For beginners trying to determine if photography is an interest they wish to pursue, the Photography for Beginners Masterclass on Udemy is an excellent jumping off point. Since it is geared toward true novices with little or no experience, intermediate and expert photographers are not likely to gain new knowledge from the class. However, this free class excels at providing a quick introduction to a wide range of topics and allowing the student to get a taste of the field without a large investment of time or money. In addition, the class offers materials specific to smartphones, point-and-shoot, and digital single reflex lens (DSLR) cameras, so students can learn basic techniques with whatever camera they already own without splurging on a piece of high-end equipment.
Photography for Beginners Masterclass is presented by Ingred Shine, a professional photographer and instructor with 22 years of experience in the field and 12 years in the classroom. She leads the class in an informal and laid-back fashion that feels more like a one-on-one tutoring session than a rigid class. Combined with the basic course materials, this approach makes the class accessible and manageable for novices.
Photography for Beginners Masterclass consists of a total of one hour of video lectures broken out over 27 sections, each containing a single topic. Each video lecture ranges in length from just one minute to three and a half minutes. These quick bites provide just enough content for an orientation to the topic, without getting bogged down in in-depth information. Because the course hits all the major topics in photography education, students walk away with a well-rounded introduction to the field and a sense of which areas they are most interested in learning more about.
This class contains seven sections, each of which is further broken down into individual lectures. The outline below provides a glimpse into the course content.
Section 1: Getting Started
- Meet the instructor and what you will learn
- Basics of cameras
- Basics of photography
Section 2: Point & Shoot
- Introduction to point-and-shoot cameras
- Using a point and shoot
- Sample pictures
- Retouching photos on the camera
- Image size and resolution
- Closing thoughts
Section 3: DSLR
- What DSLR means
- How to take a picture
- Raw image format
- White balance and noise
- Features and memory storage
- Camera menu
- Retouching and exposure
Section 4: Phone Cameras
- Focus, brightness, flash and filters
Section 5: Manual Mode
- Aperture, shutter and ISO
- Manual Shooting, point and short, DSLR
- Transferring photos to a computer
- Shooting techniques and lenses
Section 6: Photographing People
- Framing and posing
- Objects of interest and people
- The rule of thirds
- Depth of field
- Lighting and time of day
Section 7: Congratulations
- Conclusion and the end
Students who complete all of the video lectures have access to a certificate of completion, which they may print at their convenience. However, the Udemy system does make it a bit tricky to locate the certificate. At the top of the outline, a green bar tracks progress through the course. Once all the videos have been viewed, a green trophy appears at the end of the progress bar. This trophy serves as an icon and link to the certificate. The best news is, the certificate is stored permanently so students can log into their account and print it whenever proof of course completion is needed.
More about Udemy
Udemy.com is the ultimate in flexible online learning. The system makes in easy to start and stop courses as needed. Plus, Udemy courses are always available and there is no start date or time limit for completion, which means that students can learn at their own pace and can even come back to a course months or years later for a refresher. Plus, the system allows students to watch lectures and complete sections in any order, so students can pick and choose the modules that are most helpful to them and rewatch lectures that need a bit more clarity.