Nikon School … my adventures with learning photography


I’ve had a pretty decent camera for several years now. And I’ve been interested in photography since I was a child. However I’ve never gotten around to learning what those buttons do, or how to take decent pictures. The extent of my adjustments with the camera is to turn the little wheel from “auto” to “sport” or “flower” mode. I’ve never had any idea what any of those other buttons were for. And I’ve never dared touch them, for fear my camera would explode!

I admit there are people out there who are tinkerers. They get a new gadget, make themselves a cup of coffee, and start playing. When they can’t figure something out … they consult the manual. Within a few minutes or hours, they are proficient users of their remote control, camera, or GPS system. Not me. I still do not know how to program in the radio stations on my 4-year-old minivan. (And, yes, I should pull the manual out of the glove compartment and figure that out some day.)

So that’s why I agreed to spend last weekend in New York City attending two-days of seminars conducted by the Nikon School  ( I needed somebody to tell me how to use my camera, and to explain what those buttons were for. Well — they did! The first day was an introductory seminar, and the second day far more advanced. The teachers were experienced professional photographers who explained everything in layman’s terms. (Even I understood, so they must have done a good job.) Not only that — they were very entertaining. These guys travel all over the world, and their demo photos were a travelogue. The audience contained people from complete novices to photographers with 30 year’s experience, and everybody I talked to was delighted with the seminar.

We also covered a lot of stuff that I hadn’t thought of previously — for example storing my photos (backup systems), how to manage your photography files (software), lenses and filters, flashes, and making sure that the colors in your photos come out correctly when the picture is printed.

What does this have to do with quilting? Well, a few things.

1. I need to take photos of my quilts to enter shows and contests.

2. I wanted to take better photos for downloading photos on fabric.

3. I wanted to learn how to manipulate photos using software. (They touched on that using the Nikon Capture software.)

4. I wanted to take better photos for my blog.

So … I highly recommend you invest a weekend in these seminars. They are very affordable. Even some of the more technical info (such as lighting) was applicable to quilting. You do not need a Nikon camera to attend. (PS: I am not affiliated with these seminars in any way.)



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