How to 'Wow!'. The intuitive way.
I started the Friedman Archives High-Impact Photography Seminars because I got tired of seeing so much poor advice disseminated on the online discussion forums when a beginner would ask how to improve their photography. “Start shooting in Aperture priority mode”, one person would opine. “Learn Photoshop” blurted another. “Examine the EXIF information of pictures you like online and see what they did!” And the most ill-prescribed advice which I see all too often: “Shoot RAW!”
Well, that kind of advice may be well-meaning, but it's not effective. Never in my life have I seen a rank beginner switch to RAW (or shoot in Aperture Priority mode) and then suddenly start producing "Wow!" type images. Clearly the secret to high-impact images must lie elsewhere. And so I thought it was time to share the (seemingly) forgotten knowledge that all successful Kodachrome shooters knew back in the day – how to take pictures that make other people say “Wow!” with nothing more than a point-and-shoot. (Even Photoshop is optional if you know what you're doing!)
And so the seminars were created with the goal of dispelling no end of online myths and explaining what's REALLY important in photography. And they've been a hit with both newbie and experienced photographers alike, all over the world!
In 2014 I had the seminars professionally videotaped, and now the "essence" of both days are now available to be streamed to any device you own, wherever you are in the world, in the comfort of your home!
Geared toward anyone who owns a digital camera, this video course is for anyone who has ever said to themselves, "I spent money on a great camera. So why aren't my pictures better?" They are geared toward those who would like to learn more, reinforce what they already know, experiment, and become inspired to become better photographers.
This course is presented by the photographer behind the stock photography website www.FriedmanArchives.com, and is structured differently from almost all other photo courses. Whereas most other courses bombard you with the technical stuff first, The Friedman Archives Seminars recognizes that modern cameras do a pretty good job with focusing and exposure, but do a miserable job with composition and the art aspect of photography (realms best left for the HUMAN). So the first day emphasizes composition, light, art, capturing emotion, and how to get high-impact photos -- all without ever leaving AUTO mode. These are the forgotten skills that the Kodachrome shooters once knew to get awesome images without shooting RAW and without ever using Photoshop.
In Day 2, the subject matter delves into the technical aspects of digital photography, making for a very well-rounded weekend. As many past customers can attest, this video course cuts through the confusion and gives you everything you need to know to start shooting confidently, improve your creativity, deepen your technical understanding, and give you the means to realize the shot you have in your head.
Here’s some (some!!) of the things you’ll learn from this seminar:
Day 1 ("The Creative Class", or "The camera can do quite a bit by itself. Teach me about creativity, composition, and light and things that only the human can do!")
- The compositional secrets of the National Geographic photographers
- What the Kodachrome shooters knew about high-impact images (hint: they never needed Photoshop!)
- How to "see" light like the Hollywood Cinematographers do, and make the most of available light
- Compositional rules derived from the world of fine art
- The difference between snapshots and photographs (and why both are important)
- Add drama to your images with wireless flash (with live demonstrations)
- The secrets to outstanding travel photography
- Making the most of available light
- Color balance and Human Perception
- In-class exercises for creativity and composition
- The "inner game" mindsets used by all the photographic masters
- A practical "zen" approach to compelling images without having to get bogged down in technical stuff
Day 2 ("The Technical Stuff")
- How your exposure meter thinks (or "Why can't the camera just make it look the way I see it?")
- The three variables of exposure, explained intuitively.
- The three types of metering, and which ones are actually useful.
- The RAW vs. JPG dilemma explained without religious ferver
- Histograms, explained intuitively.
- How to avoid horrific .jpg compression artifacts
- The important problem of print vs. screen resolution
- The only eight Post-processing functions I use:
- How to cut through haze
- How to clean dirty windows
- Saving Lenin with Curves
- Make Stuff Go Away
- Recommended Unsharp Mask values
- Expanding Dynamic Range using RAW.
Each day is broken up into easily digestible video "chapters", along with summary and exercises between chapters to reinforce what was learned and to help move the lessons into long-term memory.
Remember, the overriding goal of photography is to have FUN, to experience your world, tell a story, and to give you an excuse to go out and do things you wouldn't normally get a chance to do. This video course was designed to be an engaging and fun way to jump-start the process, no matter what brand of camera you own!
What others are saying about the Friedman Archives High-Impact Digital Photography Seminars
"I’ve been taking pictures for 30 years, and your demonstration of exposure principles was brilliant. Whereas I was fuzzy on the concepts before, I now intuitively understand them!” - Rod Schultz
“It’s the best money you’ll ever spend for a photo class. Gary obviously loves what he does and can also make a complex topic easy to understand, which is a great combination. It made me a better photographer!” - George Saadeh
"In a world of dry, artsy information, you bring a vibrant, humorous and fun approach to the subject. Best of all, I feel a renewed enthusiasm for photography. You are an excellent teacher.” – Lee Friedman (no relation)
“Ever since I ordered your book on the Minolta A2 I have been "hooked". Your ability to explain things in "plain, understandable, English" borders on the unbelievable! I have since ordered four more of your books as I upgraded to newer cameras. As president and founder of the Durango Photography Club I felt that I had to get you to Durango to present your seminars and workshops. I figured that if you were half as good in person as your books were, it would be great! You weren't half as good, you were twice as good because we could ask questions, observe your demos and get personal attention where needed. Thank you for helping everyone from novices to semi-professionals learn a lot." - Howard Rachlin
Best two days of learning I’ve had in my life! Take two days and see what you’re missing.” – Archie Lappi
"Well worth it!! Learned sooooooo much from Gary in San Mateo! My wife went for the 2-day, and raved about it so much after Day 1, I signed up for Day 2! Ya, that good - thanks for all the after-seminar advice, and 'being there' for technical questions, a year later! Fun and informative." – Daniel Devane
“Best seminar I have ever taken. – THANK YOU!!!” -Joseph R. Conklin
"I'm finally gathering the fundamentals of digital cameras in a systematic, coherent format, with you hitting all modalities of learning--audio, visual, written with lots of examples and opportunities to practice and master new information when my brain is available. I compliment you on your instructional techniques! Bravo! I'm learning to drive my camera. Hooray!" - Vicki Grant
"[Y]ou helped me find the fun in photography again, and for that I am very grateful.” - Brian Dennick
The Friedman Archives Seminars represent the fastest and most enjoyable way to learn the basics of photography. Invest in yourself and take "Wow!" type pictures forevermore, regardless of the type of camera you have! Invest in yourself with "The shortest path to 'Wow!'".
Frequently Asked Questions about the Streaming Seminar
Q: How does it work?
A: The content is hosted by a site called Podia.com; they allow you to view all the content in any browser. Essentially anywhere you have an internet connection you'll be able to view the content.
Q: What's the total length of the video content?
A: About six hours total, but there is also written material and exercises in there too. It was designed to be absorbed one chapter at a time, over a period of several days, helping the material to go to long-term memory.
Q: Can I view it over and over, whenever I want?
A: Yes! Once you purchase it you can refer to it as often as you like, re-watch just certain parts. Forever.
Q: I live in a place with poor internet connectivity. Can I download these videos for offline viewing?
A: Yes, but be aware that each chapter's video is between 2-4 GB in size; so there's a lot to download and manage.
Q: Can I see a sample of the videos?
A: Yes, here are two videos. One appears at the top of this page, and the other is an excerpt where I explain "High Speed Sync" in easy to understand language.