If you haven’t already heard, 5DayDeal is running an amazing promotion, full of education videos, tutorials, presets and even a copy of Aurora HDR 2019 — all for just $89! While this deal won’t last — it ends Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 — there are some amazing classes to boost your photography skill set and help you hit the ground running. Here are my five favorite five 5DayDeal education tools:
Photoshop for Lightroom Users, with Piet Van den Eynde
Let’s be honest — as photographers, we rely a lot on Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. But sometimes we need to take our photos into Photoshop for some advanced edits. Whether it be a portrait, landscape, nature or food photograph, there are several tools that I didn’t know how to use — let alone that they existed. In this course, Piet walks us through 20 Photoshop techniques, including Content-Aware Scale, perspective cloning, Frequency Separation, simulating a shallow depth of field, color grading and more.
Included are several practice files so you can follow along with Piet as he shows you how to use Photoshop like a pro.
Personally, I really learned a lot in this course. There were several tools that I knew existed but I was unsure on how to use them, or worse, I was using them incorrectly. This is definitely a course I’ll come back to again and again.
Lightroom and Composition eBook Bundle, by Andrew S. Gibson
While I’m not through all of Andrew’s eBooks, this is a great collection to get you started not only with Lightroom, but photography in general. Included are seven eBooks available in PDF, ePUB or Kindle format:
- “10 Black & White Photography Assignments”
- “Beyond Thirds: A Photographer’s Introduction to Creative Composition”
- “Lightroom Secrets”
- “Mastering Lightroom Classic: Book One”
- “Mastering Composition: Book Two”
- “The Evocative Image”
- “The Natural Portrait”
As photographers we can often struggle with inspiration. It’s why I’m so excited for this book package. I’ve read through “10 Black & White Photography Assignments,” and can’t wait to put them to use on some upcoming trips. Andrew’s fourth assignment in this book — photographing the elements of composition — is really something that I had never thought of before from a higher level. It walks you through photographing textures and shapes, numbers and repetition.
Even for the seasoned photographer, there are some pretty good nuggets in here. As a corporate photographer, I found the last assignment — create a photo story — to remind me of the best ways to capturing the process of something. I’ve been photographing and filming a lot of brand stories as of late, and this is really good practice.
Photo All Star, with Mark Condon
In this series of videos, Mark walks through eight topics when it comes to photography. This is the perfect set for a beginner photographer, or even for more advanced photographers who want some technicalities behind why things like shutter speed, aperture and ISO work the way they do.
When I first started getting into photography, I was loaned a DVD by a colleague to help me learn the basics. It really, really helped. While the name escapes me, Mark’s videos are very similar, and dive in even more than that first DVD I watched. If you’re looking to learn things like manual mode, but are struggling with how the different dials and options work on your camera, this is a great course. Or if you’re looking to brush up on some technical skills, definitely tune in.
Mastering Dodging & Burning, with Nick Page
A few weeks ago, I had an all-day food photoshoot with a local magazine. We scoured various restaurants in my area, and setup flat lay shots at each location. And just a few days ago, I finished up those edits. A few photos required a Photoshop technique that I knew the basics of, but really was anything but an expert at.
Specifically, we had some food on a dark gray plate, that had some fade to it. The client had asked for the fade to be leveled out, so the plate was a true dark gray. While I initially tried using the Burn tool in Photoshop, I didn’t get great results — until I watched some of Nick’s course. This helped me get a realistic looking plate in my photograph.
But Nick takes it one step further, talking about using contrast, smart objects, luminosity masks and more when dodging and burning. He also gives some specific use case examples so you can see what dodging and burning does to particular photos, and when the tools are most helpful. This is definitely one you will want to check out if you ever come across a situation that requires this delicate technique.
Get Camera Confident, with Laura Bath
Photography can be intimidating! Perfect for beginners, this course by Laura Bath gives you the confidence to not only learn your camera, but how to apply what you’ve learned to specific shooting situations. In addition to video instruction, you get some homework to make sure you’ve understood what you learn.
The course walks through the basics of setting up your camera to understanding the exposure triangle and using the right lenses.
In addition to all you’ll get from 5DayDeal, Photofocus is offering an exclusive class to anyone who purchases through our website. In “Ten Portraits with One Light,” Photofocus author Levi Sim explains portrait lighting and different tools and methods you can use to create an award-winning portrait.
I first met Levi when I won a camera through Photofocus (before I was a team member) back in 2012. And when I got my MagMod MagBox a few months ago, this very course was the first I watched. Levi has a great dynamic way of teaching — you’re sure to walk away with tips you can immediately apply to your photography! If you purchase 5DayDeal, you’ll receive this bonus on Nov. 9, 2019.