If you want to learn digital photography in the comfort of your own home on your own schedule, the free course from Harvard through ALISON may be a good fit. It is approximately 10 to 15 hours with video and audio as part of the instruction. Students are given assessments and those that complete the course with an 80 percent or higher on all assessments will receive a certification through ALISON.
Description of Course
The Digital Photography course published by Harvard is course number 591 on ALISON free online courses. It is part of Harvard Open Course Ware and provides instruction on topics including how camera lenses work, how the sensors work, lighting, how to use the histogram and how to read it, exposure setting, and how to use software to process a photograph. It also provides many photography tips and techniques for taking better photos.
This version of the course was released in May 2013 so the instruction is current and applicable for today’s technology. Each module is provided via online instruction including video and audio and is appropriate for students 16 years old and older. After successful completion of all modules and assessments the student will receive a certification either by PDF download, parchment, or framed certification. Fees may apply for some forms of certification.
The Digital Photography Course has 12 modules with a 13th module that is the Digital Photography Assessment for the entire course. Within each module that are also assessments so that students can gauge their progress and understanding of the subject matter. The modules are as follows:
Module 1: Introduction to Digital Photography
Module 2: Introduction to Software
Module 3: Introduction to Light
Module 4: Introduction to Exposure – Part 1
Module 5: Introduction to Exposure – Part 2
Module 6: Introduction to Optics
Module 7: Introduction to Histograms
Module 8: Introduction to Software Tools
Module 9: Introduction to Digital Cameras – Part 1
Module 10: Introduction to Digital Cameras – Part 2
Module 11: Introduction to Color
Module 12: Introduction to Artifacts
Module 13: Digital Photography Assessment
Within each module are several mini lessons and students. There is a red box next to uncompleted lessons and once the student completes them they turn green. This helps the student keep up with what lessons they have already done and which ones they need to do. There is also a section at the bottom of each video within the lessons that has a space for study notes, topic discussion, and a link to the text version of the lesson.
This course provides a free PDF certificate of completion for students who complete all of the modules and get an 80 percent or greater score on each of the assessments. This certificate can be printed by the student. More formal certificates are also available through ALISON for a fee. There will also be a link to the student’s diploma certificate on their account page under the certificates section.
ALISON is an online learning community that offers courses from colleges, universities, and education resources from around the globe. It has free online courses that help students develop essential workplace and entrepreneurial skills. Many courses offer certifications.
The site provides a platform for students to gain new skills and update old ones. Every course is certified and standards based. The courses can help students get promotions, better jobs, or start their own business.
Courses are published by universities including Stanford, University of Texas at Austin, West Lothian College, and MIT as well as corporations such as Google, XSIQ, and Microsoft. There are hundreds of free courses on a wide variety of subjects.
The Harvard Digital Photography Course is a great introductory course for amateur photographers and an exceptional refresher for those with experience. For the small time investment and convenience of self-scheduling it is very beneficial and the price can’t be beat.