Sunday, December 11, 2011

Class Review: 12 Days of Christmas 2011 (Cheryl Johnson)

I just completed Cheryl Johnson's photography class "12 Days of Christmas 2011," and I would say it was a winner! CJ offers this class free each year to a large (but limited) group of students. If you get the chance to sign up for it next year, I would definitely say that it's worth your time.  
CJ sends a new photography prompt each day from Dec. 1 - Dec. 12. The prompts are a nice combination of technical prompts (setting white balance, creating bokeh, shooting lights at night) and composition challenges (self-portrait, groups, outdoor pictures, etc.). There's a forum and (new this year) a facebook group.  The forum was not overly crowded, so it was easy to examine each photograph that was posted (about 40 per prompt).  A lot of the posted work was really inspiring, and I got lots of good ideas from the perusing the images there. Classmates were pretty good about commenting - most of my photos received feedback from 5-10 people. CJ patrolled the forum to answer any questions but didn't really offer much feedback on the images posted during the course. (Although it's possible she may add comments next week.)
Like most online classes, you get out of it what you put into it.  I only completed 9 of the 12 challenges (I skipped a photoshop tutorial, a group portrait exercise and one on writing with light). But those nine prompts taught me a lot! I now really know how to use the white balance setting on my camera, and I learned how to take beautiful night pictures (like the one at the top of today's post; please click on it to enlarge and enjoy the details). As a result of this class, I have already taken some beautiful holiday pictures, and I know that the photographs I take during the rest of the month will be better because of what I learned during these twelve days! Overall grade: B+
Anyone else have thoughts on this class? How are your December classes going so far?

12 comments:

Amy said...

I will have to keep an eye out next year because, from what I can see, this class was very practical and useful .... did you use a tripod for this shot?

Maria Ontiveros said...

Hi Amy,
I did not use a tripod for this shot. I set my camera on top of a bag of split peas (rice also works)on a picnic table. I also took some handheld shots which turned out surprisingly well.
Rinda

helena said...

Stunning photo - love the deep blue. Great tip on using a bag of rice

scrappyjacky said...

An amazing photo,Rinda. I always find night shots really difficult.
I am finding some of Shimelle's photography tips in the JYC quite helpful....though in general I don't really think of JYC as a class anymore.....more of a push in the right direction!!!
I signed up for the She Art 2 class....but really haven't had time to take part yet....am looking forward to doing that after christmas.

Sian said...

I think I might be looking out for this one next year too. That blue is indeed amazing

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

I really love this photo, Rinda, and your review of CJ's class was spot on for me. I did well at keeping up with the prompts, but fell off after 9 myself. I still plan to make up for the last three. I did learn a lot in this class, and it was so nice of CJ to offer it up for free. :o)

Jimjams said...

Wonderful photo Rinda. This was my 2nd go at 12DoC and I have managed to succeed at different things this year. I've been bad at uploading and commenting on the forum as life has been hectic. I intend to catch up and try to use the forum for inspiration over the rest of December, butI have been disappointed at the (lack of) critique received during the early days - this also put me off dropping other stuff to make sure I kept up. I think the course came at a bad time for CJ which meant deadlines weren't kept to.
For a FREE class it is excellent value so I feel bad griping!!

Karen said...

This photograph is stunning! I'll have to keep an eye out for this class next year.

Jen said...

LOVE this photo, Maria. Great job. Where did you take it? Wish I could find something like that close to home.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

That shot is so pretty!

The Mann Fam said...

Just a quick pop over to visit. Taking a little break from those deadlines. :)

Your shots have been stunning. I am always on the look out for photography help. I'll have to keep an eye out for this class when it comes around again.

Melissa said...

That's a lovely photo Rinda!

Our new DLSR camera arrived this week, so I am looking forward to learning more about photography in 2012.