Photography Classes

Professional photographers offer courses from basic photography to advanced techniques.  Learn to navigate your camera to take professional photos and enhance the quality of your photographs.  Take a step beyond the camera and learn Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Basics, printing, and studio lighting.  Instructors also offer themed classes in subject matter from weddings, crime scene photography for police professionals, shooting exotic animals or landscapes.  Some classes require pre-requisites and we also offer a photography certificate program.

Photography Certificate Program

If you do not see a class that you were expecting to be available check back soon as classes are added as they become available, or reach out to us by email.

Digital Infrared Photography - Online
Tuesdays 6-8 PM, July 14 – August 25
Cost: $215
Infrared photography is an exciting and incredibly powerful medium for landscape, portrait and fine-art photographic artists. There is a certain surreal dimension and mystery associated with the images that draw and hold viewers in a manner that is unrivaled by other photographic media. The rich black and white and delicate color images literally radiate with light and air to create an overall quality that almost defies a verbal description. Both camera and computer techniques for creating infrared images will be examined. Through image capture and post processing, this course will provide an introduction to the unseen world of infrared and extend your photographic imaging skills with results that you never before dreamed possible. SPECIAL NOTE: Because of the current COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC and Samford University, this course will primarily meet on location and outdoors. Location class meetings will be supplemented through online web conferencing. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to take part in the course. Please have your camera ready for the class. If the class is disrupted due to internet connectivity, please wait for the instructor to start the class back up again, or if your internet has problems, please try to rejoin the class and/or email instructor when possible to get any missed information.
Instructor: Ken Boyd
Prerequisites: Photography I and Photoshop Basics or equivalent. This course requires a solid understanding of camera operation, composition, lighting and other aspects of good photography, as well as image editing experience.
Additional Requirements: Digital camera that is capable of capturing infrared either through the use of a special filter or one that has been converted specifically for infrared photography. (See Infrared Conversions, IR Modifications & Photography Tutorials | Life Pixel IR for information on converted cameras. Note that most Canon and Nikon cameras made over the last decade will not capture infrared without conversion, but many older digital cameras can be used with an infrared filter.) (For students who may not yet have a camera for infrared photography, equipment options will be discussed in detail during the first session.) Digital image editing software - Adobe Photoshop is preferred. Tripod.

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Flash Photography - Online
Mondays, 6-8 p.m., June 8- July 20
Cost: $215
Electronic flash photography may seem confusing, inconsistent and frustrating, but mastery of even the basics can open a whole new world of photographic possibilities. Flash photography unquestionably improves the quality of images taken in a number of common shooting situations and is just plain fun! The opportunities are virtually unlimited. This course is designed to first to assure that each student understands how to operate and use their electronic flash equipment and will then explore a number of creative applications. Techniques for fill flash, off-camera flash, rear-curtain flash, multiple flash and painting with light will each be explored. SPECIAL NOTE: Because of the current COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC and Samford University, this course will primarily meet on location and outdoors. Location class meetings will be supplemented through online web conferencing. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to take part in the course. Please have your camera ready for the class. If the class is disrupted due to internet connectivity, please wait for the instructor to start the class back up again, or if your internet has problems, please try to rejoin the class and/or email instructor when possible to get any missed information.
Instructor: Ken Boyd
Prerequisites: A basic understanding of camera operation, composition, lighting, and other aspects of good photography.
Additional Requirements: Digital camera with hot shoe, electronic flash unit compatible with camera, tripod. Optional equipment: Second electronic flash unit; light stands and light modifiers are optional but not required for this course.

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Night Time and Low Light Photography
Wednesdays, 6 – 8 p.m., June 17-July 29
Cost: $215
Explore the work around us - at sunset, dusk, and after dark. Learn to use camera settings, controls, to create images for time exposure, light painting, activities, night portrait(s), fireworks, etc. SPECIAL NOTE: Because of the current COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC and Samford University, this course will primarily meet through online web conferencing and field trips. Field trips are by permission of the Academy of the Arts and location guidelines. We will discuss them at the first online class and determine best options. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to take part in the course. Please have your camera ready for the class. If the class is disrupted due to internet connectivity, please wait for the instructor to start the class back up again, or if your internet has problems, please try to rejoin the class and/or email instructor when possible to get any missed information.
Instructor: Meg McKinney
Prerequisites: Photography I, Understanding Your Nikon/Canon; Ages 18+
Additional Requirements: Tripod, cable release, 35mm DSLR, lens(es), strobe flash, flashlight, digital downloading to show photos in class.

