National Geographic Photography: Adventure & Wildlife

Go beyond shooting to study adventure and wildlife with four top National Geographic photographers.
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  • Lectures 25
  • Length 4.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2016 English

Course Description

The best way to learn the art of photography is by watching a master artist at work. In National Geographic Photography: Adventure & Wildlife—eight lectures taught by four top National Geographic photographers who represent the gold standard of photography—you’ll gain unprecedented access to true masters, watching and learning from them as they work. 

Follow Cory Richards, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year (2012), as he shares tips on how to reveal the human element and culture of a locale by using techniques including silhouette, leading lines, scope, and anticipation. 

Travel to some of the most incredible locations on and under Earth with Stephen Alvarez, a photographer who specializes in subterranean spaces and extreme terrain, as he shares advice for lighting difficult locations. 

Steve Winter, who was named Photographer of the Year (2008) and Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year (2012), shares essential tricks for capturing once-in-a-lifetime, emotion-filled images of elusive animals, from selecting the right shutter speed to anticipating an animal’s behavior. 

National Geographic photographer and Great Courses favorite instructor Joel Sartore provides insight into building meaningful photo essays and explores the key ingredients of a great photograph: good light, good composition, and a moment. 

Beyond revealing professional secrets, this course provides a toolbox overflowing with techniques you’ll put into practice every time you lift your camera.

What are the requirements?

  • This course focuses on the artistic process rather the mechanical side of taking pictures. Other than a basic understanding of a camera’s operations, no advanced photography knowledge is necessary.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Anticipate the moment to take stunning photographs that capture their artistic vision, even in challenging conditions, such as low light, unpredictable subjects, or difficult environments.

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone who enjoys taking photographs with any type of camera, from professional to smartphone, particularly those interested in how to frame, light, and capture the perfect shot.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Redefine Adventure
Showing the Experience of Adventure
Finding the Right Moment
Adventure is the People Involved
Section 2: Broaden Your View
Connecting Culture and Landscape
To the Water
Telling the Story of Human Impact
Section 3: Show What No One Has Shown
Somewhere No One Has Been
One Successful Picture
Look at the World in a New Way
Section 4: Set the Scene, Get Close
Scene Setters
Get in the Action
Coordinating Images and Environment
Section 5: Understand the Animal
Relating Animals to Ourselves
Capturing Animals in their Natural Habitat
Capturing Action and Wonder
Section 6: Use All the Tools
Practice in your Backyard
Try Every Technique
Tell the Story of the Animal
Section 7: Make a Difference
Making Still Images Memorable
Telling Stories to Inspire Change
The Photo Ark
Section 8: Go Back, Get It Right
A Little Bit of Life Captured Forever
Gathering Every Detail to Tell a Story
Shoot What's Nearest and Dearest to your Heart

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Instructor Biography

The Great Courses, Experience the Joy of Lifelong Learning

The Great Courses is the premier publisher of educational video and audio courses that are designed to meet the powerful and rapidly growing consumer demand for personal development and lifelong learning. The pioneer of the concept of engaging, direct-to-consumer university-level courses, The Great Courses has a catalog of more than 450 courses led by the world’s top professors and experts in a broad range of subjects across science, mathematics, philosophy, history, literature, fine arts and music, better living, business, and personal development. Our esteemed faculty members are drawn from the most respected institutions in the world and, uniquely, are selected by our customers exclusively for their ability to teach. Our courses, too, are produced only after we survey our community of lifelong learners on course concepts and gain their approval. The result—compelling courses taught by engaging instructors at the top of their fields.

Instructor Biography

Cory Richards, Award-winning photographer for National Geographic

A climber and visual storyteller, Cory Richards was National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012, the same year the American Alpine Club presented him with its Rowell Award. At the 2014 National Geographic Explorers Symposium, Richards was named to the inaugural group of National Geographic Photography Fellows, whose work combines visual storytelling and exploration. Richards’s camera has taken him from the runway to the remote corners of world, from Antarctica’s unclimbed peaks to the Himalayas of Nepal and Pakistan. A passionate mountain climber on the North Face athletic team, he has carved a niche as one of the world’s leading adventure and expedition photographers. His photographic work has appeared in National Geographic magazine, Outside, and the New York Times, while his filmmaking has won awards at nearly every major adventure film festival, including garnering the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival for Cold

Instructor Biography

Stephen Alvarez, Award-winning expedition photographer, National Geographic

Stephen Alvarez is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker who produces global stories about exploration, adventure, and culture. Since 1995, he has published over a dozen features with National Geographic, including stories on the discovery of an ancient Incan mummy in Peru; the deepest cave in the world near the Black Sea; and the world below Paris, from the opera house to the sewers. Mr. Alvarez has won awards in Pictures of the Year International and Communications Arts, as well as a 2012 White House News Photographers Association award for his story on underground Paris. He has received attention from numerous media outlets, including NPR, PBS, and CBS Sunday Morning, and lectured on photography at the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Shakerag Workshops, National Geographic Live, National Geographic Workshops, the Atlanta Photojournalism Festival, and Banff Mountain Centre. Mr. Alvarez is also a founding member of and social media strategist for The Photo Society, and he holds a post as the Microsoft Devices Global Brand Ambassador for imaging.

Instructor Biography

Steve Winter, Award-winning photographer for National Geographic

Specializing in wildlife, particularly big cats, Steve Winter became a National Geographic photojournalist in 1991. He was named BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 and BBC Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year 2012, in addition to winning the Picture of the Year International’s Global Vision Award in 2010 and 2011 and receiving first prize in the nature story category from World Press Photo in 2008 and 2014. In November 2013, National Geographic published Steve’s photography book Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Cat, co-authored by environmental journalist Sharon Guynup. He lectures globally on photography and conservation issues and has appeared on CBS Nightly News, 60 Minutes, NPR, BBC, CNN, and other media outlets. Mr. Winter also teaches photo workshops with Wildlife Photo Masterclass, a cooperative formed by National Geographic photographers.

Instructor Biography

Joel Sartore, Award-winning photographer for National Geographic Magazine

Joel Sartore is a regular contributor to National Geographic, and his photographic assignments have taken him to some of the world's most challenging environments and brought him face to face with wildlife in all 50 U.S. states and all seven continents. He was recently named a National Geographic Fellow for his work on The Photo Ark, a multiyear project to document the world's biodiversity in studio portraits. His photograph of a lion in a tree was voted the best picture by National Geographic in 2011, and also won him a 2012 Veolia Environment award for wildlife photography. In addition to his work with National Geographic, Mr. Sartore has contributed to many other prestigious publications, including Audubon Magazine, Time, Life, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. His work has been highlighted by National Geographic Explorer, NBC Nightly News, NPR's Weekend Edition, and the hour-long PBS documentary At Close Range. He is also a regular contributor to CBS's Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, and a noted author and public lecturer to audiences around the world. Mr. Sartore has written several books that highlight his craft and his work, including RARE: Portraits of America's Endangered Species, Photographing Your Family, and Nebraska: Under a Big Red Sky.

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