With the advent and continuous refinement of smartphone camera technology, photographers are sprouting from every corner of Cincinnati. Today, taking a beautiful photo is accessible, straightforward, and easy, thanks to a convenient pocket-sized gadget. But when it comes to using a digital SLR camera, many struggle to achieve that same result.
That's where Malinda Hartong comes in.
A veteran photojournalist with over 20 years of experience, Malinda offers year-round photography classes through Hartong Digital Media Photo Workshops to teach beginners and experienced hobbyists alike how to get the most out of their DSLR. Unbound by brands, she teaches how to use Nikon, Canon, Sony (and other) cameras. She's been doing it for over seven years.
I was curious about Malinda's photography classes. On a frigid Saturday morning, I brought my Nikon D750 and a cup of gas station coffee into a warm room in the Springfield Township Senior & Community Center to audit one of her classroom lessons.
As she spoke about exposure control and the camera's histogram, a TV displayed images to complement her lecture. To reinforce what she taught them, she had the class practice what they'd learned on oversized stuffed bears using non-auto settings. The course finished up with a lesson on how to edit digital photography using various software. It lasted a total of two hours.
It was one of the "Beyond AUTO" classes she teaches. A multitude of different camera functions are covered in other lessons. Each one is designed to simplify a person's camera so they can get past how to shoot something and instead think about what they want to shoot.
BEYOND 'BEYOND AUTO'
Malinda doesn't just offer photography classes at the location I went to either. She teaches in her own personal studio, ProCam Cincinnati on Beechmont Road, and other various places by request. And if you're not local but still want Malinda's guidance, one-on-one online courses are available.
And if you have kids (or are one), children ages 11 to 17 can attend photo camp at Sharon Woods in the summer (both DSLR and iPhone-focused programs are offered). The kids are taught the same lessons in the other classroom courses over four days, but with more hands-on time as the camp runs from 9 a.m. to noon.
A WALK IN THE PARK
Malinda partnered with Great Parks of Hamilton County to host monthly photo walks that are open to everyone. Ideally, students in her class attend these walks to practice what the've learned in the classroom setting. It's a great way to master how to use the technology they have while alongside an experienced professional who's available to help.
There is a photographer inside all of us. The trick is coaxing them into frame. If you've ever thought about learning how to craft better images and have access to a phone camera and/or a DSLR, you can begin your journey to capture the world around you by starting with a lesson from a pro.
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For more information about classes, lessons, workshops, and more, visit Malinda's website.