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The Aperture Academy Student Hall of Fame

To show our appreciation to those who spend so much time with us, all Hall of Fame students receive a lifetime discount of 20% off!


 
Scott M.

One day while driving to work and listening to the latest in a series of CD lessons on how to become a better photographer. I was thinking how great it would be if I could get some hands-on experience with my new camera. I noticed in the lane next to me, a nice looking van with the words "Aperture Academy" painted on its side. I took the first chance that I could and signed up for the San Francisco Zoo Workshop. Brian and Jean were awesome instructors, and I learned more in that half-day workshop than I did in many hours of listening to those CDs. I've absolutely enjoyed my subsequent workshops with Aperture Academy. In addition to Brian and Jean, I've had the opportunity to work with Ellie, Steven, Paul, Matt, Ajay, Jan, and Scott. All of them have been so fun to be around. They're always eager to share their knowledge and experience with their students. They take pride in being good educators, as well as great photographers. I'm looking forward to taking many more workshops with Aperture Academy.

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21
 
Aaron S.

I've always had a passing interest in photography, preferring photos to other forms of art. In the past couple of years I've finally had the opportunity to pursue photography as a hobby (and get some new art for the house). Unfortunately, I really didn't know where to go to take memorable photographs. I started searching for photo workshops in California and found Aperture Academy. I've thoroughly enjoyed the workshops I've been on. I've found the instructors knowledgeable, energetic, and friendly. Each time I take a workshop, I learn some new trick to improve my skills. I'll keep coming to the workshops to see new places and learn more about photography.

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20
 
Mark O.

I have long appreciated fine nature photography, but the possibility that I could make my own memorable images never occurred to me until I took my first Aperture Academy workshop. Now, I am immersed in nature photography (albeit still on the side) and enjoying every minute of it. The Aperture Academy team gets me to the right places, at the right times, and with the right friendly counsel to make images I can be proud of, while simultaneously demonstrating that I have LOTS more to learn. Fortunately, there's a bunch more workshops!

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16
 
Larry W.

Thanks to Stephen and crew for creating workshops with rewarding experiences to develop technical skills and personal style of each student with the chance of meeting new friends with the same passion for photography. I appreciate that Aperture Academy's workshops are always pre-planned in regards to location, lighting and subject matter.

The workshops I have attended: Marin Headlands, Death Valley, Santa Cruz Botanical Gardens, San Francisco Zoo, Alaska Cruise (Glacier Bay, Juneau Whale Watching, Sitka Tongass Rainforest, Ketchikan Harbor and City Photo Walk) and the upcoming Grand Tetons.

Thanks for the good times!

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13
 
Jake J.

In less than a year, I've been to five states in the workshops I've taken with Aperture and have shot everything from red rocks to farmland to waterfalls to sand dunes.

I was a complete rookie when I started and have progressed from Program Mode (i.e. "point and shoot") to Aperture Priority and full Manual Mode. I've learned how to use a polarizer and a neutral density grad filter and have picked up some important advice on composition. A friend of mine, comparing my most recent pictures (from the "Zion Extreme" trip) to some I had taken prior to meeting the Aperture folks, said, "Your pictures have gotten a lot better!" And all this in the company of instructors who are fun, knowledgeable and motivated.

I really do feel that I have gotten to some places, both physically and in terms of skill level, that I might not have gotten to on my own.

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13
 
Michelle B.

When I first started with Aperture Academy, I was very new to photography, especially the technical aspects and functions of the camera. Now, not only have I learned so much, but I have had the opportunity to capture some great images. The Yellowstone workshop was a highlight for me as I learned so much about composition, had a great time, and was able to capture some incredible images. The instructors at Aperture Academy know how to help you get the most out of every workshop and have helped me develop a true passion for photography. Thanks for all the knowledge and for putting together amazing workshops.

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13
 
DeAnna R.

I have thoroughly enjoyed every second spent with Aperture Academy. I have learned so much about all aspects of photography, from setting up and taking the pictures, to getting them ready to print in post-production. I can definitely see improvement in my photography since my first workshop. Every one of the instructors is focused on making their students better, and they never seem to get tired of answering any question you can think of. The workshops are professional, informative, and most of all, lots of fun! Thanks to Aperture Academy for turning photography from something I liked to do into something I truly LOVE to do!

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12
 
Kristine F.

