The Friedman Archives

High-impact Photography Seminars

How to "Wow!".  With any camera.


Kansas City, MO

May 23-24, 2020





Enrollment form at bottom of page



I started the Friedman Archives High-Impact Photography Seminars because I got tired of seeing so much poor advice disseminated on the online discussion forums when a beginner 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!" images.  Clearly the secret to high-impact images must lie elsewhere.  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!)

The seminars have been a hit with thousands of newbie and experienced photographers alike, all over the world for over a decade.  Geared toward anyone who owns a digital camera, this pair of day-long seminars is for anyone who has ever said to themselves, "I spent money on a great camera.  So why aren't my pictures better?"  They are geared toward those who would like to learn more, reinforce what they already know, experiment, and become inspired to become better photographers.  All in a fun, friendly, and nurturing environment.

These seminars are structured differently from almost all other photo courses.  Whereas most other courses bombard you with the technical stuff first, The Friedman Archives Seminars recognizes that modern cameras do a pretty good job with focusing and exposure, but do a miserable job with composition and the art aspect of photography (realms best left for the HUMAN).  So the first day emphasizes composition, light, art, capturing emotion, and how to get high-impact photos -- all without ever leaving AUTO mode.  These are the forgotten skills that the Kodachrome shooters once knew to get awesome images without ever using Photoshop.

As the seminar progresses to Day 2, the subject matter delves into the technical aspects of digital photography, making for a very well-rounded weekend.  As many past attendees can attest, this seminar cuts through the confusion and gives you everything you need to know to start shooting confidently, improve your creativity, deepen your technical understanding, and give you the means to realize the shot you have in your head.

Here’s some (some!!) of the things you’ll learn from this seminar:

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 

  • How to "see" light like the Hollywood Cinematographers do, and make the most of available

  • 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

  • In-class exercises for creativity and composition

  • The "inner game" mindsets used by all the photographic masters

  • A practical "zen" approach to compelling images 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 four variables of exposure, explained intuitively.

  • The three types of metering, and which ones are actually useful.

  • Color balance and Human Perception

  • The RAW vs. JPG dilemma explained without religious ferver

  • How to avoid horrific .jpg compression artifacts

  • The important problem of print vs. screen resolution

  • The only eight Post-processing functions I use

  •     How to cut through haze

  •     How to clean dirty windows

  •     Saving Lenin with Curves

  •     Make Stuff Go Away

  •     Recommended Unsharp Mask values

  •     Expanding Dynamic Range using RAW.

There will also be ample discovery exercises to allow you to become familiar with your camera’s operation and experiment with certain features. 

You can sign up for either Day 1 or Day 2 (or both!).  Neither day has a prerequisite.


Remember, the overriding goal of photography is to have FUN, to experience your world, tell a story, and to give you an excuse to go out and do things you wouldn't normally get a chance to do.  These courses were designed to be an engaging and fun way to jump-start the process, no matter what brand of camera you own!

When:     May 23-24, 2020

Hours:     Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM

How much does it cost? 

  • Each day is an affordable $175/ per person. 


Ac Hotels By Marriott Kansas City Westport

560 Westport Rd.

Kansas City MO 64111


Link to Google Maps (opens new window)


What others are saying about the Friedman Archives High-Impact Digital Photography Seminars

“It’s the best money you’ll ever spend for a photo class. Gary obviously loves what he does and can also make a complex topic easy to understand, which is a great combination. It made me a better photographer!” - George Saadeh

“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

"The 2 day course was awesome. Even the stuff which I thought I understood I learnt more about. And some of my preconceptions about what would really be useful for me were shattered (yes, I really do need an off camera flash, and maybe more than one...). And I loved Gary's emphasis on creativity alongside contempt for the "art crowd". - from this thread on Dyxum on the London seminar

"Well worth it!! Learned sooooooo much from Gary in San Mateo! My wife went for the 2-day, and raved about it so much after Day 1, I signed up for Day 2! Ya, that good - thanks for all the after-seminar advice, and 'being there' for technical questions, a year later! Fun and informative." – Daniel Devane

“Ever since I ordered your book on the Minolta A2 I have been "hooked". Your ability to explain things in "plain, understandable, English" borders on the unbelievable! I have since ordered four more of your books as I upgraded to newer cameras. 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

"Best seminar I have ever taken. – THANK YOU!!!” - Joseph R. Conklin

Lots more testimonials here (opens new window)...




The Friedman Archives Seminars represent the fastest and most enjoyable way to traverse the learning curve to great photography.  Invest in yourself and take "Wow!" type pictures forevermore!



Instructions: Please fill out this form and then hit "SUBMIT".  Your credit card will NOT be charged until two weeks before the seminar.

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Which days will you be attending (check all that apply):   Day 1:        Day 2:   

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Would you like to receive your handouts in color or B&W?   Color ($30/day extra)   B&W


How did you hear about the seminars?  Did anyone refer you?

Please take a moment to let me know your experience level and what you hope to get out of this seminar: