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Connecticut DSLR photography workshops/Entry level and Intermediate/Learn manual controls and advanced techniques from a professional

 

 

West Cornwall Connecticut Covered bridge and reflections

 

Learn Manual Exposure Controls/ISO/Aperture/Shutter Speed/Metering Modes/Histogram/File Sizes and More

Litchfield Hills and Southern Berkshires ~ Basic Photography Classes to Guided Nature Shoots 


 

Entry level & Intermediate Enthusiast love my D-SLR and Mirrorless Camera photography workshops. My classes are fun, informative, creative and designed to inspire. Realizing your tight daily schedule requirements, my instructional workshops take just 3 hours. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished professional with an impressive list of publications.

My workshops have been moved from my past Warren Ct studio to the Makery Coworking located at 20 Bank St. in New Milford. Conveniently located just 30 minutes or less from towns like Danbury, Torrington, Southbury, Pawling NY, and Bristol.  I'm happy to do one-on-one, small groups and can accommodate as many as 10. Workshops must be scheduled with ME in advance.

Want to GIFT a workshop? WE DO GIFT CARDS! Simply use the Contact form in the menu above. 

This is a basic exposure chart above depicting the relationships between ISO/Shutter Speed and F-stops

 

Take Control of Your Camera 

My beginner's workshop takes about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. I'll review the Exposure Triangle  (ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture) with participants and simplify this complicated relationship. I find the majority of newbie SLR/Mirrorless camera owners with manual controls are intimidated by their gear, especially after not seeing the results they expected. My approach to showing you the basic functions and navigating the menus is practical. It's my goal to have you feel confident making manual settings adjustments.  Knowledge = power. It's time to tell the camera who's the boss and discover the joy of using the camera's manual settings to make better images.  Please note, my SLR and Mirrorless camera workshops cover the photography essence of these cameras and not the video capabilities.  

Metering Modes   

Beginners Workshop Pricing 

The entry-level (beginners) classes are $150.00 and typically take 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Morning workshops begin at 9:15. I conduct these workshops at the Makery Coworking in New Milford, Ct.  You may invite a non-photographer guest to accompany you for a $40.00 fee. A non-photographer guest could be a spouse, a friend or relative, personal aid etc.. 

Topics Covered

  • The Exposure Triangle - A complicated relationship simplified
  • Shutter Speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Metering Modes (spot-matrix-center priority)
  • Using the Histogram 
  • Image Stabilization (VR-IOS) 
  • Viewfinder Basics - TTL or EVF
  • Comparing Mirrorless and D-SLR 
  • Image Quality Settings (RAW and JPEG) 
  • Exposure Adjustments (+/-)   
  • Cool filters for awesome effects

The Requirements

My workshops are strictly for DSLR/Mirrorless cameras with full manual exposure controls and interchangeable lenses. (No iPhone cameras, iPad cameras or compact consumer digital cameras)  

You should bring your DSLR or Mirrorless camera, along with a lens, a fully charged battery, memory cards and a healthy dose of enthusiasm!  Asking questions is encouraged, I LOVE what I do and I am thrilled to be able to assist you.

 

Learn to SEEVisual DesignEffective compositionsBe Expressive, Define With Light  

 

Intermediate Photo Enthusiast Workshops

If you have completed the Entry level Workshop, the Intermediate workshop is the next phase.  Since you may already be well past basic skills, completing my entry level workshop is not a requirement.  If you're comfortable making manual adjustments to the camera's controls, you can swap out lenses with ease, are using polarizer filters & neutral density filters, and you use a tripod this is the workshop for you.

Geared Towards Nature and Landscape Photography

This is a hands-on workshop and a wonderful follow-up to my beginner's workshops. This workshop will likely require a field trip to one of my favorite scenic nature destinations in Connecticut's Litchfield County. I'll be teaching you how to get an amazing depth of field (focus front to back) in your images, selective focus with purposely out of focus backgrounds and how to artistically compose an image that captures your viewer's attention. I'll also show you how to correctly capture that silky ethereal flow of water in a stream or waterfall and how to determine the most favorable natural lighting for your subject. My experiences with Intermediate skill workshop attendees is they are thrilled to be able to see the results of their newly learned techniques and are very eager to schedule additional classes to build upon their new skills. You'll see improvements and acquire additional skills each time out.  

