A beginners guide to Digital Photography: Learn about the basics of photography from professional landscape and travel photographer, David Taylor.
You’ve just bought your first camera. Congratulations! You’re at the start of an exciting and creative journey as a photographer – a journey that can last a lifetime. However, those first steps can be a bewildering experience. Don’t worry. Every photographer has been through the same as you – even professionals like David had moments of sheer bafflement. David’s four lessons will guide you through the basic concepts and techniques you’ll need to understand in order to grow as a photographer.
The topics covered in David’s talks embrace exposing a photo and the effects of aperture, shutter speed and ISO on a photo. This includes an introduction to the idea of depth of field and how movement can be captured. Also covered is a guide to the different qualities of light and they can alter the emotional and aesthetic look of a photo. Lenses and why you’d choose one over another. And an introduction to the mysterious but rewarding art of composition.
From intimate portraits to wide-open landscapes, each lesson is carefully illustrated by a selection of David’s images that help to explain the concepts you’ll be learning about.
All you need for this course is camera and a willingness to learn and experiment with your photography.
What's in the course?
Weekly video tutorials that you can access whenever you want
Optional critiqued assignments so you can practice as you learn
Personal feedback from your tutor
Membership of MyClassroom – our virtual classrooms where you can meet your fellow students
Week One: Introduction to Exposure
Photography starts with light and a successful photo starts with determining the correct exposure. I believe that exposure is as much a part of the creative side of photography as composition. The first lecture covers the basics of exposure. Taking control of the exposure of a photo means thinking about three variables, aperture, shutter speed and ISO. During the lesson I talk about the difference between the three and why you’d choose to prioritise one over the other two. The lecture is illustrated with a variety of photos I’ve shot in different locations, in bad light and in good.
Week Two: Understanding Camera Lenses
Light needs to be focused to create an image. This lesson is about the different types of lenses - primes and zooms, wide-angles and telephotos - that can be used to create a photo. The lesson contains information about focal length and the effect it has on the field of view of a photo. During the lesson I also talk about some of the common problems you may encounter when using a lens. The lesson is illustrated with photos I’ve shot using a variety of different lenses. As you view the photos I talk about why I chose to use a particular lens and the effect it had on the final photo.
Week Three: Light, Files Choice and Post-processing
Light has a wide variety of different qualities. It can hard or soft, warm or cool. This lesson covers the different types of light you’ll encounter as you shoot. The lesson also covers the choices you’ll need to make when you set up your camera to make a photo. This includes a section of the advantages of JPEG and RAW and why and when you need to think about sharpening, contrast and colour. I also talk about black and white photography and the fact that there’s more to the subject than just draining the colour from a photo. I use a wide variety of my own photos to illustrate these points.
Week Four: Understanding Composition
Composition is a large and mysterious subject and one which you never stop learning about. In this lesson I talk about some of the rules that determine good composition. Accompanying the talk are photos that I’ve shot that illustrate some of these rules. However, I believe that once you’ve learned the rules to be truly creative you need to know when to bend or even break them. The lesson also covers colour and the effect it can have on the emotional impact of a photo, the fact that there’s no reason not to crop a photo to improve and why the direction of light is important to a photo.
DSLR, Compact Camera or Interchangeable Lens Camera
A willingness to experiment
"I have found the composition course superb; far better even than I had hoped. I have read (or started to read) countless photography books over the years, but this course…