Lessons - John Maggiotto

Things to know

After 20 years of teaching at the International Center for Photography I have determined that private, one-on-one instruction helps the serious student best.

Most of my students have owned their cameras for a while. It is when they compare their pictures to images they see in other media that understanding the basic principles of photography becomes a goal. You may only need a few lessons to increase your enjoyment. Some of my students are now colleagues who use my time to facilitate personal projects, such as albums, books, and exhibitions.  My studio has state of the art printing facilities with a capacity to produce very large archival prints. 


Lessons are $75 an hour in my Dobbs Ferry studio.

On location instruction is $75 an hour, plus travel time ($50@hr and expenses, tolls and parking at your location)


Welcome! Below is the syllabus for my intro Class at ICP

pho-tog'-ra-phy n. Abbr. Photog. 1. The process of rendering optical images on photo-sensitive surfaces. 2. The art, practice, or occupation of taking and printing photographs. 3. A body of photographs. {American Heritage Dictionary, College Edition, 1070}

In our classes I hope to lead you to the second definition above, by demonstrating the current process mentioned in the first definition, and leave you with a representation of the third, you can call your own!


In a lesson we will learn about the hardware (cameras, lenses, computers, memory cards and printers) and software (aesthetic principles, history, computer programs and web sites) as well as explore the personal goals of a pursuit in this medium. No prior knowledge of photography is required.

Most of my lessons are tailored to your exact needs, your camera, your computer, your way of shooting.

Some sample lessons for beginners

Class 1 - Introductions Quick course overview, the basic goals. (The first is to eliminate fear!) The hardware you need and the Hardware we have! The Camera, a digital Single Lens Reflex -an SLR The Lens, zoom or fixed, the light meter, and the memory card. Default settings as a starting point. The importance of your manuals in learning controls and what they do. The concept of exposure. First Assignment - Comparative Settings, a run through the controls.

Class 2 - Review of Camera controls and assignment issues. Lenses, Wide, Long, Fast (?) and Expensive. The review LCD, and its role in teaching you! The Histogram - see fig.2 The Computer and card readers. Second Assignment - October trees

Class 3 - On to Software! That means gray matter issues, composition, perspective, and POV. Adobe Lightroom 6 - The other software! What's it do, Why we want it! The external hard drive and your workstation review Work Session - Import, Catalog first images.     Assignment 3 - Extremes in composition and perspective, swing the pendulum way out there!

Class 4 Camera controls, the next tier. WB, custom controls, Exp. Compensation, Focus tracking. Lightroom - The modules, Library and Develop,  Opening Lightroom using the catalog file. Joint work session.

 More to come!!


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