When I took the Intro to Digital Photography at Aperture Academy, it was really to see if I thought I could learn from this group of people. I was just starting out and looking to find classes that would really teach me at my level. Ap Acad has more than met my expectations. Each workshop has been an adventure. Each has taught me something new AND I have come home with pictures I love. The teachers are knowledgeable, patient, gracious, and fun! I learn, not only from their instruction, but by watching them as well as the other students in class. The small teacher to student ratio means my questions never go unanswered. It doesn't get much better! Looking forward to more adventures!

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12
 
Ashok D.

Educational, fun, relaxing, exciting, awesome - are some adjectives that come to my mind to describe my experience of the workshops with Aperture Academy so far. I have always had a desire and a passion for photography, but using the DSLR in the full or even semi-auto mode was daunting and confusing to say the least. I have had the DSLR for almost 7 years. Yes - used 10% of the camera's potential through the Auto mode. .....but the instructors at Aperture Academy through the hands-on workshops helped me over come that apprehension of utilizing the equipement to its maximum potential. I have learnt and used my DSLR the most in the last four months since I took the introduction class with Stephen Oachs in April this year, along with all of the workshops and personal interactions with the instructors.

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12
 
John V.

I started getting into photography in junior high, but like most people of that time, photography with film was an expensive hobby. With digital cameras, I was able to go out and take lots of photos. But when I stepped up to a digital SLR, it was time to take my pictures to the next level. My wife suggested taking a workshop at this new place she had discovered - the Aperture Academy. I started off with the Night Owls one-day workshop, and had a blast. The instructors were knowledgable and helpful, and they brought us to all the interesting places to shoot. I now love taking these mini-vacations with the Aperture Academy and amaze my friends with my great gallery-worthy shots!

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12
 
Jonathan S.

I've alway enjoyed taking pictures: from 35mm Kodak disposable cameras to the newer pocket-sized digitals. But I never completely understood what the 100 or the 400 on a roll of film really meant nor was I able to fathom much beyond the "automatic" camera settings (with the exception of how to turn off the flash - often with disastrous results).

The solution was Aperture Academy and its workshops! What a wonderful, fun, and easy way to to get involved with photography. From the first introductory how-to workshop through, for the moment, my eleventh workshop at the Columbia River Gorge. One of the things that keeps me coming back are knowledgable, friendly, and enthusiastic instructors. Whether you've barely unwrapped your new camera or have been snapping pics on location for years, the Aperture Academy instructors have something to offer everyone.

Another exciting aspect of the workshops are the many, varied locations! From the San Francisco Zoo to Iceland, from Joshua Tree to the Serengeti - you will have the benefit pre-scouted location that provide you with opportunity to shoot jaw-dropping photographs. And as previously stated, the benefit of expert instruction on camera use and composition set-up.

Aperture Academy has helped me go from point-and-shot to something that borders on artistic [time will tell on that one:)]. If you are interested in photography and want to hone your skills, I can't think of a better place to accomplish your goals than with Aperture Academy.

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11
 
Tom R.

My workshop experiences at Aperture Academy are some of the best times I've ever had. I'm constantly learning new techniques, from the wonderful group of teachers. My photography has blossomed, resulting in high quality photos that impress anyone who enters my home. I could not have evolved to where I am today without their assistance. The workshops are always a fun experience producing lifelong friendships and memories.

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11
 
Catherine P.

When I first saw the Aperture Academy brochure at BorrowLenses, I was blown away by the photos and knew I had to try one of their workshops. My first workshop was the San Francisco "Night Owls" Workshop. The instructors were so much fun and great to work with, and I ended up with several wonderful shots I would have never been able to do on my own. I instantly knew I found the right group to learn from! Every workshop I've taken so far has been a truly wonderful experience, and my photography skills have exponentiated this past year thanks to Aperture Academy. I look forward to many, many more workshops and classes in the future!

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10
 
Suzanne A..

Aperture Academy workshops are held in great locations, are led by talented photographers who are also exceptional people, and provide an opportunity to pursue my passion for photography with others who share the same interest. Workshops are also more affordable than other photography workshops I have attended, with lots of time for shooting. My expectations were exceeded at my first workshop in Lake Tahoe and I have thoroughly enjoyed every subsequent workshop I have attended (thank you Scott D., Jean, Ellie, Brian, Alicia and Matt!). My secret ambition is to one day be an Aperture Academy instructor. :)

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10
 
Dan R.

