Basics Of Photography Course


Hi, I'm Ann Rains a professional photographer specializing in weddings, family, portraiture, and fine art images. I am an experienced instructor who is deeply creative and passionate about making excellent images. In this course, we will spend plenty of time discussing camera operation and how to take advantage of the features provided, but most importantly, we explore what makes a good photograph. Today’s digital cameras can seem overwhelmingly complex. In this course, we spend plenty of time discussing camera operation and how to take advantage of the features provided. Most importantly, we will explore what makes a good photograph. Subjects such as composition, selective focus, exposure, and lighting combined with a better understanding of camera controls can open a whole new world of image-making. Each week includes appropriate assignments, and you will be encouraged to share your images with the class. Students of all skill levels are welcome. All students are required to have their own DSLR camera. This class features interactive demos and a field trip, weather permitting.

Camera Modes

The extra features and camera modes vary from camera to camera, but we will go over the most common camera modes in digital cameras, including Auto Mode, Manual Mode, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Speed Priority.

Knowing all of these basic camera settings and modes is the key to unlocking your camera’s fullest potential and capabilities.

What Is Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed?

Most beginner photographers are initially overwhelmed by the endless buttons and menu functions on their cameras.

This beginner’s course will teach the basic camera settings to help you understand how to operate your camera and adjust it to the way you want it. Being able to capture great visuals requires a little bit of an introduction to the three most basic camera settings: Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed. The combination of these three functions is present in most cameras and is imperative to operating your camera.

If you want to take great photos, you need to understand exposure, and the exposure triangle is the foundation of photography. If you’re new to photography, you can get away with taking respectable pictures right out of the box using automatic settings. However, if you want to produce quality images, you need to have a solid grasp of this basic concept before moving on to the next level. Look at it this way; exposure is to the photographer, what measuring is to a carpenter. It’s an essential skill. Understanding what exposure is and how it works is an important first step in becoming a good photographer.

What Makes A Great Image?

As a beginner photographer, you must surely be looking at the images made by other photographers, people whose work you admire. Among the many things that you may undoubtedly notice, you may also have noticed that somehow the compositions of these photographers tend to be a lot more eye-catching.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between an average photo and a remarkable photograph? How do you know if a photo works? What makes a photograph outstanding? Is it the setting, depth-of-field, the subject, lighting, balance, the use of leading lines, how the space is utilized, the uses of color, or contrast?

Photography is about communication between the photographer and the viewer. It’s all about the photographer telling their story through an image. So what makes for a great image? The answer can be rather subjective. Most of us would agree that a great image strikes a chord inside of us. It evokes a strong emotional response in the viewer. But there are also some tangible elements of good photography.

Putting Your Knowledge In Action

As we approach the last few weeks of this course, we will plan two field trips where we will go out and put all of the things we have learned into action. You will have the opportunity to shoot with your other classmates and your instructor. This class will be about having fun and getting creative with your camera. All while having your instructor on-site to help critique and guide you with your choices.

Course Overview

In this photography course for beginners, you will be immersed in photography over 4 separate lessons and 2 field trips. In order to teach one how to use a digital SLR camera, the fundamentals of photography must be understood. My photography course for beginners teaches the fundamentals of photography through immersion. Manuals instruct the user which buttons to push but don’t teach photography. ​The Immersion method teaches and reinforces the basic building blocks of photography. Once that is understood, ​one can learn how to capture an image that is​ a piece of artwork and reflects one’s style.

Over the course of 6 weeks, you will learn photography by listening, doing, and absorbing with repetitive activities. You will be challenged each class to use what you have learned and to learn new skills based on what you have previously learned. Each day will consist of hands-on learning. Students will have the opportunity to photograph landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, flowers, people, and wildlife in a structured, non-competitive environment. My goal is to strengthen and maintain the learning process.


You must have a Digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses.

Perfect for Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Fuji, Sony, or other digital cameras with a dial on top that lets you control different camera modes.

Camera Manual (If you don't have one you can find the digital version online)

If you have a Point-and-Shoot camera that only has an Auto mode, and you are unable to set the Shutter or Aperture yourself, this course may not be for you.