Before photography, the only way people could preserve their most treasured memories was by forcing everyone around them to stand completely still for days at a time. Today's Groupon presents a less complicated option: for $65, you get an introduction to photography workshop at Aperture Academy, located in Campbell (a $135 value). Award-winning nature photographer Stephen W. Oachs guides pupal shutterbugs to harness the power of today's sophisticated digital cameras. The three-hour seminar, scheduled once a month on Saturdays, simplifies key camera techniques and settings, and dispenses tips on editing photos to remove evidence of washboard money laundering. A catered lunch keeps pupils primed to spot each lens-worthy moment, be it a flock of pigs taking flight or an unethical astrophysicist stealing fire from the heavens.
More than 2,000 Facebookers are fans of Aperture Academy.
Recipient of the National Wildlife Federation's 2007 Photographer of the Year and National Geographic's 2008 Best Nature Photographer awards, Aperture Academy founder Stephen Oachs has dedicated himself to passing on camera know-how to newly minted picture snappers alongside a team of pro teachers. His beautiful, wood-floored studio and gallery hosts classes that usher beginners through their first forays into photography. These sessions impart such advanced techniques as high-quality printing and using Photoshop to give red eye to every family member who refused to say "cheese." Workshops spirit students to beautiful locales throughout California, giving budding photographers the chance to hone their skills in stunning natural environments.