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 two-part Photography 101 group class on the use of either DSLR or digital point-and-shoot cameras at Balanced Exposure in Schaumburg (a $250 value). Parts 1 and 2 each last three hours and must be taken on consecutive weekdays or during single six-hour classes on Friday or Saturday; Monday six-hour classes will begin in August.
Balanced Exposure’s staff members spread out a smorgasbord of photographic knowledge as they guide students through the basics of camera performance and operation. Wallow in wisdom as professional shutterbug Russell Lowe draws upon 20 years of experience to expound on the importance of aperture control and the effects of shutter speed, ISO, and licking the camera lens. Students must bring their own cameras, memory cards, and instruction manuals, as the course is primarily intended to wean them off their equipment's auto settings.
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 DSLR Camera Basics and introductory Photo Essentials classes for DSLR/Mirrorless 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.