A New Year – Time to Take Stock

As you may know or at least guessed, enrollment in my classes over the past several months has fallen at both the South Bay Adult School and Torrance. In fact, many of you have been directly affected. You wait for a class, register, and then get notice the class has been cancelled due to low enrollment.

Already the schools are preparing their course offerings for the spring term which starts the end of March.  To help me and them, would you please take a couple of minutes to answer a few questions below.

By the way, I will be teaching a new class at Torrance in the spring. Its working title is Photoshop CS5 for Photographers. It will be a basic class. Because of the tight schedule for planning, please complete the poll as soon as practical. For those of you who read this blog/post but have not taken any of my classes, please respond to the questions that do apply to you.

Thank you everyone.


29 thoughts on “A New Year – Time to Take Stock

  1. I’m sad the Projects class was cancelled.
    Daytimes are better for me than the evenings. I hope you offer it again..How many students are you “short” for this class?
    If daytime won’t work, is it possible to sometimes offer a class from 7:00-9:00p.m.? 5:30-7:30 is tough with dinner times.


    • Cheryl,

      That is a new thought. Generally, my students are reluctant to go to/from class when it is dark if an evening class is an issue. The dniner hour conflict is a new constraint to me. It certainly warrants some thought. The class has been offered in previous semesters during the middle of the day. I don’t know when or if it will be offered in the spring at Torrance. Torrance does try to move days/times from term to term, but can’t always do that.


  2. I’ve taken your camera, basic editing and organizing classes. They were excellent. I would like to learn about using my Canon G7 more creatively, plus advanced editing without learning about “projects”. Just advanced camera and advanced editing of my photographs. You have helped me immensely, but I want to improve in my photography and editing.


    • Annette,

      I suspect then that you may have tried to enroll in the Advanced Editing class at Torrance tis fall and again this winter. And like me were frustrated when it was cancelled.

      We just have to get more people who want to take their photo editing skills to that next level.

      If you are at all interested in taking RAW images with your camera, the RAW Image class starting at PV NET next week may be of interest. THE Adobe Camera RAW editor of Elements can also be used with JPEG images and provides an alternate approach to photo editing.


    • Al,

      One of the things I have worked hard at doing is to keep the classes I teach for PV NET different and/or taught in a different way than those I teach at Torrance or the South Bay Adult School.

      I do not want to take potential students away from those schools. Obviously, there is a downside to this approach.

      That being said, The Panorama course and the Intro to Digital Photography courses each start with the student taking certain pictures during the first class meeting that we then work with during the remainder of the class.

      But your comment certainly provides me with something to think about for the future.


  3. I’ve been out of the country on just about all of your classes this past year. I hope that I can resume taking classes this year as I’m not that busy yet. Leaving Jan 14 for Cambodia and Burma and May for Syria Lebanon. hope to fit something in this year.


  4. I would like to take some more Photoshop Elements classes like advanced organizing (my photo files are a mess), and somewhat more detailed techniques like facial retouching and restoring old photos. I do not like the evening classes, and would prefer classes in the afternoon (please not during the normal lunch time).


    • Mel,

      The Advanced Editing class has been offered every term at Torrance, and often it is cancelled due to low enrollment. I know Torrance tries to alternate the days and times of my classes from term to term.

      I have always assumed that the advanced class would work best as an evening class. That may not be a good assumption.

      By the way, it was offered during the day in the fall and then during the evening for this winter’s term. Both had to be cancelled.


    • Frank,

      I am not personally familiar with these cameras. Let me look into them a bit, and get ith you you, at least with a resource two with expert opinions.

      Can anyone else offer a comment on these cameras?


    • As you know these two cameras are both using the new micro 4/3’s format. These inter-changeable lens cameras are packed with features that are equal to or better than comparable priced digital SLRs.

      Digital SLRs are much larger and heavier. Since this format is relatively new, there are not a lot of third party lenses available as of yet. That will change if the format continues to gow in popularity.

      Frank, as I said earlier, I do not have a lot of knowledge about these cameras. However the two links below are excellent sites for informative and detailed reviews.


      Enjoy you camera, whichever one you end up with.


