Udemy, well known for providing online courses at cost or for free on hundreds on topics, is also a source of a number of photography classes. For those on a schedule, needing learning flexibility, or just wanting to learn at their own pace, the teaching website is an ideal flexible outlet.
One specific class by Jerad Hill, “Ditch Auto Start, Shooting in Manual,” provides specific training by video on how to use a single lens reflex camera, or SLR, without using the automatic focus feature as a crutch. This is a necessary breakthrough challenge for anyone who truly wants to get the most out of their SLR camera as the automatic feature bars a number of features in an SLR that produce some of the best shots. For instance, the classic Af shot with aperture settings and F-stops that shows a target crystal clear but things in the background fuzzy and soft is only possible outside the automatic feature. Trying to do the same with the auto feature only produces a shot with everything clear and dull, lacking emotion.
Udemy’s class is laid out in seven sections, with two of them being the expected introduction and closing, and the remaining five the heart of the lesson material. The course is perfect for someone who has never used anything but the automatic feature, starting off with the very basics of remedial camera knowledge and moving into advanced features right afterwards. The basics section can get a bit technical quickly, jumping into light and stabilization in the second half, but a student can always replay these segments to learn them properly, that being one of the big advantages of online learning in general.
The advanced phase of the course covers instruction on how to use the various optional tools, such as aperture, shutter speed, what used to be film speed or now ISO, focus, and then a three-part walkthrough on all the technical features hidden inside digital SLR camera menus.
The course is only a couple hours long in total, but each section is broken up by a quiz to reinforce the lessons learned. And, the final closeout section is designed to introduce editing topics, paving the way for getting into digital image manipulation with a future class.
All of the above said, one of the best features about the Ditch Auto class is that it covers quite a bit of camera know-how and the tuition cost is free, the best best price of all. So check it out; you have nothing literally to lose except a few hours of time spent learning how to use your camera in a comprehensive manner.