- Buttons, Dials and Switches: What This Course is All About
In the first lesson, meet the instructor and see why Chris suggests focusing on just six camera controls that help adjust exposure, focus, color, and quality.
- Setting Up Your Camera
Find what you really need to know about inside your camera's extensive menu. Find the general setting and playback options in your camera and learn what features to turn on and why.
- JPEG or RAW
What's the difference between JPEG and RAW in digital photography? Learn the difference between these two file types and when to use each, based on when the type of images you share.
One of the major differences between JPEG and RAW is that RAW files are much larger. In this lesson, see how both JPEGs and RAW files are compressed and the pros and cons to each type.
- Menu Settings for JPEG Shooting
If you opt to shoot JPEG, you can still control how the image is processed using picture settings and picture styles. Learn how to use different presets for better JEPG results straight out of the camera.
- Module 1 Summary
Summarize everything from the first module to ensure a sold grasp on JPEG and RAW settings.
- Applying White Balance
Light has color -- and white balance is what keeps the colors in your images in check. Learn how color temperature differs by the different times of day and sources of light, then control how your camera sees those colors with the white balance setting.
- Using White Balance Creatively
White balance can be correct -- or creative. See how the white balance settings can be used to create a warmer or cooler image to play with the mood of the photograph.
- Auto White Balance
You don't have to adjust the white balance for every photograph. Auto white balance will read the scene and choose the color for you -- determine when (and when not) to use this automated setting.
- Module 2 Summary
Recap what you've learned about colors and white balance in this quick lesson.
- Controlling Exposure
Lens aperture and shutter speed work together to create an image with proper exposure, or a photo that's not too light or too dark.
- F Numbers
Aperture is measured in f-stops or f-numbers. Decipher the numbers and learn how to create a balanced exposure when adjusting the shutter speed or aperture.
- Lens, Aperture, and Shutter Speed
Lens aperture will also create blur in the background and foreground. Learn how aperture can create a shallow depth of field using a wide aperture, or more sharp detail with a narrow aperture. Then, see how shutter speed can freeze action and how a slow shutter creates motion blur.
- Exposure Modes
To get access to the aperture and shutter speed controls, you need to get off auto and into a semi-manual or manual mode. Decipher the different modes on your camera in this lesson -- and bust the myth that serious photographers "must" use manual mode.
- Too Little or Too Much Light
What happens if the scene has too much light or too little light? In this lesson, Chris walks through the different options when the settings you want just don't work for the scene in front of you.
- Manual Exposure Mode
Jump into full manual exposure mode. Decipher the camera's meter to help balance the settings.
- Aperture Priority Exposure Mode
Using modes such as aperture priority is often both faster and simpler in manual mode. See why Chris uses aperture priority mode most often.
- Module 3 Summary
Wrap up those two elements of exposure in this quick summary of the class' third segment.
- ISO in Practice
To complete the exposure triangle, ISO needs to be added to the equation. Learn what ISO is and see how the camera setting is used in the field.
- ISO and Noise
ISO has a trade-off -- the higher the ISO is, the more noise or grain the image will have. See how aperture affects image quality in this lesson.
- An Acceptable ISO
Each camera handle high ISOs a bit differently -- so what are the best ISO settings to use? Determine how to find out what ISO is acceptable for the shot.
- Module 4 Summary
Wrap up the final elements of the exposure triangle in this summary on ISO.
- Metering Modes
Determining exposure isn't guesswork -- the meter helps determine what settings create a balanced exposure. Metering modes determine how the camera's meter works and come in handy for tricky lighting scenarios.
- The Light Meter
White and black confuse the camera's built-in light meter. Compensate for the camera's confusion using a tool called exposure compensation to tweak the exposure.
- The Bucket Test
Confused by metering and exposure compensation? In this lesson, Chris shares an easy, visual way to remember camera metering.
- How To Read Tonality
Understanding tone will help you predict how the camera's meter will read any given scene to take well-exposed images, without the guesswork.
- Being Creative With Tone
Tone doesn't need to be correct to make a great photo -- learn how to use tone and exposure creatively.
- Exposure Compensation
To adjust the exposure without switching to full manual mode, exposure compensation will help capture the ideal exposure. Here, Chris shares the ins and outs of using exposure compensation.
- High Contrast Lighting
Capturing an image in even lighting is easy -- but what about scenes with a large amount of light or high contrast lighting? In this lesson, learn why your camera can only capture a certain dynamic range and what to do to capture high contrast scenes.
If each pixel was arranged on a chart based on the brightness and darkness of each pixel, you'd get the histogram. Here, Chris explains how to use the histogram to guide your exposure.
- Highlights Alert
Turning on the highlight alert will make any overexposed areas in the scene blink. See how to use this tool for proper exposures in this lesson.
- Never Underexpose
One of the great parts of digital photography is the ability to edit your photos later -- but how much can you edit a photo successfully? Chris explains why images that are too far underexposed can't be corrected in post-processing.
- Digital Exposure Mantra
Determining the exposure is part an exercise in determining what's the most important element in the image. When you can't properly expose every area of the image, this piece of advice still helps you capture a good image.
- Module 5 Summary
Recap the elements that factor into an image's exposure in this brief lesson.
- Focus Modes
Missed focus and soft images are one of the biggest frustrations for beginning photographers. Avoid those out-of-focus shots by understanding different focus modes.
Understanding how a camera's autofocus works helps capture sharp shots. Understand the difference between phase detection and contrast detection.
- Point of Focus
Where do you place the focal point in an image? Pick up focusing tactics for stronger images in this lesson.
- Depth of Field
Depth of Field is photography jargon for how much of the image is in focus. Expanding on the discussion from the lesson on aperture, see depth of field in action.
- Hyper-Focal Distance Focusing
Because depth of field is a range of distance and not a single tiny point, photographers can focus on something that's not the subject and still get the subject sharp. To get the most sharpness in an image, try this hyper-focal distance technique.
- Focus Tracking
Focus tracking allows moving subjects to stay in focus. See how modern digital cameras use focus tracking in this lesson on autofocus area modes.
- Manual Focus
Modern autofocus systems have come a long way -- yet there are some subjects that still work best using manual focus. See what subjects work best with this setting -- and how to manually focus the camera.
- Predictive Focus
When capturing very fast action, predicting where the subject will be and focusing on that point allows you to get a sharply focused shot in tricky scenarios.
Ensure you have a good grasp of focus with this summary on focusing techniques.
- Buying Lenses
One of the perks to mirrorless and DSLR systems is the endless options of optics. But how do you choose a lens? Learn what to consider when buying a lens in this lesson.
Summarize what you need to know about camera lenses in this lesson.
- Quality of Light
Mastering photography is about more than just understanding your camera controls. Begin building an understanding of how light affects your images with hard and soft light.
- Direction of Light
Where the light is coming from can play a role in the dimension, depth, and texture of an image. See how changing your position in relation to the light source can dramatically change an image.
- No Such Thing as Good Light
Most photography tutorials will tell you to look for good light -- but Chris argues that there's no such thing as good light. Instead, photographers need to understand what to do with the light in any given scene.
- Final Word
Now that you know how to work the camera and recognize good light, what's next? Practice, Chris says. Put the pieces together by trying out for yourself.
- BONUS - In Conversation with Art Wolfe
Find inspiration from a conversation with Art Wolfe, a landscape, wildlife, and cultural photographer.
- BONUS - The Source of Creativity
Where do photographers find creativity? In this bonus lesson, see how to encourage creativity in yourself.