Become an expert photographer with these 10 top online courses in 2020

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Online courses are slowly making their mark in the knowledge industry because of their convenient style of teaching. Just one click and you will have knowledge on a wide array of subjects concerning different fields. 

One such field is photography. You can learn a lot about photography and it’s principles from the comforts of your home. Whether you are an amateur or someone looking to sharpening their existing photography skills. There are a plethora of online photography courses to guide you. 

To save you the trouble, we’ve rounded up the top 10 online photography courses that would help you choose the best one for yourself – 

1. R-photo class

R-photo Class is  one of the top photography courses that are available online. It is a great course for those who are new to photography.  While intermediate photographers will find the instructions helpful too. What makes it so great is that you do not require any fancy camera equipment to complete this course.

It consists of 30 lessons that deal with most of the basics with an emphasis on practical explanations. There are lessons along  with assignments, but there is no pressure as your assignments will not be assessed and you can work at your own pace. If you would like to get some feedback, you can simply post your photos in the comments section and chat with other students too. 

You may visit their website, here.

2. Skillshare photography composition

Sometimes one course may not be enough to help you master a subject as vast as photography.  In cases as such, you need the power of a Skillshare subscription, that will enable you to study various aspects of photography, right from Street Photography, Adobe Creative Suite Classes, Comprehensive Guides to DSLR Photography, iPhone Photography, Outdoor Photography and much more. There are practically more than a 100 classes, of which you can choose the ones that suit you the most.

3. Introduction to digital photography course (Harvard University)

This free online course  is an updated and more detailed replacement of the old Harvard University Digital Photography course. It’s greatest advantage is that it can be  easily accessed online at any time of day. Anyone can learn the basics of photography with this course such as exposure guidelines for capturing the best images, post processing,and  even the history of photography.

Free to enroll and complete, certification is available at an extra cost with a successful completion rate of the lessons and modules of at least 80%. The scoring comes from completion of assignments within each module and the lessons can be repeated at any time. Moreover, the courses  are available in several different languages.

4. Stanford university photography lectures

The Stanford University Photography Lectures is undoubtedly one of the most informative online photography courses. It  consists of 18 videos that are available on YouTube. Each lecture is presented by a professor from Stanford University of  about 60 minutes in duration.

Some  of the subjects are explained quite in depth, which makes it easier to  grasp their meaning. Plus, if you are keen, there is also a link to some assignments. Though this course is aimed more at intermediate and advanced level photographers, even beginners can try their hand at this.

5. Introduction to photography by Udemy

This course created by Phil Ebiner, Sam Shimizu-Jones and Video School Online Inc. provides an amazing opportunity for beginners to become skilled photographers. This online course covers mostly camera basics like controlling auto-focus modes, controlling exposure and metering modes, and controlling the depth of field. The course goes beyond camera settings too and introduces compositional concepts like the rule of thirds and leading lines.  Moreover, it is not mandatory to have a DSLR camera. A smartphone will fare just as well. The lectures cover a variety of techniques for clicking quality photos. Also, there is no age restriction so whoever has a passion for photography are welcomed irrespective of their age.

Find out more about the course, here.

6. Diploma in photography from Shaw Academy

Shaw academy’s goal is to re-skill and upskill the world. They have courses at the basic level as well as more advanced levels.Free trial or a modest priced subscription gives you a choice of beginner or advanced lessons. Since the classes are presented as webinars, the students can ask questions and get answers from the instructors in real time.

It’s topics include basic camera controls, composition, exposure control, and    other useful subjects. Quizzes are also included in the lesson plans and a certificate of completion for use in your own CV can also be  downloaded after the completion of the course. 

To enroll, click here.

7. Photography Basics and Beyond from Coursera

Coursera is a leading online platform provider for MOOCs, or massive open online courses.  This photography specialization is available from Michigan State University. This course helps photography lovers to look at the concept of photography in a new light. This is a seven-month program with flexible deadlines and scheduling to cater to your needs. The lectures are also accompanied by exams and a final project.  Upon completion of the program and the hands-on projects, you earn a certificate in photography, which is excellent for your resume and employment options. As a freelancer, certifications help bolster your marketability and credibility with clients.

The following five courses are included in the Photography Basics and Beyond from coursera – 

  • Cameras, Exposure, and Photography
  • Camera Control
  • Principles of Photo Composition and Digital Image Post-Production
  • Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing
  • Photography Capstone Project


Visit their website here.

8. for beginners

It consists of a series of free tutorials designed to advance a photographer from the basics of just starting out all the way to advanced techniques. A multimedia approach is used which has written lessons, photos and other illustrations, and links to videos.

This course uses multimedia that includes written lessons, video links, photos and other graphics to equip photographers with more advanced techniques. Thanks to the inclusion of several illustrations, even the most complex concepts can be understood easily. Some of the lessons are geared towards beginners, while others go into detail about more advanced subjects. Exposure triangle, flash photography, explaining white balance, and even iPhone photography are some of the lessons offered.

9. Fundamentals of photography by Creative Live

Creativelive’s fundamentals of photography is a four-course bundle for beginning photographers. These four courses, when taken together, cover everything from basic camera settings, composition, lighting, and digital post-processing. This complete course boasts of more than 100 different parts and also quizzes after every course.  So, it is a great platform for learning the basics of photography.

It comprises of the following four courses – 

  • Understanding Light by Mark Wallace
  • Adobe Lightroom: The Complete Guide by Ben Willmore
  • Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics by Khara Plicanic

10. Practicing Photographer from Lynda

Lynda is the professional training website that operates under the business social media giant Linkedin.he. Practicing Photographer is a quick 30 minutes web course designed to give students a feel for what it’s like being a working photographer. 

Lynda’s courses feature high-quality video training of any number of topics to help you build marketable skills and expand your knowledge base. Surprisingly, their  photography section includes over 600 courses and more than 25,000 video tutorials. Because of that, the courses come with a hefty price tag. But luckily, Lynda offers a free month to try out their courses so you can see if it’s a good fit for you before beginning  your subscription. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The Conclusion

These 10 courses aren’t the only online photography courses out there. There is literally a vast ocean of courses when it comes to a dynamic  field like photography. But with these online courses, you would be able to lay a strong foundation for your photography knowledge and would augment your photography skills. 

Also, do remember that these online courses will only aid you but you yourself have to work hard with the desired passion and dedication  to ace photography like a boss!

Image Credits: Shutterstock
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