Best Online Photography Courses

If you love photography and want to take some stunning pictures, you should not only have creative flair but also a keen eye for detail. However, there are several facets of photography that you can learn, for instance, how to use your camera, how to take photos in different kinds of lighting and even how to edit your photos in software to make your images look stunning and dramatic. You can learn many skills that can take your photography and pictures to the next level.

If you want to improve your photography skills, then here is our review of some of the best online courses for photography that you can teach you some amazing skills and techniques that can really help you hone your photography skills.

Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization

First, on our list of best online courses photography which is available on the Coursera platform, the Photography Basics and Beyond course is offered by Michigan State University. The beginner level course is a self-paced course that will take around 7 months to complete. The course is taught by Peter Glendinning, Professor of Art, Art History and Design and Mark Sullivan, Associate Professor, Music and Innovation Hub.

The Specialization covers a wide range of basic principles of photography and you’ll learn about controlling the exposure, basics of composition and creativity to create photographs with your DSLR or smartphone that you always wanted.

The Specialization comprises of 5 courses:

  • Course 1: Camera, exposure and photography
  • Course 2: Camera control
  • Course 3: Principles of photo composition and digital image post-production
  • Course 4: Photography techniques – light, content and sharing
  • Course 5: Capstone project (For the capstone project, you’ll develop a portfolio of photos according to your requirements, whether expressive or practical and share the feedback with your peer students).

When you subscribe to the course, on completion of the Specialization along with the capstone project, you will get a Certificate of Specialization for the Michigan State University and also get significant discounts on photography accessories, equipment and membership benefits via the program partners such as Gary Fong, Fracture, Lume Cube, LensPen, Gyst, Pixsy, Think Tank,, Lensbaby and Photo District News.

Cameras, Exposure, and Photography

The Cameras, Exposure, and Photography course is Course 1 of the Specialization, Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization. The duration of the course is around 17 hours and is taught by Professor Peter Glendinning and Associate Prof. Mark Sullivan.

The course will provide knowledge and confidence to discover the features and functions of your camera vs other digital cameras. You’ll learn basic digital camera functions and be able to go more than the technical aspects and learn to take exciting photos. You can also discover useful equipment, accessories, camera bags, etc. You will take photographs and if you are subscribing to the Specialization, then you can upload the pictures on the gallery and interact with your co-learners.

The 4 modules of the course comprise of:

  • Overview and fundamentals (9 videos, 7 readings and 5 quizzes)
  • Camera capabilities – similarities and differences (10 videos, 1 reading and 6 quizzes)
  • Setting up yourself and your digital camera — menus, settings and baggage (7 videos and 4 quizzes)
  • Picture decisions — vantage point and frame (7 videos, 3 readings and 3 quizzes)

Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing

This is the Course 4 of the Photography Basics and Beyond Specialization, which consists of the final elements of the introduction to the basics of photography and prepares you for the capstone project. This course is also taught by Professor Peter Glendinning and Associate Prof. Mark Sullivan and will take approximately 16 hours to complete.

The syllabus of the course consists of 4 modules, which covers:

  • The content of a photograph (7 videos and 4 quizzes)
  • Light fundamentals 1.0 – people, places and things under ambient light (5 videos, 1 reading and 4 quizzes)
  • Light fundamentals 2.0 – people, places and things under controlled light (12 videos, 1 reading and 7 quizzes)
  • Finishing pictures – options for showing and sharing (12 videos, 3 readings and 3 quizzes)

Fundamentals of DSLR Photography

The next on our best online courses photography list is the Fundamentals of DSLR Photography, an introductory photography class taught by the photographer Justin Bridges, which is on the Skillshare platform. This 1 hour 19 minutes course consists of 12 lessons and is ideal for beginners and intermediate level photography enthusiasts. The course teaches you how you can balance the aperture, shutter speed and ISO of the camera manually to get the perfect exposure.

The lessons are very easy to understand and show you how you can:

  • Balance the aperture, shutter speed and ISO in the manual mode.
  • Control the background blur through the aperture.
  • Blur and freeze motion through shutter speed.
  • Edit photographs in less than 5 minutes.

The course also offers insight into Justin’s favorite camera settings, gear that is must have and budget recommendations. At the end of the course, you will have the know how of how to master the camera settings and shoot in the manual mode for complete control and click professional photos.

The course is for 1 hour and 19 minutes and consists of 12 modules:

  • Introduction
  • Understanding Your DSLR
    • Shutter Speed
    • Aperture
    • ISO
  • Balancing the Exposure Triangle
  • Preparing to Shoot
  • Studio Demo
  • Shutter Speed (deeper dive)
  • Aperture (deeper dive)
  • ISO (deeper dive)
  • Tips and Tricks of Editing
  • Buying Cameras and Lenses (Bonus)

We hope that our guide on the best online courses for photography has helped you to decide which photography course is right for you. The best part is that all these courses are available online and are free of cost. These classes will surely help to transform your photography and offer greater knowledge and understanding of it.