What Aperture Academy has done for me is to turn a lifelong interest in photography into a full blown obsession. I think what makes the team at Aperture Academy so special is their ability to challenge photographers of all levels in an environment that is positive and fun for all the participants. Stephen, Scott, Brian & the rest of the Aperture team combine an extensive photographic background with an intimate knowledge of the most beautiful places in the American West. Their enthusiasm is infectious.

The only downside to the workshops is how weak my pre-Aperture Academy photography now looks. Thanks guys!

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10
 
Kerem T.

Pre-Aperture Academy, I did not know much more than just point and shoot. I did not think I had what it took to be a good photographer. After the first class, I got hooked! I learned much more than I anticipated and I am uncovering skills in areas like landscape, animals, post-processing and many more. Each instructor has different strengths and specialties but they all are amazing, fun, professional, dedicated and awesome! Looking forward to many more trips and lessons with Aperture Academy.

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10
 
Cari B.

Looking for a creative outlet, I turned to one of my childhood hobbies—photography. Not knowing where to start, I began taking workshops through Aperture Academy. After my first workshop, I was hooked. The Aperture Academy team is extremely knowledgable, fun and they genuinely care about each photographer. They are generous with their knowledge and I appreciate each pro's individual perspective and approach. I've learned a lot from the ApCad pros and have made some great photographer friends along the way. I am always excited for my next ApCad adventure.

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9
 
Cathy K.

I stumbled upon the Aperture Academy gallery and was amazed at the work Stephen had presented there. I fantasized that some day I would be proud enough of my work to display my pictures, even if it was only in my own living room.

Now, just over one year and half a dozen workshops later I've run out of wall space. I owe so much to Stephen and his great group of instructors and their phenomenal guidance. Through them I've learned and accomplished much more than I ever dreamed I could do, both technically and artistically. These workshops have reawakened a passion in me that I'd left behind years ago. Thank you all!

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9
 
Diane G.

The Aperture Academy has really helped me to improve my photo skills. It has also helped me to find what type of photography I enjoy the most (landscapes). I have taken the night courses (both SF and light painting), natural light for portraits, indoor lighting for portraits, landscapes, Carmel mission, etc.

The instructors are very professional and helpful with any questions you may have. I can't say enough about these classes and I look forward to taking more.

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9
 
Leanne H.

I happened on Aperture Academy just by chance when I was out with friends. When I saw the beautiful work that Stephen Oachs has accomplished, I was hooked even before his Introduction class last fall. The instuctors at the Academy are awesome. A few adjectives that come to mind are professional, informative, friendly and always there with suggestions, never once flinching at the myriad of questions. Since last fall I am encouraged at my own potential, knowing there is so much more to learn. I am attending the Africa workshop in August 2012 which I can hardly wait for! I want to know my DSLR inside and out and am looking forward to this trip of a lifetime !

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9
 
Brian M.

I took my first Aperture Academy workshop two weeks after I had purchased my first DSLR. I read a couple photography magazines to learn some of the photog lingo (aperture priority, shutter speed, f-stop, etc), but I prefer the "hands on" approach to learning a new skill. The Aperture Academy workshops provided me with the hands on learning that I wanted, and they provided really fun adventures as well. The instructors are also truly amazing! The photography knowledge, enthusiasm, and chemistry that they brought to each of the workshops have made them fun and memorable events. If you are looking to develop your photography skills, make new friends, and have an amazing adventure all the same time, Aperture Academy is the way to go!

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9
 
Ali H.

I have been asked why I am a returning student of Aperture Academy workshops. The answer is simple: I feel that each workshop has improved my shooting skills tremendously. The combination of friendly and knowledgeable instructors with fantastic shooting locations in small groups is every photographer's dream and the Academy provides them all. Each workshop that I have attended is unique in terms of the opportunity to learn different aspects of landscape photography. From shooting San Francisco at night to the winter workshop in Yosemite, the variety keeps the classes even more interesting. Can't wait for the next workshop!

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9
 
Nicole P.

I came to Aperture Academy looking to improve my photography. The workshops have become about so much more to me. I call these workshops "photography adventures" because the generous flow of information from the instructors combined with the process of getting to all these amazing locations has allowed me to expand my knowledge of photography and to experience the world with new eyes. Thanks for helping me to make beautiful pictures!

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9
 
Greg T.

I've taken several workshops with the Aperture Academy since starting with my first SLR camera last year. Each one has been an outstanding experience. Thanks to their personalized, hands-on approach, I'm already doing far more with photography than I ever expected.

