first ever trip to this wonderful country!

Upcoming session: May 28- June 6, 2014

**Click on any of the class titles for more information or to register

Creating depth in a scene is essential to mastering landscape photography. Here Mark Comon uses his annual trip to Monument Valley as an example of choosing the perfect location, creating depth with light and perspective, and ultimately coming away with great photos every year. 

Monument Valley

Creating Depth in Landscape Photography
Mark Comon

We have all seen great landscape photos…. Which is your favorite famous scenic photo? Ansel Adams’ Half Dome, Merced River, Winter comes to mind. That photo and most of your favorites will have one common bond, the creation of depth in the photo to draw the viewer into the scene.  A photograph is two dimensional and we have to build the illusion of the third dimension with the use of light, lens and aperture.

Monument Valley

In a stunning location like Monument Valley, many people think it’s simple to create stunning photos.  Use of light to create a deeper picture is paramount.  Using the shadows on the dunes and sunlight on the Totem is a classic technique.

From Hunt’s Mesa it’s imperative to build a foreground and background.  From a great distance a telephoto lens is used to stack the elements into an effective composition.

Monument Valley

The Ear of the Wind is an impressive feature, but when the rider and sheep are included the photo can become quite special.  Controlling the amount of focus (depth of field) by choosing a moderate aperture gives you  the three dimensional effect you're looking for.

**Mark and the Creative Photo Academy will be headed back to Monument Valley this October. You can read more about that trip by clicking here