I went on one of their big cat days, was brilliant, they had canon l glass available to lend people on the day as well.
Heres one of my pics from the day
You get really close to the cats, and they are there to give help, hints and tips etc ! I would definitely use them again, only down side is they seem a bit pricey, but then all companies that offer these events are about the same price.
Well, I'm back from the "Understanding your EOS 400D" seminar and I have to say it was quite good. 12 people around a horseshoe shaped table, watching a powerpoint presentation with a friendly presenter (Ian..awful jokes), playing with settings and generally picking up useful tips. Snack lunch: nice rolls, crisps, fruit and tea/coffee etc.
There was a mixture of absolute beginners to some very experienced film photographers just switching to Digital.
I have to say, I didn't realise how much information I have soaked up from you guys over the last few months.......with hindsight, this was too basic for me now. I'd have been better doing the next course up, but I'm not complaining. It was a bit expensive I think, but wouldn't put me off going again, to a more advanced day.
There was a bit of "selling" of the days they do, but no pressure whatsoever.
I went on a seminar with them and enjoyed the day, the instructor was very knowledgable and had a good technique on passing this information on.
It is a shame that they do not offer a midlands based venue for this training (despite me offering them one of the rooms in my training centre at a very reasonable rate??) I am sure the location puts some people off?
DONT try and email them for information, I dont think that this technology has reached them yet? - I have found there "behind the scenes booking process and support a bit wanting when I have enquired on courses since".
Example - enquired over two places for a course (treat my Dad for his Birthday), reserved verbally to confirm the next day when checked Dads availability, rang back to confirm and they had sold the place to someone else?
This however would not stop me booking on future ones with them.....
I did the same several months ago... http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=12676
but mine was for the 350D just before they turned the course into a 400D. read what i have to say in the above link, it's pretty much the same as everone else, a great course to go on! (but you seemed to have ALOT more poeple there thn when i went, there was only 5-6 of us!
Yep, There were about 8 of us, we met at a hotel in Northampton, it was all very informal BUT informative. David starts off by asking what we wanted out of the session, ( which was I think 10 am till 5 30pm with the odd fag or coffee break as required. we went through the EOS digital range specifically based on the "camera type" that the "students" had bought along with them.
All the functions of the camera were explained in detail, other stuff like flashes filters are touched on ( details as requested by us) I think it depends on the level that you are at, its pretty basic stuff, I guess
but too much to take in on a one day course, for a complete numpty like me.
Basically it does what it say's on the web site!
I am concidering doing it again at some point to see how much sticks this time :bonk:
Forgot to add that I got the "big cat" experiance for me Birfday recently. so thats something to look forward too in Sept this year!
These courses are great - I have been on 5 over the past 4 years and each time they get better and better - Both Brian and Nina are Ex Canon Employees - they know their stuff backwards - not just teachers and chalk and talk but they are photographers - Nina is very very good!
They are very approachable and very willing to help!!
Brian tells me they are looking to do more Northern based courses so that will be good!!!
If you can afford it give them a try!!! You will not be disappointed!
I love the business sense there.........we have members who are interested in using their company to actually learn something. But the desire to learn the art of photography excludes them from the experience customer marketing plan because they think they know it all already.
Hello................People want to spend a few hundred of their hard earned beer tokens because they don't know enough.
I've done a number of 1 day/weekend courses this year as much as anything to get back into serious photgraphy after a 20yr sabatical (you'll have noticed I'm a new member) and as a weekend break/holiday substitute. I'm booked on my first the Experience course (Colour Management) later this year, so picked this thread up.
It's been an interesting time as whilist I have attended, organised and taught dozens of courses, I've never attended what I'll call a consumer courses, i.e. ones you pay for yourself, as opposed to your employer, who probably also picks up the hotel bill! So I thought I might bore you all with a few thoughts ....
The one thing I will say is they are a lot better value for money than many of the "professional" courses I've attended not to mention more than a few I've taught!
