Overview of Skill Levels and Experience

The Workshops welcomes all levels of photographers, from beginners to professionals. We want to make sure you find the workshop tailored to your interests and skill levels, so we collaborated with our instructors to provide the info you need to make an informed decision. Each workshop description indicates the skill level required (Who Should Attend), the technical skills participants are expected to have (What You Should Know), special details for that workshop (Special Notes), and if an image submission is required for acceptance (Portfolio). We welcome phone calls to discuss workshop details, 505-983-1400 ext 111.

Who Should Attend

Four photography levels help identify the appropriate workshops for you: Beginners, Amateurs, Advanced Amateurs, and Professionals.

BEGINNERS have little to no experience with digital cameras, photography, or image editing software.

AMATEURS have been photographing for a while, have a working knowledge of the basic features on their cameras, and are familiar with digital workflow and image editing software.

ADVANCED AMATEURS have a working knowledge of manual mode on their cameras, have a working knowledge of digital workflow and image editing software, and are familiar with artificial lighting, digital printing, or other techniques as required in a particular workshop.

PROFESSIONALS earn a majority of their income from their photography, have a substantial body of work, and are proficient in all aspects of photography, as required in a particular workshop.

Regardless of your photographic skills, all participants are expected to have a working knowledge of how to use a laptop computer. If you are having a hard time determining your skill level, please call us, 505-983-1400 ext 111, and our staff will help you assess which level is most appropriate for you.

For more information about digital SLR guidelines, computer requirements, and manual mode please see the Cameras and Equipment section.

What You Should Know

We want to make sure that you feel confident working not only with your instructor, but also with other participants. The desire of staff, instructors, and participants alike is to maintain a consistent level of photographic proficiency in every workshop. Since each workshop has a unique set of technical skills, there are three standard phrases to indicate expected knowledge.

FAMILIARITY: You have a basic understanding

WORKING KNOWLEDGE: You are competent and can navigate comfortably

PROFICIENCY: You have in-depth experience and are a high-end user

As an example, you might see: Working knowledge of your digital SLR camera; familiarity with digital workflow and Adobe Lightroom.

Manual Mode on Your Camera
Working knowledge of your camera in manual mode means that you are capable and comfortable with evaluating your in-camera light meter and choosing the appropriate manual settings.

The following statements can help determine your comfort level with manual mode:

  • You have a working knowledge of aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual mode, and understand the difference between each setting.
  • You understand how to adjust the aperture and shutter speed to control the light your camera captures.
  • You understand that in order to maintain the correct exposure, as aperture becomes larger, shutter speed becomes faster.

Special Notes

This area indicates unique details about a particular workshop. It is typically used to communicate special technology information, such as computer workstations provided to participants for workshops held in the Digital Lab.

Portfolio Requirement

Many of the workshops for Advanced Amateurs and Professionals require you to submit a selection of 20 images; when a portfolio is required it is indicated on the workshop description page. For complete submission guidelines, see the Portfolios section.

The Workshops staff is always available to answer your questions or help you find the workshop that best suits you. Give us a call at 505-983-1400 x111.