Photography is usually something everyone has already tried. Members will, thus, bring with them ideas of how and why they want to join a course. It seems best to start at the beginning! In our experience most members will only have the 'point and shoot' type of camera. This can limit what they can usefully learn. So for this sort of member we suggest a 6 lesson plan based on fortnightly to four weekly intervals.
This gives members time to assimilate what you have taught them. Also we suggest giving them some projects to photograph. Two to four weeks should be sufficient time for members to do the necessary work and get it processed. It is possible to aim a bit higher by trying to limit your intake to members with more versatile cameras such as SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. This enables a far more diverse subject range to be taught and a more creative approach.
Digital Imaging is another whole area that can be explored. This requires some computer knowledge prior to setting out on this course. There are various pieces of software suitable for your students to use. Currently some of these are free on-line programs such as Pixlr. Other free programs can be downloaded such as Gimp can be recommended if you do not wish to go down the road of paid for programs such as Adobe Elements. The latter program is still the best around and is not very expensive.
We have produced a small web site especially for group leaders. This is arranged in basically two sections a) Camera Usage and b) Post Production or Digital Imaging. There is now such a wide range of material on the site that in general this is all a leader requires to start up a class. It should also be of interest to a wider audience. This can be found on http://salisburyu3a.org.uk/U3ADI/index.html
U3A members are invited to submit photos to our U3A Eye photography project here