Camera Basics On Your Own

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On Your Own {OYO} Series



Camera Basics is a 6 part, self-guided class

that focuses on photographing with DSLR camera in manual mode.

This class is designed for those who own a digital SLR camera and want to learn

how to use all of its features so they can take better photographs. 

We will focus mostly on portrait work, and striving to “get it right” in camera.

This class is not a retouching class; we will not be going into post processing work.

It is also not a class on “how to become a professional photographer.”  

However, aspiring professional photographers are welcome, as shooting in

manual mode is a critical skill for becoming a true professional photographer.

At its core, this is a class for someone who loves the art of photographs,

who loves taking pictures, and wants to learn to shoot in manual so they can perfect their art.


At the end of the course, you will:

-Develop a basic understanding of light, and how the camera reads and reacts to light, to create an image.

-Know the basic controls on their camera for manipulating light in manual mode.

-Comprehend the 3 components of manual mode shooting: Shutter, Aperture, and ISO,

and how they work together to create a final properly exposed image.

-Understand that ‘causes and effects’ that go with each of the ‘big 3’ controls,

and be able to articulate how to balance their camera’s meter

for a properly exposed image where he or she controls the visual outcome.

-Be exposed to basic visual composition techniques to create more dynamic images.


 A digital SLR camera body and one lens.  You will NOT need an external flash, studio lights, or other lighting modifiers.  We will be working with available light only for the duration of this class.



  • Lesson 1 is "camera basics" and an overview of where to find controls on the camera for shutter, ISO, and aperture... and about what other aspects of the camera's construction (aka the sensor) effect the final image outcome.
  • Lesson 2 is "the big 3" and is the technical skills foundation lesson, where ISO, shutter, and aperture and explained in depth, and the effects of each choice on the see-saw of meter balancing for a properly exposed image.
  • Lesson 3 is “technical practice” in which we walk through several common scenarios of lighting and work with starter settings for each, and then how to adjust for the starting meter reading.
  • Lesson 4 is "Composition basics" and is the application of the technical skills of lesson 2 & 3 with an art focus.
  • Lesson 5 is "working with light - outdoors" while 
  • Lesson 6 is "working with light - indoors"


The entire class takes places on your own time.  This is a self-guided tour of manual photography, so you control your lesson pace. Repeat and re-read as much as necessary before moving onto the next section.

Start with the “Lessons” folder, but also check in with your “Support Materials” folder which contains some extra learning concepts that will help you in your manual journey.


For each lesson you will be given ‘homework’, which allows you to practice the lesson concepts.

No, you will not be getting letter grades for your homework, or gold stars,

and no one is checking to make sure you do it. But the best way to learn is to do it;

practice makes perfect, and practicing shooting manual is the best way to truly come to understand it,

to the point that you can spin your camera’s dials for the desired result without thinking about it!


~The “On Your Own Series” does not include instructor critique, feedback, and discussion.~

If you are seeking a more interactive online course, there are 

other courses available at that include more interaction.




As with all digital items, purchase of this item is FINAL SALE. There are absolutely no refunds after purchase.

This product is under copyright and cannot be shared, sold, or otherwise distributed in any way. Purchase of this product is for 1 (one) user only.

Email should you have any questions PRIOR to purchase.





**Testimonials from the Interactive Online Spring 2015**

Katie had been using manual before the course, but couldn’t get consistent results.

Afterwards, she went out with a practice subject… and these were some of her images!

Katie sheppard post course2-cropped

Here’s what she had to say about the course:

"The class was great! The most helpful tip was my “Ah, Ha” moment [how to manage the metering with back lighting], but the most helpful part was just doing it. This class and its exercises reall help to ingrain it in your brain and feel more confident with your camera"


Before taking “Camera Basics” Lauri had never shot in manual mode before:  now that she knows how, she’s never going back to Auto! Lesson_4_homework_edited_cropped


“I haven’t shot in auto since starting this course. I’m still not completely comfortable shooting in manual, but I’m going to make sure I have some cheat sheets with me at all times until I get very comfortable with manual. I don’t have any intentions of returning to auto.   I’m very happy I decided to take the class. I finally understand shooting in manual and plan to continue to practice so it becomes more natural.”

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