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Outdoor Landscape Photography
Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m., July 14-August 11
Cost: $215
Learn the principles of good outdoor and landscape photography in this class from composition and equipment to processing the photos you have taken. Topics will include landscapes, panoramas, HDR, flowing water, lowlight and harsh light, software demonstrations and suggestions for the best equipment for various types of outdoor photography. This class meets 5 times over 5 weeks in an on-line setting with weekly outdoor assignments with flexible outdoor locations and times. The instructor encourages frequent contacts throughout the weeks of the class through email, phone or texting. As one student said of our methods: "I wanted to thank you for your generosity and kindness in teaching our landscape class." For the first meeting of the class students are encouraged to submit up to 10 jpeg photo samples of any outdoor photos they have previously taken. No previous SAOTA class requirements. Just a working knowledge of your camera’s basics and an interest in learning more about taking better pictures outdoors.    SPECIAL NOTE: In the previous session the class completed course requirements meeting on-line and with field assignment options while observing government and Samford health safety requirements. This session will observe the same or future guidelines. A good internet connection is needed for successfully connecting on class night. We will assist in checking your connection, if you request. For this on-line based session, you would not have to be in the immediate Birmingham or Alabama area to successfully complete the class. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to take part in the course. Please have your camera ready for the class. If the class is disrupted due to internet connectivity, please wait for the instructor to start the class back up again, or if your internet has problems, please try to rejoin the class and/or email instructor when possible to get any missed information.  
Instructor: Cliff Brane
Prerequisites: Knowledge of one’s own camera’s functions; No previous Academy of the Arts class required for enrollment.
Additional Requirements: DSLR or Mirrorless camera, tripod

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Photography I - Online
Tuesdays, 6–8 p.m., June 11 – July 23
Cost: $215
Building on Understanding Your Nikon or Canon DSLR, this course is designed to help you make effective images using the capabilities of your DLSR. Increase your understanding of photographic technique and composition. Topics covered include exposure, selecting the appropriate aperture and shutter speed, lens choices, and basic principles of framing and composition. SPECIAL NOTE: This will be an online seminar course with round table question and answer session and picture review at the end of every class session. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to take part in the course. Please have your camera ready for the class. If the class is disrupted due to internet connectivity, please wait for the instructor to start the class back up again, or if your internet has problems, please try to rejoin the class and/or email instructor when possible to get any missed information.
Instructor: Chris Bisset
Prerequisites: Understanding Your Canon/Nikon
Additional Requirements: DSLR Camera, Web Cam

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Understanding Your Canon DSLR - Online
Tuesdays, 6 – 8 p.m., June 9 – July 21
Cost: $215
Are you intimidated by your Canon Digital SLR camera? Don't settle for photographs that are less than your camera is capable of delivering, and don't be left in the dark about the vast array of features that you can use to take professional-quality images. Learn to navigate the menus, submenus, options and settings to your best advantage. Grab your web cam, Camera, and manual. SPECIAL NOTE: This will be an online seminar course with round table question and answer session and picture review at the end of every class session. Please make sure that you have a webcam, internet connection, and a relatively "quiet" area to take part in the course. Please have your camera ready for the class. If the class is disrupted due to internet connectivity, please wait for the instructor to start the class back up again, or if your internet has problems, please try to rejoin the class and/or email instructor when possible to get any missed information.
Instructor: Chris Bisset
Additional Requirements: Canon DSLR, Web Cam

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Instructors

Photo of Christopher Bisset
Christopher Bisset
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Ken Boyd
Ken Boyd
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Cliff Brane
Cliff Brane
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Bo Doss
Bo Doss
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Meg McKinney
Meg McKinney
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson
Instructor
Academy of the Arts
Photo of Butch Oglesby
Butch Oglesby
Instructor
Academy of the Arts