Gain control of your DSLR camera with Tim Savage

Ref: SWE32969

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About this course

Maximise the quality of your images as you learn how to use your DSLR camera. Gain confidence from investigating the many features and understanding the technical jargon.

Course Description

This course is designed to explore the power and features of the DSLR camera. The aim is to empower you as the photographer to switch off auto mode to maximise the quality of the captured image.

The tutor will encourage you to consider file formats (such as JPEG and RAW), while demystifying white balance, scene modes, resolution and image processing, and promote a full understanding of exposure techniques, focusing and controlling depth of field. The techniques taught will apply to all makes of DSLR cameras and lenses.

The course is for up to eight participants. While each will be allocated a PC workstation, some equipment provided in the studio is shared amongst the group. Basic familiarity with Adobe Lightroom would be an advantage.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • A working DSLR camera, fresh batteries or charger and your camera to computer leads
  • Instruction manual
  • A tripod and any other accessories
  • A notebook and pen
  • A laptop (optional)
  • A USB (large storage capacity) or portable hard drive storage device (plus connecting leads) via which images can be transferred to your own computer at the end of the course or for saving work in progress
  • Be equipped to work outdoors – e.g. waterproof coat/shoes and sun protection, as required
  • Bring a note of your own Adobe ID login. If you don’t already have one, please register for a free account at prior to the course, and remember to bring the details with you.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A USB memory stick

Additional information

Please note that while the tutor will give instruction on getting to grips with imaging software, you will be expected to have basic computer skills. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Tim Savage

Tim Savage is a photographer, artist, teacher and author. He holds MA Photography, MA Creative Arts Education, PGCE in Learning and Teaching and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Tim manages the lens-based resources and tutors at UCA, while also writing books and publishing articles for the UK photographic press. He has delivered in excess of 100 photographic short courses at West Dean.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.