Oct 17th 2016

Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing (Coursera)

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Welcome to Course FOUR! In Modules 1-4 you will cover the final elements of the Specialization necessary to round out this introduction to the fundamentals of Photography, and prepare you for creating your own exciting project in the Capstone! You have come a long way since the beginning of this journey from Smartphone Basics to DSLR and Beyond. Just think of all the information you have absorbed and put to use in your assignments and quizzes, and the confidence you have gained that you CAN control the camera to make pictures you are proud to share.

Here in Course Four you will start by gaining knowledge related to content in photography, from fact to fiction, documentary to purely expressive. Next you will learn principles, tips, and techniques for using the essential element of Light in Ambient/Natural settings.

The flash/strobe unit, whether it is built-in to your camera or an add-on "hotshoe" model, will finally be something you, not the camera, controls! You will prove to yourself that those former mysteries of Controlled Continuous and Strobe lighting will no longer be mysterious, as you apply your knowledge to creation of assignment photographs in various situations. Sharing those pictures in Peer Review will give you the opportunity to learn from your fellow photographers' solutions to lighting challenges, and to gain insight into your own work and creative approaches too.

There is an important word to share about Peer Review assignments for this course. As photographers who have accomplished the quiz and photography requirements of Courses One through Three, you have the knowledge and capability to create quality photographs at a much higher rate of success, and in a much shorter time, than when you began. You have also proven that you are a dedicated Learner, someone who has a passion for photography and is willing to put forth the extra effort necessary to accomplish your goals. This Course is the last before the Capstone Course, in which you will be tasked with creating a project over a 2-month period of dedicated photography. The Peer Review photography assignments have been structured with both your advanced capabilities and dedication in other words, they will require both! Be prepared to allocate more time than you have in previous Courses for the assignments, because they will take more time and because you will really enjoy them!

Course Four ends with an overview of methods for finalizing your pictures in print form, including simple but effective matting techniques, and in web page designs as well. The pleasures and perils of sharing in social media sites are also yours to discover. Protecting your copyrights by understanding that concept and the ways that you can assert them, being careful about blogs and other outlets, and recognizing you are part of a community that respects the individual's creative effort, well that is important knowledge to have in preparation for the Capstone too! Let's get started with Module One!

Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing is course 4 of 5 in the Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization.

Whether your camera is a Smartphone or DSLR, a Compact or Mirrorless model, you will learn to gain control of exposure and understand fundamentals of composition, while exploring documentary and creative concepts to make the kinds of photographs you have always wanted. This Specialization covers a broad range of fundamental principles in photography, from camera control to principles of composition and creativity, providing you with a foundation for growth in making photographs you’ll be proud to share. In the Capstone you will develop a final project of photographs related to your individual needs, whether practical or purely expressive, and share ongoing feedback with fellow learners. The 'top-10' peer-reviewed Capstone projects each year will be awarded the opportunity for individual reviews, with personal responses, by world renowned photographers who have been honored with the title of Canson-Infinity® Ambassadors. In addition to the awarding of a Certificate of Specialization from Michigan State University, each Learner who subscribes to and completes the entire Specialization, including Capstone, will receive substantial discounts on equipment, accessories, and membership benefits through Industry Partners from among the premier manufacturers of photography equipment: Lensbaby, LensPen, Lume Cube, Photo District News,, and Think Tank.