#1116 Free Online Photo Program

A while ago I started our Online Photo Program. Every month we offered a new challenge with support and critique. Members loved it…
We’re looking for more members for the new, free format!

Online photo challenge

© Sara Hendrix

With some changes in direction over the last couple of years, (read past blog posts ) I’ve turned the program into a small, community managed, friendly, free, monthly photo challenge based on a private group on Facebook’s platform.

Online photo program

Online Photo Program
Portrait and Photojournalism Challenges – “Cooling off on a hot day behind the arena…”

Senior members of the group take turns developing the monthly challenge and posting links and information pertaining to the month’s photo adventure. Members offer real critique and questions that guide the discussions. I offer support, critique and tips to the group.

The group wants more members! We’re looking to attract supportive photo people of all levels willing to participate, contribute and support the community as we all try to interpret the month’s challenges. It’s not a competition. And members are looking for genuine feedback rather than praise.

Online photo challenge

Night Time Shooting
© Christine Payant

What members have said:
• ” I really enjoy the positive and constructive feedback. I know when posting that those who participate are likely just like me, wanting to learn and grow. The group has typically been diverse, with people of varying levels of experience which has been great to push me to try different things. I realize that I have some ¨Harryisms¨ that come to mind: ¨get closer¨, ¨what are you exposing for?¨, ¨triangles¨, etc.

Motion in Landscapes © Al Garner

Motion in Landscapes
© Al Garner

• “The program challenges me to get out there and photograph improving my skills as a photographer. It provides some focus. Without it, I would probably not photograph as much and I would not learn and grow as a photographer. It has helped me tremendously and gets me out there shooting and enjoying life!

Landscapes and Sunsets © Maisie Ismail

Landscapes and Sunsets © Maisie Ismail

• “… having the close group to help out and provide critique in a “safe” environment really makes a difference. It helps get over the shyness of… ‘maybe this is not good enough to post.’ What a great group to belong to and get great feedback! Thanks Harry and everyone!

To join the group you need to request to join the group and befriend me on Facebook so I can add you to the Facebook group.

Hope to see you on the other side!

#1101 Facebook Photo Challenge

We ran our Online Photo Program for a couple of years and have started running it on a private Facebook Group since August.

We set a challenge every month and offer pointers, links and informal critique. All participants can offer feedback, questions and support, as well.

While I am taking sabbatical from the business (first time in 20 years!) this challenge is free.

Interested in joining?
You need to send me a friend request and then send me a Facebook message asking to join the monthly challenge.

Facebook photo challenge

Online Photography Challenge – we’ve come a long way from film (but I still love film!)

#1091 Student Success – Online Photo Program

© Al G. 12 foot Challenge

© Al G. 12 foot Challenge

In July we offered our Online Photo Members a different challenge.

We said they could shoot:
• anything
• anyhow
• anywhere
… as long as this month’s photos were all within a 12 foot radius (ideally) centred around their back door.

© Judy S. 12 Foot Challenge

© Judy S. 12 Foot Challenge

I thought they might say:
“But there’ll be nothing to shoot!”
“What about something adventurous?”

But they didn’t!
They got shooting and one member said:
“I had a blast with this month’s challenge!”

© Maisie - 12 Foot Challenge

© Maisie – 12 Foot Challenge

It’s harder than you’d imagine. A whole month of shooting within 452.29 square feet will stump even the most creative photographer. And that was the point.

We offered creative catalysts and ideas to bust through blocks interfering with their creative potential.

And their month’s efforts made me smile. Sounds like it made them smile, too:
“I must say that when I first heard your challenge for this month I just went brain dead.  I live 22 stories up in a building with a 6ft wide balcony  and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  But I surprised myself once I got started…”

© Jeffrey F - 12 Foot Photo Challenge

© Jeffrey F – 12 Foot Photo Challenge

Congratulations, everyone!

#1088 Online Photo Program – Photographing Water – Member Results!

© Jeffrey Furry - Classic Waterfall

© Jeffrey Furry – Classic Waterfall

Last month I presented our Online Photo Members the challenge of photographing water. We presented some technical tips and a broad suggestion of what was possible within the realm of water photography.

It is an amazing program and I have learned so much from it and from you.

© Al Garner - Macro Water Droplets

© Al Garner – Macro Water Droplets

I thought most people would photograph rivers and waterfalls.

I was happy to see that, while we had some (excellent) rivers and waterfalls, people pushed themselves to photograph water in many different ways including bursting water balloons!!

© Maisie Ismail

© Maisie Ismail – bursting water balloon!

“… thank you for all the instruction and encouragement from the online program for the past year plus that I’ve been a member.” LR

I’ve learned so much in the short time that I have taken part.” JS

Members make me smile – I’m proud of them all!
I’ve seen excellent shots and excellent growth in skills!

