DSLR Camera Basics, Photo Essentials, Composition and Exposure Training

Whether you are new to photography or a seasoned professional, Balanced Exposure is the Chicago area photography school for you. Our Introduction to Photography Classes are our most popular classes for those who want to learn more about photography in general as well as learn to use their new cameras. All of our classes are designed specifically for the DSLR user. Click on "Read more" for class information and to see a calendar of all classes available and to schedule your class.

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Classes to expand your photographic knowledge

For those who have already taken the Photo Essentials class in the past, the DSLR Advanced class continues your education from where that class finished. Flash training is for those who have an external flash and also want to learn studio lighting. Composition class teaches you how to make your photos more interesting to your viewer. Exposure class helps you set up your camera for any situation you are facing. Studio Photography Workshop is for those who want to learn the basics of studio photography for both tabletop objects and model photography. Adobe Lightroom is the fastest and most efficent software of its type to help correct color and exposure problems in digital images. Read more for details.

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All About Weddings

With over 20 years of experience photographing weddings, we can teach you everything you ever wanted to know about wedding photography. From how to best use your equipment, getting the best shot, working with other wedding vendors to the business of wedding photography, there's no topic we cannot cover to get you ready to photograph weddings as a career. Read more for classes.

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Forensic Photography

Learn the basics of forensic photography!

Click on Read More for class descriptions.

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Post Production Training and Services

Balanced Exposure started out as a company offering post production services to photographers. Photographers today utilize computers and software to enhance and correct images to make them their absolute best in image quality. Programs such as Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Photomatix, Portrait Professional, and more are taught. In addition, we continue to help the photographic community by offering these services to photographers who need the help. Color correction, exposure correction, image retouching, special effects... these are just some of the services available. Read more for classes.

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Announcements

And Scheduling Your Class:

To see the latest Announcements, be sure to refresh your web browser.

Click here to schedule your class.



Night Photography Class cancelled tonight (9-10-14) due to weather.


To participate in any of the Balanced Exposure classes, you must bring your own DSLR camera or hybrid camera. Hybrid cameras must be able to shoot in manual mode, aperture priority and shutter speed prority modes. Standard "Point and Shoot" cameras do not qualify for admission to DSLR classes offered through Balanced Exposure.


WE HAVE MOVED!

Please attend our new location!

We have moved to a larger facility!

Our new address is 1101 Perimeter Drive, Ste. 210, Schaumburg, IL 60173. We are located next to Woodfield Mall, directly behind the Olive Garden along Golf Road. Take the Mall entrance next to the Olive Garden. Our building is directly behind it and in front of the parking area nearest Macy's department store.


Join the Balanced Exposure Online Forum!
Photo Competitions, ask questions of other students, photo critiques, classified ads to help you sell and buy used equipment and more! To join the fun, visit:

www.balancedexposure.proboards.com



Like us on Facebook!

www.facebook.com/balancedexposure1



Click here for a Class Calendar.
Important information concerning these classes is also found here. Always refer to the online calendar rather than printing it out. The online calendar is constantly being updated, so your best source of class information is from checking the calendar online. If you have visited the calendar in the past, be sure to refresh your brower to see the latest dates. If you do not refresh, you might be looking at an older version of the calendar and will not see recent class additions.


Click here to schedule your class.



Why Balanced Exposure?



At Balanced Exposure, we take photography seriously but we don't teach it that way! We want all photographers to create the absolute best images they can but we want them to learn how to do it while having fun.

Today, even inexpensive digital cameras are capable of taking some amazing photographs! Learning to use the new cameras properly is the key to getting great shots. While we can speak "technical talk" with the best of them, we try to keep the language a little more simple. We'd rather teach in a language everyone can understand. That's what makes us unique and why our students continue to come back to us to learn more advanced techniques.

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Special Online Discounts!

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Why Balanced Exposure?

Everyone needs quality training. With so many cameras out there today, it's just confusing. Everyone from the Advanced Hybrid camera user to the professional photographer who uses a DSLR camera needs to be trained to use their cameras to their fullest potential. Without proper training, you could be utilizing only a fraction of what your new camera can give you.

