Beginner Photography - From Start to Finish!
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Beginner Photography - From Start to Finish!

Steppings stones to discovering confidence in your photography.
4.0 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
28 students enrolled
Created by Dustin Olsen
Last updated 12/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • 29 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Take better pictures
  • Understand the core fundamentals of photography
  • Be a master of their camera
  • Have great confidence to work with clients
  • What to look for in buying camera gear
View Curriculum
  • DSLR Camera (And kind)
  • Owners Manual for camera
  • Photoshop or Lightroom

Learning digital photography can be overwhelming! There is an entire world around just waiting to be seen and experienced. Knowing how to use your camera will enable you to take pictures as you see it with your own eyes!

Learn and Master Your DSLR Camera So You Can Capture the Beautiful World Around You.

  • Recognize the core of what goes into making a great photo.
  • Become confident in taking control of your camera settings.
  • Learn different types of blur and how to remove them.
  • Find inspiration to take photos you never thought you could take.

Understanding Basic Fundamentals is a Major Step in Defining Your Style as a Photographer.

After having taught thousands of people online and in person on how to improve their photography, I have learned the steps needed to rapidly increase your understanding and build upon it. I have taken 2 years of photography training and knowledge and condensed it down into an easy to follow and easy to understand format.

You will have more confidence in the photos you take by the end of the course as we cover topics such as lighting, exposure modes and settings for specific environments. We'll even address popular questions about buying new camera gear. And as bonus, I've even got some tips for you when you're working with clients.

Course Overview

Throughout this course, there are 48 different lessons covering every thing from lighting to working with clients. At the end of each section you'll find a short quiz. The quizzes are intended to reinforce key principles that you should have learned by watching the videos.

Photography is a subjective art, but there are core fundamentals of what makes a great photo no matter the creative twist and personal style you apply to it. Understanding these basics will transcend through the work you do making your photos stronger and truly stand out against the sea of photos readily available online.

While it might be one thing to understand what goes into making a great photo, it's another thing entirely to actually capture the moment we're seeing with our own eyes. A fair amount of this course is dedicated to helping you understand how the camera works, the function of different settings, and when to use them.

To strengthen your learning, there are various Photo Challenges attached to certain lessons that you can practice with. You're strongly encouraged to take the time to complete these challenges because it's the fastest way to build upon each new concept you will learn in these classes. As you practice with your own camera, things will suddenly start to click and make better sense, leaving you with more confidence and experience.

This course is for all new photographers with any DSLR camera. Each camera, however, does function and operate slightly different between brands and models. For specific function, turn to your owners manual for exact directions.

As you complete this course, you will have more knowledge, stronger confidence, and better pictures. You will feel good with the work you are doing as you are finally able to share with others the world as you see it.

Let's get started!

Who is the target audience?
  • Beginners with a DSLR camera
  • Willing to learn and open minded
  • Willing to get out and do photo challenges
  • NOT for Intermediate or Advanced Photographers
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Curriculum For This Course
58 Lectures
1 Lecture 01:50
1 - Fundamentals of a great photo!
7 Lectures 46:27

Lighting is one of the most important elements to any photograph. You'll learn the difference between hard light and soft light, and different ways that you can work with the light so you can go from a good photo to a stunning photo.

Preview 05:15

Learn more about the Rule of Thirds, Leading Space, Leading Lines, Perspective and Symmetry.

Preview 05:54

This is the most common element of composition that photographers learn about. And it's one that shouldn't be called a rule! We talk about why the rule exists and how it helps balance the different elements in the picture.

The Golden Rule of Thirds

From in focus, to out of focus, never loose sight of the main subject in your photo.

Depth of Field

The focal point of your picture needs to be tack sharp! But learn what learn what holds a lot of new photographers back...

Tack Sharp Focus

Whether you're getting warmer or colder - I'll tell you why "Auto" is all you'll ever need despite having the presets in your camera.

White Balance

Test your new knowledge of these photography fundamentals.

Section 1 Quiz
5 questions
2 - Exposed Camera Settings
8 Lectures 35:50
Section Overview

Understand the different camera modes (P, Av, Tv, M) and what they are doing when you switch into them.

Demystifying Camera Modes (P, Tv, Av, M)

Arguably the most popular camera mode for photographers! You have control over the Aperture in your camera.

Aperture Priority Mode Explained

You have control over the shutter speed in this mode.

Shutter Priority Mode Explained

ISO refers to how much light affects the picture. Coming from old film days, this helps make up for the limitations of the shutter and aperture.

ISO Explained

It's the painless way of making your photos brighter or darker after you get your settings in the general area of where they need to be.

Exposure Compensation

Manual mode is a must know camera mode and one you should be striving to be better at. The best way to learn manual mode is to do Night Photography.

Manual Mode Explained

Three different images taken to make one perfectly exposed photo. Well.... almost perfect!


Test your knowledge of camera exposure settings.

Section 2 Quiz
5 questions
3 - Why are my pictures blurry?
7 Lectures 23:03
Section Overview

Happens when everything around you seems to be moving faster than the camera can capture.

Motion Blur Sickness

When you're the one that can't stop moving long enough for the camera to take the picture.

Camera Shake Syndrome

You get what you pay for. And sometimes we skip on paying for quality just so we can a new lens.

Lens Quality Control

Focus points are nice and very handy - but can also be the cause of why the wrong area of your picture is in focus.

Lens Focusing Points

There is phase detection and contrast detection. You'll learn which does what and where you'll find it.

