Beginning DSLR Photography - Take Better Photos Today!
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Beginning DSLR Photography - Take Better Photos Today!

Beginners guide to creating better photos. Learn in 2 hours what it takes most photographers 2 years to learn.
4.2 (14 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.
185 students enrolled
Created by Mark Richardson
Last updated 3/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $115 Discount: 91% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Control your camera on manual mode to take better photographs.
  • Understand each critical control of your DSLR so you can feel confident using your camera.
View Curriculum
  • Having a DSLR or camera that allows for full manual control will be helpful, but not required to benefit from this course.

Welcome to Beginning DSLR Photography. Do you have a DSLR camera but have no idea how to use it? Maybe you've heard terms like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, but don't have a good idea about what they do or how to control them?

Maybe you've started taking photos but they always turn out blurry and you can't figure out why so you put the camera down in frustration?

Don't worry! In this course we're going to cover all the essential basics. This course is a great foundation that will teach you the basic principles of how a camera works so you can start practicing and begin taking better photos right away.

In the first section we will cover each point of the exposure triangle and how they work together to create an image. Each video lecture demonstrates the topic and shows example photos to help drive home the information.

In the next section, we'll go over focus, various focus modes, focus points, and back button focus. You'll learn how to nail the focus every time!

Section 3 will cover composition, rule of thirds, leading lines, leading the eye, and balance. Once we understand the technical aspects of exposing a photo correctly, it's time to start getting creative with composition and crafting a shot that will stand out and be something more than just a snapshot.

Section 4 is all about light. We'll discuss and demonstrate the different qualities of light and how to harness light to craft an image.

Section 5 is about applying your knowledge and getting out to practice! I provide several exercises that utilize what we've learned in the previous lessons and will help you get well on your way to becoming an amazing photographer.

Every concept is explained and demonstrated in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Still have questions? I'm available through the wonderful Udemy platform to help you out.

Even if you've been taking photos for a while now, this course will cover foundational items that you may have not picked up on your own.

I teach this curriculum at my local technical college and I'm excited now to bring this course online!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for anyone looking to get started taking better photos and understanding their camera. This course covers photography basics and is aimed and beginner or intermediate photographers looking to refine their understanding of their camera and photography.
Compare to Other DSLR Courses
Curriculum For This Course
28 Lectures
Exposure Basics
7 Lectures 24:35

An introduction to the things you can expect to learn inside this course on begining DSLR Photography.

Preview 01:21

Quick instructor & class introduction and DSLR defined.

What is a DSLR?

Quick overview of the Exposure Triangle and light meter.

The Exposure Triangle

An explanation of shutter speed.

Understanding Shutter Speed

One of the most common questions I get is "how do I get that cool blurry background in my photos?" In this lesson I'll teach you the proper aperture settings for a shallow depth of field. No you can get that "blurry background" too!

Understanding Aperture & Depth of Field

Ever wonder how to get photos with that "blurry background?" This discussion explains your camera's aperture and how it effects exposure and depth of field.

Understanding ISO

A quick recap of what we covered in the previous lectures on shutter speed, ISO, and aperture controls.

Settings Overview on a Canon DSLR

Test your learning from Section 1.

The Exposure Triangle Quiz
3 questions
3 Lectures 10:57

If you are shooting with a recent Canon DSLR, you will notice that you have three autofocus modes: One-Shot, AI Servo, and AI Focus. Here is a brief explanation of what each of these modes does:

One-Shot. Use this mode when your subject is stationary. I use this mode most often when shooting landscapes or product photography in the studio. Sometimes this mode is called single autofocus. When in One-Shot mode, the camera will lock in a focus point when the shutter button is pressed halfway and will hold that focus point until you either release the shutter button or press it all the way down and take a picture.

AI Servo. AI Servo focus mode is most useful when photographing moving subjects, like sport, or a race. In this mode the camera locks on a focus point when the shutter button is halfway pressed, but continues to monitor and refocus automatically if the subject or camera is moving.