While there are many photography schools available, we feel that there is always a need for a school that's a little different. We not only explain the therory behind something, we also show it to you in action. Then, we allow you to do the same thing. We do all this in a language you can understand and in a way you can remember.

Balanced Exposure offers a variety of classes so that you can pick the topics you need the most help in.

Everyone learns at a different pace. For some, a group class works best. But for others, individual attention is preferred. We offer both kinds of training... just pick which suits you best.
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Introduction to Photography

See below to download a current class schedule. Classes are constantly forming. Inquire about Individualized lesson plans for any area of photography that you are interested. Remember to bring your camera and lenses and instruction manuals for reference. You should also bring a portable laptop computer with software pre-loaded for any software training class.






Click here for a Class Calendar. Important information concerning these classes is also found here.


Click here to schedule your class.


Note: Classes from Balanced Exposure are for DSLR Cameras. However, if you have a "Hybrid Camera" which has full manual controls, you are welcome to attend the DSLR classes since these kinds of cameras offer similar features to the DSLR cameras, but standard "Point & Shoot" cameras do not qualify for admission into the DSLR classes.




DSLR Camera Basics (Group Class)
Two Hour Training - $115
Advanced Registration Required


The DSLR camera and also the advanced hybrid cameras are among the most desired cameras on the market today. If you own one of these cameras, this is the class for you.

This single day 2 hour group class will teach you the fundamentals of your camera. Some of the topics include:
What is White Balance and how do I set it?
How do I set the Aperture? What does it do?
How do I set the Shutter Speed and why do I want to do that?
What is ISO?
How do I shoot in Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority Modes?

If you want to know how to operate your camera in shooting modes other than auto mode, this is the class to take.

Please bring your camera and its instruction manual to the class. Each camera is different from model to model and brand to brand, so having the instruction manual with you could prove to be helpful in finding how your camera handles a certain function.

We will cover both theory and practical applications with your DSLR or advanced hybrid camera
We will be covering a lot of material about your camera as well as practicing the new things you'll be learning.

By the end of the two hours, you'll be shooting confidently with Aperture and Shutter Speed Priority and also Manual Settings

The class running time is 2 hours, but students will be at the school for 2 hours, 15 minutes to include an introduction to other class opportunities from the school.



Photo Essentials (Group Class)
Four Hour Training - $225
Advanced Registration Required


This class includes all of the topics covered in the DSLR Camera Basics class (see above) and adds the following topics to it:

Introduction to the benefits of Custom White Balance
Differences between Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom
Basics of "Pop-up" Flash Photography
Basics of Lenses
Differences in Image Sensor sizes and how this affects your image
Exposure Compensation
Introduction to HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

The class running time is 4 hours, but students will be at the school for 4 hours, 45 minutes (including break time and an introduction to other class opportunities from the school.)

DSLR Advanced (Group Class)
One Class - 3 hours - $195
Advanced Registration Required. Prerequisite: Photo 101, Boot Camp or Photo Essentials


This class is for those DSLR camera owners who have already taken either our Photography 101, Boot Camp or Photo Essentials class.

The class concentrates on the "other features" found in the menus of your camera.

Advanced / Hybrid Point and Shoot Cameras and also standard Point and Shoot Cameras will not be coverd in this class and will not be admitted into the class.

We will cover in more detail topics like Custom White Balancing, Focusing Modes, Metering Modes, Bracketing and other features found within the camera's advanced menus. Be sure to bring your camera's instruction manaul for this class.


Composition + (Group Class)
Two Hours - $125
Advanced Registration Required


After learning how to get a proper exposure and how to use your camera, it's time to learn how to actually take a good photo! We'll spend two hours looking at examples of photos that look good, photos that don't and how to distinguish the difference. Elements of composition and design are emphasized.


Exposure (Group Class)
Two Hours - $125
Advanced Registration Required


The best photographers think through their shots before taking them. Knowing the right settings is one thing, but figuring out the right settings is better. Learn how to figure out how best to set your camera's exposure controls to get the right image quality for a variety of situations! This class concentrates on such questions as, "How do you photograph fireworks?" "How do you photograph Holiday lights?" "What's the best setting to to photograph a back-lit subject?" Learn the settings... but better still, learn why the settings work and figure out other shooting scenarios. Classes begin in February 2013.



