Upload & Sell: Off
D Smith wrote:
Don't do it, if you can't afford school, find a good mentor, in fact, just find a good mentor.
This guy is off base here.
I don't know how you are financially but let me give you a pointer.
I wanted to sign up, but I wanted to research them out a bit. So I took a week to research. At the time I looked it was $748 for the cost of the school if you paid in full. You also got a 40some out inch 5n1, a nice shoulder bag (for reflector, cds, info pads, whatever you want, really a nice bag) a cheap monopod, a 4gb USB drive, and a cleaning cloth (giant sized).
So I checked back in a week and wanted to sign up. The price ballooned to like 1198 (they had a normal price increase that was due). I said screw it. 1200 bucks is the 16-35 I want to buy, so I said no. A few weeks later, I received an offer code (PM me for it, it's still valid last they told me) and it was 798$. So I signed up and paid in full.
Now that said, if you do sign up and you have half a brain about photography, unit 1 is a breeze. It's about the lens, the camera, and your eye. The photo project is 3 photos, really just to gauge where you're at, and if you've comprehended everything in your lessons.
Unit 2 is a little bit more into it, but still pretty basic. There's double the photo assignments for this unit and more information in it. Third unit, more information and about 6 photo assignments. Units 4-6 are the more "advanced" units. You'll have comprehension tests, and photo projects for each unit.
Anyway my point is, I think if you're on the payment plan they wait a few payments to send you unit 2. If you can swing it, you'll save a ton of money paying upfront, and you get those bonus items. I am really enjoying the school. The audios are sometimes painful to listen to, because Misty Rice says "uhhhhhhhh and ummmmmmmm uh yeah!" about every other word. However, the dean's not as abnoxious. No in-so-far, the audio isn't really telling you much that the lesson doesn't. Now the video on the other hand is quite nice. Don Sheff does a great job (I believe the DVD's are just rehashes of their old VHS's, but definitely better than the audio) as does Chris Delaney. The first 3 units videos will seem rather basic, but keep your eye open for the pointers. Unit 4 has Monte Zucker, and if you google this guy he's basically a genius (was, I should say poor guy passed not too long ago), and I believe unit 5 has Monte on the DVD as well.
I've got the Unit 1 and 2 photo projects done and sent in. I've got the tests all through unit 1-4 done, and the audio+video watched/listened to also.
You get a student card which gives you a student discount at places that accept it. Paul C. Buff's store does. I just bought 3 Cybersync receivers and a transmitter, and it saved me 27 bucks. When I buy my AB800's, it'll save me another 50 bucks for 2 of them. Let's just put it this way, the discount will almost pay for the school as you slowly build your photographic gears up.
While some of the materials are quite dated, photographic principles remain constant. Light is light, exposure is exposure. My only real complaint is the audios, and the focus on film in the lessons. Though most of the film lessons are optional, they are still redundant. Unless there;s some major shortage of DSLR's, I'm probably never going to shoot film again in my lifetime.