Class shows amateurs how to take better photos with iPhones

Published 9:48 am Monday, August 31, 2015

Amateur photographers looking to brush up their skills have a variety of options in Vicksburg.

The Conservatory of the Fine Arts began offering classes in photography and photo editing last week. Saturday morning, David Rorick taught a three-hour workshop called Making Great Images with Your iPhone.

“I wanted to know how to make the many, many photographs that I have on my iPhone useful. I knew how to text them and email them, but that’s about it. I didn’t know anything else,” participant Dr. Charles Marascalco said.

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First, the four students learned photographic principles like texture, color and space. Then, they were given tips on how to use angles, depth, lighting and lines to their advantage in picture taking.

Once the photography skills were covered, the class focused on the use of the iPhone camera specifically. Participants were told the correct way to hold their phone while taking pictures, how to get the image in focus and how to adjust the exposure.

Rorick let the class wander around the conservatory to put their newly-learned photography knowledge into practice. Then, they used those photographs to learn how to edit pictures on their phone.

“I learned how to adjust your pictures and edit them, which I did not know before,” Marascalco said.

From different filters, to cropping, to adjusting the contrast, the class explored the iPhone’s multiple editing options.

“I learned how to use the menus for the photos, lightening and darkening pictures, changing the colors, rotation, cropping, the pano feature,” participant Carol George said.

For some, the pano option on the camera — taking a long, panoramic photograph —  was the best thing they learned they could do.

“It was very informative to me, even a couple things he showed was worth coming for,” Marascalco said. “I love that panoramic view. I’ve always wanted to know how to do that.”

George said she now knows how to shoot photos better and thinks this is a great class for the conservatory to add to its repertoire.

“I feel I’ve achieved success, just need to use the various features so I don’t forget them,” George said.

Saturday’s class was the first time Rorick has offered the $45 iPhone photography class, and said he is planning on teaching the same workshop, with minor tweaks based on feedback, again in about six weeks. The small class size did not discourage him. Instead, it allowed him to give more specialized attention.

“I really kind of expected, when I announced this, that I’d be overwhelmed. I think it will catch on because it’s one session, three hours, $45. It’s reasonable and everybody has an iPhone,” Rorick said.

The idea of an iPhone photography class came from Rorick’s wife. After she suggested it, Rorick decided to do research on iPhone photography and created a Power Point for the class, which he later emailed to each participant.

Rorick started two other classes last week. On Monday nights, he teaches Making Great Pictures with Your Digital Camera, a $175 six session class open to 10 participants at 6:30 p.m., and on Tuesday nights Learn to Photoshop is offered to 10 students as a four session $125 class also at 6:30 p.m.

“I can’t say enough things about David. I’ve taken all of his courses so far,” Marascalco said

Even though the first week of classes is over, Rorick said it is not too late to sign up and he has a couple spaces still available. Surprisingly, he said more people have signed up for the long term classes than Saturday’s one-day workshop.

“It’s a much bigger commitment,” Rorick said. “I’m surprised that people are willing to commit to such a long course, and you have to have specialized equipment.”

For more information on equipment needed for each class or to access the registration form, visit or email

“I’ve gone to millions of classes, and I tell him I just wished more people would come,” Marascalco said.