The Essential Introduction to Digital Photography Workshop

I just attended the first session of Essentials and it’s already exceeded all my expectations! Steve is a really great instructor. He’s super knowledgeable and gave lots of examples/analogies to help us understand the confusing camera lingo. He’s also super witty and fun! I’m so happy I found Hawaii School of Photography!–Vasana

I’d like to thank you for an extraordinary photography class.  I was so happy to see Kristy bubbly and excited to learn more about this new hobby she has discovered, she’s very taken by it.  I was a little concerned at first that this particular course would be too entry level and she wouldn’t get a lot of meaningful input during the classes.  But your level of character and technical knowledge in this craft should not have been doubted.  Your coaching has been extremely beneficial.  So much so that I am interested in getting Kristy into another class of yours. –Mick

HSP Essential photography promo

The Essential Photography Workshop: The Beginner’s Guide to Creating Impressive Digital Photographs

12 hour class (4 3-hour sessions over 4 weeks) covers all the basics and beyond to get you off the “auto” mode and creating the images that you want! See below for class details.

Sample images:

The Essential Digital Photography Workshop is held over 4-consecutive Saturdays. Please click here to check our calendar for dates, availability and to register online. Tuition for the class is $410.00 plus 4.712% GET

Register for your class here:


We have a new textbook out that reinforces the lessons from this class, including more detailed assignments and a lot more! The Essential Photographers Workbook is now available! You can order signed copies from us ($29.27 including tax) or get it for a little less here:

Essential Cover 72

Class One:

-The Reality of Digital Photography

–Film VS Digital

–What is a Digital Image?

–How to Back-up Your Files/Images

–How to Properly Transfer Your Images From Your Card to Your Computer

–Managing your files/workflow or “Where are my images from Kaua’i?!”

–How to Prepare Your Card for Re-use

–File Types and Resolutions in Camera and in Post-Production

-What is an Exposure, How to Control It, and Why Do I Want to Get Off the “Nasty Green Auto” Mode?

–What is an Exposure and Why is Exposure Control More Difficult With Digital Than Film?

–Introduction to a “Stop” of Light

–Three Exposure Controls and Related “Shooting Modes”

—Program Mode

—ISO (ASA in Film)

—Grain VS Noise

—Noise “Reduction”


—What is it and How does it Affect the Exposure?

—Aperture is the Same as f-stop

—Aperture is NOT the Same as f-stop!

—Aperture Priority Mode and How to Change Your f-stop

—-Depth of Field

—–What is it?

—–How Does Your Aperture Affect Depth of Field?

—–What Else Affects Depth of Field?

—–What does NOT affect Depth of Field

Class Two:

—Shutter Speed

—-Shutter Priority Mode and How to Change Your Shutter Speed

—-What is Your Shutter Speed and How Does it Affect the Exposure?


—–“Freeze” the Action

—–Show blur

—–“Camera Shake” Issues

-f-stops Revisited

–What They Really Are and Why They Are Awesome!

—Why Are the Numbers “Backwards?”

—The TRUE Relationship Between f-stops, Focal Length and Depth of Field

—“Variable f-stop” (“Kit”) Lenses

–Manual Photography Mode

—How to Manipulate All Three Exposure Controls

—Interplay of the Three Exposure Controls

—-How to Change the Creative Aspect of Your Photograph While Keeping The Exposure Consistent

Class Three:

-Metering Issues

–What is a Light Meter and How Do You Use It?

—Why Light Meters Are Brilliant Tools

—Why Light Meters Are Dumb Tools

—-Reflective Light Meters

—–Why They Are Great

—–Why They Are Not Great

—–Exposure Issues

——Reading Flash

——How Your DSLR Camera Works

–Metering Modes


—Center Weighted


–Incident Light Meters

—Why They Are Great

—Why They Are Not Great

-Interplay of the Three Exposure Controls

–When Your Meter “Fails” You—How to “Fix” the Exposure and Maintain Creative Control

-Color Issues

–Color Space

–Color Balance

–Color Temperature

—White Balance


—-Custom/Preset Manual

Day Four:


–How They Work

–Focal Length—What it is, What it Controls and What it Does Not Control


—“Bowing” of Edges




—What it is

—Impact of Focal Length


—-Focal Length and Perspective Issues When Photographing People

-Composition Guidelines

–How to Create Interesting Images That Your Family and Friends Will Want to See

Day Five:

An Introduction to Light

–What it is, how it works and how to capture it accurately on film or digital.

–Types of light sources

–Quality of Light Issues

–Laws of Light:
—Additive Nature
—Inverse Square and Depth of Light

–Introduction to Flash Photography
—What Does a Flash Do?
—-Will My “Pop-up” Flash Work?
—Controlling Exposure
—-Guide Numbers
—-Sync Speed
—Using Flash Outdoors
—-Combining Flash With Daylight
—-Controlling Your Background Exposure
—Positioning Your Flash
—Using Light Modifiers With Flash