Shutterbug shares his skills

Digital photography courses helps camera users maximize potential.

Bruce Finlayson passes on his love of photography to students through parks

Bruce Finlayson passes on his love of photography to students through parks

Bruce Finlayson has an eye for photography and a knack for the technology involved.

They’re gifts he’s sharing with others in a series of courses offered through parks, recreation and culture this fall.

Finlayson got involved in photography because of his love of technology and has honed his skills through exploring equipment functions and research over the years.

“I really love the opportunity to play with other people’s cameras and find out what they are capable of,” he said.

His classes focus on the digital camera. He also offers computer classes on getting to know your Mac computer, using iPhoto and  using Picasa to organize, fix and share photos.

Digital photography is a medium Finlayson has fallen in love with as the new cameras have given budding photographers a unique opportunity.

The technology allows people to snap a picture and get immediate feedback about the image. In the past, photographers would have to carefully detail their settings in a journal and wouldn’t see what worked until they headed back to the darkroom to develop the film.

Now people don’t need to document every camera setting, because they can look up the information easily in programs such as Photoshop. It allows photographers to quickly learn what is working in terms of lighting and settings in relation to weather conditions.

Finlayson allows for one-on-one time in his classes to discuss people’s individual skills and enjoys helping them through the process of building their skills and confidence in taking photos.

“If someone gets one or two things out of the classroom and gets motivated, that makes it worthwhile,” he said.

Finlayson’s most popular course, Getting to Know Your Digital Camera, usually fills up quickly. The course covers settings, menus and how to use auto features to the best advantage.

“It’s really aimed at a person who gets a camera and all they do is leave it on auto,” he said.

His Mastering Your Digital SLR – Advanced Photography class teaches people how to use manual settings on the camera. He reviews the ins and outs of metering modes, shutter speeds, aperture settings, ISO, white balance and noise reduction to help students understand the full capacity of their cameras.

Practical point and shoot is another popular course that teaches people new techniques to use their cameras. Participants take photographs and then discuss the images to learn how to improve their skills.

For more information on Finlayson’s photography and technology courses, please check the city’s activity guide, go to or call 250-756-5200.