About this Course
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Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

Learners taking this Course are

  • Photographers
  • Artists
  • Graphic Designers
  • Journalists
  • Editors

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

5 hours to complete

Elements of Design: Building Blocks of Composition

12 videos (Total 107 min), 3 readings, 5 quizzes
12 videos
MEET THE PROFESSORS: Peter Glendinning and Mark Sullivan12m
MEET THE COURSE: an overview by Peter...2m
MEET THE COURSE: ...and an overview by Mark3m
MAKING not TAKING pictures.10m
The Process of Composition and the first element, Shape.10m
FORM: the 3-dimensional aspect7m
TEXTURE: the untouched aspect5m
TONE: aka VALUE, the whites, blacks, grays13m
LINE: the visible and the implied10m
PATTERN: recognition of relationships13m
COLOR: rainbow of meanings11m
3 readings
About Peer Review10m
4 practice exercises
Design Elements 1 quiz8m
Design Elements 2 Quiz8m
Design Elements 3 quiz6m
3 hours to complete

Composition means putting the Elements of Design together!

7 videos (Total 65 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
7 videos
Composition is a "map," balance is bike riding8m
Perspective: Drawing us through space8m
Symmetry: a bike ride straight ahead8m
ASYMMETRY: turning on a bicycle13m
Peter discusses some photographs and compositions9m
Mark discusses some photographs and compositions7m
1 reading
About Peer Review10m
1 practice exercise
Composition Quiz6m
4 hours to complete

Photo Editing Fundamentals 1.0: "Workflow," from Exposure through Adobe™ Lightroom™ Classic

14 videos (Total 103 min), 1 reading, 8 quizzes
14 videos
Lightroom: Importing Files, Catalogues, Naming Files & Directories7m
LibMod: Nav,Cat,Folders,Collec,PubServ4m
LibMod: Quick Dev,Keywords, List, Meta5m
LibMod:Grid,Loupe,Compare,Rename, Find6m
LibMod: Rank,Rate; Collections; Metadata3m
DevMod-Navigator, Presets,Snapshots,History,Collection6m
DevMod-Histogram-Crop,Spot Rm,Red Eye,GradFilt,RadFilt,AdjBrush26m
DevMod-WB,TempTint,Exposure,Contrast,HiLight,Shadow,Whites, Blks;Clar,Vib,Sat8m
Overview: Remaining Modules2m
Map, Book Modules11m
Slideshow,Web Modules7m
1 reading
Address: Free Trial Version of Adobe Lightroom (now called Adobe Lightroom Classic)10m
8 practice exercises
Lightroom: Overview, Importing, Organizing - Summative Quiz12m
Lightroom: Library Module - the Panels - Summative Quiz16m
Lightroom: View Modes, Ranking, Flags, Collections, Meta - Practice Quiz10m
Lightroom: Library Module - Summative Quiz30m
Developer Module - Summative Quiz 18m
Developer Module 2 - Summative Quiz 24m
Lightroom: the Develop Module - Overall Summative Quiz30m
Lightroom - The Remaining Modules -Summative Quiz16m
3 hours to complete

Photo Editing Fundamentals 2.0: SmartPhone Apps

2 videos (Total 17 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
2 videos
Pixlr Pro-Desktop - VSCO-Pixel - Camera+ - Pixart11m
1 reading
About Peer Review10m
1 practice exercise
SmartphoneApps - Processing - Summative Quiz20m
132 ReviewsChevron Right


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Top reviews from Principles of Photo Composition and Digital Image Post-Production

By ATDec 2nd 2017

Great course structure. Great Professors and Mentors. This course has really help me grow a lot as a photographer. I'm so thankful to Coursera & MSU for putting such a great course for learners.

By CLJul 25th 2016

This was a very interesting and eye opening course for me. So many great techniques I found of such value. Peter & Mark left me with a great feeling of confidence after taken this course



Peter Glendinning

Art, Art History, & Design

Mark Valentine Sullivan

Associate Professor
Music / Innovation Hub

About Michigan State University

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges....

About 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. 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: Fracture, Gary Fong, Gyst, Lensbaby, LensPen, Lume Cube, Photo District News, PhotoVideoEdu.com, Pixsy, and Think Tank....
Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.