Review: New York City Photo Safari

When I got an email about listing a photography course offered by a company called NYC Photo Safari, I decided I simply had to try it.  Photography skills are something I have mastered, and I also haven’t mastered iPhoto which the course promised to teach.  I was instantly intrigued and signed up immediately.

NY Photo Safaris are photography classes designed for small groups and people who want to learn how to “capture the life and allure that’s distinctly the Big Apple”.  It’s a walking Safari.   They have a wide range of tours/classes around the city listed here.  I chose a class called Take 2 Bytes of the Apple – Central Park & iPhoto Workshop.  This workshop is half Central Park Photo Safari (see above) and half iPhoto Workshop. For 1.5 hours I would learn the art of scouting for an image and visual editing in Central Park; following the shoot we’d join the folks at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue where we’d  learn how to manage all those great images we had been creating; learn to organize and edit our photos from a Pro. Seeing that I’m a new MAC user, I jumped at the opportunity to take this class.  This 2.5 hours class costs $100, which I think is good value based on what you learn.

I met my guide and group in Central Park today.  It was cloudy and there was a definite chance of rain in our stars.  For about an hour we learned from a professional who taught us how to take better shots with our cameras.  Here were my key takeaways:

- Good pictures are about composition.

- Define your main subject matter and go after it.

- Don’t be greedy, think of everyone as your best friend when you’re snapping.

- Shooting is anticipating your shot visually.

- Light ratio, exposure compensation, focus are key for taking good pictures.

As we walked around Central Park, we were told to take certain types of pictures and what to focus on.  Here are a few of my better shots:

Central ParkCentral Park

As if it wasn’t already great to be learning from a professional, the next hour was also very important for me.  We went to the Apple Store and had a one-hour session with an Apple staff member on how to use iPhoto.  This is a tool I have been meaning to learn since I switched to the MAC a few months ago, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it was for me to understand its complexities when told about it in person.  It’s not so complex after all, and I am looking forward to using it.

So, if you live in in NYC or are visiting and want to take a different kind of photography class, I highly recommend the NYC Photo Safari class.  Here are some tips they advise on their web site:

What should I bring on my photo safari?

    1. Your camera of course; digital camera is a MUST – be it point & shoot OR D-SLR.
    2. Plenty of memory cards (formatted and ready to go).
    3. Extra batteries for your camera and flash (if you have one).
    4. If you have a mini tripod like a “gorillapod” that may be helpful.
    5. Your camera’s manual may be helpful (available for download from the manufacturer’s website).
    6. Small pocket size note pad and pen.
    7. Most importantly bring your learning hats.

Who should attend? Whether you are a beginner or an advanced hobbyist; whether you have a simple point and shoot or a D-SLR; if you are interested in learning how to improve your photography skills you should try a photo safari.

Teens and Children? Photo safaris are family friendly, however participants under the age of 18 MUST be accompanied by an adult. Those age 14+ may attend at a $35 discount with a fully paid registered adult. (please call for discount code). For those between age 8 and 13 we offer Mommy/Daddy & Me photo safari. New York City Photo Safari also offers Candid Kids for those wanting to learn how to photograph their babies and toddlers. NYC Photo Safari does not accept registrations for unaccompanied minors.

How do I make a reservation? To register for our photography workshops go to the description page, simply scroll to the photo safari of interest, click on “click to register”, and add the appropriate date to your cart. Please note all reservation must be made by midnight prior to the day of your photo safari.

I would definitely sign up for another Photo Safari class, and I plan to.  I also plan to sign up for more classes at my local Apple store.  There is no reason I should have any questions, when they are just one click away – you can sign up for all their classes online.

Disclosure: I was provided with one complimentary Photo Safari class but all opinions expressed are my own.