Photography: Ditch Auto - Start Shooting in Manual

Ditch Auto & learn how to take fantastic pictures with your DSLR Camera in Manual. Unlock your camera's true potential!
269 reviews
  • Jerad Hill Photography, Web Designer, Online Marketer, Husband, Father

    Hi all, I am a website designer and photographer who has been working for himself since graduating high school. I taught myself website design and development so I could start my own business. In 2005 I taught myself photography and started a photography business as a professional wedding photographer. Since then, I have helped hundreds companies and organizations market their products and services online. As a photographer, I continue to capture photos and produce video for weddings, events, conferences and more.

    I teach because I was taught by so many through blog posts, articles and online videos. Teaching allows me to give back and teach others the way I would have liked to be taught. Many of my courses are free because I believe in giving back.

    I am a husband and father with three amazing kids. You can learn more about me at my website. I hope to see you in one of my courses. Thanks so much!

  • Lifetime access to 37 lectures and 5 quizzes
  • 4+ hours of high quality content
  • A community of 64100+ students learning together!
  • 120+ discussions

Photography: Ditch Auto - Start Shooting in Manual

Ditch Auto & learn how to take fantastic pictures with your DSLR Camera in Manual. Unlock your camera's true potential!
269 reviews


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Why Take This Course?

You have a DSLR Camera or a fancy Point-and-shoot, but have not been using it to it's full potential. You know that the scary "manual mode" holds a whole new level of customization which would result in better quality photos but have resisted. Terms like Shutter Speed and Aperture sound confusing and you don't know where to start.

If that sounds familiar, I want to assure you that by the end of my FREE course you will understand what those settings do and be on your way to controlling your camera rather than your camera controlling you.

You made an investment in a decent camera and it's time to start using it's features

In this course you will learn the basics of DSLR Photography and how to shoot in manual mode. My goal is to give you the tools so you can train your brain to think like a Photographer. You will also know how to control your camera instead of leaving it up to Auto Mode to try and to it's best.

How Long Is This Course?

So far, the course is just over 4 hours in length. You can watch it in chunks or all at once. It is best to watch it with camera in hand so you can pause and follow along with your camera. All DSLR Cameras are different so your settings may look different than mine.

What Should I Expect?

You should expect to be able to shoot photos with confidence in pretty much all situations. Whether you are taking pictures of your kids for the memories or are considering Photography as a profession, this is everything I had to teach myself in order to understand my camera.

Who are you Jerad Hill?

I am a Wedding Photographer with over 6 years of professional experience. I have shot over 200 weddings, 120 engagement sessions, 150 portrait sessions and 1000's of photos of my own kids. For fun I have shot live concerts and music videos. I am also a Wedding Videographer and do a lot with video. Expect a course on DSLR Video soon.

Thanks for checking out my course. Please subscribe and make sure to share it with that friend of yours who has a nice camera that is always complaining about not understanding it.

    • DSLR Camera, though not required. Much of what you will learn will help you shoot better photos with any camera.
    • Over 37 lectures and 4.5 hours of content!
    • Learn to use your camera in manual mode
    • Feel more confident shooting with a DSLR
    • Maximize the potential of your camera
    • Photographers, Bloggers, Parents, Hobbyists, and anybody who wants to take better pictures with their camera.


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Available on Desktop, iOs and Android
Certificate of completion