AI Focus. AI Focus mode combines One-shot mode and AI Servo Mode. In this mode, the camera will automatically switch from One-shot mode to AI Servo Mode if the subject or camera starts moving. Canon documentation states that this mode is great for photographing a subject that might move unexpectedly, like a child or wildlife. (Same thing right?)

I find myself shooting in One-Shot or AI Servo focus mode the majority of the time.

Understanding Focus Modes

The camera usually focuses when the shutter button is pressed half way down, and then the photographer takes the picture when the button is pressed in fully. Back button auto focus makes it so the shutter button doesn’t control the focus activation at all, but instead assigns another button on the back of the camera (hence the name) to activate focusing on the camera.

Back Button Focus

Learn about focus points on your DSLR.

Focus Points
7 Lectures 34:45

What makes a good composition? The rule of thirds is a great basic element of composition that will improve your photos almost instantly.

Rule of Thirds

Examples of how to create depth in your photographs.

Depth and Layering

In a recent photography trip to Teton National Park, I show a couple of my favorite spots to take pictures and demonstrate looking past the obvious shot to create more unique, interesting photos. I also show how I like to find depth and use layering in my shots to create dimension in my compositions.

Landscape Photography in Teton National Park

Commonly called "leading lines" this lecture talks about and shows examples of this element of composition.

Leading the eye

Balance is important both in diet and in art. We'll learn some elements that make photo feel more "balanced."


Cropping can be a very strong element of composition.


Learn how Rhythm can be a visual element of composition.

Crafting Images with Light
3 Lectures 08:45

A discussion about the qualities of light and where to find them.

Soft Light Vs Hard Light

A quick overview of some of the tools photographers can use to work with light.

Tools for working with light

Intro to Flash
Special Projects
7 Lectures 18:34

In this exercise, your goal is to use shutter speed to show motion, either frozen or with some motion blur. Download the PDF, complete the assignment, and then upload your photos to the Camera Stupid Photo Sharing Facebook Group to share and get feedback.

Freeze Motion & Show Motion
3 pages

In this exercise, practice using aperture to show shallow or deep depth of field. Download the PDF, complete the assignment, and then upload your photos to the Camera Stupid Photo Sharing Facebook Group to share and get feedback.

Shallow & deep depth of field
3 pages

Download this PDF guide to long exposures, complete the assignment, and upload your photos to the Camera Stupid Facebook Group to share them and receive feedback:

Night Long Exposure
6 pages

Download this PDF guide to photographing waterfalls, complete the assignment, and upload your photos to the Camera Stupid Facebook Group to share them and receive feedback:

Photographing Waterfalls
3 pages

Complete the two parts of this exercise and upload results to the discussion section of this course or to the Camera Stupid Photo Sharing Facebook Group.

Light the Eyes - Catch Light Exercise
3 pages

This tutorial shows a cool technique for freezing a liquid with flash photography. Give this technique a try and upload your results to the discussion section of this course.

Preview 06:57

Here's a short tutorial where I show you how I shot one of my favorite landscape photographs.

Preview 11:37
Displaying Your Work
1 Lecture 02:52
About the Instructor
Mark Richardson
4.2 Average rating
435 Reviews
8,551 Students
4 Courses
Photographer and Videographer

Mark Richardson is a full-time professional photographer, videographer, and author of the Camera Stupid website. His job has taken him to over 30 countries where he has used DSLR's and drones to capture stunning imagery and aerial video for use in corporate and commercial productions. Mark has scratch built several quadcopters and hexacopters but now prefers the DJI Inspire platform for its ease of use and compact size for travel.

Mark's first love will always be great landscape photography but he is interested many different styles and subjects including architecture, food, portraiture, product, and of course aerial photography.

Mark studied photography, videography, and graphic design at BYU-Idaho where he received a Bachelors of Science. Since graduating in 2009, Mark has worked in the industry using photography and videography to tell brand stories.

Always quick to pick up new techniques and learn new technology, Mark has jumped into aerial photography and videography with both feet and has many hours of flight time under his belt.

Mark has another passion: Helping others find success and happiness in learning. Mark loves to teach people of any age and enjoys learning from students as well. Mark is good at explaining difficult or complicated concepts in a way that anyone can understand.