Any feedback on online course in photography?

Started Nov 29, 2012 | Questions thread
Larry251 Contributing Member • Posts: 632
Re: Any feedback on online course in photography?

If you can't get to a classroom or it's just inconvenient, an online class can be a reasonable alternative. I took a class a few years ago through and had a generally positive experience although I had some mixed feelings at the time, probably because I could have chosen my class a little better.

You can probably get all the information from other sources and if you are the type to push yourself you can even work on assignments from books, etc. What a good online class does is puts you in a structured but flexible virtual classroom environment where you can get proper information, assignments that get you out shooting and practicing what you are learning and feedback from a professional that you can trust. You should also have the opportunity to view the work of others on the same assignments and benefit from the feedback on their work, which can be equally helpful. Generally there is also interaction with the students. One advantage of an online environment in my opinion is that the students tend to be somewhat more geographically diverse (i.e., you get people from different geographic locations and therefore the photos can be particularly interesting -- you get to see images from different parts of the country and around the world).

Online classes can be just as expensive (sometimes more) than physical classes, but you can also have access to high level professional photographers that you might not necessarily otherwise have access to get as teachers. For example, I believe Bryan Peterson (author of the often recommended book "Understanding Exposure" and many others teaches classes online). Although I haven't taken a "real" photography class, I imagine there is a personal aspect that is a little hard to duplicate online, although I think the better online classes do attempt to do so to the extent possible. How well they succeed has a lot to do with the students who enroll for a particular class.

Anyway, I think an online class can be very good, but you get out of it what you put into it and only you can decide if you would get just as much out of other sources or if you prefer a more structured learning experience. If you decide to take a class, I would recommend doing so with a group that provides a guarantee and/or refund if you are unhappy after say, the first couple of classes or so.

Hope that helps.

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