Digital Camera Confidence Mini-Course: Consistency is Key
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Digital Camera Confidence Mini-Course: Consistency is Key

How to become camera CONFIDENT in 90 minutes or less.
4.5 (1 rating)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
11 students enrolled
Created by Markus Leibbrandt
Last updated 4/2020
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 7 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • To ensure consistent results in your images.
  • The most important GO-TO-settings for any camera.
  • Quick Refresher of the basics that most people seem to neglect as they grow in their photography.
  • To be confdent with the camera and camera's settings.
  • Understand the various modes and the application for each one of them.
  • How to correctly identify incorrect colour balances and how to correct them.
  • Spend less time wondering about the image and more time knowing.
  • Have a (basic) digital camera, such as D-SLR, Bridge Camera or EVIL-camera (preferably one that allows interchangeable lenses).
  • Must be able to set the camera to Manual mode.
  • Must be able to set the camera to A or Av mode.
  • Must be able to set the camera to S or Tv mode.
  • Must be able to set the camera to P (Program) mode.

Why are some photographers able to get a new camera and within a short time take wonderful photographs while other people struggle to understand why every photograph differs from the previous one?  Is this happening to you?

Getting a new camera can be overwhelming, but you need to start somewhere, and this course will help you to quickly become confident with your camera and get the results you want.

Also, after a while, we seem to neglect the basic functions of our cameras.  We always want to only use MANUAL mode as this is the ONLY way to do it.  And by doing so, we forget about the basics that can give us guidance.

Even though you might know the location and name of each button or control item on the camera, it does not ensure that you get consistent results.  This course will help you to know which settings to configure on your camera to make your life easier.  You know what you want, all you need to do now is reduce the number of variables so that you can identify the remaining factors that require your attention to getting that great image that you want and everybody raves about.

OK, this course is not teaching you photographic techniques, but without this course, you will keep on struggling to get to the result you want.  By applying what you have learnt in this course, you will progress to the next level of your photography skills.  You will, therefore, be able to attend to the things that matter to get to the wow-image instead of wondering what went wrong in your images.

Who this course is for:
  • Any photographer struggling to get consistent results.
  • Beginner photographers.
  • Any person that gets a new (or additional) Digital camera.
Course content
Expand all 24 lectures 01:33:34
+ Introduction.
1 lecture 03:04

Kondor Photographic is a freelance photography business in the West Rand, just a few kilometres west of Johannesburg (South Africa). 

I am the owner of this exciting business.  Yes, exciting, as I am not good at drawing or painting, but I can live out my passion for the arts with my photography skills.

One very fine day I realised that I get just as much joy (sometimes even more) by teaching others what I have learnt over many years.  I am able to improve your photography skills in a shorter time than what it took me to learn them.

I hope that you will benefit from this mini-course, as I did not have somebody to share these skills with me - I had to figure them out for myself over a long time.

One thing that you will find out about me is that I am very passionate about photography.

Markus Leibbrandt
Photographer and Photography Coach
Kondor Photographic

Preview 03:04
+ Camera Basics uncluttered
5 lectures 23:53

There are quite a few types of controls on a camera.  Inside the camera is a complex little computer system, doing lots of calculations and based on the input that it gets, assist you with the most correct settings for the photograph. 

There are various methods of communicating with this computer - (1) any light that reaches the light-sensitive sensors inside the camera via the lens, (2) settings and buttons that you press on the body of the camera, and (3) external devices, such as cables attached to flashes and laptops.

So, we can see these buttons, dials and touch-screens as the "keyboard of this computer".

Important notice: Whenever you plug something into the camera, attach an external flash or slave unit, replace a battery or memory card, it is advisable to switch the camera off before you do so.  This is just to ensure that there are no accidental electrical shorts that can damage the internal electronics of the camera.  rather safe than sorry.

A full list of these controls is listed in your camera manual.  The purpose of the manual is to explain the hardware and how to set/change settings on the camera - it is not to learn you photography (that is another course).  No camera has the same layout, buttons, dials, settings, menus than another, and this is just talking about different models in the same make of camera.  The difference between any two brands can be significant.

Camera basics - what is where?

After completing this section, you will have a good understanding of which settings to disable to ensure that you get consistent results under the same lighting conditions. 

When using fill auto mode (such as the green square on the mode dial), you can expect to have a variety of different colours and exposures under the same lighting conditions. 

This inconsistency will increase dramatically if you are photographing in high contrast conditions.

So, it is better to disable certain automatic features on the camera and learn how to take full control of the situation to guarantee consistent outcomes all the time.  Yes, it will take a while to get used to it, but once you have mastered this skill, you have progressed a lot!

Your safe GO-TO settings

A quick guide on changing lenses.

Identifying wrong (incompatible lenses) for your camera.

Understanding the dangers of using the wrong lens on your camera.

Changing lenses.

Learn the basics about the Quick Release system and attaching the base plate to the camera.

Different base plates / quick release systems.

My base plate is permanently attached to my camera - it saves me a lot of time and helps me not to wear out the thread in the camera where it can be mounted on a tripod.

Most camera dealers stock quick release systems.  But be careful when buying a tripod - some tripods come with a built-in quick release system - you are limited to a specific mount (base plate) that is not always compatible with other quick release systems.  And if the built-in quick release system breaks, you might need to replace the whole tripod (in most of these cases you cannot just replace the tripod head).

Preview 03:58

Learn how the Quick Release system is working when mounted on a tripod.

How to make sure that your camera is securely mounted on the Quick Release system in order to prevent it from falling off the tripod.

Adding the Quick release system on the Tripod

How well did you understand the previous section?

Camera basics
3 questions
+ Camera modes
13 lectures 41:01

Introduction to the most commonly found program modes.

