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The Fundamentals of Photography

Take better pictures every time by understanding the four foundational principles of every photograph.
4.7 (6 ratings)
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85 students enrolled
Last updated 1/2014
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
By the end of the course, you will understand how to improve your photography through the application of the fundamental elements.
View Curriculum
  • Digital camera, preferably a DSLR. Most point-and-shoot cameras will work. If the camera cannot be set in manual exposure, the course will still be of benefit, but the student will not be able to apply the information in the exposure segment.

Every photograph - whether taken on the simplest camera or the most advanced - rely on four foundational principles. They are Exposure and Color Balance, Focus and Depth-of-Field, Composition and Lighting. In this course, you will learn how to master these foundational elements and how to create better pictures every time.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone interested in improving their photography
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 6 Lectures Collapse All 6 Lectures 01:15:32
The First Fundamental: Exposure
3 Lectures 35:45

Every camera - from the simplest to the most sophisticated - have two controls that control exposure. In this segment, you will learn what exposure is and what those controls are.

Preview 12:33

A camera in auto exposure will be fooled by certain situations. In this segment you will learn how to set correct exposure and color (white) balance using an inexpensive exposure aid.

Exposure Part 2: Setting correct exposure.

We all like to look at the picture on the back of our digital cameras. But there is a better way to determine whether or not you exposed the image correctly. In this segment you will learn how to read a histogram and how to use that information to make adjustments in your exposure.

Exposure Part 3: The best kept secret on a digital camera
The Second Fundamental: Composition
1 Lecture 16:03

Composition is the manner that you place objects in the frame of your camera. In this segment, you will learn the guidelines of composition and how you can make small changes to how take your photograph to make your subject more prominent in the final image.

The Third Fundamental: Focus/Depth-of-field
1 Lecture 11:31

Depth-of-field is a very powerful tool in the photographer's toolbox. In this segment you will learn what depth-of-field is, what factors control it and how to determine its length.

The Fourth Fundamental: Lighting
1 Lecture 12:13

Lighting is the most misunderstood, most abused factor in photography today. Good light creates dimension and mood. In this segment we cover the basics of lighting in photography.

A primer on lighting
About the Instructor
4.7 Average rating
6 Reviews
85 Students
1 Course
Certified Professional Photographer

You could say photography is my life - and that would be only a slight exaggeration. I have been involved in photography since the age of eight and have been a full-time professional photographer since 1989. I have had numerous articles published in the professional photography press and served as president of the Metro Professional Photographers Association. I have spoke to several photography organizations ranging from large conventions full of professionals to small groups comprised of hobbyists. I have won ribbons, awards and plaques that occupy a wall and I am certified by the Professional Photographers of America. I have worked in darkrooms, photo-labs and studios; and have operated just about every kind of camera ranging from pinhole cameras to 4x5 (film) view cameras. If it has to do with photography, I've probably heard about it or read about it.

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