Fine-art photographers Rod and Robin Deutschamnn founded In Focus Learning Center on a simple premise: a photo's quality depends on lighting, focus, and the photographer's vision. At In Focus Learning Center, they emphasize these keys to quality, downplaying high-tech gear and post-shoot editing. In their classes and symposiums, the shutterbugs focus on "manual photography," the art of manipulating a digital camera's settings to suit the desired shot—which could be a landscape, an infrared image, or an action shot of a baby on its first high-speed chase.
The Memory Photo Gallery photographers have been capturing life's memorable moments for five years. They shoot weddings and events, take portraits of families and children, and they specialize in photos that use natural lighting and a variety of perspectives. They capture images in their own studio or on location, encouraging children to play with favorite toys, individuals to loosen up with various poses, and engaged couples to stroll or somersault happily down a river walk.
Having shot more than 30,000 subjects throughout his career as a photographer, including many Silicon Valley business figures, Eric Gould understands how to create a good photo in any setting. His adeptness at communicating with subjects carries into his photography workshops, where he conveys difficult concepts clearly and methodically, saving students from such rookie mistakes as shooting with the lens cap on or turning the flash on while taking pictures of your imaginary friend's third grade graduation. In his own photo sessions, he frames professional clients in business portraits and headshots, high-school seniors in youthful poses, athletes in midaction, and a wide spectrum of people and places encountered on international travels.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Eugene Tsipenyuk describes photography as "addictive." Having a camera in his hand, he says, helps him understand the world more deeply. And perhaps more importantly, explains Eugene, it helps him nab candid, natural shots of his subjects. Instead of instructing them to strike a stiff pose and say "cheese-wheel dreams," Eugene achieves images of "spontaneous, real-life, fleeting moment[s]" with his signature unobtrusiveness. Clients rely on YtyPhoto for wedding and special event photography, as well as family portraits.
The Community School of Music and Arts unleashes the creativity that indwells each student's liver by offering an array of art lessons and exhibitions. A selection of more than 40 available classes allows artists of all ages to clutch brushes, chisels, and ketchup blasters and recreate their world during basic animation ($160 for eight weeks), watercolor on the spot: outdoor painting ($150 for six weeks), or contemporary collage ($180 for eight weeks). Like bear hunting season, the classes run in two sessions, from January 24 to March 21 (Session A) and March 28 to May 21 (Session B). Click here to view CSMA's catalog; classes available with this Groupon are featured beginning on page 24.