Picture yourself taking pictures that don't suck

If you think the f-stop is a train platform located in some city where people take trains, then sharpen up your camera skills at Austin School of Photography: an above-Cisco's studio, it was started by a UT grad who cut his teeth doing architectural and glamour shots in NYC, then took the helm of a Manhattan school whose defects he aims to rectify at ASP, starting of course with it not being in Manhattan.

For the basics, their one-off seminars cover the relationship between you and the camera (e.g., shooting manual's more efficient than auto), equipment purchases (cutoff points where spending more money won't bring better results), portraiture (not just how but why that Pete Townshend mid-air shred-shot works), and an external flash workshop on keeping background objects illuminated in night shots -- like the Eiffel Tower behind a happy couple...in front of an even happier photo-bomber.

Take things to the next level with 6wk workshops like the pro-prepping Photography I, the art history-steeped Photo 2, Studio Lighting (helps you condition the environment instead of the camera), and Documentary, which shows how different narratives can be achieved based on the use of lenses and other factors that are probably 10x more important than you'd think.

The school opens its doors this weekend with a free workshop, and in the coming months they plan to add courses on shooting food and iPhone photography -- hopefully including how to do it discreetly so attractive women don't tell you to f'ing stop.