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Intermediate Photography

See below to download a current class schedule. Classes are constantly forming. Inquire about Individualized lesson plans for any area of photography that you are interested. Remember to bring your camera and lenses and instruction manuals for reference. You should also bring a portable laptop computer with software pre-loaded for any software training class.


Click here for a Class Calendar. Important information concerning this class is also found here.


Click here to schedule your class.



DSLR Advanced (Group Class)
One Class - 3 hours - $195
Advanced Registration Required. Prerequisite: Photo 101, Boot Camp or Photo Essentials


This class is for those DSLR camera owners who have already taken either our Photography 101, Boot Camp or Photo Essentials class.

The class concentrates on the "other features" found in the menus of your camera.

Advanced / Hybrid Point and Shoot Cameras and also standard Point and Shoot Cameras will not be coverd in this class and will not be admitted into the class.

We will cover in more detail topics like Custom White Balancing, Focusing Modes, Metering Modes, Bracketing and other features found within the camera's advanced menus. Be sure to bring your camera's instruction manaul for this class.

Balancing The Light (Group Class)
One Class - 2 hours - $150
Advanced Registration Required. Prerequisite: Photo 101, Boot Camp or Photo Essentials


We all run into situations where the lighting conditions are not ideal. The sunlight is too harsh, the lighting is coming from the back or the sides, the leaves from the trees are casting shadows on people's faces... you name it, there's always something that's not giving us the ideal light.
Learn to control that light!

We'll learn to:
Deal with backlighting situations
Control harsh and unflattering light conditions
Balance light coming from different angles
Use diffusion material
Use reflectors to redirect lighting
Choose correct lighting ratios
Measure light with an Incident Light Meter
Use flash for supplemental lighting
Decide when and how to use a Variable Neutral Density Filter
Decide when and how to properly use a Polarizing Filter


This 2 hour class is a limited to 12 students per session. A professional model will be modeling for us. Being a "hands-on" class where students will not only shoot images but also help each other in achieving the correct end result, be prepared to move around and participate in setting up the shot correctly.

Adobe Lightroom 4 and 5 (Group Class)
One Class - 2 hours - $125
Advanced Registration Required. Prerequisite: Photo 101, Boot Camp or Photo Essentials


This class is for those DSLR camera owners who are looking to correct their colors and exposures in post production using the Adobe Lightroom software.

The class concentrates on teaching you how to use Adobe Lightroom to fix the colors and exposures on digital images. The main concentration of the class will be on the Library and Develop modules of Lightroom. Learn to correct colors and exposures, reduce digital noise, enhance colors, fix red eye, correct lens distortions and more!

Intro To Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, 10, 11 and 12 (Group Class)
Three Hours - $195
Advanced Registration Required


RAW vs JPG:
Adobe Bridge
Curves
Cloning
Masking
Layers
And More!
Bring your laptop with Adobe Photoshop Elements already loaded
Advanced registration required

Intro To Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6 and Creative Cloud (Group Class)
Three Hours - $195
Advanced Registration Required


RAW vs JPG:
Adobe Bridge
Cloning
Curves
Masking
Layers
And More!
Bring your laptop with Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6 or Creative Cloud already loaded
Advanced registration required

Composition + (Group Class)
Two Hours - $125
Advanced Registration Required


After learning how to get a proper exposure and how to use your camera, it's time to learn how to actually take a good photo! We'll spend two hours looking at examples of photos that look good, photos that don't and how to distinguish the difference. Elements of composition and design are emphasized.

Exposure (Group Class)
Two Hours - $125
Advanced Registration Required


The best photographers think through their shots before taking them. Knowing the right settings is one thing, but figuring out the right settings is better. Learn how to figure out how best to set your camera's exposure controls to get the right image quality for a variety of situations! This class concentrates on such questions as, "How do you photograph fireworks?" "How do you photograph Holiday lights?" "What's the best setting to to photograph a back-lit subject?" Learn the settings... but better still, learn why the settings work and figure out other shooting scenarios.





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Wedding Photography

Please see below for a current class schedule. Classes are constantly forming. Inquire about Individualized lesson plans for any area of photography that you are interested. Remember to bring your camera and lenses and instruction manuals for reference. You should also bring a portable laptop computer with software pre-loaded for any software training class.