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9
 
George S.

Aperture Academy classes and workshops have been a wonderful way for me to gain my legs as a budding photographer. The tips that ApCad instructors continually dispense in the field have certainly improved my photos. Having picked up the hobby after inheriting my father's Leica, I've begun to move past using point and shoots taking touristy snapshots to being a serious amateur taking more thoughtful pictures. Workshop locations have been well-chosen, and I've returned to some places to try different techniques at different times of the day. I look forward to taking part in more workshops in the future!

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8
 
RuthAnn G.

I have been taking pictures for many years and like many people I shoot in "auto mode". With the help and encouragement of the Aperture Academy instructors I have weened myself off of "auto mode" and am now playing around with depth of field and white balance.

I recently entered my first juried show. Since I had never done this before I asked for some advice from two of the instructors. They were very helpful walking me through the submission process. The bottom line is I've always enjoyed the workshops I've gone on; there is always something new to learn or try, and one day I'm going on one of the Sojourn workshops.

Thanks Aperture Academy and keep the opportunities coming!

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8
 
Chip C.

In early 2009 I met Stephen Oachs at a street fair in Campbell where I purchased a small framed copy of his gorgeous Horseshoe Bend sunset picture -- an inspiration to me then and now. Nearly three years later it was a great satisfaction for me to be part of an ApCad workshop led by Brian Rueb where I captured my own version of this incredible vista. I deeply appreciate how the ApCad instructors put us in great locations at the best times of day. But even more important: though I have been a student of photography for decades, I have never failed to gain inspiration, ideas, and valuable techniques from each ApCad leader on every workshop. I think the real test of what I've learned is the results I get on my own in a new (or familiar) location. And the verdict is in: my family and friends are unanimous that my landscape photos have become dramatically better, and they've even been asking me for prints! Thanks again Brian and Stephen and colleagues for setting an outstanding example. You make me want to get up at 4:30am more often :-)

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8
 
John P.

Do you want to learn how to take better photographs of iconic places and have fun at the same time? Then take a workshop from ApCad. At other workshops the instructors are interested in taking their own photos. Not at ApCad! Their professional instructors are interested in teaching you how to improve your compositions and photographic technique. Their students definitely walk away with great images. I can't tell you how much I learned from the workshops I have taken (8 to date). All I can say is my images win more competitions now than ever before. Also another neat thing is once you arrive at the workshop hotel location the instructors use the ApCab to drive you to all the good locations. No muss no fuss!

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8
 
Lee A.

I would like to thank Aperture Academy for providing the opportunity to expand my photographic knowledge and experience. Two years ago I was a total novice! During my first workshop at the Grand Canyon, Steve patiently explained the basics of how to use the tripod, manual shooting, exposure, composition and lighting. All questions, no matter how simplistic, were welcomed. Brian, Scott, Scott D and Ellie were my mentors during Zion Narrows, Death Valley, Palouse and Bodie-Mono Lake - each one of you has furthered my understanding of how to use the camera, see the picture story and take that sharp, properly exposed scenic at the right time of the day with the least negative space (sometimes not very straight) photo. I can't wait until Yosemite in the Winter and Grizzlies in Alaska adventures.

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8
 
Mary J.

Returning to photography after many years of the usual hobby picture taking to document events important to me, has, because of the expertise that Stephen, Brian, Scott so enthusiastically share, rekindled a latent passion. The time spent "on location" with the ApCad folks is now the joy of my life! My photography had nowhere to go but up and so it has! Every question is answered in a way that leaves the questioner's psyche intact! All the more remarkable since I have the dubious distinction of being the eldest elder thus far!

The ApCad folks make me feel welcomed, and valued, all the while encouraging me to reach higher and showing me how to get there! Doesn't get any better than that! Hope to be toting more of my stuff on another adventure with you, not too long from now!

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8
 
Renee S.

I came to the Aperture Academy with some experience and am pleasantly surprised at how much I learn from every workshop I take. Some of the quick tips the instructors have given are real gems. I love seeing new locations that I wouldn't visit myself and seeing them through the experienced eyes of all the teachers.

I'm totally addicted to the workshops and I hope I can take them all!

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8
 
Surendra S.

