Earlier this year, I had purchased an older version of a beginner DSLR camera on a whim with the intentions of teaching myself a new skill. When I first decided to go on a trip to Canada alone, I realized it was going to be the perfect opportunity to work on this skill. I understand the basics of photography, apertures and shutter speeds, but I had very little knowledge of how to set them, how they affected each other or what settings to use when. That’s where Skillshare came in! Skillshare is an online learning community where creators can teach and learn from each other! Each online class offers video lessons, an area to create and share projects and a community of other like-minded individuals learning these skills as well.
With over 17,000 classes to choose from, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for. Anywhere from art, to finance, to cooking, to learning a new language! They even have a class for completing a Rubik’s cube! You’ll basically be paying the same amount that you’re paying for any of your Netflix, Hulu or Spotify accounts. It’s a no brainer!
Testing Out the Skillshare Waters
I personally took part in 2 different classes for learning how to use my DSLR camera: “Beginner Photography Workshop” and “Fundamentals of DSLR Photography.” The first one walked through the settings and functions of your camera and discussed what each setting meant and how they relate to each other. The second class went more in depth about choosing your settings based on what you are trying to capture and how to put it into action.
The classes are extremely user friendly and are broken up in to manageable small videos with note sections attached. It keeps track of where you left off so you aren’t stuck re-watching anything or missing anything. I personally enjoyed browsing through the comments sections below the videos, because chances are, if you had a question on something, someone else may have already asked and answered it!
Even though I was learning the skills, I was located in a poorly-lit apartment and realized I wouldn’t be able to really test them out until I took the camera with me on a trip! With about two weeks left before my trip, I tried to absorb as much out of the Skillshare classes as possible so that I’d be able to test out my knowledge in real life!
Putting my Skills to the Test
My first stop on my trip was Niagara Falls. Because I was alone, I was able to spend hours walking back and forth along the river and falls, testing out different settings, angles and aperture speeds. I was really looking forward to trying out a slower shutter speed to create that misty affect of a waterfall, however I struggled keeping the lighting right. (Disclaimer: None of the photos are edited… don’t judge.)
ProTip: I’ve since learned that there are ”neutral density” filters that you can buy to help with this! Shoutout to Annabel Clair from www.annabel-claire.com for this knowledge!
Another thing I played with is the aperture size. I took a few photos from the same angle, with a tree branch hanging down in front with the falls in the background, each time focusing on a different subject. It was fun to play around with blurring the foreground or background.
I did the same thing when I went up in the Skylon Tower in Niagara. I took two photos at the same angle, one with a small aperture and one with a large aperture through a wire fence.
So many people (including myself) are used to taking photos on cell phones today. They are set to automatically focus and capture as much of the foreground and background as possible so it’s fun getting to control this manually with the DSLR.
The first thing I did when I drove to Toronto was head to the water to photograph some sculptures that a couple of local artists had created. Because I was able to arrive right at sunrise, I was able to have these typically swarming landmarks all to myself. The longer I stayed and played with the settings, the more comfortable I became with the camera.
Once I venture into the city, I started playing around with capturing buildings and city life. I was standing on the corner of a busy street, trying to photograph moving cars like I had seen in the Skillshare class I had participated in. Looks like I’ve got some work to do.
ProTip: It’s okay to not figure it all out on the first try. I’ve learned that having a tripod is almost required for using a slow shutter speed, and I don’t think I’ll ever master the art of a manual ISO. I left that setting on auto, almost the whole time! We’ll save that for next trip!
I did however enjoy trying to capture the individual water droplets of the fountain with the high shutter speed setting! This setting will come in handy.
Despite popular belief, all of the best photos are edited. I did not take the time to edit any of these photos because I wanted to show the raw captures of a DSLR camera and hopefully have them to compare to as I get better at photography.
Skillshare is the Way of the Future…
When I first bought that camera, I barely even knew how to turn it on. Who would have thought that a couple of online classes later and I would be traversing Canada with a DSLR around my neck! I’m no expert, but I can’t wait to see what else Skillshare has to offer to continue to keep refining my new found skill.
Skillshare offers classes ranging from creative, to business, to technology and even lifestyle! The opportunities are endless. Check it out and see if there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to learn but never took the time to try. To all my blogger friends, there are a ton of classes on website, SEO, wordpress, Instagram, etc. A whole arsenal of new stuff to learn!
If you sign up through my links, you’ll receive 2 free months of Skillshare Premium! If you decide not to continue after the two months, at least you’ll have 2 months of new knowledge under your belt! You can’t go wrong.
They always say.. Learning a new skill keeps your mind sharp! 🙂
If any of you have had any experience with Skillshare, comment below and let me know how your experience was!
Stay Wild and Adventure on!