Photography for Beginners - Intensive St George & Sutherland Community College

Photography for Beginners - Intensive

Learn how to take great photos and join us at SGSCC for this photography course for beginners! Learn how to get the most out of your camera in this beginner’s class by using its auto settings. This is an intensive course delivered over 1 full day focusing on Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras with interchangeable lenses. It covers every aspect of photography, from wide-angle to telephoto and macro. We look at composition in-depth, exploring how to visualise the final photo before pressing the shutter button. You then go on location to compose and shoot your images for class discussion.

Course Outline:

  • 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 autofocus 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
  • Sidelight – 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

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course you will:

  • Set up your camera menu.
  • Move away from Auto and use advanced camera settings.
  • Be able to use different lenses and other attachments for specific outcomes.
  • Understand and apply the depth of field.
  • Understand colour temperatures and white balance and apply appropriate settings.
  • Apply principles of composition, including Rule of Thirds.
  • Understand basic photo editing principles and techniques

What to bring:

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

About the Tutor:

'Nic van Oudtshoorn is a highly qualified tutor and photojournalist with more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of photography. His skills have earned him the distinction of Associate of the prestigious Royal Photographic Society. His photographs have appeared worldwide in numerous books, newspapers, and magazines, including Reader’s Digest and Time. As an accomplished documentary filmmaker, Nic’s video footage has been shown on TV internationally, including National Geographic and Discovery channels.'

Other Information:

  • To ensure resources are ready for you at the start of your course, we ask you ideally enrol at least one week before the course commences.
  • All courses need a minimum number of students to run ("we try our hardest to get those") . If your course does not have enough students it will be cancelled before the commencement and you will be informed.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.