The incredible photos you see on this page seem like the sorts of shots you need to be a professional photographer or PhotoShop genius to create. In truth, you needn’t be either. Almost anyone with a digital SLR and a dash of creativity can take stunning, surreal shots — if they know how.
That’s where Evan Sharboneau comes in. Sharboneau, a photographer extraordinaire, has gathered his years of experience into one condensed (and incredibly cool) course: Trick Photography And Special Effects — The Ultimate Guide of Tricks, Techniques and Ideas that Create Mind-Twising Images.
• Long exposure effects and light painting, including details on how to make use of all the different types of lights you are likely to encounter in real-world situations.
• HDR photography, for intense detail and a greater dynamic light range.
• Freeze motion, like the picture below, which most photographers assume requires special cameras and all sorts of specialized equipment to capture.
No expensive lights or other professional paraphernalia are involved either. One of the coolest features of the course is the way the tutorials incorporate relatively common items such as flashlights, laser pointers, glow sticks, whisks — even steel wool pads.
A surprising number of the photography tricks and special effects taught in the course are done directly on the camera without any post production editing. However, some tutorials do require you have PhotoShop (or its much less expensive cousin, PhotoShop Elements — discounted to $59 on Amazon at the time of writing).
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What the course doesn’t require is any prior knowledge of PhotoShop. In fact, it barely presumes you have any prior knowledge of photography. Included in the tutorials are overviews of the basic concepts — ISO, aperture, shutter speed and the like. That’s great for people picking up an SLR for the first time. But we suspect the vast majority of people interested in this course are at least intermediate photographers who will need to skip their way past the more rudimentary sections.
That’s pretty much the only downside of the Trick Photography And Special Effects course. The rest of it is filled with cool stuff that even experienced photographers don’t generally know. If taking photographs has become a bit stale to you, this course may well help you find new magic in it.
That’s a lot for a reasonable price: $97 regularly, though discounted to $47 at the time of writing. The includes four complimentary eBooks: Core Photography Fundamentals, Filters for Lenses and Plug-Ins for PhotoShop, Introduction to External Flash and, our favorite, How To Make Money With Photography. Plus, you’ll get a full refund if you are unhappy with the course anytime during the first eight weeks.