How the Focusing System Works

A simple setting that more advanced users might appreciate when focusing your lens.

Back Button Focusing (more Advanced)

Test your knowledge of how to never take another blurry photo again.

Section 3 Quiz
5 questions
4 - Handy Camera Knowledge
6 Lectures 36:38
Section Overview

What is RAW and why every photographer is telling you that you need switch to this uncompressed format.


Comes down to the camera body and even the lenses you put on the camera.

Full Frame vs Crop Sensor

"In-camera editing" to speed up the process of getting the look you want in your pictures.

Picture Styles/Control

One of the few things paying for a name brand just might be worth every penny.

Memory Cards & Storage

Interchangeable lenses have been a blessing a curse. Now that you switch lenses, which one do you choose?

Types of Lenses

Test your general camera knowledge.

Section 4 Quiz
3 questions
5 - Kick It Up A Notch With Flash
5 Lectures 33:19
Section Overview

Lighting is everything! And now with flash photography, you can control the quality of light in your pictures.

Basics of Flash Photography

Go from "Meh." to "Wow!" by moving the light just 3 feet away.

On-Camera vs. Off-Camera Flash

Its one thing to have light in your photos. But lets talk about the quality of light you get by putting something over the light.

Light Modifiers

I'll share with you the best gear I own that's actually affordable!

Suggested Gear to Get Started
1 page

Test your new knowledge of Flash Photography basics.

Section 5 Quiz
5 questions
6 - Essence of Photo Editing
5 Lectures 50:43
Section Overview

When shooting in RAW, you have got to dress them up a little!

Photo Editing Basics

Adobe's most popular editing and photo management software for photographers.

Lightroom Workflow

We'll walk through the basic workflow of using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop together to manage and apply basic edits to your pictures.

Photoshop Workflow

You can overdo it with HDR images - we will walk through best practices when it comes to these types of photos.

How to Edit HDR Images

Test your knowledge of photo editing with these quick questions.

Section 6 Quiz
5 questions
7 - Buying New Camera Gear
8 Lectures 43:19
Section Overview

Lets talk about when it's time to upgrade and what that camera body is going to do for you.

Buying Camera Bodies

Arguably the most important purchase you'll make because the quality of pictures comes down to the quality of glass they pass through.

Buying Camera Lenses

It can be overwhelming, but I've got some great tips so you don't break the bank and can get started with some new gear.

Buying Flash Gear

There's more to these than a set of legs! A nice tripod will cost some money for sure but worth it for years to come.

Buying Tripods

There is a lot of fluff and a lot of great accessories to go with your camera. But, lets not waste our money just to outfit ourselves with some nifty gadgets!

Buying Other Accessories

Rent? Or buy? Either way, it could be the next step to furthering the progression of your photography.

Renting vs. Buying

Don't worry - I've got all my gear recommendations in one place for you to check out.

"My Gear" Starter Kits
1 page

Test your knowledge of buying new camera gear.

Section 7 Quiz
3 questions
8 - On-Location Photo Shoots
7 Lectures 51:28
Section Overview

We will walk through important tips and tricks to have successful portrait sessions to make you look like a pro and your client look like a model.

Portrait Photography

Keep things interesting. Tell a story. Share the world around you with stunning photos.

Landscape Photography

The fastest way to learn manual mode on your camera is through night photography. In this video, we show you a light painting of a waterfall.

Night Photography

From taking the pictures to stitching them together in Photoshop - you'll have stunning panoramas.

Panorama Photography

I'll teach you how to photograph captivating water drop shapes right in your very own kitchen!

Action Photography

We will walk through how to setup your lighting and get the results you need and want.

Flash Photography

Test your knowledge of on location photo shoots.

Section 8 Quiz
4 questions
BONUS - Working With Clients
4 Lectures 25:26
Section Overview

These are guidelines for staying competitive and how to approach clients with your prices.

Setting Prices

It doesn't hurt to have a layer of protection for yourself when working with clients.

Getting Model Releases

The experience is what keeps people coming back and telling their friends why you need to be their photographer.

Crafting an Experience

Test your knowledge of working with clients.

Bonus Quiz
3 questions
About the Instructor
Dustin Olsen
4.0 Average rating
2 Reviews
28 Students
1 Course
Photo Designer

My name is Dustin Olsen! I’m the guy behind the camera and the one in front of Photoshop. I’m an Online Marketer. WordPress Guru. Graphic Designer. Photographer. Presenter. Teacher. I love being in control of the experience people get to have with something I’ve created. Whether they are listening to me speak, looking at my photography, or navigating my website – All I want them is to feel inspired and at ease.

I have a Bachelors Degree in Web Design, with emphasis in Web Business, from BYU-Idaho in Rexburg. Along with a split minor in Photography and Public Relations. While there, I co-designed and taught an accredited advanced photography class for students to take as part of their degree. I have been doing photography for the last 5 years and have taught thousands of people how to use their camera and take better pictures. I’ve been building WordPress sites for small business and organizations for the last 3 years.

I love engaging with people and learning what makes them tick. Discovering what motivates them and fuels their passion. I have been inspired and encouraged through amazing people full of spectacular talent and tremendous courage to not only believe in themselves, but in the potential of others.

If there is one thing that gets me up in the morning – it’s you. I’m always thinking of what might be helpful or encouraging to you when looking to create something of your own. I think of how the things I do can inspire what you do next.

I owe so much to those who believed in my talent and taught me how to spread my wings. Above all, I owe tribute to my mother for all that I am and hope to be.

And that’s me!