Getting to this value point means that some strict budgeting is needed, as £150/175 per attendee day can soon get eaten up (literally at lunchtime). The two biggest problems I've noticed are a) too many attendees and b)too wide a range of experience .... My last weekend course was a, lively, interactive course with 14 attendees that was "Very Good/Excellent" but with say 8/10 would have been absolutely stunning, but £320 would have become £500, would I have booked? having done it, absolutely, but without the 20:20 hindsight, unlikely. To give you a point of comparison, my company would never run a course with more than 6/8 delegates (thats the posh term) or charge less than £600 a delegate/day, although you will get a very nice lunch, lots of handouts & manuals etc.
So to make these courses affordable for normal people means higher numbers, which in turn means wider experience levels and out of the way locations ..... however and this is the key point of this ramble the content/tuition should be the same high standard!
I'll maybe make a few notes on the courses I done and start a general course review thread, anybody got any Photoshop course recommendations?
PS I have some sympathy for Brian on the forum front, although I think he's wrong, especially given Talk Photography at least seems to be populated sane intelligent people, obviously I'm a member, as I've had the odd run in with "experts" on forums the most memorable exchange being bought to a close when it was pointed out I had actually designed the device in question and therefore didn't need a lecture on how it "really" worked!
I went on the Experience Seminar on Saturday at the WHF Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent and although the day was abolsutely fantastic, I was a little disappointed with the Experience Seminar staff. I was the only one without a Canon camera (I have a Minolta) and I was made to feel a bit left out as they really focus on Canon's. One of the ladies that was with ES gave me the wrong feeling completely and I felt a bit brushed off by her plus, she tended to get the best spot for taking the pics and wouldn't move for us who had paid quite a considerable amount of money.
But the WHF staff were fantastic as were the Big Cats and even though I had a Minolta, I still got some good shots.
They have one at Eagle Heights in Kent but I probably wouldn't go again with them.
I agree with a lot of what you wrote. Having taught lots of workshops in lots of places over the past few years, I'll certainly agree with the financial aspects you mentioned.
It's a catch22 at times. I try to keep workshops as affordable as I can while still getting what I need from them. It's more expensive than people realize, though. I would love to be able to put on the three-day workshops I do for half the price, but between paying for a venue and providing food and beverages, it can be incredibly expensive.
I have to say, one of my favorite workshops was this past March in Brighton (UK, not Brighton, Colorado, which is a dismal place. LOL) It was a very small group of 6 attendees at the Friends Meeting House, which was perfectly located and had everything we needed to spread out and work hands-on with models. It was a very comfortable place and the staff was quite relaxed and friendly. I was shocked at how reasonably priced it was.
On the other hand, I did a course the previous year at a school in the southeast. The final billing after the workshop was nearly twice as high as they estimate I was given (which was four times as much as the Brighton venue!), the food they provided was simply inedible, and the attendees were frowned at and shushed everywhere they went.
Ain't easy, that's for sure.
I think a lot of problems with seminars these days is directly tied to the quality of the staff. EVERYONE teaches workshops. I've heard some pretty appalling recounts of peoples' workshop experiences. One woman I know went to a workshop by a well-known model/commercial photographer who provided ONE model for FIFTY participants. (I should note that the course was supposed to max out at twenty participants, but the instructor apparently couldn't turn down the money.) She was totally unable and/or unwilling to answer any technical questions, including anything to do with metering. (Her answer was reportedly along the lines of, "Metering? Oh, just put the camera in P mode. It should be fine.) $1000 US for a day and a half -- and the first day started two hours late. And the attendees were fed pizza straight out of the box.
My point is that teaching skills and photography skills are completely and in all ways totally different animals. Anyone teaching photography better really love teaching and be excellent at it, or it will be a waste of time and money for the attendees.
Well as a dark sider, I think ES will not welcome me with open arms
Earlier this year I did a day at the gloucester barn owl centre which was fantastic. Several Nikon users, including Vince, the guy that runs the days, and a Canon user - ALL were made to feel very welcome, in fact the fella with the Canon probably got most help as he was least knowledgable about his camera.
Currently looking at courses and workshops without too much success finding what I really want.