Click here for a Class Calendar. Important information concerning this class is also found here.


Click here to schedule your class.





The Secrets of Wedding Photography (Group Class)
Two Three-Hour Days - $750
Advanced Registration Required


If you are serious about entering the wedding photography business, this is the class for you. In this two day workshop (8 hours total time), we will cover the key elements on how to run a successful wedding photography business. With over 20 years of wedding photography experience, Russell Lowe, owner of Balanced Exposure will share his secrets on how he was able to continue photographing weddings for so long. This is the workshop to take if you really want to know how the wedding business works. This is an interactive workshop. Be prepared to ask questions, get them answered and to practice techniques during a solid two days of intense training and discussions.

Topics Include:
The Business of Wedding Photography
The advantages and disadvantages of having a sales office or meeting at home or a coffee shop
The Sales and Marketing of Wedding Photography
The Wedding Photography Contract and why it is important
Wedding Albums and Wedding Album Design
Camera, Lenses and other equipment choices
Engagement Sessions
Photographing the wedding
Photographing A Reception
Studio Sessions... do you need them or not? Should you do them at the reception?
And A Lot More!
Be prepared to work and study hard for two solid days!

The Business of Wedding Photography (Group Class)
Three Hours - $375
Advanced Registration Required


The Sales Presentation
What to charge for a wedding
Showing your work
Pricing your packages
Closing the sale
Keeping contact with your clients
Post wedding consultations
Selling your images
Insurance
Albums
Online Sales
And more...

Photographing Weddings (Group Class)
Three Hours - $375
Advanced Registration Required


Defining Your Style
Flash Vs. Ambient Light
Important Images That Must Be Photographed
Where to be to get the best images during the ceremony
Working with the other wedding vendors
Working the reception
Techniques of shooting in near total darkness at receptions
And More...

Shooting A Wedding For A Friend (Group Class)
Three Hours - $375
Advanced Registration Required


While we highly advise not photographing a wedding simply because someone asked you to do it, if you are going to do it anyway, let us teach you the basics of how to do it properly.

How to take the key shots required for every wedding
Working with other vendors who have been hired by the bride and groom.
Camera and lens requirements for wedding photography
Photographing the all-important "Formals"
Dealing with low light photography
And More!

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Forensic Photography



Forensic Photography for Law Enforcement
Law Enforcement agencies should contact Balanced Exposure to discuss their specific forensic photography training needs.
Advanced Registration Required




Instructor Background:

Russell Lowe is a former evidence technician having worked with three law enforcement agencies in the past and having a degree in Evidence Technology. He is also a court-qualified expert witness in Forensic Photography and also in Forensic Audio. He is currently the owner and photography instructor of Balanced Exposure, one of the Chicago area's most popular digital photography training schools. He has worked in the field of photography since 1990 and has been a court-qualified expert in Forensic Photography and Forensic Audio since that time as well.

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Post Production - Software Training

Please call or email for a current class schedule. Classes are constantly forming. Inquire about Individualized lesson plans for any area of photography that you are interested. Remember to bring your camera and lenses and instruction manuals for reference. You should also bring a portable laptop computer with software pre-loaded for any software training class.






Click here for a Class Calendar. Important information concerning this class is also found here.


Click here to schedule your class.





Intro To Adobe Photoshop Elements 9,10, 11, 12 (Group Class)
Three Hours - $195
Advanced Registration Required


RAW vs JPG:
Adobe Bridge
Curves
Cloning
Masking
Layers
And More!
Bring your laptop with Adobe Photoshop Elements already loaded
Advanced registration required

Intro To Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6 and Creative Cloud (Group Class)
Three Hours - $195
Advanced Registration Required


RAW vs JPG:
Adobe Bridge
Cloning
Curves
Masking
Layers
And More!
Bring your laptop with Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6 or Creative Cloud already loaded
Advanced registration required

Intro To Adobe Lightroom 4 and 5 (Group Class)
Two Hours - $125
Advanced Registration Required


How to import and export your images:
Proper use of Lightroom for Color Correction
Proper use of Lightroom for Exposure Correction
How to batch correct your images
And more!
Bring your laptop with Lightroom already loaded
Advanced registration required