© J Scott - Home studio capture

© J Scott – Home studio capture

#1084 Student Success…

I’ve been teaching photography for 14 years.
It’s always rewarding to see people develop and grow photographically and otherwise over the years.

Recently Jeffrey Furry offered a selection of work he shot over a year in one of our programs – we offered a new challenge every month with support and critique.

For the whole year Jeffrey worked hard to include an Inukshuk for every challenge. See his photos and comments below!

Jeffrey says:
I’ve been a member of the Harry Nowell on-line program since its inception.  Without intending to, I used an Inukshuk for 12 consecutive challenges.  With the exception of two, all were a 20cm tall high Inuksuk I received as a free gift from a landscaping company that made a handy prop for the various challenges.  The 12 photos below give a good overview of the variety of challenges we are given in the on-line program.

© Jeffrey Furry       ​Challenge – Backlighting – “overexpose the background to help bring attention to the foreground.”

Exposed for the Inushuk which was in full shade.  This was the first shot using the Inukshuk.  Saw the perfect light for the monthly challenge in my backyard so grabbed the first subject that was handy…



© Jeffrey Furry       Challenge - Backlighting - "overexpose the background to help bring attention to the foreground."

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Backlighting – “overexpose the background to help bring attention to the foreground.”

Similar conditions as the backlit photo but exposed for the Inushuk which was in full shade.



© Jeffrey Furry     Challenge - Festive

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Festive

A bit of a stretch to include the Inushuk for a festive theme!  Shot at F22 to maximize the star burst effect.



© Jeffrey Furry       White Challenge

© Jeffrey Furry White Challenge

Our challenge was to photograph something white (and get a correct exposure!) I decided to photograph the shadow of the Inukshuk against the snow!



© Jeffrey Furry      Challenge - Simple Studio Lighting - "creating lighting scenarios using lights you already have at home."

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Simple Studio Lighting – “creating lighting scenarios using lights you already have at home.”

Used two Ikea LED reading lights, one behind and below, the other immediately behind the Inukshuk “head”  Blue light on front is from my smartphone.



Ottawa Gatineau better pictures

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Candid Portraits – “capture an intimate, engaging portrait – and part of that involves NOT using your viewfinder. Period.”

Shot from the hip, no viewfinder.



Photo courses

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Slow Photos – “shooting landscapes – but with one twist – you must use a slow shutter speed.”

Brought the Inukshuk to a small stream behind my house.  Awkward location for my tripod, so forced to shoot at 1/sec braced as best as possible.


Gatineau Photography

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Fast Photos – “show the idea of motion through fast shutter speeds like 1/1000 of a second.”

Dragged the Inukshuk to a rushing section of the Gatineau River. Would have preferred a slightly faster shutter speed to freeze the water even more.


Ottawa photo workshops

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Photojournalistic storytelling – “telling a story within the context of a single photo”

Used a different Inukshuk this month, my neighbour’s cat on a large Inukshuk on their front lawn.



Gatineau pictures - classes

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Social Documentary Storytelling
– “tell a story with many pictures about one subject.”

For this month, I spent the morning shooting the staff at a local bike shop.  Just to keep with the Inukshuk theme, I grabbed this quick shot of the Inukshuk in front of the store.


Gatineau photo ideas

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – New Perspectives – “Find something finite then shoot it at least 50 different ways without moving it”

Spent an evening shooting the Inukshuk from various angles with different focal lengths.  Took about 70 different shots, this was my favourite, the second shot of the evening.


Ottawa art class

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – “Same Scene Variations: explore the effect of different qualities and levels of light on one subject.”

Shot a few dozens identical shots during different times of day.  This shot was early evening  with the sun setting behind the Inukshuk.  All shot from my deck with the Inushuk placed on a small step ladder to try and get a cleaner background.”

Nice work Jeffrey!
Thanks for sharing a year of your photo learning with HarryNowell.com!

#1079 Online Photo Class – May’s challenge

Last month we brought our online program the challenge of getting very, very close to their subjects.

© Chris Payant - Macrophotography class

© Chris Payant – Macrophotography class

With new spring flowers bursting from winter’s depths online members  got their camera’s clicking. But members captured more than just blossoms!

© Jeffrey Furry - close-up photography

© Jeffrey Furry – close-up photography

What members said:
I loved this challenge (my fave) and I found what I love to shoot the most (I think!) 
Your on-line program is absolutely great and I have to say I have learned the most from it because of the different challenges and just the way you teach it.
Thanks for your inspiration and sharing your expert knowledge.  You get us out of our comfort zone for sure.” CP

© Gilles G - Macro - different worlds!

© Gilles G – Macro – different worlds!

