Study Photography at Home
Learn the skills required to work taking photos, selling photographic supplies, processing photos or managing a photo industry business.
This course was developed by professional photographers. It covers lessons in photographic technology, photographic practice and various electives.
This is a rapidly changing industry; and our courses are continuously updated to keep pace with these changes.
It will give you a sound foundation for a career in the photographic industry.
Student Comment (from N. Huettmann, Germany)
"Yes, I do learn a lot....I'm absolutely satisfied....because I already run my own business as a photographer, the freedom to handle the course whenever I find the time is just great".
Your assignments are practical and tutors provide individual feedback on your images.
Note that each module in the Certificate in Photography is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
What is Photography?
Photography is "capturing an image". Many different technologies can produce images. The quality of those images will eventually be judged by our own eyes. This interaction between eye and lens, the relationship between photographer and subject must be developed (alongside your technical skill) to create outstanding photos.
The certificate consists of six modules covering:
Introduction to Photography
- The principles underpinning photography and its evolution into digital technologies.
- How photographic images are captured on film.
- How photographic images are captured by digital cameras.
- How to improve your photographs.
- The appropriate use of photographic equipment.
- How digital images can be transferred effectively from a digital camera.
- How photographic film is developed.
- Enlarging photos.
- Altering digital photos.
- Working with light when taking photos.
- Identifying and avoiding common faults in photographs.
- Composing photographs to match a predetermined aim.
- Taking better photos of people.
- Taking better photos of landscapes and other natural subjects.
- Appropriate use of colour and black and white photography.
- Visual affects using special techniques.
- Taking better photographs for use in print or electronic media.
- Business opportunities in photography.
- Describe in technical terms, how an image forms when a photograph is taken.
- The nature of light and how this relates to the finished photographic product.
- How photo sensitive surfaces work.
- Manipulation of white and coloured light to create different photographic images.
- The chemical process that occurs in producing a colour film photograph.
- How the photographic image may be manipulated by using optical filters or other camera attachments, other than lenses.
- How the photographic image may be manipulated by using lenses.
- Appropriate equipment for use in digital photography.
- How digital images are captured.
- Comparing different digital cameras and selecting an appropriate camera for a particular application.
- Controlling the effects in a digital photograph.
- Capturing images from film, photographs, or graphics.
- Transferring digital images to a computer, video monitor, television set, etc.
- Processing digital photographs to achieve improved or altered images.
- Digital special effects.
- Opening digital files using Photoshop.
- Resizing images and saving them in multiple file formats.
- Creating original graphics using the Photoshop tools.
- Manipulating individual elements of a graphic composition or image.
- Improving the quality of an image - cleaning it up.
- Applying interesting filters and effects.
- Preparing your files for the web, print or email.
- The nature of lighting as relevant to photography.
- How different light sources will affect your images.
- Using filters to create different lighting effects.
- Different types of light meters.
- Equipment for achieving more desirable light conditions for photography.
- How to compensate for imperfect light conditions.
- Studio lighting versus location lighting.
NOTE: You Can Choose other options to several of the modules above.
This is a very flexible course, so talk to us and put together a combination of modules that suits.
LEARN TO TAKE MORE CHALLENGING PHOTOS
Anyone can take a photo; particularly today, where every phone lap top and i-pad contains a reasonable camera built in.
It's a completely different thing though, to be able to decide what to take, what to exclude, then how to capture the image in a way that creates something extraordinary.
When you start getting serious about photography, you will begin to see possibilities and challenges that you probably didn't even imagine before though. Some situations you may have assumed would be easy, can in the heat of the moment become a far more challenging proposition.
This may be exactly why you need to study photography!
Coping with the difficulty created by variations in the subject (eg. movement), the available equipment, or the conditions (eg. weather, light); is one thing. Sometimes though, the challenges of variable conditions can also bring opportunities to create very special images.
Learn How Movement Can Complicate the Way You Photograph
Action photography can be used to photograph any subject which is in movement or motion. This may be anything from children on their bikes, cars, athletes and is extremely beneficial to use at sporting events. Any image where the subject may be in motion increases the chance that your photographs may be blurred.
