About this Course
4.9
160 ratings
60 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 31 hours to complete

Suggested: Plan on spending more than 5.hrs per week completing each module, much of it making/editing photos...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Skills you will gain

ArtProjectPhotographyWriting
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 31 hours to complete

Suggested: Plan on spending more than 5.hrs per week completing each module, much of it making/editing photos...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

CAPSTONE PROJECT LAUNCH!

The Capstone Project is your opportunity to take advantage of the knowledge you have gained through our journey in learning about photography, to develop a meaningful set of 10 photographs in a final project . Of course, you may well expose hundreds of photographs to get to that final number! This course is where you will combine your passion for a particular content with the skills and knowledge you have developed as a photographer through this Specialization. This is also where you will share your insights with a community of equally passionate photographers through peer review, as they learn from you and you learn from them. Perhaps the project is based in your passion for artistic expression, or for a documentary subject in your community that you feel is worthy of exploration. Maybe you feel moved to create a series of insightful portraits centered on people who are part of a group or of a certain type, or create photographs that are important for your non-photography career (beautiful photos of houses and their details if you are a realtor for example). Whatever the content or subjects, whatever the lighting, exposure, or other techniques used, it begins with an outline, what we call a Project Plan. It goes without saying that all the photographs for this project must be new pictures, created on or after the date of the start of this course. This is not the place for photographs you have created previously, although your new photographs may be related to an area of interest you had before you began this final course. In this first Module you will point your creative compass in a general direction, and with the help of your fellow photographers' feedback gradually create a more narrow, straight, and true path of photography as the weeks of effort go forward. You'll learn from Peter and Mark's mistakes and review a valuable lesson, "Responding to Photographs," from the past. Of course, you will also begin making photographs in that general direction too! Let's get started!!!...
Reading
4 videos (Total 41 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Baker Woodlot Series: A failed plan but a successful ending9m
Photographing Light Itself:-U-Turn6m
Lesson Review: "Making not Taking Photographs," from Course 310m
Reading1 reading
The Capstone is a Journey, not a Race!10m
Week
2
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Learning from others

In this Module, Peter and Mark will comment on projects created by two MSU students and alumni, discussing the strengths they see in form and content to help you begin to form your own judgments as you either agree or disagree with their responses. The process of analyzing one's own preferences, and then actively agreeing and disagreeing about effective camerawork, composition, and content approaches, are key elements in the growth of any photographer. When we convey our honestly held responses in ways that are helpful, we not only give the photographer whose work we are commenting on greater insight into how their work is perceived, but also help open ourselves to new levels of understanding too. The Photographer's Statements by those students are also posted for you to consider, as you prepare to form your own in the future. Our Lesson Review of "Making not Taking Photographs," relates to the purposeful nature of the Capstone Project. In Peer Review, you will help each other gain insights into Project Plans, help each other by making comments and offering suggestions related to the Plans, and share first photographs with each other as well. Remember, the Capstone experience is a Journey, not a Race! If you missed the Reading in Week One, a Fable by Aesop awaits your attention! Take each week for what it is, an opportunity to grow in knowledge, creativity, and photographic technique. ...
Reading
3 videos (Total 49 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Analyzing the MSU Student project by Amy Davis17m
Analyzing the MSU student project by Haley Kooistra11m
Reading2 readings
MSU Student Photographer's Statements: Amy Davis and Haley Kooistra10m
A Sample Review of a Photograph - Mark10m
Week
3
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Learning more about critically analyzing

Peter and Mark will review two more MSU student projects to help you understand what they see as markers of success in a body of related photographs. Once again, the students' Photographer's Statements are presented as examples of the diversity with which such things may be written. Peter will also discuss the purposes of "critique," also known as constructive criticism, and strategies for analyzing the works of others. Our Lesson Review in this Module is again from Course Three, entitled "Composition is a "Map," Balance is Bike Riding." Finally, you will practice your "critique skills" in a Peer Review exercise. Of course, during this week you will keep photographing to develop your project further....
Reading
4 videos (Total 35 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Analyzing the MSU Student Project by Dennis Kennedy8m
Analyzing the MSU Student Project by Lauren Nalepa8m
Lesson Review: "Composition is a 'Map,' Balance is bike riding," from Course 38m
Reading2 readings
MSU Student Photographer's Statements: Lauren Nalepa and Dennis Kennedy10m
The Critique/Review10m
Week
4
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Mid-Term review time!

At the midway point in this Capstone Course, you will "get over the hump" and continue your progress toward the completion of your photography projects! Peter and Mark will each discuss a project that had "humps" to get over. This is also the week where you will upload a large set of new photographs, ten to be exact, using the Discussion Forum as our "gallery," and the Peer Review process as a way to share and receive feedback from as many of your fellow photographers as you like. You will not only gain from the perspectives of others, but grow in your abilities to engage the processes of critical thinking and dialogue so necessary to developing your own sense of what makes a photograph a "success."...
Reading
4 videos (Total 34 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
Mark discusses the development of his Cuba photography projects - past, the present, and the coming4m
Peter discusses the development of his photography project: Flora, Fauna, Florida7m
Lesson Review: Working a Scene from Course One13m
Reading1 reading
Capstone Success Tips from Previous Learners!10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Critique Practice Quiz6m
4.9
Career direction

62%

started a new career after completing these courses
Career Benefit

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Career promotion

17%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

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 ICMay 4th 2018

Perfect capstone for a great specialization! Depending on your project and how seriously you are taking it prepare yourself for a ton of work... but it's totally worth it! :)

Instructors

Avatar

Peter Glendinning

Professor
Art, Art History, & Design
Avatar

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. 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: 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.