Improve Your Photography Skills

View from Above, by Dan Dragoon

Ken Duquaine

Everyone’s photographic journey is different. Some have only recently started their exploration with the excellent cameras built into today’s smartphones. Others have been honing their skills for years, beginning with Brownies and Instamatics, moving then to 35mm, and finally transitioning from film to digital photography. Still others practiced photography through high school and college, then put away their cameras to focus on careers, family, and life’s obligations. Now, in retirement, they have the time to once again pursue photography but are frustrated by the complexity of modern digital cameras. The Sun Lakes Camera Club (SLCC) has a solution to that dilemma—photography classes offered by SLCC member Dan Dragoon. Dan’s description of the classes follows:

“Living in the American West rewards us with spectacular vistas. Indeed, within a day’s drive from Sun Lakes, we can experience world-renowned beaches, dazzling cities and ghost towns, Route 66, colonial and Indian ruins, colorful canyons, meandering rivers, rodeos, shootouts, snowy peaks, and more. Not to mention diverse vegetation and wildlife.

“More than once, we’re frustrated with our attempts to photograph such remarkable sights. While membership in the Sun Lakes Camera Club helps improve our skills, the process can be accelerated by our Digital Photography Fundamentals class.

“You will learn the ins and outs of your camera and lens to make the proper adjustments to create stunning images. Also covered is how to select the right camera for you. We even include a section for smartphones (yes, those are cameras, too!).

“After dispensing with the basics, we turn our attention to the three key elements of photography: Perspective, Light, and Exposure. Basic and advanced composition topics are covered in each session.

“Two separate courses will be offered: Introduction to Digital Photography, designed to equip novice photographers with skills to produce beautiful photos using the automatic features of digital cameras. Mastering your Technique is more appropriate for experienced photographers striving for superior results by matching equipment and settings to the shooting environment and the desired impact. Each topic is presented in great detail with a wealth of examples. All students receive class notes prior to each session. Field shoots and studio workshops are included! Classes begin in January. For additional information, visit our club’s website or contact Dan Dragoon at [email protected].”

The Sun Lakes Camera Club meets on the second and fourth Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall of the Cottonwood Country Club from October through April. For more information about the SLCC and its activities, contact SLCC President Samantha (Sam) Palmatier at 907-727-0334 or [email protected], or past President Lynn Thompson at 480-734-0040 or [email protected], and visit our website,