Digital Photo Academy

Learn How To Use Your Digital Camera

John Cullum

John at dawn by MiltonJohn’s first camera was a Christmas present in 1959; he was 12 years old and was instantly in love with photography. For the previous two years, he had wanted a camera and a home darkroom and had drawn out plans for converting the family’s single bathroom into a wet darkroom. That idea— from Popular Science— did not get off the ground. Popular Science usually had a couple of articles about photography and he envisioned that one day he could take beautiful pictures of architecture, wide lush landscapes and stunning wildlife photos. His first serious camera came upon graduation from college: A Canon 35mm black F-1 with a standard 50mm lens and a 70-300mm lens. It was designated “semi-automatic” since an in-viewfinder light meter suggested shutter speeds or apertures for the photographer to set manually. When assigned to be advisor for the high school yearbook staff along with his English teaching duties, he took pictures on campus, at football and basketball games, and shot along side the professional photographers supplied by the senior portrait studio. At the time, yearbook pictures were shot with manual twin-lens reflex film cameras, so John learned to use his first larger format camera, manually setting both shutter speed and aperture and mentally counting off the distance to calculate the settings for the powerful Honeywell manual flash. Thousands of images later, he became one of his hometown’s two wedding photographers and added portraits, proms, and sports photography to his portfolio, but he still chased after the wilder, more natural side. After retirement from teaching, John fulfilled these wishes and began to take wildlife pictures, landscapes and cityscapes in earnest. John has taught basic and advanced photography and basic darkroom for the local community college, in addition to outfitting two darkrooms and two photography studios. He is a member of the Orlando Camera Club, and a past member of the National Scholastic Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. One of John’s favorite quotes is from famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams: “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

Call Digital Photo Academy at 1 877 372 2231. Lots of people seem to hang up if our welcome recording comes on instead of a live voice, but we promise to return your message within a day or two if you leave one with your name and number.  It would be even better if you included your e mail address as well as the date and city of the class you are considering.  If leaving a voice mail message is not your thing, please email us at or

Comments to “John Cullum”

  1. Hi John,

    Thank you for the class today. It was really nice to meet you.

  2. Thank you for connecting us with John! He was great to chat with and full of helpful information. We spoke about my trip to Iceland and I wanted to share my photo album with everyone.

  3. John, thanks for all your teaching and help. I’ve just scratched the surface but already see the enjoyment in photography.
    Richard, thanks for pairing me with John. He was the perfect instructor for me.

  4. It was a good class and the content was clear and complete. For this experience I look forward to taking other classes from you. Thanks.


  5. I had a wonderful time meeting and discussing photography with John. Next time, we will spend most of the time in the field. Attached are a couple of photos by John that we found particularly engaging! These are white ibis, conveniently hanging out near the Sanford Riverwalk. Don’t you love those blue eyes and knobby knees?

  6. Hi Mr. John and Mr. Richard,

    Thank you very much Mr. John for the beautiful photos that you have sent me and Mr. Richard for offering us the facility to make the payment and include my daughter at the last moment. Sorry I had not been able to answer before but I have had a family visit in my house these days and you know how crazy it is when you have a full house and you live in the fantasy state with Disney and Mickey as neighbors! LOL!!!
    Today I was finally able to download the photos from the camera on my computer and be able to send them to you. My family and I really liked being able to do the course on Saturday with you, we learned a lot and we had a great time and enjoyed. Thank you for all the information you provided printed to us. We will definitely give your references to other people who wish to take the course.

    Have a bless afternoon guys!

  7. The instructors feedback was helpful and appreciated I had a good time at the event despite not having a huge group. I heard you never know, sometimes things in small packages do wonderful. Thank you for everything.

  8. I was in the composition class yesterday with John. I had a great time learning! John is very informative and helpful. It was all I expected it to be and worth the money.

    Thank you,


  9. Thank you ! Alex enjoyed both classes very much.

    Hope we can do it again sometime.

  10. Thanks for the class! I had an amazing time with you guys!

  11. I had a blast yesterday working with everyone. I especially appreciated John’s insight related to camera gear and the way he composes his shots! Being out in the field shooting with like minded folks turned out to be a much more valuable exercise than I thought.

  12. Yes very good class, Thank u!! 😁

  13. I had a great time at DPA workshop. Our instructor John was very informative and knowledgeable. I’ve been shooting for a couple years now so I’m not new to photography but I wanted tips on how to better my craft. John was able to provide instructions on how to take my photography to the next level. So if your new to photography or self taught I highly recommend DPA!

  14. “What an awesome experience! Had the camera, never knew how to use it. Our instructor, John, gave us an artistic viewpoint in composition which changed the way we look at the world. So inspired, we went out and bought new camera right after the class. Looking forward to capturing all of our new experiences with great focus. Thanks”


  15. “Hi John,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your time and sharing your wealth of knowledge today. With our new found passion, Barbie and I decided it’s time to buy new cameras (one each) so we can spend more time artistically investigating things we used to just look at.

    Thanks for inspiring us and for showing us how to look at the world in a different way.”


  16. “Thank you for connecting me with just the right person, Richard! My class with John was all you led me to believe it would be. Plus more!!

    Looking forward to the next adventure with DPA.

    My best,”


  17. “Hello Richard, Hello John,

    I had a great time! Such a great time that I bought another one of your packages for a friend of mine as a Christmas gift.

    Her name is Haley, and she recently got into landscape photography. John, if you remember, she is the one I purchased the Canon 50mm 1.8 Prime Lens for.

    I will let you guys know when she signs up for the class, in the mean time I placed some of the pictures I took that day with John.

    Thanks again John, it was a great time!”


  18. “Thanks, I really enjoyed it. It was nice having the one on one, and having the time to experiment with different settings. I’ll have to check out the recommendations. Had a great time today with my photo composition class. Had a one-on-one with the instructor, John Cullum, and he was quite impressed with my camera, (Nikon P900) and its zoom lens. Got some really cool photos, including a bunch of really neat osprey pics. ”


  19. “Hi John, Last night was very helpful ,hope see you again. Thank you.”


  20. “I had an opportunity to shoot with one of the instructors that is attached to Digital Photo Academy and this is the result. I struggled with composition and framing but after this class I feel more confident. I really enjoyed the evening shooting with John Cullum.”

    – Adrian Thomas

  21. Stunning photos!


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