Best Online Photography Courses

If you’re a photography aficionado or if you’re looking to improve your skills and maybe earn money from your pictures, you might want to look into an online course.

There are several advantages to doing these through the internet, such as the fact that you can do them at your own pace, you start them whenever you want and in many cases they’re free. You can also choose a specific area to learn or practice, as well as specific types of cameras.

Whatever your reason for wanting to better yourself as a photographer, we have come up with a list of courses that will help you improve your craft. We have divided them into categories and we’ve tried to come up with mostly free online courses.

If You’re a Beginner

Introduction to Photography and Related Media

These are video lectures that comprise a semester-long undergraduate-level course that is from MIT. It covers the basics and fundamental techniques of both analog and digital SLR cameras, film exposure and development, darkroom techniques, digital imaging and lighting in the studio.

Level: Beginner
Duration: Self-paced
Start date: Always available
Website: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/architecture/4-341-introduction-to-photography-and-related-media-fall-2007/

Basics of Photography: The Complete Guide

This is a great resource for those that are starting in the art of photography. The information was put together by the people at Lifehacker and it’s great because it explains from the workings of a digital camera and moves on to image composition, techniques, and editing. It is mostly reading the material, but they have some videos to better illustrate the information.

Level: Beginner
Duration: Self-paced
Start date: Always available
Website: https://lifehacker.com/5815742/basics-of-photography-the-complete-guide

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Photography: Ditch Auto – Start Shooting in Manual

This is a course specially designed for beginners that use their cameras only in “auto” mode, but want to learn how to really use their equipment and unlock their full potential by understanding the manual mode; learning to control exposure, shutter speed, ISO and other features of the camera.

Level: Beginner
Duration: 4.5 hours
Start date: Always available
Website: http://hillacademy.xyz/courses/ditch-auto-start-shooting-in-manual

Strobist

A very popular resource for those beginners that are eager to learn the nuances and how to take advantage of the light and flashes. Many photographers swear by their Lighting 101 course. As we all know, knowing how to manipulate and use light sources in our favor can make or break a photograph.

Level: Beginner to intermediate
Duration: Self-paced
Start date: Always available
Website: https://www.strobist.blogspot.ch/?m=1

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Post-Production and Other Techniques

Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

These are a series of video lectures from Adobe that explain in detail how to use their Lightroom software and use all their amazing features, ranging from importing images to adding special effects and printing.

Level: Beginner
Duration: 3.5 hours
Start date: Always available
Website: https://tv.adobe.com/show/getting-started-with-adobe-photoshop-lightroom-5/

Phlearn

This course is all about Photoshop. Here you will have a series of short, but explanatory videos on how to perform tasks using the program. Things like adding a watermark to your pictures, or removing tan lines and other effects. It has over 450 free videos and they release 5 new ones every week.

Level: Intermediate
Duration: Self-paced
Start date: Always available
Website: http://phlearn.com/

An Introduction to Tilt+Shift Photography

A very popular and very detailed guide explaining what the “Tilt+Shift” effect is and how to achieve it. We’ve all seen those photographs of miniature cities, where the center is focused and the edges are somewhat blurry. You can also apply this technique to other types of photography to get some very unique and cool pictures.

Level: Advanced
Duration: Self-paced
Start date: Always available
Website: https://www.redbubble.com/people/peterh111/journal/5713153-an-introduction-to-tilt-shift-photography

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Society and Art

Documentary Photography and Photojournalism: Still Images of a World in Motion

This is a course by MIT that is aimed at photojournalists and it requires some background in photography and some technical knowledge, such as knowing the difference between f stops and T stops and also how to properly handle and make a camera work.

Level: Intermediate
Duration: 4 weeks
Start date: Always available
Website: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/writing-and-humanistic-studies/21w-749-documentary-photography-and-photojournalism-still-images-of-a-world-in-motion-spring-2009/

Photography and Truth

Another course courtesy of MIT, this one comes from their Anthropology department. Here they explore photography as a medium of expression and how it relates to social life, economics, and politics.

Level: Intermediate
Duration: Self-paced
Start date: Always available
Website: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/anthropology/21a-348-photography-and-truth-spring-2008/

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Reference Resources and Advanced Materials

Digital Photography School

This is a free resource page that has loads of useful information, tips, and articles. For beginners it is highly recommended that you bookmark their page dedicated to those starting out – Tips and Tutorials for Beginners.

Website: http://digital-photography-school.com/

Photography Courses

This one isn’t free, but a lot of professional photographers love this resource. It’s a paid monthly subscription of $25, but they have amazing tutorials and is full of tips and articles. You can try them for free for a week, and if you like it, then subscribe!

Website: http://www.lynda.com/Photography-training-tutorials/