I have had a lifelong connection with photography (of the wrong kind...auto mode poor composition little understanding of fundamentals) largely because I love to travel. It all changed in Nov 2011 when I took that first baby step into the SLR world with a Nikon. I did a few workshops with the gurus at Nikon, great guys, but too much too soon. I wanted to absorb this at my pace so I was looking for field workshop when I came across Aperture Academy in a magazine. I did my first workshop and never looked back. These workshops come with travel to chosen spots that I enjoy, landscape photography and the company of like minded folks. But best of all is the learning experience provided by very patient instructors. They have been awesome in getting me to use my SLR the way it should be used. Great pictures that I have taken have their hidden hand the flaws are purely my contribution. Hats off to the Aperture Academy team. My work schedule makes my planning a challenge but I will continue to be with Aperture for as long as I can.

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8
 
Steve D.

When I took my first workshop with Aperture Academy, I was totally new to photography. After the first workshop around the Marin Headlands, I had learned so much and enjoyed the company of everyone involved, that I was hooked. I have since been on many more workshops with them. I have been to some amazing places, taken some images that I love, and have met some wonderful friends. Because of that I will continue to attend their workshops and also use what I've learned to help others as well that are interested in photography.

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8
 
Anne N.

My 1st class in Aperture Academy was with Stephen Oachs - The introduction class. I was hooked then and keep on coming back.

I was one of those photographer that borrowed the DSLR camera for my first workshop with Brian on Marine headland SF. I was totally clueless with the camera and all the basic functions of it. However, at the end of the day, I was making stunning photographs that I can never ever made on my own. I keeping coming back and I am sending my teen-age daughter for the photography camp with Aperture Academy this summer. I am so happy to find the long last ever loving photography as my hobby and hope to instill that to my children as the years to come.

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7
 
Audey S.

Ever since my first workshop in Aperture Academy, I haven't been able to stop myself from coming back! I learn something new every time and the experience keeps on getting better and better. My first workshop was at the SF Zoo and I was totally lost with my camera but I ended up learning so much that I felt like a pro by the end. Of course I didn't stop there, and I'm so glad I didn't.

Watch out Aperture Academy, I'll be back!

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7
 
Bradley P.

My first workshop with Aperture Academy was the NightOwls workshop on July 9, 2010. I had a lot of fun that night, and came away excited about the photos I'd taken and the knowledge I had obtained from the Aperture instructors. I found the instructors on the Aperture workshops to be both very knowledgeable and patient, as well as fun. Since then I've attended the Marine Headlands, SF Zoo Wildlife, Yosemite in the Winter workshops, and most recently the Columbia Gorge Waterfalls workshop. Additionally, I'm looking forward to the Grand Tetons trip in the fall, which I'm currently registered. I've found the really cool thing about these workshops, is that there is a lot of enthusiasm not only from the Aperture instructors, but also from the other "students" with the workshop. Personally, I've found that the Aperture instructors were able to compliment the artistic side of my photography as well as well as address the technical issues involved in digital photography... all while having a fun time.

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7
 
Kim S.

I have dabbled in photography for years, but my best shots were always just 'lucky shots.' I came home from my first Aperture Academy class full of confidence and excited about what I had learned. Each workshop I've taken has given a terrific boost to my confidence and skills, and it even increased my appreciation and enjoyment of other photographers' work.

The workshop venues and instructors are delightful - we go to spots I never would have found on my own, I learn at my own pace, and I get to spend the day having fun with people I genuinely enjoy. I come home with great photos that I created on purpose, and full of excitement about how I can apply my new skills. Best of all, I can finally take credit for my best shots!

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7
 
Laljit S.

Before finding Aperture Academy, I went through a number of different workshops. Now, I don't even bother looking elsewhere. Stephen and his team are phenomenal instructors that made me feel like they actually cared about helping me improve my photography. Rather than the generic instruction I was used to in previous workshops, Stephen, Brian, and Scott answer questions and have helped me actually progress at my pace. After just a couple of workshops, I learned more than I had in my years of trial and error and regret not having found them sooner. I have enjoyed every workshop I've taken and always look forward to seeing what more they have to offer. And, in the end, Stephen and his team are just awesome - knowledgeable, friendly, down-to-earth, and fun. What more could I ask for?

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7
 
Dayne R.

What has Aperture Academy done for me? Well, the obvious benefits include taking us to the best locations at the best times of the day, providing guidance & instruction and nuggets of inspiration, professionalism and preparation, and instilling a sense of humour, fun and enjoyment of photography.

But, what they have really done for me is igniting a passion for photography, and fueled a desire to take it to the next level (and beyond). I blame them for my obsession. There's no turning back now. They have awoken the photographic beast in me!

