Do you live in Japan and want to learn photography in English? I run lessons for photographers of all skill levels. About The Classes
You may be someone who already knows something about photography, or who has a new digital SLR camera and wants to learn more. Or perhaps you are an absolute beginner and need some advice and a few lessons on how to get the most from the hobby? Whatever your needs, I hope I will be able to help.
I have been running English language photography classes in Tokyo for almost seven years now and a little while back my lessons were featured in Travel & Leisure magazine. See the article below and click on the picture for a larger version, which has text big enough for you to read.
My students are a mixture of beginners and more seasoned hobbyist photographers, each with their own list of things they want to learn more about. With a lesson or two all of them have felt not only more comfortable with their camera and more able to get the best from it, but also slightly more switched on to the world around them. Enough for it to begin to better feed their new-found skills with some extra creativity.
I teach all levels of photographer. For beginners it would be, first, just going over what you grasp about the basics of aperture, speed and ISO [i.e. exposure] and then going through establishing a way of you being able to measure and play with exposure in your photography. Understanding light, shadow, tone, contrast, dynamic range; these things are key to be able to get yourself to a point where you can feel in total control of the camera, rather then feeling like the camera is controlling you.
Check out a special edition of my digital magazine, Stekki, which I recently made with a student – pro photographer, Shelly Han – who was in town from the US to do a day-long lesson with me.
Shelly was kind enough to say a few words about the lesson we had together: “When I first found Alfie’s website it was clear he could take great photos and had a fresh eye on a very over-photographed city. After our time together I can now say he is a that rare combination–a talented photographer and a great teacher. Within five minutes of meeting he had already pushed me outside my comfort zone–in the most very kind way possible, of course! I came away from the lesson much more confident with shutter speed and enjoyed the challenge of seeing things in black and white. He also helped me think more concisely about framing shots and talked to me about how he “sees” his photos. I came away with some photographs I really love and a lot more confidence in my street photography.”
Learning photography, in my opinion, basically breaks down into four main stages and the first two are key in order for you to achieve the third and these form the bedrock of the lessons
- learn the machine [the camera], where all the controls are and what they do.
- learn about light, exposure and get comfortable juggling ISO, aperture and speed variables as well as figuring out which of the variables to set first for certain shots, or change last in particular circumstances.
- learn composition
- use your knowledge and confidence of all of the above to unlock your creativity and achieve with the camera the picture you see in your head.
Here’s a rough idea of lesson costs:
- One-to-one tuition: JPY5000 / hour [although if you buy a series of lessons, this price comes down]
- Introductory lesson: 3hrs for 15,000Yen but don’t expect me to stop right on the dot of three hours: I’m not a taxi meter. You’ll get a generous three hours.
- Courses for beginners, intermediates and people wanting to go professional: typically 15hrs in length and starting at 45,000Yen
- Group lessons: from JPY 3000 / hour, each, depending on the number in the group.
- Photowalks: we organize these almost every weekend and prices start at around 5000Y for around 6hrs of walking, shooting and tuition.
- Lighting workshops: these start at between 8000Y and 15,000Y per person for a four hour session. If we are shooting in the studio, we split the studio cost equally amongst the students.
- Gift vouchers: thinking of giving some lessons as a present? We offer gift vouchers. Please enquire for details.
Outdoor classes can take place at a location convenient to you and me. I live in Shinagawa-ku and am happy to travel a reasonable distance from here on the train. Drop me a line to alfiejapanorama[at]gmail.com or use the contact form on this site to get in touch.
I can also offer photowalks, presentations and group lessons for your business or social-club and have worked with a number of major companies in the Tokyo area to provide entertaining, informative and educational programs. Please enquire for more details.
Weekend workshops have been a bit more irregular recently as I have been very busy with work. But, here is an online magazine full of student’s work from a recent fashion workshop we did in Tohoku, Japan.