5 Photography Courses and Guides to Learn to Take Better Pictures – MakeUseOf

The internet offers excellent free photography courses and guides for all skill levels to learn anything you would need to take a great picture.
Since we're all carrying a camera with us all the time, it would be a shame not to know how to use it well. The internet offers excellent free photography courses and guides for all skill levels to learn anything you need to take a great picture.
Some are interactive, giving you assignments and feedback. Some are self-paced that take you through photography step by step. And some offer a way to learn more about any one subject in photography. The information is out there; it's up to you to use it.
Photocritic is one of the best free online photography courses for beginners. Delivered as one email every ten days, it handholds you from the absolute basics to becoming a shutterbug. The best part? You don't need a professional camera; you can even do the course with a smartphone.
The whole tutorial is made up of 21 lessons. When you get an email, you'll have ten days to learn the lesson, do an assignment, and send it to Photocritic to get feedback. Haje Jan Kamps and Daniela Bowker handle all the lessons and feedback. Both have taught photography for over a decade and written books about it too.
That's also the main reason we would recommend signing up for it only if you're interested. After all, Photocritic is handled by two people who offer feedback on assignments and yet entirely free. Given what they're offering, it's only fair to respect their time and effort.
Photographer Nic Zantop has been writing on his site It's Just Light since 2013. Through a series of articles, he has put together a beginner's course for an introduction to photography that takes you through all the basics of skills, knowledge, and composition.
Through the course, you'll learn about camera and lenses, image resolution, focal length and aperture, exposure, cropping, shutter speed, white balance, how to use the histogram, metering, and other essential aspects of photography. Zantop also spends an entire article devoted to learning how to develop your creativity as a photographer.
The photography course on It's Just Light isn't regimented like other online courses, but you can still do it as a self-paced tutorial. Once you're done, the website has several other tips and tricks for photography that can serve you well in taking great pictures.
The first thing you need to learn to improve your photography is to stop using Auto Mode and switch to Manual Mode. That means learning shutter speed, aperture, focus, and other settings. Wedding photographer Jerad Hill has a free 4-hour video course to take you through that.
The course is divided into short videos across sections like introduction, basics, getting to know your camera, understanding light, understanding settings, knowing your subjects, and other tips. It's a self-paced online course, available for free for two weeks. If you want to access it after two weeks, it's a $5 lifetime subscription.
Go through Hill's website, and you'll see tutorials on various topics apart from photography. This is actually what makes the course unique. Hill is a natural teacher and great at taking what he has learned and explaining it to someone else to improve their skills. It's why the photography course has been done by over 250,000 people, and is often recommended on photography forums and blogs.
SLR Lounge has a well-earned reputation as a great online resource to learn photography as well as a photography discussion board. It sells several tutorials for different skill levels, but what many don't know is its playlist of free YouTube videos for beginners.
In Photography 101: Master Manual Mode, the experts from SLR Lounge touch upon various aspects of what you can do with a DSLR. It's a total of 19 videos, varying vastly in length. For example, there's a 24-minute video on understanding white balance and color temperature, as well as a 3-minute video on how to take the perfect sunset photograph.
Each video is by a domain expert and is a self-contained tutorial about the subject at hand. In our opinion, you don't need to watch them in the order of the playlist. So if you only want to learn a certain topic and skip something else, feel free to.
Photography Course is one of the oldest websites on the internet offering free photography courses. You'll need to register to access the material, but that's about it. There are also a few premium courses, but for most people, the free material is enough as it includes:
The Photography Course has plenty of other material worth reading, including guides on improving iPhone photography and in-depth tutorials on how to use Adobe Lightroom to edit your shots.
You need to practice, practice, and practice no matter which photography course or tutorial you learn from above. That's the best way to truly improve your skills. But it isn't easy to keep figuring out what to practice.
If you're struggling for inspiration, a popular tip among online photography forums is to join a 52-week challenge or look for photography assignments on the internet. A quick Google search will give you many results, and several pages on social media will provide you with a new assignment every day or every week.
Anyone can take a photograph, but taking a great photograph? Difficult. These photography exercises actually work.
Mihir Patkar has been writing on technology and productivity for over 14 years at some of the top media publications across the world. He has an academic background in journalism.
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