dSLR Manual Camera Confidence Workshop for Enthusiasts
4.1 (35 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.
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dSLR Manual Camera Confidence Workshop for Enthusiasts

Be confident with your manual camera using a reliable 7 step system, every time you shoot.
4.1 (35 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.
357 students enrolled
Created by Beth Jennings
Last updated 6/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand what ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed actually are.
  • Control them independently on your camera in manual mode.
  • Bring these three elements together using the Metering Scale.
  • Ensure your exposures are at their best and make adjustments with the Histogram.
  • Follow the 7 Step Shoot Flow system for setting up your camera correctly every time you shoot.
  • Confidently be in control of your camera in manual mode.
  • Finish with a clear direction for where to next in terms of practicing on your own.
View Curriculum
  • Have your camera's manual on-hand so you can look up how to locate certain buttons and settings on your specific camera.
  • Download a free copy of the 'On Manual Camera Guide as it forms the bedrock for this workshop.
  • Before you start the workshop, see if you can identify the buttons on your camera as outlined in the Guide.
  • Be ready with your copy of the Guide, your camera's manual, a notebook, pen and your camera with charged battery and empty memory card.
  • Hit 'pause' as often as you need to so you have time to locate the buttons in real time, alongside Jules in the lessons.

* 227 students enrolled after 21 days, 5 Star review by Peter Eastway of Better Photography Magazine ... and ... some bonus love was added May 2015 - check it out *

Have you bought a new digital SLR camera, become overwhelmed by all the buttons, switched to auto, then felt frustrated when your pictures weren't working? You wouldn't buy a manual car and then try to drive it in auto, so why do that with your manual dSLR camera?

The truth about digital photography

... is that the left-brained, techie stuff is the boring part - there! I said it!

You have to get your head around that part first, in isolation, before you can get onto the fun part - the creative stuff!

The Camera Confidence Workshop puts the horse before the cart.

Peter Eastway:

  • Editor Better Photography Magazine
  • AIPP Grand Master of Photography
  • Fellow & Honorary Fellow of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography
  • Fellow & Honorary Fellow of New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography

says: 'Highly recommended.'

'I've had a quick run through Beth's course and think it's a great starting point for people wanting to understand their cameras better. Sometimes at my workshops, I meet people who take great photos but don't really know how it all happened. Beth's course will provide the essential building blocks you need so that you don't take the occasional winner, but lots of them! Highly recommended.'


The 'On Manual Camera Guide' is the bedrock so make sure you have a copy on hand when you undertake the workshop.

What's covered?

  • We begin with understanding ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed.
  • How to control them independently on your camera.
  • How to get them working well together in manual mode using the Metering Scale.
  • How to check for errors and make corrections with your Histogram.

Yalcin says: 'Excellent class format'

'Fantastic work Beth. I love the "one-on-one" class format you've created. I feel like I'm there with you, working through the basics of using my camera in the dreaded "M" mode. Watching your examples and seeing you configure the settings is great. This is like watching Jamie Oliver. Beautifully crafted workshop. This is fantastic for anyone curious about using their camera in manual mode and forming the foundation for future skills. Both Nikon and Canon cameras are used in the course' :-)

Altogether, it becomes your 7 Step Shoot Flow - a reliable system you can confidently follow to set up your camera correctly, every time you shoot.

The format

The workshop ran face to face for five years and was delivered in a relaxed, fun and conversational style, with a focus on simplicity and just the buttons you actually need. A one-on-one workshop was videoed with Jules, an enthusiast photographer, following the exact same format. I am thrilled to be able to share the Camera Confidence Workshop with you here on Udemy.

Who's it for? If you …

  • have a digital SLR camera (or mirrorless) that has full manual mode
  • would like to get your head around manual shooting
  • want a reliable system to follow, every time you shoot

Julie says: 'Very well prepared and presented'

'Beth's explanations are easy to follow and understand, I learnt a lot about how to get more out of my camera.'

No prior photography knowledge is required. The workshop is designed for brand new beginners and is very helpful for enthusiasts who are currently struggling to get great photos with semi or auto modes.

When learning digital photography I believe:

  • You should be in control of your camera, not the other way around.
  • Confidence improves provided the foundation is built correctly.
  • The focus should just be on the buttons you actually need.
  • Practice, patience and perseverance makes perfect.
  • It's not about the gear, man!

In a couple of hours, you'll have the fundamentals sorted. Just like learning to drive a manual car, (meaning, so long as you practice afterwards), you'll be well on your way to confidently capturing your life in beautiful photos with your camera in full manual mode.

