Last year I got a nice DSLR and really worked on upping my photography game. As I’ve said, I’m proud of the progress I made and plan on to continue working on it. I took a photography class at the community college in high school and had a manual camera back then, but I had forgotten a lot because, hey, I’m 30, and high school was a while ago. To remind myself of what I swear I used to know about apertures, shutter speeds and those sorts of things, I took a class on Craftsy: Basics of Digital Photography with Rick Allred. If you’re wanting to get more familiar with manual settings on your camera, I highly recommend the class.
The class is really focused on explaining the “exposure triangle” – ISO, shutter speed, aperture – what they are, how you control them, and how they affect exposure. The class also has interesting and helpful sections on the different shooting modes your camera might have and on comparing lenses and how they affect your photographs. There’s also a section on composition and creativity (but it was the only part of the class that I didn’t find very inspiring). At the end of each section, the instructor gives recommended “homework” that are simple and concise exercises to try on your own to make sure you really understood the material just covered – I found them particularly helpful.
One thing that I liked about the class was that for each element that the instructor talked about, you got to watch him take a photo, change a setting, take another photo, and then directly compare them on screen. I found the side-by-side comparison to be one of the most helpful parts. All Craftsy classes are supposed to have the instructor monitor and answer any questions asked in app, but I have to say that I was very impressed by the thoroughness of Rick Allred’s answers. I found myself reading most of the Q & A along the side because it had so much helpful information. Again, if you have a camera that lets you control it manually and you want a solid foundation and a little handholding to start using manual settings, I highly recommend this class.
*I paid for this class myself. All opinions are my own. Links are affiliate links.