Learn Manual Exposure Controls/ISO/Aperture/Shutter Speed/Metering Modes/Histogram/File Sizes and More

Connecticut D-SLR & D-Mirrorless System Photography Workshops

Entry level and Intermediate/Advanced classes available. Learn Manual Exposure Controls and Advanced Techniques from a Qualified Experienced Professional


Hands-On D-SLR Photography Classes in Connecticut

Teaching You The Manual Functions

Most camera owners use their DSLR cameras on a regular basis with no thought to how these things operate under the hood. For the most part, it’s still set on full auto, just as it was when you unpacked it from the box.  The thought process usually dictates that if you go out and purchase a better camera, then you’ll take much better photos. Just point at your subject and click. It doesn’t take long to realize you are not seeing the results you expected. As a result, you resort to leaving it set to Program or Auto, and cross your fingers each time.

Regardless, no matter what skill level you are currently hibernating at, I can help you master your camera’s manual settings. The D-SLR Photography Classes I’ve designed put you in full charge of your camera, while elevating your creative skill set.

Define Your Goals

The act of Photography means something a little different different to every person. It is a career for a select few, and an enjoyable hobby for many others.  Certainly, if you own an advanced camera system and want to capture treasured moments, vacation memories and all of life’s events as great photographs, you’ll benefit greatly from this class.

All things considered, my hands-on workshops are an efficient method for learning your camera’s features and taking better photos.

A Brief Summary of My Classes and Workshops

I have a variety of unique Photography Classes and Workshops that are perfect for just about any skill level. By scrolling down further on this page, I go into greater detail for each of them. I list all the requirements as well as the price point for each photography class or workshop. Take note that I now offer to travel within a 25 mile radius to bring my Phase I Beginner classes to you.

Travel Time Estimates

I’m located just 65 miles from Manhattan NYC. Regional Connecticut towns such as Bethel, Sandy Hook, Torrington, and Ridgefield are short drives of 20-30 minutes. Cities like Hartford, Westport, Milford, Mt Kisco or Brewster NY, and New Haven are within an hours drive.

Booking Your Workshops

Workshops must be registered and paid for in advance online. You can do so on this website by clicking any Book Now button or from the drop-down menu. If you are the recipient of a Gift Card, you can place your special code when prompted at checkout to redeem the full value.

Using the Booking Calendar

From a desktop or laptop, all you need to do is mouse over the days to see what dates are available to book a workshop. From a handheld device such as an iPhone – iPad, you’ll need to click on dates to check for availability.  Since most people are free on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays are most frequently available. If you click on a day and nothing happens, it’s already been sold out or I have other functions booked.  Please note, I include the location/subject for scheduled Phase II on-location workshops in the description. I will reach out to you well in advance with the location address to meet me.

If you have a friend or loved one that may be interested in any of my D-SLR Photography Workshops in Connecticut, be sure to check out our Gift Cards

Always Adding New Classes to Phase I and Phase II

I’ve been adding a new series of outdoor workshops that are shorter and specific to teaching you a new technique. You’re not confined to taking the 4 hour long Phase II workshop. Instead, you can pick a workshop that focuses entirely on mastering a specific photographic technique. These workshops cost just $175.00 and last 2.5 hours.

Learn Lightroom and Photoshop Editing – Workflow

In addition, I plan to expand upon my current classes by adding Photo Editing classes around Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. I am available to travel within a 25 mile radius of 37 Main St, New Milford Ct and teach you from the comfort of your own home! Contact Me for more information!

Mentoring Programs and More

I have offered to mentor in the past, and plan to continue to do so. This includes consultations to help match you up with your first new camera system, or to replace an older system if you haven’t done so. I’ll provide continued knowledge training to assist you to achieve your goals.

I can book one-on-one appointments to help you understand the business of photography and explain your rights to Copyright protection. If you are a career-minded individual, I can provide more in-depth skill training for most genres of photography. I also have a great deal of experience working with various publishers and licensing my own work. This can be a frightening ordeal for an inexperienced photographer!  Please, contact me with any questions.

You’ll Be Learning From an Experienced Professional

My extensive professional resume and body of work speak for itself. I am one of the most recognized fine art nature and landscape photographers in the New England region. In the past, I contributed to and served on the New England Photographers Guild until 2015.  I have been guiding workshops in western Connecticut for over a decade.

Inclement Weather Policies

We do not cancel workshops for general inclement weather! You’ll soon understand that bright sunny days and clear blue skies really suck for photography, no kidding!  If we have a significant weather event such as an ice storm or a snowstorm, all-day downpours, Hurricane, severe thunderstorms, etc. we will reschedule your workshop at a convenient date.

