The Friedman Archives Seminars

Photo Clubs Only

Dear photo club chairman,

Congratulations, you found me!   And I’m looking forward to working with you.

So what are the Friedman Archives High-Impact Photography Seminars?

I started the seminars because I got tired of seeing so much poor advice disseminated on the online discussion forums when a beginner, overwhelmed with their new camera, would ask how to improve their photography.  “Start shooting in Aperture priority mode”, one person would opine.  “Learn Photoshop” blurted another.  “Examine the EXIF information of pictures you like online and see what they did!”  And the most ill-prescribed advice which I see all too often: “Shoot RAW!”

Well, that kind of advice may be well-meaning, but it’s not effective.  Never in my life have I seen a rank beginner switch to RAW (or shoot in Aperture Priority mode) and then suddenly start producing “Wow!” type images.  And so I thought it was time to share the (seemingly) forgotten knowledge that all successful Kodachrome shooters knew back in the day – how to take pictures that make other people say “Wow!” with nothing more than a point-and-shoot.   (Even Photoshop is optional if you know what you’re doing!)

That was 10 years ago.  Since that time I’ve traveled the world dispelling no end of online myths and explaining what’s REALLY important in photography.  And they’ve been a hit with both newbie and experienced photographers alike!

So here’s why I contacted you.  I’m looking to partner with photoclubs like yours to help bring the seminar to your area.  It won’t cost you anything, and in fact I’ll do some things for your club in return for you helping to promote it:

1) I’ll give a talk to your club at no charge on the subject of your choice (see list below for the most popular talks)

2) I’ll provide your club with a free seat at the 2-day event, which you are free to either raffle off or give away as a prize or use in any way you see fit.

My goal is to combine my mailing list for your area with some promotional activity you can provide to your club.  I will bring the seminar anywhere in the world where our combined promotional efforts result in an enrollment level of at least 25 people.

Benefits for your Club

  • Energize your club for months, and get people talking about what’s really important (instead of just focusing on gear).
  • Give your beginners an intuitive understanding of the basics, cutting through the confusion and techno-babble and getting attendees to start shooting confidently, improving creativity, and providing the means to realize the shot they have in their head.
  • Bring the beginners up to the level of the more experienced folks, paving the way for better understanding of future club events (learning can happen faster when everyone is on the same page!)
  •  You get a free talk from me shortly before the event.


“Gary is an entertaining speaker, and came prepared with excellent slides, handouts to facilitate note taking, effective demos, and even some “freebies” that he provided for the attendees. He’s able to take complicated topics and present them to people who may not be technically proficient.  If you are considering hosting a seminar on any aspect of photography, I’d suggest you consider Gary’s program. I know anyone that attends will find much to learn, or re-learn, especially as it relates to controversial topics such as “RAW versus JPG”. – John Triebe, President, Digital Imaging Group, SaddleBrooke

“Gary has to be one of the very best in his field of knowledge and presentation that is interesting, informative, entertaining and inspiring.  Hard to beat and worth every penny.” – Bonneville from

“I’ve been taking pictures for 30 years, and your demonstration of exposure principles was brilliant. Whereas I was fuzzy on the concepts before, I now intuitively understand them!” – Rod Schultz

“Your ability to explain things in “plain, understandable, English” borders on the unbelievable!  As president and founder of the Durango Photography Club I felt that I had to get you to Durango to present your seminars and workshops. I figured that if you were half as good in person as your books were, it would be great! You weren’t half as good, you were twice as good because we could ask questions, observe your demos and get personal attention where needed. Thank you for helping everyone from novices to semi-professionals learn a lot.” – Howard Rachlin

Sound compelling?  Let’s talk more.  Email me at [email protected] and tell me more about your club!  I’m also available to skype with your board of directors to help answer any questions.

Sincerely, Gary


More info below

Sample seminar video – How High-Speed Sync works

Full Seminar Syllabus

Most Popular Subjects for Photo Club Talks

Bio on Gary L. Friedman

Most Popular Subjects for Photo Club Talks

RAW vs. JPG – Gary tackles this very religious technical subject with clarity and challenges the experienced photographer to re-think everything they were told was true about .jpgs.

How to “Wow!” with Wireless Flash – Gary demonstrates how easy it is to move your flash off your camera and add great drama with no need for technical knowledge.  Think a new lens will improve your photography?  Learning to use light will have a dramatically greater impact on your images.

Travel Horror Stories – The times that things went horribly wrong when traveling on assignment.

The Forgotten Secrets of the Kodachrome Shooters – How pros in the 1960’s got “Wow!” shots without fancy cameras and without Photoshop.  (These secrets apply to today’s digital cameras, too!)


Gary L. Friedman is a professional photographer who has traveled the world with his cameras and runs the stock image website  He has also written several highly-acclaimed e-books on digital imaging, all aimed at demystifying the complexities of digital cameras.  His photography and writing has been published in magazines, newspapers, and books worldwide, and he is associate editor of CameraCraft magazine in the UK, the antithesis of your typical photo magazine.  He was also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for building the world’s smallest telephone way back in 1980 (before cell phones or cordless phones were around).

Before graduating to photography he was a rocket scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he patented the image authentication system now used in high-end digital cameras from Canon and Nikon, and published the book “Control the World with HP-IL”, a technical book showing how to interface Hewlett Packard handheld calculators to the outside world.

Frustrated with the inability to commercialize his patents, he left JPL after 10 years to learn how to run a business.  He founded an Information Technology Consulting firm and grew it from 1 person and 1 telephone to a $10M/yr firm and 22 employees within three years.  A tour of duty with a dot-com followed.  We all know what happened after that.  🙂

Gary’s best-known photographic works are the 1988 “Peace Child in Latvia“, a photojournalistic documentary about a historic exchange between Soviet and American high-school student back in the days of the cold war, and his 2003 China Blog about his adventures teaching English in China.

Gary keeps busy now with photo assignments, image licensing, writing books, and acting as a distributor for a most unique musical instrument called a Xaphoon.  In his spare time (Ha!) he is traveling the world offering highly-acclaimed photography seminars to any photo club that wants them.  He can be reached at [email protected].


Day 1 (“The Creative Class”, or “The camera can do quite a bit by itself.  Teach me about creativity, composition, and light and things that only the human can do!”)

  • The compositional secrets of the National Geographic photographers
  • What the Kodachrome shooters knew about high-impact images (hint: they never needed  Photoshop!)
  • How to “see” light like the Hollywood Cinematographers do
  • Compositional rules derived from the world of fine art
  • The difference between snapshots and photographs (and why both are important)
  • Add drama to your images with wireless flash (with live demonstrations)
  • The secrets to outstanding travel photography
  • Making the most of available light
  • Color balance and Human Perception
  • In-class exercises for creativity and composition
  • The “inner game” mindsets used by all the photographic masters
  • A practical “zen” approach to without having to get bogged down in technical stuff

Day 2 (“The Technical Stuff”)

  • How your exposure meter thinks (or “Why can’t the camera just make it look the way I see it?”)
  • The three variables of exposure, explained intuitively.
  • The three types of metering, and which ones are actually useful.
  • The RAW vs. JPG dilemma explained without religious ferver
  • Histograms, explained intuitively.
  • How to avoid horrific .jpg compression artifacts
  • The important problem of print vs. screen resolution
  • The only eight Post-processing functions I use
  •  How High-Speed Sync Works

Sample Video – How HSS works

The Friedman Archives Seminars represent the fastest and most enjoyable way to learn the basics of photography.  Contact me today at [email protected] and tell me about your club!

Sincerely, Gary Friedman