  • the initial low price will increase - so grab it now while it's set at the lower launch price
  • you have unlimited lifetime access at no extra costs, ever
  • there's an unconditional, no questions asked full 30 day money-back-in-full guarantee

Let's get you started on the path to confidently operating your camera in full manual mode so you can capture the moments that matter most to you in your life with beautiful photos!

Click to enrol now >


Who is the target audience?
  • Enthusiast photographers who would like to gain control of manual shooting with their dSLR or mirrorless cameras.
  • If you've tried other workshops and it didn't stick, or you need a refresher to remind you of how it all comes together.
  • This workshop isn't for people who expect it all to just work straight away. Cameras are mechanical devices that take time to understand and operate well.
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
23 Lectures
4 Lectures 10:06

Hello, and welcome, your learning journey begins!

The On Manual Camera Guide is the bedrock for this workshop. You can either have it open on screen as you go through the workshop, or, print it out and you can write notes onto as you go.

This workshop captures a practical one-on-one learning experience with an enthusiast photographer called Jules. In real time we work out where the buttons are on her camera.

My recommendation for you

The most important thing is that you finish this workshop knowing where all the buttons are on your camera that we identify throughout the workshop.

Every camera has the same features but they are all configured differently.

Please, pause the lessons as much as you need to locate the exact same buttons on your camera. If you're not sure, refer to your camera's manual for the specific button you are looking for, or do a quick Google search online. Once you're clear, then keep moving through the workshop.

Ultimately, my goal is for you to feel confident using your camera in manual mode so you can capture your life in beautiful photos.

Cool, let's get started!


Preview 29 pages

Be clear on why you want to use your camera in manual mode. What moments in your life matter to you?

Be kind with yourself - practice and perseverance will get you there.

Follow along with the On Manual Camera Guide.

Preview 03:22

Set your camera to M for Manual - and stay there.

Camera anatomy - why the lumpy bit on the top.

What happens to the light as it passes through the lens.

Taking the lens on and off.

How to hold your camera comfortably.

A quick anatomy lesson

Introducing the 7 Step Shoot Flow.

Learning to shoot in manual mode is like learning to drive a manual car.

The plan for today's course.

A new concept and your expectations.
4 Lectures 18:52

Manually control how sensitive your camera is to light.

Assess the light you are shooting in.

Your assessment of the light determines which ISO setting to use.

An easy way to visualise ISO.

Preview 03:53

Addressing the concern of pixellation or digital noise.

Introducing 'lamp-post' numbers.

When to use which numbers.

What the term 'stop' means and how to use it.

ISO theory

Find the button on your camera that controls ISO - every camera is different.

Establish the full ISO range your camera offers.

Does your camera offer 1/3 stop increments? Or just the whole lamp-post options?

Remember - every new time you shoot, follow the 7 step Shoot Flow system to set your camera up correctly.

Understanding the light source itself that you might be shooting with.

Preview 08:36

Refer to the ISO assignment

Imagine you wanted to take photos in the basement of your home. OK, let's imagine first that your home does in fact HAVE a basement! You go down there, and flick on the naked 40W globe hanging from the middle of the room.

Which ISO are you more likely to use: ISO100 or ISO6400?


Testing ISO
1 question
Shutter Speed
4 Lectures 16:23

The mechanics of Shutter Speed on your camera.

It is literally a 'time' reference.

It controls two things.

It's given as a fraction of a second.

Learn the Shutter Speed lamp-post numbers.

Shutter Speed theory

Understanding how Shutter Speed is displayed on your camera.

1/3 stop increments.

Remember it is given as a fraction of a second (and how to pronounce it!)

What range of Shutter Speed does your camera have?

What 'B' for Bulb means and when you might use it.

Preview 06:04

How to eliminate 'you' from your pictures.

Set your camera to a safe Shutter Speed.

The creative implication of Shutter Speed choice for your photos.

Shutter Speed in your Shoot Flow

Let's test Shutter Speed

Testing Shutter Speed
2 questions
4 Lectures 15:21

Where Aperture is located on your camera.

What Aperture is and what it means creatively for your photos.

Introducing 'Depth of Field' and its creative implication.

Aperture theory

How to visualise the mechanics of Aperture.

What the 'F' number means creatively for your photos.

* Small number = large hole > lots of light > small depth of field (not much sharp)

* Large number = small hole > not much light > large depth of field (a lot is sharp)

From where you focus, aperture will then give 1/3 sharp in front, and 2/3 sharp behind.

