I was lucky enough to be invited by CourseHorse to take their “Field Guide I: The Camera” course with Kathleen Rugh of Brooklyn Central. As someone who has never used an SLR camera and has always relied on the built-in settings of a point-and-shoot, I can honestly say I now have a much better understanding of the tool and confidently take shots in the camera’s Manual Mode... Along with seeing the above information and more in a first-hand, interactive manner, you’ll get to put these ideas into practice throughout the day by actually going outside and taking photos. The class is six hours, allowing for much ground to be covered, as well as practical application by the students. The instructor will show you how to work with the settings and find them on your specific camera, and will work with you to help you get the shots you want. Constant analogies and examples, as well as a slideshow of how professional photographers work with aperture, shutter speed, planes of field and depths of field make the material easier to comprehend.
"This photography school is as good as it gets, folks. You would be hard pressed to find a superior spot to be schooled in the fundamentals that you will need to know, at this price. I have taken workshops at several other local outfits, and the quality of the education here is *unmistakably* better. Excellent location in the heart of DUMBO near Brooklyn Bridge Park, knowledgeable and charismatic instructors who are well regarded professionals in the field, very cool studio space that classes are taught in, easy to use web registration, fun newsletter/events, and extremely accommodating customer service when you need a little extra help. I learned how to get so much more out of my camera gear after taking a class here, that I immediately signed up for more. The teachers all spend an incredible amount of time trying to specifically address each students individual learning objectives. They truly care about helping you to raise the volume of your own inner voice. The courses range from those better suited to the beginner to those that even a seasoned and experienced user would find worthwhile. The curricula are practical, but still include plenty of material to inspire. I also learned a lot from the diverse students taking classes with me in the intimate seminar setting. But what I like most about this group is that they cover what they need to, but also find time to emphasize the aspects that remind us of why we are choosing to make the art in the first place.
Tip: Check out their promotional $5 Friday classes!"
- Anup J (5 stars via Yelp)
[ * A quick note about Yelp: We have no idea how that site actually works but they filter many of the reviews we get from students. This is rumored to be because Yelp prioritizes consistent reviewers, and have hidden more occasional users behind a captcha-gated filter. That said, we do appreciate your thoughtful reviews and you can read them here or via the "filtered reviews" link at the bottom of our Yelp page. ]
"BKC is a haven for art, craft and photography lovers, and they offer tons of fantastic classes. The space we worked in was so fresh and inspiring. Our BKC instructors, Caitlin and Caroline, were so knowledgeable, friendly, and hands on.
My favorite method of printing was the xerox transfers. We actually had to mix ink and linseed oil, roll out the ink, and I felt so legit! Caitlin and Caroline walked us through the process so well that I actually felt like I had been doing this for years.
At the end of the night, we were given an info-packed syllabus to take home that has supply lists and step-by-step instructions for each method of printing - I cannot wait to purchase these supplies and make some more prints at home. I'll be sure to share the process with you all!"
“Caroline and Caitlyn (our fearless leaders) totally knew their stuff and guided us through a few hours of making our very own prints. It was awesome to have all of the materials at our disposal, and even better to have fun people in the class during the process.”
"This class was excellent - I've had my dslr for 2 weeks and taking this class taught me all I needed to know to get going in Manual mode. The instructor was wonderful- she clearly explained all concepts and answered all questions. She was happy to show you how to find what you were looking for on your camera. The only thing that would have made this class better would have been if it was warmer out so we could have done more test shooting outdoors."
- Tara S. (via CourseHorse)
"I took the "run and gun" flash class with Charles today, and it was amazing. I think I learned more in three hours here than in a semester-long college photography course -- and for a tiny fraction of the cost. He shared pragmatic tips, took questions patiently and provided opportunities for hands-on practice."
- Laura S. (5 stars via Yelp)
"I just took the "The Hand-made Book" class with Caitlin Wheeler - It was awesome! Caitlin is a well versed, informative, fun and sweet instructor. We received thorough direction accompanied by a detailed instruction manual. Within the class we made 3 different books that we were able to take away with us. I'M SO GLAD I WENT! These books are perfect for gift giving and even better for someone who's constantly jotting things down - like myself. The love the idea of being able to make my own notebooks!! I can't wait to go back to learn how to make more!!"
- Shauna M. (5 stars via Yelp)
"The classroom is situated at the end of a maze of studios slightly below ground (thus the Rabbithole moniker) and feels a little like a dream. The class isn’t just an invitation to discuss work for those two sessions, it feels more like a gateway into a creative community which is often lost on larger, more structured programs. Rugh had a very focused and encouraging presence and was really skilled at eliciting well-thought-out responses by students. For my project, I felt like she helped me see it as an actual piece rather than a weird smorgasbord of snapshots. And that’s what these courses can do–allow you to hone in on a project, find your vision, create work that relates to photography in a larger context and find some peers along the way who can push and shape future work."