What a fun challenge! I have always wanted to try and get a shot of a field of dandelions and could never figure out how, but I finally got one thanks to this challenge.” JS

I’ve been teaching photography for almost 15 years and I never get tired of seeing people grow!
Thanks for the fun!

© Maisie I. Creative Macro!

© Maisie I. Creative Macro!

#1060 Online Photo Program – Student Success!

We offered a “simple” challenge to our members in the online program – photographing sunrises or sunsets.

But sometimes the simple things can be the toughest!

Sunset photo challenge

Sunset Challenge – © Marcel M.

That’s right, sunsets can be really tough.

• it’s an advanced lighting challenge with often two or three very distinct light levels to choose from.
• The sun will not wait for your schedule! Finding the time to be in the right place and right time can be tough!
• Weather can thwart best intentions. March is usually quite mild but many of our members live close to Ottawa. And Ottawa is enjoying an unusually lonnnng winter which makesit tough to get out and shoot!

Sunrise photography

Sunrise Challenge – Maisie I.

Our members braved the cold and embraced the challenges to produce some amazing work. Yep, I am proud!

Students also learned a lot!:
This was a great challenge Harry and you pushed me to get out there and take photographs regardless of the weather.  This is what I love to do!
I am really enjoying this and I am hoping that your on-line program stays around for a long, long time.

Sunset Challenge

Sunset Challenge © Marie-Josée L

Your program provided really great information… I’m totally hooked!

I will definitely want to continue until September. Its a great program… Definitely great value in my view.

We’re offering a limited time offer on 6 months of the online photo program – $30 off until Saturday, March 29th. That’s just $165 (plus tax) for 6 months of online photo fun.
(Ahem, the registration button was broken last week – it’s been fixed!)
Register Online.

Online photo challenge

Sunset Photo Challenge © Al Garner

#1058 – Online Photo Program – Special Offer (for a limited time!)

Our online photo program has been going almost two years.
We’re offering a special offer for a 6 month membership for a limited time…

Online Photo Challenge

Online Photo Challenge – © Al Garner

Members are talking:

There is zero chance that I would have taken these shots without the online photography program. I think I get the biggest bang for my buck from the online program. Keep it coming!

This course has accomplished two things for me. First, it has renewed my love of photography and second it has made me a better photographer.

Yes, I am totally hooked…

Thanks Harry – I have signed up for another 6 month session. I like the challenges. It stretches my creativity.

photo challenge

Online Photo Class © M. Reece

The Online Photo Program
• A new photo challenge every month
• New content 4 times per challenge
• Ongoing feedback via a private Facebook group
• Member critique video at the end of each month

Special Offer!
For 12 days only we’re offering $30 off the regular price of $195 for a six month membership. That’s a 15% savings.

But only until March 29th…

More Online Program Details
Register now and save!

Online photo seminar

Simple Studio Lighting Challenge – Members learned to take photos like this with simple household tools!

#1055 Online Program – White Challenge Success!

Our Online Photo Program members worked hard last month on a tough technical challenge.

I asked them to only shoot colour scenes that were offered only black or white elements. The hard part was the photos had to be exposed perfectly straight from the camera.

black and white

© Cynthia S. – good exposure!


One of my pet peeves in photography are photographs that are poorly exposed or photographers who rely on post processing to correct exposure mistakes made when shooting.

black and white

© Chris P – good exposure!

If you aim you camera at something predominantly white or black the camera will get the wrong exposure – EVEN in Manual Exposure Mode if you don’t know how to over-ride the camera’s brain.

Our most popular course is Creative Fundamentals. We teach people how to get correct exposures all the time without relying on the computer. Better still, we use simple steps to help people understand exposure.

For many people exposure is scary! We make understanding exposure accessible.

Member’s Photos
There were some growing pains this month. But people did well!! Help me congratulate our members for another successful challenge!

Join us to challenge yourself!

black and white

Leah E – good exposure with a slight colour cast – that’s ok for this assignment! The histogram shows bright whites and dark blacks!! Good work.


#1049 Winter and Spring Photo Classes

Our line-up of winter and spring photography courses is almost complete!

Ottawa Gatineau photo workshops

Better photos @ HarryNowell.com photo classes

For those close to Ottawa and Gatineau, we’re offering something for everyone:
a course for communications staff to create better work-based photos
Macro workshop (almost full) and tulip safari with Louise Tanguay
Smart phone photography with Blair Gable
Creative Fundamentals – our most popular course to help people with the basics of photography plus an advanced fundamentals course for those wanting fundamentals support but more than the basics.

For those further afield we offer our Online Photo Program – all you need is a good internet connection and a desire to learn from our members!

… And there are more courses listed and soon to be announced. Stay tuned…

Ottawa Gatineau Photo Classes

Better pictures through HarryNowell.com