Photography for Beginners - Intensive

Take advantage of the features your camera has to offer. Learn how to get the most out of your camera by taking it out of its auto settings. This is an intensive course delivered over 1 full day focusing on Digital Single Lense Reflex (DSLR) Cameras with interchangeable lenses.

Course Outline:


  • Outline of course aims
  • Examine your camera – overview of features
  • Choosing the right lens for the right occasion
  • How to hold your camera correctly when taking photos
  • Supports for your camera – monopod, tripod and beanbag
  • DSLR camera limitations and how to overcome them
  • Difference between film photography and digital photography
  • Understanding pixels

Mastering Camera Setting:

  • Choosing the right shooting mode
  • File format, size and quality
  • White balance and metering modes
  • Drive mode – single shot v. multiple shots
  • Manual and auto focus modes – which to use when
  • Focus points – selecting only one or using them all
  • ISO – how to use it to maximum effect and best quality
  • Exposure compensation, bracketing and HDR (high dynamic range)

Aperture and Shutter Speed:

  • Understanding depth of field
  • Controlling depth of field in aperture priority
  • Controlling movement in shutter priority
  • Using Auto, Program and scene selections


  • What is light? Colour temperature and intensity and how to control it
  • Front light – taking well-lit and colourful pictures
  • Side light – highlighting texture and emphasising 3D
  • Back light – capturing silhouettes and rim-lit subjects
  • Diffused light – exploit overcast conditions
  • Artificial light – tungsten and flash (both on and off-camera). Synching more than one flash


  • Principles of composition – rule of thirds
  • Use leading lines to direct the eye
  • Portrait or landscape format
  • Cropping in-camera – leave enough space around your subject
  • Portraits that wow – blur the background
  • Different angles and focal lengths – distorting reality
  • 5 steps to perfect composition


  • Use natural frames
  • Look for reflections
  • Play with colour and contrast
  • Use repetition
  • The power of scale
  • Let your picture tell a story

Student Requirements:

  • DSLR Camera
  • Camera Manual
  • Fully charged batteries
  • Writing materials, paper, etc
  • Own food (no canteen onsite on Saturdays)

If in doubt, please contact the college for advice on whether your camera fits the requirements.

About the Tutor:

“As a qualified Tutor and photo journalist with more than 40 years experience, my skills have earned me the distinction of being an Associate of the prestigious Royal Photographic Society. As an accomplished documentary filmmaker I have had video footage shown on TV internationally, as well as having photos appearing in books, magazines and newspapers around the world. I look forward to teaching you many wonderful photographic techniques in the near future.” Nic

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