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6
 
Ani P.

I was a complete beginner to photography when I took my first workshop with Aperture Academy in 2009, I learned so much from that workshop that I was totally hooked to landscape photography and since then I have been to many other workshops with Aperture. One of the reasons I continue to go these workshops is the fact that I have always learned something new in each and every one of them, Aperture academy and its intructors do a fabulous job of researching the locations and always get you to the right spot with the best light conditions. I have seen tremendous improvement in my technique, composition skills from where I was in 2009 to what my portfolio looks like today thanks to awesome advise and coaching from the folks at Aperture, In my journey I have met some wonderful people and every trip has been so much fun. Cant wait to go to my next workshop!

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6
 
Steven B.

As with most people I started in the world of film cameras. After a leave of absence for several years, I started again in the digital world and quickly realized how much I really didnt know or had forgotten. Aperture Academy has given me a whole new view of photography. The instructors are top notch. Their workshops are very informative, challenging and just plain fun! I can always count on learning a lot and having a great time doing it. The outstanding workshops along with great instructors makes them some of the best in the business!

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6
 
Jona S.

I have attended six workshops with Aperture Academy and have had the pleasure of meeting and working with six different and inspiring instructors. Each instructor has gladly shared something unique with me about the art and sport of photography. Collectively, they have all taught me the best part of photography: it can be a fun adventure when you are willing to put yourself out there. I am happy to say that my picture taking skills have improved dramatically because of the technical training and, even better, my outlook on life in general is better because I look for every possible opportunity to explore the world with my camera. I hope soon to say I have attended ten Aperture Academy workshops and at least one Open House!

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6
 
Ching M.

One major goal in my retired life is to learn how to take above average snapshot-type photographs. After switching from film to digital format and attending college level photo classes in both basics as well as post processing (PS), I still feel that the 'hands on photo opportunities' in fieldwork is more important than the theory.

From discussions with professors and classmates, the near-by Aperture Academy got to my attention and I tried out their Santa Cruz Nature Bridge workshop (which happened to be their very first one there) and liked it very much. Their workshops always provide best locations and timing for professional level photos. The instructors are all very knowledgeable and friendly.

The most satisfying factor for me is when family members and friends recognized my improvement in photographing.

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6
 
Lynda S.

I have taken workshop, trips and tours with several different groups, but Aperture Academy is head and shoulders over the rest. I found them by chance, but keep coming back for the quality they offer, from the very-well organized arrangements to the broad variety of skills taught, to the great staff. Every time I see one of Stephen Oach's images I am reminded what to strive for. ApCad is doing an amazing job of bringing the outstanding skills of Stephen and his staff to their clients.

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6
 
Zvia S.

After taking several local photography classes, but still stuck in P and AV modes, I decided to take my hobby a step further. I convinced a friend to join me and we headed out to the Grand Canyon for our first workshop. That was in March 2011. Within less than a year, I had attended four workshops and signed up for a fifth, and my friend is on number four. That may not seem like many, but traveling all the way from Florida for a photography weekend is expensive...but with Aperture Academy, so incredibly worth while. During my first workshop I became completely comfortable using full Manual mode, and learned to focus correctly for landscape. Each workshop has offered new lessons in creative composition, differing landscapes and photographic opportunities, personal interaction with all the instructors, camaraderie with other attendees, and FUN! Can't wait for the next one.

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6
 
Karen A.

"Photography has been a passion of mine since that Christmas morning at age 8 when I opened my present to see the Kodak orange box with the 1 2 3 on it and I let out a scream. Over the years, I’ve developed a good eye for composition, but with little to no understanding of the numbers behind photography. Recently, I happened to walk into the Aperture Academy Gallery and was enthralled with Stephen’s photography. I was thrilled to learn that they offered classes. I immediately signed up for a class, then another and another. I am loving each and every class and the wonderful and talented instructors. I have been learning so much about photography and processing. In my other life, I’m a Special Education teacher and have been very impressed with the talent all of the instructors have for presenting the material in such an enjoyable and easy to understand manner. This invites students at all levels of experience and comfort level.

So far, I’ve been enjoying the local classes: Intro to Photography, Natural Lighting & Portraits, LightRoom 5, Marin Headlands, Portraits & Processing and The Dark Side of Photography. I am really eager to go with Aperture to Scotland, the Galapagos Islands and Alaska – just to name a few!

