Photographs are more than just snapshots. When taken the right way, they become dramatic personal statements with the power to last forever. They can transport you to distant landscapes, capture fleeting emotions, recall cherished memories, reveal the beauty of daily life, and even change the world.
With recent developments in technology, we now take and share photographs almost instantaneously through online photo albums and social mediamaking this unique form of personal expression more central to our lives than ever before.
But when many of us take photographs, we simply point our cameras and click without being aware of what we're doing, what we're seeing, or how we can do it better. In reality, taking great photographs requires you to "see" as a professional photographer does; to train your eyes using the same fundamental techniques and principles the experts use to create unforgettable images from the grandest (and simplest) of subjects.
Whether you take photos as a hobby or for a living, whether you're shooting indoors or outdoors, whether you're using a simple digital camera or the latest high-tech lensesunderstanding
- how to use the power of your camera's settings;
- how to create or capture the right lighting and angles;
- how to handle difficult situations such as poor lighting or fast-moving subjects; and
- how to research and plan for the perfect photo shoot
can lead you to start taking more dynamic photographsones that truly capture everything you see and feel about a particular moment in time.
With Fundamentals of Photography, you'll learn everything you need to know about the art and craft of great photography straight from a professional photographer with more than 30 years of experience. Designed for people at all levels, these 24 lectures are an engaging guide to how photographs work and how to make them work better for you. National Geographic contributing photographer Joel Sartore has crafted a course that will hone your photographer's eye so you can capture the greatest moments in nearly every situation and setting imaginable, from a field of flowers to a friend's birthday party to a grand mountain range. Taking you both inside the photographer's studio and out into the field, this course is a chance to learn, in a way anyone can grasp, the basic insights and hidden secrets of photography.
Learn How to See Just as a Professional Does
"Whatever camera you have, I can guarantee that you can make great pictures," says Mr. Sartore. The first and most important lessons you learn in Fundamentals of Photography involve seeing and thinking just like the professionals who make taking perfect shots seem like second nature.
Mr. Sartore teaches you the three features any photographer needs to have in place before snapping a shot:
- Great lighting
- Solid visual composition
- An interesting perspective on your subject
By paying attention to these aspects (with help from well over 1,000 dramatic photos from Mr. Sartore's award-winning portfolio), you'll be better able to take the kinds of photographs that surpass their original situation and actually mean something to you and others.
Peek inside the Photographer's Toolkit
In the first half of Fundamentals of Photography, you'll become better acquainted with the basic features of cameras and how each plays a role in creating great photographs. Using nontechnical language, Mr. Sartore explains essential tools such as
- shutter speed, which controls how much light enters your lens's aperture and which, at a fast setting, is perfect for capturing quick action;
- aperture, which plays a critical role in how much of your photo is in focus and which, when adjusted appropriately, can solve basic compositional problems; and
- lenses, which can do everything from blurring distracting backgrounds to providing sweeping, wide-angle shots (Mr. Sartore recommends experimenting with four specific lenses).
Mr. Sartore also lets you in on personal tricks of the trade; here are just three of the many tips you'll get:
- Bring out more detail in dark objects by shooting them in soft, shaded light (such as the kind you find at the end of the day).
- Embrace the idea that not everything in your photograph has to be in focus; most of the time, a little blurring can fix a bad background or add a nice sense of motion to your shot.
- Make people look powerful when shooting them outdoors against a horizon by placing the horizon line well below their heads (placing it above their heads will make them seem small).
Take the Pictures You Want to Take
In the second half of the course, you'll learn to apply the basics of photography to the kinds of photos that people commonly takeand how to take them better than ever.
- Landscapes: To get the best kind of light on your landscapes (whether urban or rural), arrive at the location a couple of hours before sunrise; when the sun is just below the horizon, there are no harsh shadows and you can shoot in almost any direction with minimal interference.
- Wildlife: Whether you're photographing a giraffe or a caterpillar, doing light research on your subject's behavior will compensate for the unpredictability in shooting wildlife. Also, don't be afraid to get up close when possible (and reasonable).
- People: To capture emotions and actions at their most genuine, people have to feel "normal" while in front of a camera. Try to let the action unfold naturally; minimize the amount of noisy gear and movement, find the best spot for your shots, and try to stay there.
- Special occasions: When filming special events, make sure to capture the small details as well as the more obvious shots. For example, if you're photographing a wedding, shots of hands, flowers, rings, table settings, and other details will add greater depth to your coverage.
You'll also delve into other topics such as
- researching subjects,
- preparing for productive shoots,
- dodging pesky problems with lighting,
- organizing your work, and
- creating photo essays.
Go on Exciting Photo Assignments
Fundamentals of Photography is one of the only places you can get such an in-depth and highly interactive look at this popular subject. Unlike a textbook or manual, this course is a hands-on learning experience that invites you to grab your camera and start shooting, whether you live in the heart of a major city or in the middle of the country.
Each of Mr. Sartore's lectures ends with a short and simple photo assignment related to what you've just seen and heard; not only are these assignments fun, they're great ways to apply your knowledge. In many instances, Mr. Sartore has completed the same assignment, so you get to follow his decision-making process just as if you were in a personal workshop with him.
You'll also enjoy brief field trips in and around Mr. Sartore's hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. By watching this expert in action as he photographs everything from family members to wild birds, you'll see how photographers engage with their subjects and adapt themselves to various situations.
And with Mr. Sartore as your guide, you'll be learning from a master of the craft; a professional photographer whose work has appeared in prestigious publications ranging from National Geographic magazine and Audubon Magazine to Time and Newsweek. With this course, you'll have unprecedented access to his insight, his technique, and his unwavering passion for his craft.
"I surprise myself every time I shoot, but I know that each situation I capture as a still image has the potential to become iconic," Mr. Sartore says. "To be able to create lasting, meaningful art from even the smallest of situations, and to be continually amazed by it allit doesn't get any better than that."
So start making your own photos more lasting and meaningful with Fundamentals of Photography.
|Source:||The Great Courses|
1. Making Great Pictures
2. Camera EquipmentWhat You Need
3. Lenses and Focal Length
4. Shutter Speeds
5. Aperture and Depth of Field
6. Light IFound or Ambient Light
7. Light IIColor and Intensity
8. Light IIIIntroduced Light
9. Composition ISeeing Well
10. Composition IIBackground and Perspective
11. Composition IIIFraming and Layering
12. Let's Go to WorkLandscapes
13. Let's Go to WorkWildlife
14. Let's Go to WorkPeople and Relationships
15. Let's Go to WorkFrom Mundane to Extraordinary
16. Let's Go to WorkSpecial Occasions
17. Let's Go to WorkFamily Vacations
18. Advanced TopicsResearch and Preparation
19. Advanced TopicsMacro Photography
20. Advanced TopicsLow Light
21. Advanced TopicsProblem Solving
22. After the SnapWorkflow and Organization
23. EditingChoosing the Right Image
24. Telling a Story with PicturesThe Photo Essay