"Charles (instructor) was very informative and taught us the basics of DSLR in a simple, yet entertaining, manner. I would highly suggest this course if you have no photography experience but want to learn how your camera works as well as learning how to take pictures away from the auto setting. I would definitely take another course from this instructor and this studio."
Kevin (via CourseHorse)
"Just took a couse this past weekend and it was excellent! In all honestly, i wasn't sure what to expect, but i do know it was a lot more then i had hoped for. Now looking to do the 8 week course :)"
- Marina P (via Facebook)
"... i, for one, knew i wanted to take an art class and was able to sort by borough, date, and subject matter to find a class that worked for me. i was delighted to find one called the hand-made book: an introduction. the class was held at brooklyn central and visual artist and bookbinder, caitlin wheeler, taught a tableful of us three different styles of binding. we each walked away with a little bundle of newly bound books.... i'm excited about using my new binding skills to make little paper pressies for friends, and if i'm feeling especially ambitious, i might even endeavor to bind a wedding album. caitlin was an excellent teacher: organized, cheerful, and kind, not to mention super talented. she brought some of her work along for inspiration, and wowza."
"Just took the One Day "The Camera" Field Guide at Brooklyn Creative and it was fantastic! Thorough but intuitive explanations of all the manual settings on my dSLR and how they all fit together, along with enough practical shooting exercises to solidify everything. I will have an entirely new relationship with my camera now and great new ways to see and think about composition thanks to this. Thank You Kathy and Brooklyn Creative -- that was everything I was hoping for in a one day workshop and then some!"
- Anthony C. (via Facebook)
“Awesome knowledgable teachers. Really know the technical aspects down to the T. ”
- Darnell W. (via Skillshare)
“I just finished the Digital Photography I 8-week class. I can't say enough good things about it. I had recently gotten a digital SLR as a gift and had no experience using it whatsoever, except on fully automatic. Charles, the instructor, taught us all the basics of the manual functions in really simple terms. We got off to a good start, and we were able to take some really good photos from the very beginning. Then, we learned a new skill each week that we were able to perfect using the homework assignments as a guide. Once we had mastered one skill, we moved on again until we were finally taking great black & white photos. The entire class ended with a small student show right in the gallery. Charles is a great, experienced and patient teacher. He was always available during the week to answer questions about the assignments by email. Photography can be complicated and he never skipped a beat if someone in the class was having trouble. Justin, the founder of the school, was also always around and helped coordinate the final show. You can tell that these guys are really engaged with the students and want to see us succeed. True professionals. I've already started the next 8-week session of Digital Photography II and can't wait to start learning color and flash photography.”
- Katie C.(5 stars via Yelp)
"The DIY Printmaking workshop here is awesome! I've taken a number of similar hands-on classes across the city, and this was really one of the best I've had. Caitlin was a flexible and fun instructor, and the workshop was *well-designed*: in three hours it gave us a lot of knowledge, a lot of hands-on time, and some cool samples to take home with us. I loved the space (it's kind of hard to find, know that you should enter on the basement level), I liked the small class size, and Caitlin was great about answering all our questions. I've taken other workshops where I have left feeling like I will never actually try the skill again, but I had the opposite feeling after the printmaking class--I'm full of ideas of how to use my new mad skills.
Definitely going to come back for some photography classes here, too!"
- Lindsay F. (via Yelp)
“The DSLR Crash Course was incredibly informative. What i appreciated most is that Charles had us practice with our cameras right after he taught us a certain aspect of the camera. I'm a tech-dope and was impressed that I walked away knowing I was well informed and equipped to take much better (and technically intentional) photos with my DSLR. I also had some specific shooting questions and Charles was very helpful answering them. Thank you Brooklyn Creative!”
- Marie Yi (via Skillshare)
"AMAZING! I took Field Guide I: The Camera (a 5hr workshop beginner or refresher course on how cameras work and what variables you can tweek to make your photo come out the way you want) in early October 2012. I bought the class as a birthday present for my girlfriend who is into photography, and I attended with her (my interest in photography is more as a spectator). Despite our different experiences and interests, we both really enjoyed the class. It was incredibly informative and fun. The class works by having specific class time followed up by practice outside. The instructor, Kathy, was super friendly, energetic and patient with our basic questions, and tagged along with all of us during our time outside. Just a great experience all around - and so informative!"
- Mark F (5 stars via Yelp)