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Increasing your photography skills and becoming a better photographer can sometimes take many months or even years of practice, but with the help of a good course, you can fast-track the process. An online photography course is a great way to sharpen your skills, learn new techniques, and improve yourself as a photographer!
We have taken and reviewed one of these online courses for you, directly from The Great Courses Plus. Would this course be a good fit for you? What does it do well and what does it cost? Well, keep reading and you will find the answers to all of these questions!
What is The Great Courses Plus and What Does It Cost?
The Great Courses Plus is an online learning platform that allows anyone to sign up and start to learn. This website offers over 700 different courses to choose from and learn from, covering a large variety of topics. All of these courses are professionally produced and take a very academically focused approach in order to give students the best information possible.
The Great Courses Plus has a subscription-based model in addition to being able to purchase courses individually. This comes out to $25 a month, but there are other payment options as well.
This is a great price considering all the material you have access to, as the lectures are very high quality and many are over 12 hours long in length! Each of these is given by an expert in their field, whether you are taking a history lesson from a college professor, or a photography class from a professional photographer.
If you want to read more about The Great Courses Plus, read our review.
Or, check our comparison between The Great Courses Plus and Masterclass
What Is the Fundamentals of Photography Course and Who Teaches it?
Fundamentals of Photography is a photography course on The Great Courses Plus that covers a large array of topics, from the equipment you need to how to take photos of animals. The teacher is a photographer named Joel Sartore, who is a regular photo contributor to National Geographic.
Joel Sartore has won many awards for his work and has traveled all around the world to take his incredible images. He has published many books on the subject, and has the skillset and experience necessary to teach you everything you need to know about photography!
Who Will Benefit From This Course
This course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about photography and improve their skills. Beginners in photography will learn the basics such as the equipment they need, how to structure photos, and how to properly use a camera. It will teach you how to use every button and control on a camera, and thoroughly explain what it takes to make a great picture.
More experienced photographers will also love this course, as it goes into great detail on aspects such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. This course will teach you everything from lighting to how to set up your photos with human subjects, and everything in between. No matter what your skill level is, this photography course will be a wealth of knowledge and you are sure to find information on exactly what you are searching for!
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What I Liked About the Course
I personally enjoyed taking this course more than any other lecture or course I have ever taken. It did many things right, such as:
- Clearly explaining even the smallest details
- Having a large variety of photography topics
- Staying interesting and relevant
- Teaching different types of photography
This course is very organized and easy to find the subject matter that you might be interested in. The half-hour segments felt long enough to cover the topic at hand, but not so long that it felt boring or repetitive.
Some simple pros for this course include:
- Taught by a qualified teacher who is a master at photography
- Information is accurate and easy to understand
- Excellent video and audio quality
- Covers every single thing about photography that you would want to know
I really appreciated how this course went into great detail on cameras and equipment that you need as a photographer and can see this section being especially useful for beginners.
It also went into great detail on the advanced photography concepts and included three separate sections on lighting and lighting techniques. Veteran photographers will appreciate these sections and are sure to learn something new even with years of experience.
Any aspiring photographer will love this course, especially since it caters to all types of photographers. Whether you are a portrait photographer or specialize subjects like animals or landscapes, this course covers them all!
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What Could Be Improved
As good as this course is, nothing is perfect. Most of the courses from The Great Courses Plus are very general and are designed to appeal to a widespread audience. While this can be great, it can also be a little frustrating if you are looking for a course on one particular photography topic or field.
Another potential downside of Fundamentals of Photography could be unneeded or unwanted material. For example, this course goes into great detail on landscape and wildlife photography. This is no surprise, as the teacher is a contributor to National Geographic. But not everyone is interested in these photography fields, so they could find it hard to relate.
Lastly, while I enjoyed the size of the videos, they might be a little long for some people. Each one is around a half-hour long, but I am sure some photographers would prefer more precise 10-15 minute videos without any of the monologue or fluff.
To review, a couple things that could be improved with this course are:
- Very general explanations on most topics
- Shows preference for wildlife, nature, and landscape photography
- Half-hour video segments could be a little too long for some viewers
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the course Fundamentals of Photography from The Great Courses Plus and walked away feeling as though I had learned quite a bit. Even with years of experience as a photographer, I learned some new techniques and tricks that I will now try employing in my work going forward.
Whether you are a brand new photographer that is just getting started or a veteran that has been shooting for years, this course has something for everyone. You will not regret spending the money on this course, and will be amazed at the wealth of photography knowledge right at your fingertips!