$55 for Five-Hour Newbie Photography Boot Camp from So Cal Pixels (Up to $119 Value)

Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

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In a Nutshell

Five-hour workshop teaches manual DSLR settings before moving onto lighting, posing, composition, and professional processing

The Fine Print

Expires Jul 7th, 2012. Limit 1 per person, may buy 3 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per visit. 14-day cancellation notice or $25 fee may apply. Subject to cancellation or consolidation if minimum students required not reached. Must provide own DSLR or other digital camera. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Photographing a friend requires a keen sense of timing, much like kidnapping Annie Leibovitz to photograph a friend. Hone an artistic skillset with this Groupon.

$55 for a Five-Hour Newbie Photography Boot Camp (Up to $119 Value)

Over the course of the five-hour intro boot camp at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, instructor Chen takes students through Mastering your DSLR and How to Take Better Photos seminars. For the first three hours, he teaches students about the principles of shooting manually, before segueing into photo-improving techniques in lighting, posing, and background selection, as well as efficient postproduction. Mr. Chen builds up to complex subjects, hitting each concept lightly and from different angles to solidify ideas. Though the fast-paced, information-intensive course mainly consists of lecture, presentation, and examples of different approaches, students may use their cameras through some class exercises. Students should bring their own DSLR or point-and-shoot digital cameras.

So Cal Pixels

Ben Chen has experienced his share of success in his nearly 30-year photography career—his work has been published in such publications as Cosmopolitan, The Los Angeles Times, and ESPN Magazine, and he has lent his expertise to some of the nation's largest corporations, including Procter & Gamble and The American Red Cross. In 2006, the photographer began to notice that more and more novices were purchasing complex DSLR cameras, and that gave him an idea. Chen decided to share his wealth of knowledge with aspiring photographers by creating the 4-Hour Newbie Photography Boot Camp, which teaches students how to shoot manually with their DSLRs and create artistic, professional-quality photos. Since then, more than 5,000 students in 20 cities throughout the country have benefitted from these classes. In 2013, he acquiesced to student demand and created Part II of the class, which goes beyond photography basics by diving into post-production techniques. Nowadays, students can take both Part I and Part II in the same day, helping them go from student to master in less time than most action-movie montages.

Cameras and photo essentials for those who prefer looking at life through a lens