Cancellation Policy

If you decide to cancel your booked workshop, I will refund you the full amount, minus a transaction fee of 2.9% up to 60 days prior to your scheduled booked workshop. Should you need to cancel your workshop between 30 and 59 days prior to your booked workshop date, I will refund you 50% .

Workshops canceled with less than 30 days remaining to your scheduled booked workshop are not eligible for a refund.


If an unforeseen event pops up and you wish to reschedule a Phase I or Phase II workshop we will gladly accommodate and reschedule your class or workshop to the next available convenient date! We request you give us 15 – days of notice so we can try and fill your original spot. You must call or email to reschedule within 30 days of your original booking date to avoid losing your payment.

If you have any questions about our workshops, you can call directly at (860) 717-2227 or email me:  Thom@ThomasSchoeller.Photography

LEVEL I - Beginners Photography Classes

Phase I  Beginners Classes – Learning the Exposure Triangle and Camera Function

Beginner Photography Classes in Connecticut 

My Connecticut beginner photography classes are about 3 hours long. I’ll review the fundamental SLR camera controls and settings including the Exposure Triangle  (ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture) with participants. The exposure triangle is a complicated relationship, and I’ll be simplifying all of this for you. Although I have coined this a beginner class, it’s clearly not a limiting factor and you don’t have to be a true “beginner” to take this class. I find the majority of SLR/Mirrorless camera owners with manual controls are intimidated by their gear, especially after not seeing the results they expected. If you have purchased a new replacement camera, been away from photography a while or just want to brush up on your skills a Level I class will be of great benefit to you! My approach to showing you the basic functions and navigating the menus is practical. It’s my goal to have you feel confident in making manual settings adjustments.  Knowledge = power.

D-SLR camera control dials
The image shows the manual control features of a modern D-SLR camera body

Beginners Workshop Pricing and Scheduling 

Level I – Connecticut beginner photography classes are $150.00 and typically take up to 3 hours. Morning workshops begin at 9:15 am.  If additional scheduling is needed, a second Level I workshop may be added that begins at 12:45 pm on Saturdays. I conduct these workshops in New Milford, Ct.

Once you schedule and pay for your appointment using my scheduling calendar, I’ll confirm your class by email and provide you with the address for GPS navigation.

To schedule a workshop you can also email me: Thom@ThomasSchoeller.Photography


Connecticut beginner photography classes are strictly for DSLR & Mirrorless cameras with full manual exposure controls and interchangeable lenses. (No iPhone cameras, iPad cameras or compact consumer digital cameras)  You should bring your DSLR or Mirrorless camera, along with a lens, charged battery, memory cards and a healthy dose of enthusiasm!

If you would like to see examples of Thom’s best photographic imagery, check out his Gallery 

Traveling To My Region

The vast majority of my Phase l classes tend to live nearby in Western Connecticut counties. These include but are not limited to Litchfield, Fairfield, New Haven and Hartford counties. Counties in neighboring New York State that are an easy drive to New Milford include Dutchess, Putnam and northern Westchester.

Optional Phase I Classes – I Bring the class to Your Location

I’ve done this in the past and it seems to work quite well! There are travel limitations with regards to mileage. I am comfortable working with a 25 mile radius of New Milford, Ct.  To find out your location, please type 37 Main Street New Milford into your device Map App.

If you are within 10 miles of that location, the class is $175.00 per person with a maximum of 4 people. If you are 11-25 miles away, the class in $195.00 per person.

For more information and to BOOK your class, please contact me and provide your address! This optional Phase I Beginners class must be paid for in full, in advance. I will email you an invoice for payment and confirmation of booking.

Please note, if you can get over 2 participants for this class I will apply a savings of $15.00 off for each of you.


Knowledge = Power.

  • The Exposure Triangle – A complicated relationship simplified
  • Shutter Speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Metering Modes (spot-matrix-center priority)
  • Using the Histogram
  • Image Stabilization (VR-IOS)
  • Viewfinder Basics – TTL or EVF
  • Comparing Mirrorless and D-SLR
  • Image Quality Settings (RAW and JPEG)
  • Exposure Adjustments (+/-)
  • Cool filters for awesome effects

Phase I Entry Level Classes are strictly for DSLR & Mirrorless cameras with full manual exposure controls and interchangeable lenses. Please note that handheld devices and compact consumer digital cameras are not suitable. It’s always a best practice to bring a camera you’ll be using most frequently. This helps you remember what you’ve learned more easily. For your first entry-level class, be sure to bring the following items. Your camera body and any lenses, fully charged battery, a memory card and a dose of enthusiasm.

