Improve Your Photography

alexplatz stu
Image: Alexanderplatz by Paul Sullivan

In the last couple of decades, the digital revolution has enabled photography to transition from an obscure art form to a mode of visual expression so ubiquitous we don’t even need cameras to snap images any more – our smartphones will do.

While this is good in many ways, it also means a lot of technical and aesthetic basics are lost, and a lot of bad photography is disguised with retro filters.

This 3-hour tour — run by industry professionals schooled in everything from fashion, music and weddings to reportage, travel and corporate photography – will help you better understand the technical aspects of your camera as well as learn compositional tips that will improve your photography immediately.

Tour Outline

Each tour is tailored to students’ needs and learning levels. However you can expect to learn about:

  • The relationship between shutter, aperture and ISO – and how they work together to create an exposure.
  • How to achieve depth of field and capture blur/movement.
  • How to use leading lines, rule of thirds and other crucial composition tools.
  • How to set up your camera so that you control it (and not the other way around).
  • What focus points are and how they can improve your shots.
  • How to translate what you are seeing into a strong photographic image.

Location

This tour involves an initial meet up and technical showcase in a café followed by a 1.5-2 hour walk. The location is flexible.

Technical Requirements

SLR camera (digital or analogue) or advanced compact (with option to adjust aperture, shutter and ISO).

About The Tour Leader

Paul Sullivan is a writer, photographer and the founder of www.slowtravelberlin.com, a sustainable travel hub and eclectic repository of information about the city. He has been freelancing for over a decade and his images have appeared in various guidebooks and publications such as National Geographic UK, Time Out, Rough Guides, Focus, Matador Network, DJ Magazine, The Economist, Electronic Beats and more. He also co-authored the Matador U Travel Photography course (online), and was Lead Faculty between 2009-2012. You can view some of his images on his website or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Pricing

€25 per person for three hours. Private tours and groups can be arranged in advance.

Group Size

2-6

Reviews of Improve Your Photography From Gidsy:

5 stars | Iris T.

great 3 hours!! the first part was packed with theory. but not the boring type. just useful things you need to know about your camera and light etc. then we headed out on a stroll to practice. paul also gave us lots of tips and made us aware of things. combined with a great group and some sunshine this was the perfect thing to do on a sunday afternoon.5 stars | NotMs P. Great lesson: excellent teacher, just the right amount of theory mixed with a generous portion of practice. Done without hassle, with enough time and opportunity to ask even the most silly (read: lay) questions. Enjoyed it immensely!

5 stars | Inka

Paul explains the basics very clear and understandable. Nothing there was new for me though, but anyhow the workshop was very interesting for me because of Pauls helpful comments on our pictures while practicing outside and especially about working with the light. I will recommend that workshop.

5 stars | Cristian M.

I learned a lot of technical facts about photography, learned some tricks on how to take great photos and had a lot of fun. I totally recommend this to anyone who has a decent camera and doesn’t know how to use it properly.

5 stars | François

ACE!

5 stars | Dan

Have nothing but good things to say. Paul is very knowledgable in photography and went out of his way to answer my questions and provide a unique and personal experience. Will definately sign up for another tour next time I’m in Berlin.

5 stars | Kimberley T.

Katrina is super knowledgeable, warm and willing to answer any questions specific to your camera or level of photographic knowledge. By the end of the tour I had picked up plenty of tips, had taken some good shots, and had that warm and fuzzy feeling of inspiration! Exactly what I was looking for

5 stars | Allison P.

Katrina James is an experienced and intuitive guide., a terrific combination as a teacher. Although we covered only a small city block, she took us above and below ground, showing us how to translate the bustling street life into provocative “felt” experience, through patient waiting and a sensitive awareness to patterns, line, and light. And she was so open to my questions, I often had the feeling that the tour was designed just for me.

5 stars | Katharina

If you’ve just started taking fotos I really can recommend the “Improve your Photography” tour with Paul. He is doing pretty well in the art of photography. Moreover Paul is very patient and therefore a good teacher.

Booking

Contact us at tours | at | slowtravelberlin.com or on + 49 171 122 5973. You can also use the form below to book online.

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Reviews

  1. Finian Matthews says:

    Thanks for the excellent workshop last Saturday. I think I learnt more in the 3 hours than I would have from reading 10 books on photography. Paul’s sharing of his expert knowledge, insights and experience of photography is very much appreciated.

