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I have to start off by saying that I was very surprised that taking an “Introductory to digital photography” course wasn’t as easy as I had thought it was going to be! I feel that my instructor, Peter Phun, revealed to me and my classmates an entirely new visual language! Peter’s amazing technical skill as a photographer, along with his passion and strong enthusiasm for photography, were what drove me to want to excel. I had started this class with very little knowledge.
In fact, my Canon Rebel had never been put into manual mode and I always shot in automatic settings. I had no idea what an f-stop was and I certainly did not want to use it! I felt that Peter challenged me, and the other students, and expected us to work to our potential. He took the time to know us each as an individual, not just another space filling a seat in his class.
Even with my lack of experience when I started his course, I left feeling that I could accomplish much more than I ever thought was possible. I believe that’s what makes him such a great educator and one that will always be the force that pushed me to accomplish what I have today.
Today I own my own photography business and have done rather well with it. I have been in business for over 3 years now and am now considering opening my own boutique. There are many ups and downs in this business, however, I feel I have succeeded well above what I ever thought I was capable of. This never would have been possible without my first stepping stone, which has laid the foundation for an amazing career and life long passion in photography! Thank you Peter for caring about your class so much and for caring about me!
—Serena Duffin Photography
I moved up from my point-n-shoot camera to a beautiful DSLR this year. I get it home and have no idea what to do with it, so I, like most of you, I set it on “AUTO” and start shooting. But I knew I could do better and get more out of my camera.
Peter Phun is a professional photographer who used to work at The Press Enterprise. I’m a big fan of his work. When I saw he was having a basic DSLR class for beginners, I jumped on the opportunity.
I took his one-day basic DSLR class and came away understanding the basics of how my amazing camera works, tips on photographing people, how to use available light, how to shoot things in motion and how to organize my photos once I got home.
The class consisted of a “classroom” portion held at a coffee house in Riverside, a field portion shot at a motocross track, and a session with a free trial of Lightroom 4, where you learn how to organize and edit photos. Did you ever give any thought as to how you should name and organize photos once you download them? Peter will help you get set up so you can find photos easily.
Peter is a patient, compassionate teacher who won’t criticize you for not doing basic things you really should have done. Like reading the manual and studying the discs that came with your camera. I didn’t, but he pretended not to notice. He also evaluates your interests and makes specific equipment suggestions. For me, it was a fast aperture 50mm lens.
Also check out Peter’s blog, where you will get lots of great tips from him and his fellow professionals on technique. Be sure to read the comments from other pros. http://peterphun.com/blo…
I’m looking forward to more basic classes from Peter. I highly recommend him if you are not a professional, but want to do more with that beautiful camera you bought and don’t really know what to do with.—Hilary Cable
I have taken other classes and workshops from Peter, and he’s great. The best thing is no matter how much a novice you are, there are no stupid questions in Peter’s world. He will take the time to answer clearly and thoroughly. He has a lifetime of taking photos behind him so his knowledge runs deep. You can’t go wrong taking workshops from him.—Gordon Lee Johnson
“Peter worked for me as an instructor when I ran the youth programs at a local museum. The first thing that struck me was how creative his assignments were and how much time he put into making sure the kids were engaged and that they understood the principles he was teaching. The students responded and produced some terrific pictures.
Peter’s generosity is unsurpassed, he has helped me to better understand the web and has tutored me in Word Press. He is teaching a Word Press class at UCR this Spring and I highly recommend it!
The picture you see here was taken my Peter. At last a picture I don’t want to destroy. He’s the best!”–Pamela Atkinson
“Peter disproves the old saying, “Those that can – do. Those that can’t – teach.” Not only is he an accomplished photographer in his own right, but he has an amazing talent in conveying concepts and techniques to his students. I had the great pleasure to participate in one of his courses at the UCR extension, and I continue to use his teachings on a regular basis. I look forward to taking more classes from this exceptional teacher”–Jesus Guerrero
“Peter you are truly an amazing and gifted photographer. The way you took time with each of the girls making sure the lighting and angles was right let me know that you knew what you was doing. You gave 110% until the wee hours of the morning and you are greatly appreciated…Thanks bunches!”– Deeveatva Foy
“I wholeheartedly recommend Peter’s photography skills class. I was very pleased to learn the purpose of the tools at hand on the camera. Since this class, automatic settings have been switched off and I have experienced some real wonders of photography as a professional and growing personal interest.”
“I admire teachers who share their knowledge and experiences, as Peter does often on his Web site. I look forward to a lifetime of building on the principles I’ve learned from Peter!”–Darin A.Schemmer
“Having Peter as a photographer was such a wonderful experience! Just knowing that the artist behind the lens truly cares about the outcome of your pictures is very comforting. I knew throughout the photo shoot that Peter truly cared about me creating great pictures not only for his sake, but for my sake also.”
