Learn how to take better pictures by understanding your camera and how to use it in a variety of situations.
Secrets of Better Photography will teach you how to take outstanding photos. Whether you use a DSLR, a point-and-shoot camera, or your phone for your photography, you will learn how to get the best results from your camera.
This hands-on course will teach you how to choose the right photographic equipment to compose images with style. You can take your camera out of auto mode after learning about lighting, motion, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. You will also explore common photography topics, including portraiture, children's photography, pet photography, and digital editing.
Each lesson includes exercises and assignments, so you can apply what you learned to your own camera. By the time you finish, you will see a difference in both your photographer's eye and your photos.
- This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.
- A digital or film camera.
- PC: Windows 8 or later.
- Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Learn to take outstanding photos and get the best results whether you are using a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or your phone camera. Each lesson contains exercises and assignments that will help you apply new techniques to your own camera and make a distinctive difference in your photos.
The Subject of Photography
In this first lesson, you will learn how to see the subject of each photograph—before you press the shutter button. This information will provide a solid foundation for the rest of the class.
As you learn more about the technical side of photography, take a look at the options available in camera equipment. Whether you have a point-and-shoot camera or the latest digital SLR, you will gain a better understanding of the equipment and tools photographers use.
Your Photographic Eye
Returning to artistic elements in this lesson, you will learn how to develop your photographer's eye and incorporate compositional guidelines as you take better pictures. This information will provide a solid foundation for the rest of the class.
Light is the essence of photography. This lesson explores how to control and use light to your advantage. You will compare the advantages of natural light, available light, and artificial light and see when you will want to use each to capture the special effects you're after. You will also learn how to use the ISO and white balance settings on your camera to make the most of the light you have.
This lesson delves into the options for using your camera and other tools to get sharp, crisp images. Photography often requires compromise to accommodate conflicting priorities, and after this lesson, you will be able to decide what's most important to you. You will also see how to test your lenses and cameras and evaluate your equipment.
Aperture and Depth of Field
Using manual exposure settings opens up a whole new world of professional and creative options. In this lesson, you will begin an exploration of how to get the most out of your camera's features, starting with Aperture Priority and the control it gives you over depth of field.
Shutter Speed and Motion
You will see how to capture motion in this lesson. Whether you want to freeze the action of fireworks or merge a waterfall into a velvety illusion, shutter speed is the key. Setting your shutter speed gives you the control you need to get the images you want, and it's easier than you might think. You will have lots to practice with as you finish this lesson.
In this lesson, you will learn the tricks of portrait photography. Whether you're working professionally or just as the family photographer, these techniques will help you take better portraits. You will see how to pose people so they look their best, when to use digital editing, and how various lighting techniques will help you create pleasing portraits.
Children and Pet Photography
Photographing children, pets, and groups is a challenge for even the most seasoned professional photographer. In this lesson, you will learn some techniques and strategies to bring out the best in your pictures.
Now that you know how your camera works and what you want to do, it's time to take a look at how to handle challenging situations. When the light is low, or the subject just seems out of reach, you want to know how to get the shot. This lesson focuses on how to use your tools and knowledge to beat the challenges and come away with the pictures you're after.
Photojournalism is a fascinating field for photographers. This fast-paced world presents challenges of its own. In this lesson, you will see how the pros handle this type of work and learn how to get started in the field.
Digital editing is a real bonus for photographers. In your final lesson, you will learn about the basic and artistic editing techniques available to all photographers, as well as some of the technical issues of digital photography.
What you will learn
- Learn the fundamentals of photography and improve your skills
- Gain an understanding of how equipment affects results by considering aspects such as shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, and resolution
- Acquire the knowledge necessary to improve the composition, light, and shadow of your photos
- Explore photography techniques associated with moving subjects and photojournalism
- Learn digital editing techniques that can enhance your photography and expand its applications
How you will benefit
- Become a better photographer of the people, places, and things that are most important to you
- Gain an "artist's eye" and begin to look at the world in a whole new way
- Explore technology that can change the way you memorialize the events of your life
Beverly Richards Schulz is an award-winning photographer and graduate of the New York Institute of Photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in Adult and Continuing Education. For the past 10 years, Schulz has taught at the University of San Francisco. With more than 15 years teaching experience, she has written over 30 digital photography and digital editing courses. She co-authored the book "Photoshop Elements 14—What's New?"