  5. Don, I am sorry that the projects class folded again. I do not know the answer as to “why” as it is a wonderful opportunity to do something creative with images and then share with family or friends. Two project that I worked on at home after class showcasing the Volunteer Garden at South Coast Botanic Garden are now posted on the web at http://www.southcoastbotanicgarden.org for all to enjoy. I have taken the class three times with one time being during the evening. My personal preference is for the daytime as my “batteries” are still charged! Evenings are hard for me.
    I also would like the opportunity to edit some of my own images that have problems though I have enjoyed the ones you provide. I know that it is more difficult to teach with everyone having a different image so perhaps it is not practical.
    I want to express my appreciation for all that you have taught me – the most valuable was the organizer class in the beginning. With over 20,000 images on my computer it would be most difficult to find anything without the organizer!!
    Cheers, Laurel


    • Laurel,

      Your photos on the Botanical Garden website are beautiful. I’m glad that what you learned in my classes may have played a part in creating them.

      Thank you for the kind words.

      I too have hitched my image management wagon to PSE’s Organizer when it was first introduced. I have never regreted it.

      Teaching a class students work on their own images in a workshop type environment does provide some unique challenges. I try to do this with my PV NET classes. It seems to work pretty well. I always have my own not so good images available for those who prefer to use them.

      Perhaps having a free-frorm photo restoring/enhancing class where the student works on their own images getting help/tips from me is something I should think about. ???


  6. Thank you for asking. Time just does not permit me to attend classes these days. I do like DAY classes when I can take them. I am still in need of review of simply organizing. Did not have time at home to practice when I took the class, so what I learned in class escaped me. If I could have had more practice time in class, perhaps it would have “taken.” Excellent instructor, however!


    • Jan,

      First thank you for the kind words. You are not alone with regards to not having the time to practice what you learn in a class. The result is then you forget it.

      Hopefully, the class handouts are clear enough that reviewing them when needed helps. For some, repeating a given class at some point works.


  7. I would really like to take more of your courses but found myself out of town a lot in 2010. I am interested in working with my new camera and windows classes. Evenings may be best for me. Am using Photoshop Eements 5.0. Bought version 6.0 but I never installed it. Need to catch up!!


    • MIchele,

      You are right, Michele. PSE 6 is even dated at this point. PSE 9 is the current version.

      However, that should not be a real problem for you. If you are using and comfortable with PSE 5, you will not have a hard time of adjusting to PSE 6.

      It was the first version to introduce the dark background, which makes it harder to read for many people.

      However, you may want to update to PSE 9 directly, especially if you have a newer computer.

      Or you may want to just stay with PSE 5, if you are only a casual user.


  8. Don,
    I hope you’ll be able to offer the basic editing class in the Spring. Due to the distance I travel from Hollywood the traffic is a problem for me. Classes scheduled mid-morning to early afternoon best for me at Torrance. South Bay was okay 5:30-7:30pm last semester.


  9. I just received the newest Photo Elements 9 version and would love to learn the ins and outs without having to read the manual! I take the classes at South Bay Adult…but I don’t count for the numbers because I am an empolyee. I am available most late afternoons..2:30 and aftern into the evening. Just not Wednesdays. Hope something comes avaibable…or maybe I will just have to read:(


  10. Hi Don,
    I’ve taken many of your classes and found them all very helpful. I think I might be done for now. Thanks for all the great lessons!


  11. I have enjoyed and learned lots from all your classes. I particularly enjoyed the projects class and was disappointed it was cancelled this semester as I was going to take it again.
    For me the description is misleading. I read it and at first thought you needed to have movies or make movies. I made a wonderful slide show of Christmas’ for the past 20 years of my grandkids and gave it to my family. They loved it. Great class I hope to take it again in the near future.


    • Hi Virginia,

      Thank you for the kind words. Your point regarding the Projects class description being miseading is well taken. Perhaps I went too far in playing up the video aspects of the class. In reality, whether one starts with a series of pictures, video clips, or a mixture of the two, the output is a movie that can watched (if properly produced) in a variety of ways from YouTube, a TV-attached DVD player, or on a mobile device.

      Many people like yourself are currently interested in slide show presentations. However the way technology is advancing, video is rapidly gaining popularity. Most digital cameras now can not only take video, but many now can take HD video. I believe the class can be of significant value for both beginning videographers and those who take mostly still images.

      At least that is my hope.

      Other comments, anyone?


  12. Hi Don,
    Thanks for keepping in touch. I really liked your classes I took last year.
    The main issue with my taking clases is the schedule. I am retired and travel quite a bit for pleasure and some business. In other classes (not yours) I miss at least one or two sessions and then have a hard time catching up. If all instructors provided notes I would sign up for more classes even knowing I would miss a few sessions.

    Fred Staudhammer (business is reclosable bandages),


    • Hi Fred,
      I know what you mean about being busy in retirement. I “retired” from my corporate job over ten years ago, and it seems like I am busier than ever. I would love to travel more often, like you seem to do.

      Thanks for filling out the survey and for your comments.


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