Beginner Nikon Digital SLR (DSLR) Photography

Learn how to use your camera intuitively. Learn through doing rather than memorizing.
76 reviews
  • JP Pullos Chief Education Officer

    JP has been a professional photographer for six years. In that time, his images have been published by The New York Times, GQ, New York Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Observer, The Village Voice and Time Out New York.

    JP is the Chief Education Officer of JP Teaches Photo and has taught over 4,000 people how to use their cameras. His How Do I Use My Camera? class was chosen by NY Magazine as one of the top ten things to do over Memorial Day weekend.

    In addition to being really knowledgeable about photography, JP can also teach classes on how to make a mango guacamole that will blow your socks off. When he's not teaching, you might find JP playing Shanghai rum with his grandmother and, despite what she'll tell you, he doesn't cheat.

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  • A community of 4400+ students learning together!

Beginner Nikon Digital SLR (DSLR) Photography

Learn how to use your camera intuitively. Learn through doing rather than memorizing.
76 reviews


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You'll learn how all those buttons and dials work on your Nikon DSLR. Including the exercises, this course will take you about 2.5 hours. Through the exercises you'll do and through the explanations of the concepts, JP is committed that you retain the information there is to retain without memorizing. There is about an hour of video lecture which covers exposure, aperture, shutter speed and the mode dial (Auto, P, S, A and M). Images will be shown as examples. The exercises will be explained fully. This course is perfect for anyone who considers themselves a beginner with their Nikon DSLR or for anyone who has some existing knowledge about how their camera works but hasn't quite put all the puzzle pieces together when it comes to how aperture and shutter speed work together. This class is for you if you don't know how all the modes (Auto, P, S, A and M) work on your camera and when you should be using each mode.

    • You should own (or have borrowed) a Nikon DSLR. This class applies to all Nikon cameras that have a model number that starts with "D," (some examples: D4, D610, D7100).
    • Over 7 lectures and 1 hour of content!
    • You will learn how to see your images in a more sophisticated way, like a professional photographer.
    • You will add exposure to your photographer's tool belt and learn how it impacts many visual elements of your images.
    • You will learn how to adjust your aperture and why you would choose one aperture over another.
    • You will learn how to adjust your shutter speed and why you would choose one shutter speed over another.
    • You will learn how all of the modes (Auto, P, S, A and M) work and when you should be using each mode.
    • You will learn to recognize the difference between depth-of-field blur and motion blur.
    • This course is for absolute beginners and for people with some knowledge of how their cameras work but who haven't yet put all the puzzle pieces together of how aperture and shutter speed work together.


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  • SECTION 1:
    Nikon DSLR for Beginners
  • 1

    JP talks about what you'll learn in the course and about his unique style of teaching that will have you learning how to use your camera intuitively.

  • 2

    You'll learn how to see your images in a more sophisticated way and you'll learn how exposure is the simplest but most powerful tool you can use to impact how your images turn out.

  • 3
    Nuts and Bolts of Aperture and Shutter Speed

    JP will describe what's actually happening inside your camera, laying the foundation for learning all about aperture and shutter speed.

  • 4
    The Aperture Exercise

    You'll learn how aperture works by using aperture to create a beautiful image of your own with a shallow depth-of-field.

  • 5
    The Mode Dial

    You'll learn how and when to use each of the modes (Auto, P, S, A and M) on the shooting mode dial.

  • 6
    The Shutter Speed Exercise

    You'll learn how shutter speed works by using your shutter speed to capture the motion of a car or bike.

  • 7

    In the wrap-up to the class, JP will explain how you can approach using your camera in an intuitive way so you can be present to all the beautiful moments around you rather than focusing on your camera.


Hours of video content
Course Enrollments


  • 67
  • 6
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  • Shai Na
    Great teacher great content

    I would highly recommend this class to anyone who has recently purchased a Nikon DSLR and doesn't have the slightest clue about photography. JP makes the learning process incredibly easy and I literally went from zero to hero in just a few hours. Seriously, skip the manual - use this course.

  • Prashanth
    Best cource for Beginners

    I got my first DSLR, having no idea what all those Menus are meant for. I took other free courses on Udemy and watched bunch of Youtube videos. Finally Confused :) I decided to take this course because it says Nikon (Same as mine). JP explained basics lot better and explained in a practical way. After this I realized this course applies to any DSLR camera, no need to be Nikon. I enjoyed each lesson and am more comfortable to use my camera and will practice more. I will recommend to any DSLR beginner & and will look forward for advance classes. Thanks !!

  • Shauna Rumbaugh
    Exceeded my expectations

    When I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D3100, last spring, I skimmed through the manual and read several photography books and web articles. Though I learned a lot about composition while looking at others' photos, I didn't retain much information about camera settings. Invariably, I would compose a shot, then have no idea what settings to use. I usually defaulted to Auto because it was easier than trying to remember what I'd read about aperture and shutter speed and how they interact. I enjoyed this video course and feel much more comfortable with my camera after completing it and doing the exercises. John Pullos is an engaging instructor and clearly has a lot of experience teaching. I appreciate his down-to-earth approach to explaining exposure, aperture, shutter speed, and other settings. I'm excited to continue applying what I've learned in this class and putting my mode dial to better use.

  • Michael Madigan
    Good information, But basic and overpriced

    John did a great job with this course and teaching everything, but at times it was EXTREMELY basic information. He had some very great points and taught an online class better than most people can. I enjoyed taking some information away from this and look forward to learning even more about my Nikon DSLR camera. However, if I had paid full for this course (I got this for over half off) then I may not have been pleased with it as a whole. It is extremely overpriced for what it accomplishes and teaches. Overall, a positive experience.

  • Julie Schillreff
    Amazing Course!

    I am completely new to photography and just bought my first DSLR. This class was wonderful! John is obviously very knowledgeable, but beyond that, he is gifted at explaining complex concepts in a way anyone can understand and at prompting his students to apply their newfound knowledge in order to effectively solidify their understanding. I highly recommended this course. It is well worth the money.

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