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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Photography Capstone Project by Michigan State University

540 ratings

About the Course

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 project of 10 well formed photographs based in your passion for artistic expression, or a subject for documentary exploration, insightful portraiture, imaging for work-related subjects, or some other aspect of photography. We are confident that it will be a project that you will be excited to share with fellow Learners. You should plan on spending more time on this Course per week than any other in this Specialization, and much of it will be in making photographs. During the entire period of development, you and your fellow learners will be supporting each other as you work independently, by sharing your work-in-progress from the initial Project Plan to the final Portfolio. At each stage, all Learners will share comments and suggestions with each other, helping each other to gauge progress and to learn about different approaches to photography and content. By expressing your own ideas and expectations about quality in response to the work of others, you will be forming your own criteria of excellence as well. Along the way there will be multiple opportunities for sharing pictures and ideas through carefully designed Peer Review. This sharing of photographs and comments with peers, and reflecting on their comments about your photos, will be an exciting learning experience that will help you grow in understanding your own photography and that of others. Your contribution of comments to fellow Learners will not only help them understand their photographs better, but it will give you an opportunity to use the vocabulary of terms that are related to techniques, design principles, and content approaches that you have learned through your success in each of the previous Modules. A unique aspect of this Specialization is that everyone who completes the requirements will receive, in addition to their Certificate of Specialization from Michigan State University, access to substantial discounts on equipment, accessories, and membership benefits through Industry Partners from among the premier manufacturers of photography equipment and related items: Fracture, Gary Fong, Gyst, Lensbaby, LensPen, Lume Cube Lighting, Photo District News, PhotoVideoEdu, Think Tank Cases/Bags....

Top reviews


Oct 7, 2020

It's hard to believe how far I've come as a photographer in such a short time. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to DSLR photography! Thanks for an incredible educational opportunity.


Dec 1, 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.

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26 - 50 of 180 Reviews for Photography Capstone Project


Apr 22, 2018

First of all I'm thanks to UNHCR ,that give me this chance to be the student of Michigan State University online courses. And I was very like to be the field of photography. I learn many things through this course. And thanks alot to MR Peter and mark,

I really improved my skill day by day. Thanks to viewers in this Coursera online courses that supports each others until end of the final capstone project. Wish you all the best. Good luck.

By Elizabeth C

Aug 29, 2017

Beyond my expectations! Extraordinary instructors with great knowledge and guidance throughout the specialization. Loved entire processes and recommend it to anyone wanting to bring their photography skills to next level. Great use of peer review process. Very happy I took this course and hope these instructors to more courses on Coursera.

By Jennifer

Mar 8, 2017

The entire specialization was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about photography, and about project planning. The course also helped me to build confidence and not get so hung up on trying to be perfect right from the gate. Nice people taking photography from all over the world and fun, too. Thank you.

By Paul H

Feb 5, 2018

I'd give this course even more stars if I could. Creating your own project seemed a daunting task, but it was an incredible experience. I learnt so much. The support from the lecturers and mentors is the best I've come across, and the camaraderie of fellow learners in this course has made it really special.

By Hanan T

Jun 3, 2017

A great learning experience and for beginners ,it provides that platform which can help you enter into the professional field.The review process and the working along with the peers in the discussion forums is another good opportunity. It makes possible to learn from others,from their work .

By Francesco S

Sep 20, 2016

This is exactly what I was looking for to figure out how to make sense of a collection of pictures. Definitely for advanced photographers/amateurs who have already experience with cameras and making pictures and who are looking for ways to organize their collections meaningfully.

By Shantanu C

Aug 16, 2017

I have now become awesome because of this awesome course. I will suggest any novice to join this course and take advantage of advanced peers and I would invite any advanced photographers to just understand other's point of view and earn a specialization certificate.

By Neil B

Jan 17, 2018

Outstanding . . . through this course I have learned more about photography than I ever expected. The instructors are outstanding and the way in which they teach makes this a fun course. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in making photographs.

By Steven C

Mar 7, 2017

A simply wonderful course, technical to a degree but not overwhelmingly so, and one learns through doing. There are plenty of assignments to help build your skill sets, and lots of reviews and peer reviews to help build your personal skills as well.


Aug 30, 2019

From a noob photographer to setting up my new photo studio this course has helped me to achieve some greatest heights.

Thanks to Coursera.

By Christophe D

Aug 9, 2020

Interesting course. I like the fact that you learn how to project yourself and implement a vision of your own art. This is a great and amazing beginning for creativity.

If i had a bad point, just be careful, with all those pseudo people, making a rush of the course, by not participating fully in the course. You can learn a lot with feedback from proper peers, but some are there, with stolen shots, and old pictures, begging for review all the time. Flag those people so that they stop trolling on the course, and take your time to learn about you.

Thanks to Peter and Mark. I wish they would appear more on the course.

Thank you to all the peers.

By Elizabeth P

Jun 16, 2020

I liked the instructors. It is a course that takes a lot of work and you can get out of the course what you want to get out of the course. Doing photography kept my sanity during Covid-19. The bad part is that other students don't take the capstone seriously.