  • SECTION 1:
  • 1
    Who am I?
    Introduction and welcome from your instructor Jerad Hill.
  • 2
    2012 Photo Reel
    Sample of my work from 2012.
  • 3
    Here is what to expect
    In this video I outline what you can expect from this course.
  • 4
    Here is what you need
    An overview of what you need to complete this course.
  • SECTION 2:
  • 5
    In this video we look at cameras and discus basic camera concepts to help you better understand your camera.
  • 6
    An overview of lens types and options available to DSLR cameras.
  • 7
    A brief discussion on the different types of lighting and what is available.
  • 8
    Different camera stabilization options and when to use them.
  • SECTION 3:
    Getting To Know Your Camera
  • 9
    Basic Features of a DSLR
    The first step toward taking better photos is understanding your camera. We look at the basic features of a DSLR camera.
  • 10
    Shutter Speed
    The shutter speed adjustment tells your camera how long to hold the shutter open which allows more or less light to hit the sensor. In this video we talk about what that means and how it can effect your photo.
  • 11
    The Aperture setting on a camera tells the lens how much it should open to let light in to hit the sensor. In this video we discuss what that means and how it can effect your photo.
  • 12
    In this video we discuss the ISO setting on your camera. The ISO setting adjusts your camera's sensitivity to the light coming in through the lens. We discuss what that means and how it effects your photo.
  • 13
    Focus Options
    Most cameras have several adjustments to help with focus. In this video we discuss those options and how they can effect the way you take pictures. 
  • 14
    Camera Menus Part 1
    Camera menus can be confusing. In this video we briefly look at camera menu options and what functions they perform. 
  • 15
    Camera Menus Part 2
    Camera menus can be confusing. In this video we briefly look at camera menu options and what functions they perform. 
  • 16
    Camera Menus Part 3
    Camera menus can be confusing. In this video we briefly look at camera menu options and what functions they perform. 
  • 17
    Image Review
    In this video we look at the image review function on a DSLR camera to view important information about our photos.
  • 18
    Getting To Know Your Camera Section Quiz
    9 вопроса(ов)
  • SECTION 4:
    Understanding Light
  • 19
    On Camera Flash
    An overview of on camera flash and how it works. We look at both built in camera flash and on camera mountable flash strobes like Speedlights.
  • 20
    Off Camera Flash
    In this video we look at off camera flash options and Speedlights.
  • 21
    Natural Light
    In this video we look at taking photos with natural light.
  • 22
    In this video we go outside to look at how sunlight can effect our photos. We also look at reflectors and light modifiers.
  • 23
    On Camera Flash Outdoors
    A look at using on camera flash outdoors. 
  • 24
    Off Camera Flash Outdoors
    Using off camera flash outdoors as a fill light or key light.
  • 25
    Lighting Quiz
    4 вопроса(ов)
  • SECTION 5:
    Know Your Settings
  • 26
    Nailing Exposure Part 1
    Learn how to use your cameras built in light meeter to set proper exposure.
  • 27
    Nailing Exposure Part 2
    Learn how to use your cameras built in light meeter to set proper exposure.
  • 28
    Nailing Your Exposure Quiz
    4 вопроса(ов)
  • 29
    Shooting Portraits

    Tips on shooting portraits of people. UPDATE!! At around the 6:15 mark of this video I mention "increase shutter speed to compensate." What I meant to say was Increase ISO to compensate. Increasing shutter speed would let in less light. Sorry about the mistake. I obviously was talking to fast. ;)

  • 30
    Shooting Sports
    Tips on shooting sports.
  • 31
    Shooting In Low Light
    Tips for taking pictures in low light situations.
  • 32
    Know Your Settings Quiz
    4 вопроса(ов)
  • SECTION 6:
    Know Your Subjects
  • 33
    Photographing People
    Tips for taking pictures of people.
  • 34
    Photographing Couples
    Tips for taking pictures of couples.
  • 35
    Photographing Kids
    Tips for photographing kids.
  • 36
    Photographing Groups
    Tips for photographing groups.
  • 37
    Know Your Subjects Quiz
    4 вопроса(ов)
  • SECTION 7:
    Other Tips & Closing Thoughts
  • 38
    Play - Have fun with it and try new things
    In this video I encourage you to have fun and explore with your camera. The only way to get better is to stretch your abilities and to try new things.
  • 39
    Editing in Photoshop & Lightroom
    In this video we take a quick look at editing a photo in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS6. I have also included the Camera RAW and JPG file so you can play with it in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. These files are untouched right out of my camera. To use the RAW file you will need an updated version of Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW in Photoshop or Adobe Bridge.
  • 40
    Ask Questions
    Feel free to ask me questions about you camera or photography in general. I will do my best to answer questions.
  • 41
    What's Next?
    What you can expect next after taking this course.
  • 42
    The Ditch Auto Survey
    Help me make better video courses, take my short survey.


Hours of video content
Course Enrollments


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  • Nicky Burke
    Fantastic course for beginner photographers!

    I started an online course about a month ago, then I stumbled across Jerad Hill's course on Udemy. As I watched his lectures, all the information I had read on photography suddenly started to make sense! Jerad's friendly, clear and easy to understand style kept it interesting for me and he took the confusion out of some of the technicalities. Now I'm able to take my camera off Auto and create some really great shots, using the knowledge I have gained from this course. I thoroughly recommend this course for anyone who wishes to get to know and use their DSLR. Thanks Jerad!!

  • Robert Neville
    Extremely detailed and easy to follow

    I'd started this course months ago and due to a broken camera - had halted for a while. Now having a new camera and a bit more experience, I just began studying this course again. WOW! I'd forgotten how extremely detailed and relevant the material is. Jerad has done an excellent job of explaining many finer points of getting the most from your camera in manual mode. Great for beginners and more advanced photographers...this course has something for all!

  • Anandh Bala
    Good coverage and presentation

    This course cover many essentials of photography and well presented by the instructor. Quizzes are excellent.

  • Francesca Guiducci
    Perfect introduction to photography

    This course represented for me the perfect introduction to photography. I completed it even before putting my hands on my first DSLR camera. It was very easy to follow and never boring. I also appreciate that it has a LOT of hands-on tips and tricks that will make your life easier. Extremely recommended! Looking forward to more courses from the same instructor.

  • Andrew

    Thank you very much for this wonderful course! I really ditched auto an started shooting in manual thanks to you!