Learning Photography ― The Aperture Academy Experience

Last month I fulfilled a dream on my Bucket List: Take photography classes and learn to use a DSLR camera. I love taking pictures, but sometimes I feel as though I’m not quite capturing my vision or the most memorable moments.

Santa Cruz, Calif. – Photo Credit: Stephen W. Oachs

The Aperture Academy’s Introduction to Photography course, which was held over an afternoon amid breathtaking photos covering the gallery/classroom walls, was taught by gallery owner and master photographer Stephen W. Oachs. A National Geographic professional photographer, Oachs shared fascinating stories of his hunt for great wildlife photography. He was charismatic, funny, deeply knowledgeable and incredibly honest about the time it takes to get “the shot.” Oachs and other Aperture Academy professionals were friendly and helpful with personal questions. The class was interactive and engaging; and students received a copy of his presentation by email the next day.

The Intro to Photography class didn’t include hands-on, photo-taking experience, but it did provide a comfortable background on aperture, shutter speed, composition and white balance on which to build. Aperture Academy does also offer exciting wilderness adventure/photography workshops worldwide and locally and I hope one day to learn more. At least for now, I’ve been enjoying experimenting with the tools I’ve learned. (I’m also finally getting fun shots of Abby, my sweet wee dog who only moves quickly when the camera is out!)

A wonderful, unexpected extra: Aperture Academy provided cold water and soda, along with fresh fruit, chips and brownie bites at no extra charge ― now that’s generous, and appreciated!

Overall, I would highly recommend Aperture Academy if you’re looking for a great photography workshop in the Bay Area! A LivingSocial deal made this an even more affordable experience.

(When I was little my mama had a dark room in our basement and loved to take interesting photographs including one of me with a friend that won an award! Perhaps *hopefully* photography is in my blood. I’ll try to find that picture to share. It was called “Oh Men!”)

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