Two places now available for the Email School…

_G003961 copy
Gratuitous advertising image: learn how to compose like this, consistently.

A couple of my students have just graduated from my Email School of Photography, which means there are two slots that have just opened up. Details continue after the jump. The current student and alumni pool is 150+ strong; additional testimonials on my teaching can be found at the bottom of this page. First come first served, so if please send me an email if you’re interested. Thanks! MT

Here’s how the Email School works:

1. Determine what your final objective is – it can be as simple as ‘I want to make photos like this’ or as detailed as ‘I want to refine my wildlife photography technique’. You can pick stuff from my flickr portfolio, or anywhere else off the web. Please give me an idea of what you would like to achieve before we start so I can tell you if it’s realistic or not, and whether this is the best way of getting there.

2. Select a portfolio of your 10 best images with a quick sentence or two on why you think they’re good – this helps me to gauge where you are, what you’re seeing, and what you’re trying to achieve. If you have a gallery online, send me the link to that, too.

3. I’ll then come back to you with a quick portfolio review and a lesson plan to bridge the gap between 1. and 2. This will only be about half of the course, because it depends on how you’re progressing and what other aspects need work along the way.

4. Lessons take the form of nine assignments, email critiques/ teaching, practice (on your part) and photo submissions for assessment. All of the content is customized for you (in the form of long-form email for now) – which is the main difference between my course and others. Also, you should take as long as you need until you’ve mastered the lesson – not submit the first one or two images that you complete, even though that’s the requirement of the assignment. Submissions should be 2MP (~1500x1000px) JPEGs for now, unless specified (including the portfolio). Along the way, ask any questions you feel you need to – there are no silly questions; similarly if you come across something in your practice that you don’t understand or want to explore further, we can always rearrange the lesson plan to suit. I will be brutal but objective with my commentary – it won’t help you if I just say everything is nice. 🙂

5. Students have a year to finish all of the assignments, which is generally double what they need in practice – but this depends of course on how much free time you have to put to it.

6. “The Fundamentals” and “Making Outstanding Images Ep.1” now form the introductory portion to the course. You will need to watch those before submitting your first assignment.

7. If you don’t already have those two videos, the price of the course, inclusive of two videos, is US$900. If you do, it’s US$800, as before. Both packages include one portfolio review and nine lessons. Here are the checkout links to sign up

Course including videos – $900:
Course excluding videos – $800:



  1. Joseph Chen says:

    Hi Ming, are there spots left in your email school? Thanks.

  2. Any spots left?

  3. kath bowers says:

    I am sorry that I have not sent in my images yet. I narrowed things down to 10 I liked, then re-read my assignment and realized I did not have a purely high light or low light shot that I had caused as much on purpose as I would have liked. I know you are asking for three and I will send them to you – soon!

    I am taking photos daily – intentional photos. The intent seems to vary with the weather. I also feel that becoming expert in exposure is a developing skill that will take time to master, at least it feels that way to me.

    I love your blog and read them all. I also often read the comments. Keep writing!!

    Questions: Do you address lens cleaning anywhere. I recently got the Olympus 12 – 40 f2.8 for an upcoming trip to Ireland/UK – end of March through mid April. I anticipate wet and wanted to be prepared. I love the lens!! But it has a nano coating. Hard to tell if it is on the inside or the outside. I know you have one. How do you clean it without scratching it?

    Also – I got the B+W nano coated filter for it. Where do you stand on filter use. Often they create unwanted ghosts and sometimes cause vignetting. This one is thin and I have not put it on yet. I had stopped using filters – but that lovely giant element almost looks naked!!! Actually best practice for camera and lens cleaning and care are important topics to me. I try to pay attention to dust, moisture, etc. But do not want to do any harm! Anything you can share will be appreciated!

    PS5 – Because I have LR5 when I export to PS it wants me to have a plug in – a plugin that is only available if I have PS6. I have talked to Adobe. I do not seem to be able to get to Adobe Camera Raw, at least what comes up does not look like that I see in your video. Might I be able to approximate ACR in LR? I know that PS offers more options.

    When you use an adjustment brush – what size brush do you like – any typical settings for radius, feather, flow? You seem to get wonderful results with a very light touch!

    You said that we students can ask any questions. I have lots of questions but very few I think to trouble you with. The ones above were ones that met the threshold, however.

    Thank you for listening!

    Kath 🙂

    • I’ve sent you an email – this is one for offline discussion.

    • Kath, FWIW, I trudged through a blowing snow storm today for a good 4-5 hours with my E-M1, 12-40 (with the B+W MRC nano UV filter), and the 50-200 SWD with the MMF-3 adapter, and the camera and lenses came through none the worse for wear. There was frost encrusted on the lenses and camera that I would periodically wipe off, and the worst problem was trying to use the buttons with 3 layers of gloves on. It’s doable, but you have to recalibrate your sense of where the buttons are, and I left the front lens cap off the lens in use because I couldn’t remove the cap with gloves on. If you click through to my Flickr account, you’ll see two pictures from the day. Make sure you give the camera and lenses a good cleaning and drying out at the end of the day if you put them through rain and snow.

      My filter use follows the David Hobby model: in wet environments where I’m going to leave the lens cap off all the time, then I have the filter on. I can wipe the filter with whatever’s handy, and not worry about it. Otherwise I don’t use filters.

      Good luck with the email school. I’m in the middle of it, and you will get as much out of it as you put in. Ming can show you the path, but only you can walk it. And sometimes that walk is in little baby steps, so don’t be discouraged!

      • That’s dedication! I found a pair of gloves that is leather, lined with wool on the back, but unlined on the front – this keeps my hands warm but leaves enough tactile sensation to operate a camera.

        I use the lens hood instead of filters – if it’s deep enough, it generally shades the front element quite well. If not, point the camera down, and carry a blower to blow water droplets off – it’s better than wiping and they almost never leave any residue if you do it before the water dries.

        Thanks for the compliments!

        • You’re welcome! The email school is definitely a unique and valuable thing in the online photo world.

          I typed up a long writeup on the 4/3 lens’s performance, but I’ll post it in the comments section of the E-1 review instead since it seems more appropriate there.

  4. Ron Scubadiver says:

    Just to find my 10 best photos would be a major exercise. I am very lucky, I have two good photographers and a college art instructor helping me.

    • That’s part of the point: developing consciousness over what you shoot vs what you show, plus the ability to self-critique, is critical for every photographer.

  5. Hi Ming,

    I’ve paid and sent you an intro email. Did I make the cut??


    • Yes you did, thank you. (I just replied you.) Fortunately one more student just submitted his final assignment today, so that opened up an extra slot.

  6. Ming, hi, I’m very interested, is the second place still free?

  7. Linden Wilkie says:

    Yes please if there is still room.


    Sent from my iPhone


%d bloggers like this: