9 Best Free Online Photography Courses

Photography is about much more than taking a camera and pushing a button. There are factors like lighting, exposure, and post-processing to consider. Mastering these elements takes plenty of time and patience. Fortunately, there are a variety of courses online that can help. This article is going to cover nine of the best free online photography courses available today.

Sony camera and laptop

1. Basics of Photography: The Complete Guide by LifeHacker

One of the best free online photography courses to try is the Basics of Photography by Lifehacker. This course is designed to teach new uses a broad range of tips and tricks to help them get started.

The course starts by familiarizing users with how their camera works and explains what all goes into picking the perfect camera to fit your needs. As you progress further in the course, you will learn how to take advantage of a variety of automatic settings before learning how to take custom shots on your own. This is definitely a perfect course for new users who have limited to no background knowledge.

2. Intermediate Photography Course by PhotographyCourse.net

As the name implies, the Intermediate Photography Course is one of the best free online photography courses for intermediate users. The course was designed by PhotographyCourse.net and is intended to teach users a wide range of interesting photography techniques.

Some of the subjects covered in the course include depth of field, white balance, polarizing filter usage tips, and discussions on composition. It also goes into detail about proper reflector usage making this an ideal course for users who are thinking about going into professional photography in the future. Each subject is broken down into easy to understand modules for added convenience.

3. Your Road To Better Photography by Udemy

Your Road To Better Photography is another one of the best free online photography courses available created by Corey Reese. This course is suitable for both beginners and experienced users alike. For more experienced individuals, this course will be more of a refresher for certain key core fundamentals.

The course has 28 minutes of on-demand video that users can stop and pause as needed throughout the course. It also has four articles that talk about different aspects of photography including insider tips for improving your average shot quality.

4. Lighting 101 by Strobist

Proper lighting can really make or break a professional photo shoot. This is why Lighting 101 by Strobist is another one of the best free photography courses. The course is completely text based and is suitable for those of you who prefer to read at your own pace during your free time.

Each section is broken down into easy to understand language that provides a few photographic examples. It also includes specific equipment examples to help set new users on the right path if they do not already have a flash for their camera.

5. The Art of Photography by Open2Study

For users who prefer a more complete course, The Art of Photography is one of the best free online photography courses to consider. It’s taught by Dr. Shane Hulbert and teaches things like how to understand exposure, how to identify pixels, and what is RAW and why you should use it.

The Open2Study course is divided into four modules that each have 10 videos. Each model has nine quizzes and one assessment to measure your understanding of the material. If you’re serious about photography, this is one course you cannot miss.

6. Professional Family Portraits by Kirk Tuck

If you have always wanted to learn to take professional looking family portraits, this is one of the best free online photography courses for you. Professional Family Portraits is taught by Kirk Tuck and features five different modules that are very easy to follow.
Each module has an HD video that can be stopped and paused at any time for you to catch up. Some of the subjects that are touched on include ambient lighting, proper locations for group photos, and processing.

7. Ditch Auto – Start Shooting In Manual by Jared Hill

If you’re stuck shooting in auto due to lack of knowledge or confidence, this may be one of the best free online photography courses for you. Ditch Auto – Start Shooting In Manual is designed for DSLR cameras and is approximately four hours in length.
While the course is very detailed, it is self-paced and can be paused as needed for you to practice with your camera. It is a great resource for users who have just gotten their first DSLR camera.

8. Cambridge In Colour Courses

Cambridge In Colour is another great resource for new photographers. They offer a broad range of courses that are designed to teach the basics in an easy to follow format. All of the courses are completely free and you can interact with other users via the forums for additional help and support.

Some examples of the courses they currently offer include focal length and aperture, camera exposure, and understanding depth of field. Visit their website to take a look at their updated course catalog.

9. Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 course is designed to teach users how to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 from start to finish. Each section is broken down into videos ranging from 10 minutes to 20 minutes in length. You will find a wide range of topics ranging from how to upload your photos for editing to applying special effects.

The course is very easy to follow and can be accessed at any time. While the course doesn’t go into the finer details of the program, it is a great asset for users who have never used the program before who need a bit of basic guidance.

Summing Up

The nine courses covered in this article are great assets to professional and amateur photographers alike. They offer a great deal of information and are completely free to use. Take your time browsing the available courses and tell us which one was the most help to you.

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About Amanda Jones

Professional photographer and freelance writer, Amanda is specialized in wedding and travel photography. Every day she enjoys taking long walks around the city, from where she takes inspiration for her day-to-day work. She always hunts magical locations to astonish her subjects.