Don’t own a suitable camera just yet? No problem! I’ll be happy to book a special one-on-one consultation up to 45 minutes (weeknights) to help guide you to a good match. The cost is just $50.00. Simply email me and tell me you are looking to purchase a new camera system. Provide me with your name and contact information, and I can email an invoice to confirm your upcoming appointment. Once confirmed, we’ll set a time and date!

Level I – (beginners) classes are $150.00 and typically take 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Saturday morning workshops begin at 9:15 am. We’ll begin our second tier of scheduled classes at 12:45 pm if needed.  I conduct these workshops at a location in New Milford, Ct. After you book your class online, I’ll email you to confirm your appointment and provide the location address for navigation.

To schedule a workshop you can also email me: Thom@ThomasSchoeller.Photography

LEVEL II - Guided Connecticut Landscape Photography Workshops

Guided Intermediate Phase II Photography Workshops

After completing the Phase I Entry level class, this more Intermediate skill level guided outdoors workshop is the next phase.  If you are already well past basic skills, completing my entry level workshop is not a requirement. You must, however, meet the requirements listed below to take this workshop. You should be comfortable making manual exposure adjustments, change your light metering modes, manual focus, change lenses with ease, own polarizer & neutral density filters, and own a tripod.

Geared Towards Landscape Photography

Although my Phase II D-SLR Photography Workshops are oriented towards nature and landscape photography, what you learn, however, can be applied to any number of genres of photography.

This is a Hands-On outdoors workshop

And a wonderful follow-up to my beginner’s Level I workshops. Level II D-SLR Photography workshops are usually available on Saturdays and Sundays – by appointment only. Please check the calendar under the Book Now menu for availability. They require an early start to my favorite scenic destinations in Litchfield County and nearby Berkshires. Click on any RED highlighted Sunday in the booking calendar. This will reveal the location scheduled for that day. I’ll email you to inform you of the meetup location and time once I confirm your appointment. (Be sure to check your spam box or other email locations during this process)

Covering A Broad Range of Landscape Techniques

The Level II D-SLR Photography Workshops are intended to cover a broad spectrum of landscape techniques while shooting in some pretty scenic locations. The idea is to help you get a beautiful wall-hanger from the images I help you take. I won’t spend a great deal of time focusing on any single technique, as that can be done in follow-up workshops described under Learning New Photography Techniques.

The Technical Aspect: 

I’ll be teaching you how to get an amazing depth of field in your images. By definition, that means sharp focus front to back. For creative effects, I’ll explain selective focus techniques with purposely out of focus areas. Ethereal movement, like the silky effect of water in motion in streams & waterfalls, is another technical trick.  I’ll show you how Neutral density filters are used for this amazing calming & creative technique. We will also explore by using different metering modes to get the best possible exposure for your subject. This is a way to manipulate the way the camera actually sees light. If we have the opportunity, I’ll show you how to create “sun stars” in your images. .

The Artistic Aspect:

The D-SLR Photography Workshops really expands upon your artistic vision and how to determine what elements make for better images. Most workshops don’t teach you this, and you’ll NEVER learn this from an online course! You need to be in the elements with real events happening around you. An experienced professional photographer on hand can inspire you to higher levels. I will teach you to SEE and understand visual design and create visual depth. Elements such as foreground, mid-ground, and background come into play. Then I’ll show you how to create an effective composition with those elements. Amazingly, lowering or raising your tripod 2 inches or tilting your camera body slightly can make a world of difference! It’s all about perspective.

The Secrets to a Successful Image

We’ll be exploring the color of light and how your light meter reads the scene. Understanding this helps you make better images. We’ll be modifying that light with various filters. Vertical and horizontal lines come into play with landscape images. You’ll learn which of them possess more energy and assertiveness in your imagery. An effective composition trick is finding gently curving lines that lead the eyes through the scene towards the subject. They convey gentleness and sensuality, peacefulness and an unhurried pace. I’ll be explaining to you how the human brain scans the image & how the eyes focus on what seems interesting.  Similarly, another composing trick is using graphic elements within the scene to bounce eyes off. This allows the photographer a tool to invite the viewer back to explore further. Some colors that occur naturally work extremely well together. I’ll open your mind and eyes up to this secret world in the Level II workshops!

We Go Out During The Best Light 

My D-SLR Photography Workshops are available to take advantage of the best lighting. Working those hours of the day provides optimal lighting for outdoor nature scenes. In essence, we can avoid harsh sunny mid-day lighting. If we get misty or foggy days or light rain that is great! I’ve spent 34+ years chasing bad weather to capture beautiful atmospheric conditions.

