Intro to Photography: Unit 1 – Overview

Introduction to Photography Units: 01 02 03 04 05

To get the most out of this, or any course, we highly recommend going in the order the units are presented and moving on, only once you are comfortable. While most courses are designed to be completed in 4 days, pace yourself, dive in, and take your time!

Here are the units in this course:

  • Unit 1: Overview
  • Unit 2: The Equipment
  • Unit 3: Exposure
  • Unit 4: Composition
  • Unit 5: Wrapping Up

Whether you are trying to learn how to take better pictures with a mobile device or take your skills as a hobbyist to a higher level or looking for a way to make photography a part of your professional career, this introductory course is designed to give you the building blocks necessary to accomplish your goals.

Additionally, regardless of your tool of choice (phone, DSLR, mirrorless camera, video camera, camcorder, cinema camera, or something else), these creative arts start with a knowledge of photography.

We will look at the key elements of photography and help you get started with a better understanding of your equipment as well as how to take professional-looking photographs.

The key areas for this course include equipment, exposure, and composition.  We will also delve into other aspects and give you some assignments so you can take yourself to task and work toward mastering your skills.

Of course, there are many, many more elements to photography, but mastery of these three will help you on your journey to becoming a full-fledged photographer!

Journals/Portfolios are not required but encouraged. We suggest taking notes and/or keeping a portfolio of your work as you progress.

  • You should keep a digital journal for each unit.
  • You should keep a digital portfolio as well. This will help you to track your development and growth as a photographer.

You can respond in the journal with specifics on the focus of each unit. All coursework should be compiled within the journal unless otherwise specified.

What will you need for this course? Do you have to have a complicated professional-level camera to get the most out of this course? Absolutely not.

However, whether you have a $60 or a $3,000 camera, you will get the most from this class if your device has manual control over aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. These are the three key areas to taking better pictures and understanding the foundations of photography.

There are apps for most devices and phones that will give you a degree of manual control. Unfortunately, most phones and tablets have a “fixed” aperture which means it does limit your manual control.

That’s okay though! There are many apps available that serve as a camera simulator so you can test and experience functions your device may not have.

Beyond, that it is not nearly as important if your camera has a zoom lens, a removable, lens, flash attachments, or other bells and whistles. While those are nice elements to have, they are not necessary at this time.

Manual control over the shutter, aperture, and ISO is most important to this course.

Work at a pace you are comfortable with and get to know your camera. Whether it takes 4-days or 4-weeks isn’t as important as what you come away with.

In this course, the “Exposure” portion will probably be the most difficult to master. It is recommended that you ease your way through “Exposure” to be fully comfortable with the other concepts in this course as well as many of our other courses.  The stronger your basic understanding of photography, the more you will benefit in most of our courses.

Get a Photographer’s Journal! This can be a place to take notes on your phone or tablet, a document on your computer, or a good old fashion notebook and pencil.  Whatever works for you. You will get the most from this course if you have a place to take notes for later reference.

For your first mini-assignment, you are going to take 10 pictures. Take 10 pictures with 10 different subjects. Take a picture of an animal, maybe.  Or a sunset, a bird, or a flower. Take a picture of your significant other, a child, a sibling, or a friend.

After you take the pictures, sit down with them, and identify why you like or don’t like a particular picture.  Is it the color, the expression, the actual subject? Is there something about how or where the subject is positioned? Take some notes in your Photographer’s Journal.

Now, store these images away somewhere safe. We will come back to them later for further analysis.

Introduction to Photography Units: 01 02 03 04 05