You will need to be prepared in advance when you are photographing action shots. You may choose to use film or digital, however digital does have its positive advantages over conventional cameras when shooting action shots. Digital allows you to increase settings such as the ISO much easier, you are able to view the images, you do not need to carry lots of rolls of film around and you can takes lots more images.
Professional sports photographers realise the advantage digital technology has over conventional photography in this area. With sports photographers racing to get their images into newspapers and magazines as quickly as possible, digital images can be sent down the line directly to the picture desk, cutting out the time it takes to process and deliver images.
To photograph action shots, you will require:
- A higher ISO (film or digital)
- A fast shutter speed (varies depending on how fast the motion is)
- A telephoto lens is good
Sports Action Photography
Photographing athletes and sports can require patience and skill at being able to capture the right moment in time, and capture just the right amount of movement.
You will need to set your camera on a fast shutter speed:
- 1/500th second will do for slower sports.
- 1/1000th second or more may be needed for the faster sports such as skiing.
A telephoto lens (180 or 200mm focal length). Over a 200mm lens is difficult for action photography as it usually requires a tripod or monopod at least.
Although slow fine grain film can be used in bright sunny conditions, a faster (say ISO 400) film is usually far more suited to capture sports photography. With digital, it is a lot easier to bump up your ISO depending on the speed of the sport you are photographing, so try setting the ISO to 800, if you are getting blurred images then increase this. 1600 ISO is a happy medium with most sports so you can capture all the action. The good thing about digital is that you can increase the ISO as high as 3200 if needed. Depending on the digital SLR camera you are using, you may get noisy results in your images, due to too high an ISO. If you are shooting in low lights, or even at night, then a high ISO may be a problem. You will need to try and compensate this by opening up the aperture on the lens and camera.
If lighting is artificial, in an indoor event, you should give consideration to the colour balance (Tungsten film or an 80A filter might be needed). To get around this issue in digital shoot in RAW as you can adjust the colour balance in post-production without regarding the image.
The shutter speed and distance from the camera interrelate. Action that is moving towards you or away from you appears to move slower than action moving across your cameras field of vision at a right angle to the lens axis. As a result, shooting action head on can be shot with a slower shutter speed to freeze action than shooting from the side.
For example, a cyclist 100ft from the camera traveling at 30 M.P.H. might be frozen by 1/250th second shutter speed. However, if you are only 20ft away, the cyclist will appear to be moving faster and you might need a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second.
Sometimes it appears that the action during a sport is temporarily suspended in time, for example, when a skate boarder reaches the top of the ramp there will be a slight pause because his upwards motion has finished and inertia suspends him temporarily before gravity pulls him back down again. If you are ready for this pause you can freeze the moment using a slower shutter speed.
To blur images to convey motion it is usually best to keep the background sharp or at least recognizable. The shutter speed you chose is dependent on the speed at which your subject is moving. Most movement of people will be adequately blurred at 1/30th second, yet keep some of the image in focus. Shutter speeds slower than 1/30th second will blur all or most of the image, and usually you will need to use a tripod to keep some of the background sharp. Remember that action closer to you will be faster than action further away, and that the fastest moving parts of the body will be the most blurred. If you are blurring action outdoors and the light is bright you will want to use a slow film or set your digital camera at its slowest ISO.
By using the panning technique you can create the effect of movement by shooting a relatively sharp subject against a blurred background. To ensure a crystal clear shot when shooting fast sports such as motor racing, start to focus on the subject from some distance away and keep on tracking the subject until it is at the spot on the track where you wish to take the photo. Now, press the shutter button and to avoid blurring the shot, keep on tracking (panning) with the subject until the shot has been recorded. Practice is essential to get this technique right. Panning needs a fairly slow shutter speed and is therefore suited to low light conditions. You can modify this using slow film or camera ISO, and you may wish to use filters to reduce the light. In general, the slower the subject is moving the longer the exposure you will need. At slow shutter speeds, you can use a tripod with a panning head, which will decrease your chances of jarring the camera vertically.