I recommend starting with either a Morning (sunrise) Workshop or Late Afternoon (sunset) session. Although I cannot guarantee amazing sunrise or sunsets, working those hours of the day usually provides optimal lighting for outdoor nature scenes and we can avoid harsh sunny mid-day lighting. If we get misty or foggy days or light rain that is great! I've spent 30+ years chasing bad weather to capture beautiful atmospheric conditions.  

When Are these Workshops Available?

Weekends, and during spring and summer months only. If you desire the Intermediate Photo Enthusiast workshop, this will require an early start to get you out when the lighting is appropriate for shooting nature scenes. Morning classes may require an early start if it may include a good sunrise opportunity. Plan on at least 5 hours. Late Afternoon classes I like to get started around 3:30 pm and last until sunset.

Intermediate Skill Enhancement Workshop Pricing

Since this requires a road trip and working in the field for several hours, they are priced at $250.00. 

Requirements for Intermediate Workshop

  • a D-SLR camera body OR Mirrorless camera and lens
  • a Tripod (this is important for long exposures and composing)
  • Ability to manually change exposure settings
  • comfortable hiking shoes
  • screw on circular polarizer filter that fits your lens
  • bottled water and a snack for some nature hikes
  • 2 or 3 stop circular Neutral density filter for waterfall/stream photography helps if you have one!
  • Charged batteries and storage media!! CF or SD cards
  • Cleaning kit/Soft lens cloth and appropriate cleaning solution (just in case)
  • Bear spray is optional for nature hikes. I always carry my own.
  • Lastly, you must be at least 18 years of age.

 

 

BOOK IT NOW

 

Front view of the full pro-Nikon D810. This is a D-SLR camera with a lens attached.

 

Nikon professional D-SLR 750 body top view

This is a top view of a Nikon D750 body. The control to the left is a multi-function dial. There is a LOT to learn to become a photographer

 


Spring and Summer Workshop Excursions 

I have included a few highly suggested regional scenics for the intermediate & advanced enthusiast to browse below. I've been so blessed, as several of my nature and landscape images within my portfolio have gone on to become iconic western Connecticut scenes after 12 plus years of being published in calendars, magazines, and various news media articles. Since I'm intimately familiar with them, I'm happy to show you how and where to get the best images from these locations.  

 

Connecticut Camera Photography Workshops/Advanced Techniques/Laurel Ridge Foundation Litchfield CT Daffodil Festival

Laurel Ridge Foundation - 18 Acres of Beautiful Daffodils in a rural location

Each year, this is the very first outdoor workshop destination I lead.  The Laurel Ridge daffodil festival is unique because the daffodil blooms last for just a few weeks. The blooms normally begin to pop by late April, and they may last through mid-May if we are lucky. Weather conditions play a significant role. I begin posting for these workshops on my FaceBook and Instagram pages sometime in March with the intent of keeping you informed of the conditions. 

Laurel Ridge daffodil workshops are strictly limited to 4 participants, and I can do them any weeknight. Guest may not follow the group closely, however, they are free to enjoy all 18 + acres as you participate in the workshop. I am respectful of the Ridge foundation's owners and grateful for allowing public access here, so I keep this low key. The goal is to be respectful of other visitors while providing my workshop clients with the best possible photo opportunities.

Laurel Ridge Workshop - Pre Registration Fee's

This is a hands-on workshop and we'll be quite busy photographing different scenes and moving from spot to spot. This workshop cost $185.00 per person.

This is a very easy location for me to meet up with you. It's on Wigwam Road about 1 mile after turning off off Rte 209 in Litchfield Ct. Please note: you are required to contact me and BOOK a workshop date.  Meetups are on location about 5:15 pm. In the past, I've had a few people just show up here without booking a workshop and wonder where I am. I want to be quite clear, DO NOT assume I'm waiting there for random people to show up.

 

Connecticut Photography Workshops for Advanced Techniques / Ridge Pond at sunset from the Laurel Ridge Foundation - Litchfield CT/Thomas Schoeller Photography

Sunsets and reflections like this are common around 8:05 pm during the Daffodil Festival at Laurel Ridge ~ Litchfield CT.

