Amateur photography often leads to sinister red eyes, cropped faces, and strongly worded cease-and-desist letters from Bigfoot's attorneys. Capture visual mysteries with today's Groupon: for $50, you get a four-hour DSLR Photo Essentials class at Balanced Exposure in Schaumburg (a $225 value). Balanced Exposure is located on the 14th floor of Zurich Towers, next to Woodfield Mall.
At Balanced Exposure, professional shutterbug Russell Lowe and his staff illuminate the finer points of digital-camera performance and operation. During the comprehensive DSLR Photo Essentials class, teachers with more than 20 years of experience guide beginning photogs through the workings of DSLR or hybrid digital cameras, acquainting them with the settings, flash, and time-freezing capabilities of their own cameras. Novices learn how and when to tweak shutter speed, aperture, and white balance to capture the best possible photo in every situation, from low light to stroboscopic discotheques. For this class, snap-happy pupils must bring their own camera, memory card, instruction manual, photo ID, and pirate lens patch. Students can check the schedule for class dates and times.
With a career spanning more than 20 years, Balanced Exposure's owner, Russell Lowe, has worn many hats, including forensic photographer, wedding photographer, and commercial photographer. Russell has always had a passion for teaching, which is why he finally opened up his own studio space. He and his staff help novice photographers shake hands with their shutter button during introductory Photo Essentials classes for DSLR cameras, whereas DSLR Advanced classes lead intermediate students further into the world of flash lighting by exploring how to use external flashes, set up studio lighting, and sell paparazzi-style photos of local squirrels to National Geographic. Crime-scene processing classes draw on Russell's background as a court-qualified expert in forensic photography and an evidence technician to teach techniques used by real-world forensics experts. Aspiring wedding and studio photographers hone their craft and practice postproduction techniques in the fully equipped studio, which also hosts professional portrait shoots.