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The 9 Best Photography Classes in NYC - CourseHorse

By Rebekah Yahoves | Published 7/24/2012

New York is the perfect backdrop for an imaginative photograph. Here are some great classes for honing your craft.

Trio Cooking

Maybe you’ve got a camera phone, and your images get lots of likes online. Or you’ve bought an SLR camera and taken a few courses in college. Whatever your experience, you know there’s a serious photographer deep in your soul, jumping for the chance to take that perfect shot. The right professional can teach you all about those little buttons, as well as the details in your pictures. Here are some of the best photography classes NYC has to offer.

Cooking with Wine

Portrait Photography

PhotoUno Photography School
Chelsea, Manhattan

If you have a knack for capturing someone’s personality in an image, a course in portrait photography is for you. Props, lighting, and posing are all explored as you develop your proofs along with your talent. If you have a little knowledge of manual mode, this intermediate class is one you should not miss. Learn about the basic functions of your camera that can make your photos classy, unique, and inspirational. PhotoUno photography school offers workshops catered to adults, kids, or teens, including week-long summer camps. Online courses are also available.

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Beef Jerky

Digital Photography I: The Basics

BKC Brooklyn Central
Bushwick, Brooklyn

So, you can take great shots with your phone’s camera setting and you’ve always wondered what you could do with an SLR camera. In only a few hours, you will begin to understand the basics of your camera and start learning how to take fresh, artistic photos. Learn about how ISO can help you darken or brighten a photo, or how shutter speed can dramatize your shot through freezing. You will also discover how aperture can add dimension to your photographs. BKC is known for its small classes, patient instructors, and hip vibe. Even those who aren’t beginners will benefit from this basic refresher course.

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Basic Camera Course

The Photography Workshops
SoHo, Manhattan

Are you not sure when to keep your camera on manual, and when to choose an automatic setting? Are you unequipped to use an external flash unit? How can you make your camera’s internal memory work for you? Learn the basics of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed in this comprehensive private or small-group course. You will be able to figure out the right amount of light for optimum exposure and tasteful photos. The Photography Workshops offer both private and group classes. And you will never miss a great shot because you are fussing over your camera dials!

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Photo Safari: Brooklyn Bridge

New York City Photo Safari
Financial District, Manhattan

Pack your comfiest clothes, best digital camera, and lots of memory cards for this exciting tour of one of New York’s most famous landmarks. You will gain unique insights into aperture and lighting while taking photos of the bridge itself, as well as breathtaking views of Manhattan’s skyline. Take great shots at one of the most unique New York photography classes available. You can snap your fellow photographers with a Statue of Liberty backdrop, or a panoramic view of the skyline at sunset. The archways, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building are also popular scenery. Whatever you take pictures of, water, buildings, and sky will create layered, intelligent images you will always treasure. New York Photo Safari also offers photography tours of Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Station.

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Studio and Lighting

Union Square, Manhattan

Bring your camera with manual mode and get treated to the use of some professionally-selected equipment that will teach you the ins and outs of lighting choices. Learn how to use ambient lighting, which is already present in a scene, to create unusual and powerful photographs. You will also gain insight into using flashes to illuminate a dark scene and conveying motion with your flash. This 3-session course will leave you taking interesting, polished photos in no time. The instructors at PhotoManhattan are known for being fun, motivated, and inspiring. With a proven teaching method, the school has been training novices and experienced photographers since 2003.

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Blind Eating

Location Photography Workshop: Chinatown

Int'l Session of Digital Photography
Lower East Side, Manhattan

Photograph delicious cuisine, bustling boutiques, and friendly locals in an exploration of one of New York’s best-known ethnic communities. Learn techniques such as panning, or rotating your camera to keep a person or object in motion in full view. You will also learn how to discern the distance between your closest and furthest objects to help develop your focus. Camera angles, lens choice, and strategy are just a few of the skills you will develop while checking out a colorful corner of town. International Sessions of Digital Photography also offers classes in Spanish Harlem and Central Park. You will find no shortage of interesting subjects and fresh inspiration.

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Intro to Smartphone Photography

Art of Intuitive Photography
Midtown, Manhattan

Do you think the photos you take with your phone are second-rate? Think again! Bring your iOS, Blackberry, or Windows Smartphone device to the Panera Bread on Fifth Avenue. Learn about all of your camera’s basic functions as well as intuition, lighting, and exposure. The instructor at Art of Intuitive Technology is known for her patience, as well as her eagerness to encourage students to explore in different directions. You will be posting awesome pics online before you can say “like!” As much as we love them, tablets are not a good fit for this course.

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Cooking Fish

How Do I Use My Camera? (Part 1)

JP Teaches Photo
Chelsea, Manhattan

Learn by doing at this 3-hour course designed with beginners in mind. JP and his staff are praised for being interesting, patient, and down-to-earth. Lessons about aperture and shutter speed are taught in gorgeous, exquisitely lit locations such as Central Park. Even those with no experience will find they are able to apply their new knowledge right after class.

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Knife Skills

All Day Private Digital Photography (New York)

Digital Photo Academy
Locations are TBD and Subject to Change

This 7-hour course will depend entirely upon your photography experience and desire to learn. Do you want to take great shots of trees and wildlife? Would you like to take more insightful photos of people? Are you interested in learning techniques that can help you capture the cultural significance of buildings? The one-on-one instruction at Digital Photography Academy will include a discussion about your photo use, implementation of new angles, and a plan for your further growth. Your cityscapes will take on as much new life as your latest hobby.

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