Notice that the F numbers don't grow conveniently in numerical order.

The main (lamp-post) F-numbers double and halve in value, which change in one stop increments.

The Aperture numbers

Locate how to control Aperture on your camera.

Learn the range of Aperture that your current lens gives you (each lens is different).

'Soft and dreamy effect' what is the widest open Aperture your current lens offers?

Does your lens offer 1/3 stop increments? Remember the lamp-post numbers.

Aperture on your camera

Let's test Aperture

Understanding Aperture
1 question
Metering Control
1 Lecture 11:39

Imagine your photos like a great dance - the perfect fusion of the band, the man and the woman.

Introducing the Metering Scale and how it helps you.

Where do you see it on your camera?

Back to your Shoot Flow - Assess the light, choose your ISO, Shutter Speed > meter the light next.

How to bring ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture into alignment by using the moving needle to line up to the zero mark.

Create your Test Shot (#6 in your Shoot Flow).

Bring ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture together
5 Lectures 43:35

Ansel Adams, his Zone System and how it's relevant in today's shooting.

Imagine your scene (your field) is made up of ten tones, from blackest black (Zone 0), to whitest white (Zone 10).

The Meter in your camera only 'sees' Midtone Grey.

To check that your scene is best represented in your photo, discover how the Histogram is your best friend.

The Zone System theory

Can you rely just on your camera's built in Meter?

Set your camera in Play mode to show the white Histogram alongside the thumbnail.

How to analyse your Histogram - the bottom left and right corners for blackest black, and whitest white.

Which adjustment options are available?

Take a second image and assess the new Histogram reading.

What are you metering?

It can be as little as one adjustment to take your pictures from OK to fantastic!

Follow along with Jules' example.

For the purposes of learning your Shoot Flow, choose a simple scene in terms of lighting.

Keep it simple, and be patient while you practice.

Jules' live example

About the camera's limitations in auto modes.

How the camera only 'sees' midtone grey and what that means for exposure accuracy.

Accepting the camera's limitations, and building on that manually using the Histogram for final adjustments.

How the manual mode Shoot Flow is the best system for achieving technically beautiful exposures.

Preview 14:16

Reading your histogram
1 question

Are you making progress?
1 Lecture 06:34

Leave your camera on M for Manual from now on.

When to use Manual Focus (MF) on your lens, rather than Auto Focus (AF).

Follow the 7 Step Shoot Flow, each time you shoot in a new circumstance.

Time to practice - turn to the Now You section of the On Manual Camera Guide.

About the Instructor
Beth Jennings
4.1 Average rating
35 Reviews
357 Students
1 Course
Past Leader to 5000 enthusiasts, Author, Photographer

Hi there!

I'm Beth, a real-life photographer and author. In leading over 5000 enthusiast photographers, I've noticed the same technical dramas that beginner photographers experience when they start out with their first manual camera.

They are scared that they might break their camera if they press the wrong buttons, they struggle with photography fundamentals and how to bring them together correctly on their camera in manual mode.

To solve these challenges I've been teaching the left-brained, buttons-pressing Camera Confidence Workshop face to face for five years in a supportive, conversational and hands-on format. I wondered, what do I do, every time I shoot, to get my camera ready?

And so that's what I teach - the easy-to-follow system for setting up your manual camera called the Seven Step Shoot Flow

What they say

'The lesson was very worthwhile and, indeed, I had some good 'aha' moments! From now I will be shooting 'M' as much as possible (and doing this with better understanding)!' Johan

'I had a few of the basics but it was great to bring them all together. I think practice will be the key.' Ange

'I did a workshop with Beth after struggling with reading/practicing the concepts associated with Manual Mode. Beth's personal style and methods of getting these fundamental concepts through to beginners broke through the fog that accumulated in my brain and enabled me to go on to become a fully fledged Manual Moder!! Would recommend this to anyone and thank you!' Shiraz

Some facts about me

I'm a practising professional, real-life photographer with 15 years experience.

I hold a BA (Commercial Art) Photography degree from RMIT University.

I'm an award winning member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and have exhibited internationally. You can check out more about me over at my website.

Enthusiasts also report overwhelm on the computer, struggling with photo management, image enhancement and creative projects. My book 'Memories at your fingertips – organise your digital photos like a pro' helps set them up for a lifetime of digital photography enjoyment on their computer.

Click to enrol now >

  • Beth Jennings