  • DOF – Depth of field, attaining sharp detail front to back
  • Selective Focus – Leave portions of your image out of focus (bokeh) to direct the viewer’s eyes where you want
  • Using Motion to Convey a feeling – How to capture that silky smooth ethereal effect in a stream or waterfall
  • Using different Metering Modes for dramatic effect – this allows you to preserve highlights or shadow details for a WOW effect
  • Sunstars – depending on your aperture blades, I’ll show you how to get this effect which can deliver awesome results
  • Your Artistic Vision – Allow me to expand upon your artistic vision and look for elements that make for better images. You won’t get this in an online course!
  • Effective Compositions- How to place elements of the scene in the viewfinder. Stronger images tell a story and hold onto viewers attention
  • Foreground, midground and background elements- This is how you build your scene and add dimension
  • The Essentials of Light- I’ll be teaching you about the appropriate lighting for the scene. Metering modes, and how your light meter perceives light is part of this lesson.
  • Leading Lines and Curves- the dynamics of a great image.
  • Colors affect the human eye and how we perceive a scene. Learn techniques to use these colors to your advantage.
  • a D-SLR camera body OR Mirrorless camera and lens
  • a Tripod (this is important for long exposures and composing)
  • Ability to manually change exposure settings
  • comfortable hiking shoes
  • screw on circular polarizer filter that fits your lens
  • bottled water and a snack for some nature hikes
  • 2 or 3 stop circular Neutral density filter for waterfall/stream photography helps if you have one!
  • Charged batteries and storage media!! CF or SD cards
  • Certainly, it’s a good idea to bring a Cleaning kit/Soft lens cloth and appropriate cleaning solution (just in case)
  • Bear spray is optional for nature hikes. I always carry my own.
  • Lastly, to participate in Phase II workshops you must be at least 18

This workshop requires a road trip and working in the field for several hours.

To schedule a workshop you can email me: Thom@ThomasSchoeller.Photography

New Techniques Workshops

Learn New Photography Techniques by taking one of my Hands-On outdoors Workshops

I’ve created a unique spin with my Level II Guided Connecticut D-SLR Photography Workshops that you may find quite helpful! This series of workshops spend more time focusing on teaching you very specific new photography techniques. The price point is less than my full 4-hour Phase II Guided Connecticut Photography workshops, but what’s really cool is we get to work specifically on learning a new photography technique for the length of the workshop.

A Few Advanced Techniques Covered 

Each of the Learn New Photography Techniques I describe below will be taught in separate workshops that are intended to last 2.5 hours.

Streams and Waterfalls | Long Exposures in Nature

The secret to capturing beautiful ethereal nature scenes including waterfalls and moving water is mastering shutter speed and manual function while using a tripod. We’ll explore the proper lighting needed, how to use Neutral Density Filters to control that light and how long your shutter needs to be open to achieve the look your after. This is a popular new photography techniques workshop!

Using long exposure to create an ethereal artistic scene
An example of using a long exposure to capture beautiful ethereal results

Blurred Backgrounds with Sharp Focus on a Moving Subject | Handheld Long Exposures

The secret here is learning how to track your subject and selecting the proper shutter speed to add some blur behind your subject. This is essential when photographing sports (thinking your kid’s football games) or if you are a race fan and want to capture the energy of the event! No special filters are required for this either. This is a fun workshop for anyone with an SLR or Mirrorless camera that allows for shutter speed control.

Selective Focus for Smooth Bokeh | Tricks for Great Portraits

The secret here is learning to select the right perspective (lens focal length) and combine it with the distance to elements behind your subject that would distract from the photograph. You need your subject to be sharp, and the background should not distract the viewer’s eyes away from the subject of the portrait. Selective focus can happen using auto-focus or manual. Smooth bokeh and sharp subjects can be achieved hand-held, but you’ll achieve even better results with a tripod!  This new photography technique workshop will be focused on selecting the correct aperture settings that work best with different focal lengths, and also teaching you how to space yourself the correct distance from your subject. You’ll be able to use this to photograph people and even pets.

Selective focus with smooth bokeh
Learn how to selective focus and use bokeh effects to make creative photographs

Workshop Location and Cost

The streams and waterfalls long-exposure classes will be held at locations near me in Kent, Ct. For other photography workshop technique classes, I’ll have you meet me in New Milford, Ct. These classes are not as lengthy as my Level II workshops, they last about 2.5 hours and cost $175.00.  If you desire to learn to take better portraits, feel free to bring along anyone willing to be your subject!

To view examples of Thom’s long exposures in nature, please take a look at his online Galleries

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Connecticut DSLR & D-Mirrorless Photography workshops | Entry level and Intermediate | Learn manual exposure controls | Advanced Techniques | The Art of Photography from a qualified experienced professional

Learn to SEE, Visual Design, Effective compositions, Be ExpressiveDefine With Light

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