Online Photography Courses
Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, exposure compensation - these are all vital tools to digital photography. But for someone who's just picking up an SLR or mirrorless digital camera for the first time, these digital photography basics might seem complicated and overwhelming. The internet is crawling with free information, but it can be difficult to understand and can often times be inaccurate.
In this 6-week online photography course, I'll guide you through these topics along with lighting, composition, shooting techniques and more, all with over 14 years experience and thousands of hours of teaching to back me up! Tons of beautiful examples, illustrations and even video presentations will ensure you get the information for good! Download the free online photography course preview using the link above and see for yourself!
Online Photography Course Outline
- Lesson 1: Light, Composition & Shooting Techniques
- Light quality
- What the different types of light quality are and how to spot them
- How to use each type of light quality and direction to your advantage
- How to use it to highlight your subject, bring out texture, hide blemishes and more!
- How to get the most flattering light on portraits
- Simple tips for making more impactful compositions
- How to draw more attention to your subject
- How to frame your shot
- Proper Shooting Techniques
- Lesson 2: Exposure Control & Shooting Modes
- What is exposure & how can you control it?
- What exposure is and how your camera changes it
- How your camera works to create an image
- The three mechanisms every photographer must know in the camera
- A brief description of shutter speed, aperture and ISO
- Video Presentation: Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO in a Nutshell
- All about the camera shooting modes
- The difference between all those shooting modes atop your camera
- When to use each one, what their limitations and advantages are
- Getting correct exposure
- How to use one of the most important tools on your camera that allows you to control how bright the image is
- How to fix pictures that are too bright or too dark
- How to make the image come out the correct brightness the first time
- Video Presentation: Exposure Compensation
- Lesson 3: White Balance & File Types
- Why white balance exists
- What is color temperature?
- Why does it matter to your photos?
- Using white balance
- Getting images with proper color
- What the different white balance settings mean and when to use each
- What to do if your colors are coming out wrong
- Why and when Auto White Balance can fail
- How to use white balance to create sunsets with richer color
- File types
- The difference between RAW and JPEG files
- The advantages and disadvantages of each file type
- How to change the white balance of an image in your computer after you've taken then picture
- Video Presentation: White Balance
- Lesson 4: Shutter Speed
- Shutter speed explained
- What the shutter speed is and why it exists
- How the shutter speed is measured
- How the shutter speed affects the image
- What shutter speeds you should use
- What shutter speeds you can use
- How to change the shutter speed
- What shutter speeds are acceptable to handhold your camera (it's not 1/60!)
- Where to find the shutter speed on your camera
- Video Presentation: Shutter Speed
- Lesson 5: Aperture
- Aperture explained
- What the aperture is and why it exists
- What the heck is an f-stop?
- How the aperture affects the image
- What depth of field is and how to change it
- How to get those blurry backgrounds
- How to get everything in focus
- How to change the aperture
- Where to find the aperture on your camera
- Video Presentation: Aperture
- Lesson 6: ISO
- ISO explained
- What the ISO is and why it exists
- How the ISO is measured
- How the ISO affects the image
- When to change the ISO and what to change it to
- How to change the ISO
- Where to find the ISO on your camera
- Putting it all together
- How the shutter speed, aperture and ISO interact with each other
- How to use one of them to get the others where you want them
- Video Presentation: Putting it all Together
Is this your first time with an SLR or mirroless digital camera? No problem. This course will guide you through the digital photography basics you need to know to start taking better pictures now. This online photography course is designed for even the most brand-new beginner. No previous training or experience is required.
Here is a summarized list of topics this online photography course will cover. If you want to learn these digital photography basics, then this course is for you:
- Shutter Speed
- White Balance
- How exposure works
- What the different shooting modes do
- Exposure compensation
- JPEG vs RAW
- Composition for better photos
- Lighting, how to identify and use
- Proper shooting techniques
If you already have a solid grasp on most of the above subjects, this course may be a little bit below your level. If that's the case, be sure to check out my How to Shoot in Full Manual online photography course all about manual photography. If you only kind of understand the above subjects but could use some more clarification and help, this course will be right up your alley.
Keep in mind that this online photography course is not designed as a manual for your specific camera. This course is laid out to address general topics that are universal to SLR and mirrorless digital photography. Although I do address the controls on some of the major Nikon and Canon cameras, this course will not cater to your exact camera. If you need help with your camera specifically, you may be interested in some of my private lessons.
If you’re still not sure whether this online photography course is right for you, please drop me a line at
To get the full benefit from this course, the following are required:
- DSLR camera, mirrorless compact camera, or any camera with adjustable shutter speed, aperture, & ISO
- Tripod strongly recommended (but not required)
- No prerequisites required
As this is online photography course is for beginners, there are no prerequisites required to enroll. The only requirement is a digital SLR camera, a mirrorless compact digital camera, or any other digital camera that allows you to control the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. The brand of your camera doesn’t matter, but I specifically address only Nikon and Canon cameras in this course. All of the principles discussed, however, apply to all DSLR and mirrorless compact cameras (regardless of brand) and can be used by anyone with any DSLR or mirrorless compact camera. I strongly recommend you have a tripod. A lack of tripod will greatly limit your ability to complete assignments and play with the new tools you've learned.
This online photography course is composed of:
- 6 lesson guides
- 141 pages in all
- 241 example images total
- 52 illustrations and diagrams
- 12 assignments
- 7 video presentations
- Unlimited email support from Nick Carver
- Image feedback and critiques
- Lifetime course access
Although this course is “6 weeks,” you can take the course at whatever pace works for your schedule. All 6 weekly lesson guides will be available to you from day 1. Study as fast or slow as you wish and complete assignments whenever you’re ready. To learn more about how the course works, visit this information page.
Throughout the course, you will have unlimited email support with a direct address to Nick Carver. Emails are typically answered within 2 business days depending on my volume of emails. Phone and/or online chat support is also available for an additional charge. Drop me a line for rates at
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