Introduction to Program Modes.

A-DEP mode is Auto-depth-of-field mode.

A-DEP Mode

Manual Mode is the mode that allows you full control over your photographs.

It is the most feared mode by all because it is unforgiving - it does not set anything for you, you need to do all the settings yourself.

It takes some skill to fully master this mode, with a fair amount of knowledge about how lighting and exposure work.  By not understanding exposure and lighting concepts fully, you will most of the time get poor quality photographs.  However, when you understand how lighting and exposure works, you can quickly identify what you want differently on your image and set the camera accordingly to get the image that you want.

This mode also allows you to make certain settings, and this will guarantee consistent results.  I once had to photograph a park run event - the athletes ran in high contrast lighting conditions.  What Imean by that is - the one moment the athlete is in the shade under a tree, the next in bright sunlight and the very next a cloud moves over the sunlit area and I landed up with a complexity of different light sources.  I set my exposure to be correct for the cloudy conditions, so, when they enter the shade I just need to compensate a little bit in photoshop to add more exposure.  The same rule applies when they ran in direct sunlight again - I just needed to reduce the exposure in photoshop a little bit.  (Setting the exposure for the shade would be requiring to much photoshopping for the times that they were photographed in direct sunlight, even resulting in unusable images in most cases.)

If I used one of the auto-modes where the camera had to set the exposure, most of my images would have been unusable.  The conditions change to fast and the light contrast is too much for the camera to properly expose them correctly.

Manual Mode

Aperture Value Priority Mode allows you to select a specific aperture value and the camera will then calculate what the correct shutter speed will be to obtain the correct exposure for the photo.

There are various reasons for choosing a specific aperture value for all your photographs, mostly when you want to have control over the depth of field that is in/out of focus.

Aperture Value Priority Mode (A / Av)

Shutter Speed Priority Mode allows you to select a specific shutter speed and the camera will then calculate what the correct aperture value will be to obtain the correct exposure for the photo.

There are various reasons for choosing a specific shutter speed for all your photographs, mostly when you want to have control over the "movement" that is introduced into the photograph.  You can control if there is /is not any movement in the image.  For instance, when you use a slow shutter speed, anything that is moving in the frame when you take the photograph, will most probably be blurred.

Shutter Speed Priority Mode (S / Tv)

Program Mode will find the most appropriate exposure settings for the image by only adjusting the Aperture and Shutter Speed.  You need to adjust the ISO speed and other settings.

Program Mode (P)

Green Auto Mode, the most expensive "HAPPY SNAPPER" setting on any camera.  This mode will turn your camera into an easy-to-use no-nonsense "no-good" camera.  Why do I say "no-good" camera?  Because this mode does everything for you except pointing to the subject you want to photograph, zoom and pressing the shutter button.  Any cheap camera, including cellphones, can take photos that will look like this, in some instances cellphones can do even better than this mode.

If you do not have time but just want to have an image for remembrance, then you can use this mode.  If you want decent quality photographs, then do not use this mode.  although the P-mode is similar, it is at least better than this mode.

If the camera controls everything for the exposure, quality, colour, what is in/out of focus, what is the use of being a photographer?

Learn photography (from my courses and workshops) and take full control over your images and get that WOW-image that everybody raves about!

Preview 03:13

This mode will help you to correctly expose for portraits while setting the camera to separate the model from the background.

Portrait Mode

Landscape mode wants to show you everything in the finest details.

Landscape (scenic) Mode

You will understand what factors are influenced when you work extremely close to a subject, and what effect this has on the exposure.

Macro Mode

Although athletes and motor sport move at different speeds, in both instances you want to see the vehicle of athlete clearly.  This mode will help you to do just that. 

Sport (Action) Mode

The camera settings for portraiture and night scenery are very different.  This mode will help you to understand how to combine certain settings to get a good result to have a portrait and night scene correctly exposed in one image.

NOTE: You have to use your tripod for these photographs.

Night Portraiture Mode

You will learn where and why flash photography must be disabled.

You will also learn how the camera compensates for this feature not being available.

NOTE: You might have to use your tripod in most of these cases.

Flash Disabled Mode

Check to see if you are able to identify when you or the camera is setting a specific item for exposure based on the mode that you select.

Camera Modes
3 questions
+ Level Up - looking at the next level of items you need to take control of.
4 lectures 24:34

Sometimes the image has a funny overall colour and you do not know what causes it.  This lesson will help you to eliminate problems caused by incorrect settings for the type of light source.

You might need to use a tripod in cases where there is a long exposure setting involved.

Use the downloadable documents to test for the various conditions.

White Balance

In this lesson, you will learn how to find out if you need a pop-up flash.

You will also learn the limitations of the pop-up flash as well as some of the factors that influence the flash range.

Please use the downloadable document to test your exposure settings and document the different results you will encounter.

Adding Flash

You will learn about the different methods to focus on a subject.

Let's FOCUS a little-bit on this topic.

Downloading images from your camera is not always so straight-forward as you think.  Sometimes there are some tricky situations.  You will learn about these situations and the best methods to download images, as well as some of the risks that you might encounter with the hardware.

Storage (downloading) of your Photographs

This section will test your knowledge about lecture 20 to 23.

Let's see what you have learnt.
4 questions
+ Bonus
1 lecture 01:02

1. Please let me know which section in this course was of the most benefit to you? Which one did you enjoy the most? Use the comments below or send me a direct message.

2. What else would you like to learn about?  Please use the comments below and tell me which areas you would like to improve on with your photography.  Also, feel free to "brag" with the areas that you think you have mastered well enough and show your work to me and other students.

Bonus documents for you to download and use during this course.