  2. Sile Nic Chonaonaigh says:

    What a great class. Paul is knowledgeable, friendly and really approachable, no matter how silly you feel the question is. It was great to sit with a group of people who all wanted to learn a bit more or (in my case) more or less start from scratch. We did part inside, discussing technical stuff, and then got to go put it into practice. A really practical workshop which was also great fun. Highly recommended.

  3. Sofia Alves says:

    I highly recommend this tour. Incredibly practical and easy to follow for complete beginners and well as for people who already play a little with their cameras but lack technical expertise. Our tour was a little atypical because with -15ºC we ended up doing 2h30 in a café and 30 min outside but even that turned out to be great as we dwelled more into technique and analyzed Paul’s own (and amazing) work. I’m definitely come back for upcoming ones!

  4. Magda says:

    Great class for anyone interested in photography. Paul gives personalized advices to all participants and can help you understanding the mystery of 1000 buttons on your new camera. The set up of a class is very convivial (you might make new friends if you’re new to Berlin!) and it nicely balances the theory with some practice. Fun and insightful class, which I would highly recommend.

  5. Andrew says:

    This workshop was a fantastic and insightful starting point to help you further develop your skills in the art of Photography. Paul gave a great understanding of the basic rules in Photography which will ensure you take better shots especially after understanding how to fully use your camera and get the most out of it. Best of all, iit was a perfect balance between theory over a coffee and heading outside to try out your new knowledge with some practical lessons. All in all, a great workshop to get involved in and you even meet some great people to who share your passion for photography.

  6. Rhiannon Roberts says:

    Very friendly class that definitely helped me get past the initial fear of all the buttons and options on my new dslr, having just stepped up from a point and click. You can find the theory online and in books but it’s so much easier to have it explained well to you by Paul who was also very happy to answer any questions. Thank you!

  7. Sébastien says:

    Really enjoyed the lesson and tour. Learned a lot and feel much more confident using my camera – Paul was very friendly, and the group size was small so ideal. Greatly recommended!

  8. Jim says:

    A great way to spend a saturday. Paul’s presentation of the material was excellent, first explaining the ideas, then showing us professional photographs as examples of techniques discussed, and finally walking us through doing it ourselves.

    Beyond the basics Paul shares his bits of knowledge throughout the day regarding everything from waiting for the right shot to waiting for the right light. The composition tips, especially in relation to looking at his shots and some of the shots of other photographers was helpful in making you think about how you approach taking photos.

    A great time!

  9. Adam says:

    Paul took me on a one on one photo tour around Berlin. On top of being a nice guy he’s really well informed and explained a lot to me in a clear way, which is coming in very handy.,

    The session started in cafe/bar where he explained some of the technical aspects of photography, which this knowledge we then went exploring and found a small ‘squatter communnity’ where we snapped some pics. His passion for photography is somewhat contagious and explanations really did help me see how I take my photo’s in a different way.

    I don’t often write reviews but I’d recommend this.

  10. Ali says:

    This was the perfect mixture of theory over coffee, and playing around with our kit under the railway tracks. Paul has a great way of removing the fear of taking your camera of the automatic settings, and having a lot more fun. His own photos, incidentally, are worth a look for some inspiration in how to make your average city shot look like something out of a guidebook.
    An excellent, enjoyable and educational way to spend a morning.

  11. Charlie says:

    Thanks for having me along Paul,

    You manage to communicate what can be a pretty confusing topic really clearly and the workshop is a great introduction for people who have just got their first dslr or have been using one on auto since they bought it ;)

    The practical time afterwards was an enjoyable way to put into practice the concepts that we had just learned about… big thumbs up from me.

  12. Isadora Torri says:

    Great tour! Paul is really friendly and explains everything in a way that is easy to understand, making you want to put in practice all that you learned right away. He has focused not only on the technical part but he also gave us some tips about positioning, composition and other aspects of a good photo. Totally recommended!

  13. Fiona says:

    I’ve been reading Slow Travel Berlin for a couple of years now and finally moved to Berlin a couple of weeks ago – it was great to finally attend one of the workshops. The morning which was really helpful from a technical point of view and really lovely from a meet some nice people point of view. Thanks again!

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