If you’re like me, and don’t really want to invest the time in taking college classes, Aperture Academy is the perfect alternative, offering both lecture/discussion format and hands-on in-field experience/instruction. "

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5
 
Carol S.

"I first heard about the Aperture Academy at their grand opening five years ago. Congratulations for five terrific years. I knew there was something special about the way the team approached "teaching". I just did not know how special until I stated taking classes last year. The in-field hands on experience with highly patient, talented, and experienced photographers is the real secret sauce to learning not only basic camera mechanics, but how to really make a special moment or scene, a really special photo. After five classes and a 1/1 (yes they do that too), I am beginning to understand how to take this incredibly expensive, and smart device, dumb it down (all manual), and really may a sunset, a waterfall, or a passing car brilliant. Just brilliant! Thanks to everyone at Aperture Academy for helping me to create great memories, and wonderful photos."

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5
 
Donald D.

"I grew up in a dark room starting at the age of 10. That was 56 years ago. I have always had a passion for photography. My wife and I have enjoyed Aperture Academy. They get us to the right place, and the right time of day, to get the best picture. Aperture Academy has taken us out of program mode and back to thinking before you shoot. Great job!"

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5
 
Batu B.

There are a lot of truly amazing photographers out there but there are only very few great photographers who are also fun, inspiring and patient teachers who are happy to share their secrets for taking and processing great pictures and this is what ApCad is all about.

Thanks to ApCad not only have I improved my photography skills tremendously but through their workshops, I have also made life long friends who share the same passion that I do. I have had access to incredible locations around the world that usually only professional photographers know about. I can honestly no loger think of a vacation that does not involve attending one of the sojourn series workshops. I am looking forward to climbing up this Hall of Fame by attending many, many more workshops in the future. Thank you Stephen, Brian and Scott and everyone who works at ApCad for creating spectacular adventures for the rest of us!

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5
 
Giorgio C.

I have attended photography workshops with Aperture Academy and some of their competitors. I always come back to Aperture Academy because they provide a better service, always take you to the right spot at the right time(mostly super early in the morning...) and the instructors are all competent and just fun to be around. I have taken really nice pictures at their workshops so I'll keep coming back!

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5
 
Lonny E.

Finally having the means and time to pursue my interest in photography I dove in head first; reading and taking photographs anywhere and everywhere. I would have the occasional "yeah, got it!", but mostly came back short. I saw the AA booth at a street fair (not that AA), the images on display were what I was aspiring to and I signed up for the first available workshop. The greatest thing for me was the rapid learning curve from spending just one day with these guys. My photos saw immediate improvement and continue to evolve with each workshop I am now achieving more photos I'm proud to display. More importantly, I will continue to take workshops because of the fun atmosphere and camaraderie. The only thing better than taking great photos is taking great photos with great people.

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5
 
Parisa T.

San Francisco Marin Headlands. That was my first workshop with the Aperture Academy when I was only 13, shooting with a dinky little Lumix. Now, Im almost 16 years old, shooting Canon, about to sign up for my 6th ApCad class, and have even started up my own portrait photography business. Because of the Aperture Academy family, I have honed my photography skills (I still have yet to learn much much more), made many good friends, and had a whole lot of fun going on workshops and partying it up at every Open House. I hope to one day go on every single Aperture Academy workshop and continuously improve my abilities with my camera. Ive learned so much from looking through the lens of my dear Canon. The world truly becomes a whole different place. Ive been with the Aperture Academy since the beginning and I hope to be there for years to come.

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5
 
Manoj J.

When I signed up for the first workshop a year ago, I did not know what to expect. After my first San Francisco night owls workshop my skills catapulted to the next level instantly. Thereafter, every workshop was an amazing journey to the new and exciting world of photography. The instructors are just amazing people and great teachers and mentors. Most importantly, after every workshop you end up making a few good friends for life. Simply an amazing program!

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5
 
Kim F.

My first Aperture Academy Workshop was also my first introduction to shooting a DSLR and to the art and science of photography. If the camera wasn't a point and shoot or on Program I had no idea what to do. Now, thanks to Aperture Academy, I'm totally hooked on photography, can use my DSLR in Manual mode, know how to post process, and am even proud to show off my art. Stephen, Brian, Scott and the rest of the team provide so much more than photography lessons. They are all incredibly knowledgable about not only photography but the incredible landscapes around us. The workshops are really nature photography adventures. I love the workshops and will keep coming back!

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5
 


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