 

Favorite Connecticut Destinations for Outdoor Destination Workshops

Traditionally by mid-May, after the Laurel Ridge Daffodil blooms dry up, the forest are just beginning to sprout colorful foliage. Thus, I begin guiding intermediate workshops to the wonderful waterfalls, forest, and streams in western Connecticut and the southern Berkshires. Some of my suggested destinations include Enders Falls near Granby, Falls Brook Natural area in Hartland, Campbell Falls in Norfolk and up into the southern Berkshires to Bash Bish Falls and Race Brook. These are all scenic regional locations to photograph and relatively easy to access. 

Sturdy hiking shoes are encouraged for all workshops and feel free to bring bottled water and a snack. I always carry bear spray into Race Brook and Falls Brook natural areas just in case we encounter a bruin that gets nosey. Black bears are common in Connecticut's northwest corner, however, most are shy and cautious of people. Feel free to browse the following locations I've listed below, and do not be bashful about requesting an excursion to any of these locations for your intermediate photography workshop! I'd love to help you capture amazing images that you will treasure and maybe even consider hanging on your walls!  

1) Enders Falls  A stunning series of unique waterfalls, 4 in all, located near Granby Connecticut. A river crossing is required, and no I'm not comparing this to the Yellowstone River so don't hyperventilate!  If you don't have waterproof hiking boots you may just get soggy feet. Once I get you to THIS scene, however, you'll forget your toes got damp in a hurry!

Enders Falls State Park image by Thomas Schoeller Photography

2) Race Brook Falls  Located in the Berkshires, this is a great year-round destination. There are two attractive cascades to photograph here, accessible by separate trails. The lower falls is a 1.25 mile in & out hike. The upper falls trail is steeper and approximately 0.5 miles longer each way. If we get soft muted lighting, we'll have time to shoot both falls!

3)  Falls Brook Natural area  This verdant oasis may contain the most luminous emerald green moss and picturesque small cascades in all of southern New England. It's just us and a few bears, and it's about a 2-mile round trip hike with plenty of subjects to photograph including a stunning waterfall at the end.

Learn Advanced Nature Photography Techniques/Connecticut Outdoor Excursion Workshops at Falls Brook Natural Area

4) Campbell Falls  This spectacular waterfall is made of 2 significant cascades that straddle the border of Connecticut and the Berkshires of southern Massachusetts. Composing pretty landscapes here can be tricky, I'll get you into the right position for the best results. The image below is a magazine cover image I shot for Season's magazine of the Upper Falls at Campbells Falls State Park 

Scenic Berkshires/Campbell Falls nature photography by Thomas Schoeller/Connecticut Photography Workshop Adventures

5)  Bash Bish Falls  Photographic all year. The main attraction is a pair of cascades split by a giant hanging boulder. Steep granite cliffs surround a pool of turquoise water beneath the falls. This is a well-maintained hiking trail just a mile long. Numerous compositions exist here. This is a popular destination with hikers, and I find visitors here to be courteous of photographers. 

Bash Bish Falls during peak fall foliage by Thomas Schoeller

6)  The Bull Run Covered Bridge spans the Housatonic River rapids. It's located in South Kent Ct and is bordering NY state. During the warmer months, I prefer an early start here to avoid harsh lighting if it's calling for sunny skies. This is a pretty little bridge with several spots on the water to make interesting images from. 

Bulls Bridge is one of 3 CT covered bridges. Image by Thomas Schoeller

7)  West Cornwall Covered Bridge  Further north from the Bull Run bridge along scenic Route 7 is this brilliant red covered bridge. At the top of the page is a photograph I made from one of my personal favorite locations. There are a few interesting places to compose from. I tend to prefer smaller groups here or one-on-one classes.

Advanced Connecticut SLR Photography Workshop Adventures/Thomas Schoeller Photography/Learn Composition-Exposure and more

8)  Lake Waramaug Sunset from the Dock  If it looks like we will experience a colorful sunset with some clouds I have a wonderful location in mind!

Dusk from the dock along Lake Waramaug's shoreline. Image by Thomas Schoeller

 

 

Are you ready to reserve your Photography Workshop and make some great photos?

Then let's BOOK IT NOW!

 

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