“I didn’t feel the anxiety of doubt waiting with finger crossed hoping for a great shot because I knew after working with Peter that I would have plenty to chose from. Thanks again Peter for being so patient and making this photo shoot a joyous experience!”–Sherrelle “Malika” Johnson
“Peter’s class was fantastic! I like the way he explains things, and the fact that he is honest and doesn’t hold back when critiquing our photos. It only stings for a second, but I would not have learned what I was doing wrong. There are so many things to remember and it is very overwhelming at first, but with Peter’s guidance it became easier and less frustrating to use my camera.”
“I enjoyed all of our little field trips, and was happy to learn to use my camera in so many different locations, in various types of lighting. I still have so much to learn, and I appreciate that any time I have a question about equipment or techniques, Peter responds with great advice even though the class is over”–Tricia Brown.
“I took a class at RCC to complete my fine art requirement. I have owned a digital SLR for many years and thought it would be a piece of cake since I already knew how to use my camera. So I thought!!! Peter taught me so much more about my camera and how to use it in ways I had never even thought about. More than that Peter taught me the Art of Photography.”
“No not everyone is an Artist, but learning the different types of pictures and when shoot them has given me an insite I would otherwise have never had. Peter is a very hands on teacher he would talk about how to shoot a picture, and show us examples of pictures, and then it was out to shoot.”
“We often went on location and shoot, to me that made the world of difference, being able to shoot a picture and get his feedback while on site was great. I can’t say enough about his class I learned 70-80 percent of what I know from his class.”–Dan Schaefer
“Your class definitely gave me a great foundation and confidence to explore my camera, use it and create great lasting memories capturing the moment. I was dependent on the auto feature of my other camera and now I have some concept of how I could improve the images I take. Your style of teaching is very effective. I appreciate your patience and passion for wanting us to improve our hobbies. I look forward to taking additional classes from you. Thank you!!!”—Tet Castro
“I wanted to give my husband an updated picture of me besides the one from when I was a teenager as a anniversary gift. Peter helped me out and took my portrait. We did different looks, wardrobe changes, and he really captured me which is what I wanted, instead of the typical portraits you see everywhere. Peter made me feel comfortable when in front of the camera and for that I would recommend him highly for capturing great images. Thank you, Peter.”—Gina Famiglietti
“For those at any level of photography wanting to learn everything there is to know about the workings of the camera, the tips only professionals with experience accrue, and the creative nuisances that allow one to explore expressing themselves through the lens, I suggest a workshop with Peter Phun.”
“His hands on methods of teaching enable one to try and discover with guidance benefiting anyone wanting to learn something new about taking pictures. The class time passes by before you know it because the energy and passion for the subject matter is evident every second.”
“After serving as a model for students to practice on, I have to say I know his secret to staying thin as he completely immerses himself in to the work, making for a lively and easily understandable learning atmosphere. If you are contemplating taking a photography class I strongly recommend choosing time with Peter. You would not regret the investment of time spent.”—Mary Caroline Pope
“Of all the photography classes I have taken, I have to say that Peter is the only professor who works with students hand by hand in the field and well as in in the lab. I enjoyed taking his class, because I learned how to work with digital cameras, since I was very much used to work with film.”
He definitely knows his stuff, and he is always on top about new upcoming photo/technology. I definitely feel very comfortable now with working with digital. Thanks Peter for the patient you had with me in the class 🙂 “–Carolina Castro
“I have learned more from taking Peter’s photography classes than I have from taking previous one’s. No one has ever taught me what my camera’s settings are for, other than the technical part.”
“I have been able to take wonderful photographs and getting more creative. My love for photography and inspiration have all woken up. If I havent mentioned it before, thanks Peter!”—Erika Garcia Cisneros
“I really enjoyed the class Peter. While I don’t have an SLR, I leaned all about the additional things I can do manually with a point-and-shoot. You are easy to understand and don’t speak above my capabilities. I also now know all about cataloging my photos… wow, that is great! Peter, thanks so much.”—Laura Leonard Pearson Densmore
“Peter is truly a phenomenal photographer. I know quite a few photographers out there but I must say that Peter is one of the most artistic and talented that I have ever met.”
“His photos for the Lunar Festival in Riverside was just breathtaking. Somehow he managed to make simple objects look so beautiful and vibrant. My family and I are looking forward to having Peter do a photoshoot for us in another month or so. Besides his incredible abilities in Photography….his creative blogs are truly must read.”—Grace Luu
“Peter is truly a master of his art. He instantly makes you feel comfortable and is very easy to work with. Definitely worth your while!”—
“His instruction was invaluable, he was patient, informative and entertaining – he made sure the class had lots of ‘hands-on’ teachable sessions so everyone could get the most out of the course. What I found especially rewarding was his willingness to challenge everyone in the class at their level. With a wide range of skills in his class he made sure to push everyone accordingly. We don’t all fall into a cookie-cutter mold and he recognized this and taught his class understanding that everyone has slightly different needs or skill sets.”
“I enjoyed my time learning from Peter and highly recommend him as a photo instructor.”—Patrick O’Neil
“Peter responds instantly to requests and works within tight deadlines with very high quality work. He has an an eye for light hitting the subject and overall composition. I would highly recommend him for any photography work.”–Susan Marie