By Ruben C B

Aug 19, 2022

Fantastic content. The peer review needs improvement, that is the only motive to not give 5 stars.

By Cristopher T

Jun 22, 2020

While Peter is an amazing professor and has great explanation, the other professor has a huge lack of enthusiasm and his monotonous voice made consider several times dropping out of the course. Recommended to give you an overall idea of photography but the assessment of the classmates were mostly disappointing.

By shorya s

Oct 20, 2020

no one to supervise what students are doing so everyone is copying the content of others.

By Edward A G I

Mar 31, 2021

The entire course presented information in the context to the materials needed to successfully learn basic photography. The problems began with the Capstone course starting at Week 4 through Week 8. Week 4 requires ten photos for embedding that does not work. Coursera Support are aware of the issues presented but have not corrected the matter. What makes matters worst, the outdated video presentations from Peter Glendinning and Mark Sullivan doe s not correspond to the Coursera online learning method. To the staff at MSU time to update the course learning to function along side the online portal. Grading method is the worst form of accountability. While I understand this non-credit specialization in no way conforms to the on-campus equivalent, then no payment should be made to those lectures from outdated video learning.

By William M L

May 7, 2022

I must rate this course much lower than the other 4, duw to the technical and administrative issues that I encountered. I have created separate posts and reinforced others' posts with my comments in the Discussion Forums in the General Category, and in Week 8 Forum. Something needs to be done about these issues, sooner, rather than later.

I couldn't be more pleased with the quality of instruction by Peter and Mark. I couldn't be more dissatisfied with the administrative and technical LACK of quality, primarily in Course 5.


Feb 8, 2024

Overall, the content of this specialization is great. It is cohesive in a way you can't get just learning on your own or via youtube/hobby forums. Highlights for me beyond the fundamentals are that it gives a reasonable introduction to printing and mounting your own work, to setting up a small home studio for product photography, and to building up a project. If you're inclined to want to show your work at exhibitions or competitions it minimally steers you away from bad decisions and toward manageable positive steps, it also covers copyright and image sharing considerations on and offline. The capstone project is the largest scale project you will do, but over the specialization you'll be taking pictures weekly, with various aims in mind. I am now taking, editing and printing more images and have coherent aims for my own projects beyond the course. There are two negatives I experienced with the course, firstly, giving critique is a hard skill to learn and most of the participants just don't have it, they're scared of offending people, so portions where you're critiquing each other you can find you receive very minimal feedback. I get it, it's difficult, and I'm not sure it could be much different in a MOOC. If you're looking for critique a local camera club might be worth looking into. The second negative is there seems to be a glitch on courseras end when reviewing peers. There's a very low number of participants when you hit the later stages of the specialisation and you'll frequently run out of current participants to review. Instead of displaying a message to this effect, it appears that the system reaches into its bank of moderated submissions, you can tell you've hit this when the submissions are all from November 2022. They're predominantly bot accounts or really obviously plagarised content and going through this can be really disheartening, so keep an eye on the date when reviewing peers and if it slips into this territory take a break for a day or two and wait for some more of your peers to catch up to review. Even with that issue, this course is very much worth it. I did study foundational photography a long time ago and I still got a lot out of it, even just being given frequent briefs and deadlines for small creative projects, or the medium one in the capstone, and getting to see what others do with the same restrictions, is a great process to go through.

By Mir W A K

Nov 16, 2020

First, I would like to thank you Professors Peter Glendenning and Mark Sullivan and the management of courser team who have accepted my application for waiving the fee for the courses 4, 5 and Capstone Projects.

The course was very exciting and knowledgeable right from week one to week 8. I like the reviewing activity for the peers's project statements and photographs which gave me confidence in reviewing and passing comments.

The peers who have given the links of the photographers whom they were going to follow as their model photographers was very helpful. Most of the links I never new.

Though, the site needs little improvement. To search the photographs of the peers was very difficult. We fond their statement but could not find the related photograph. It was easy to find the photographs of the peers submission who have given the links in their project statement.

Therefore, it should be made mandatory for all to mention the link in the statement or the photo should be given immediately below the statement and also space for review comments on the same page.

Sometimes, when we tried to submit the review, the review tab was not working.

Anyways, I enjoyed he course and would like to revise it once again to gain confidence. I am waiting impatiently for the Capstone Project's come out.

By Anette K

Oct 5, 2020

This was a great course. I am so happy I signed up for it. Ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated by photography, but I never pursued it. Early this summer, my husband surprised me with a "fancy" camera (an entry-level, mirrorless Sony), but I had no idea how to use it. Taking all the sequences in this series, where the capstone project finished up the sequence really help me to get started.

In particular, the capstone project taught me how to think about telling a story with my photos, not just take random pictures. I've learned how to think more about the story behind the photo.

What was useful was that there were learned at different levels, and some of the more advanced learners helped me a lot with their comments. But also some of the learners that were at my level had such useful comments; really pulling me forward.

I will miss not being a learner in the course!

By Sakib N K

Jan 30, 2021

I think the Capstone project was necessary to build up a photographer and to evaluate all the knowledge one acquired or all the skills one gained throughout the whole specialization. I really enjoyed doing this course. It made me explore new categories of photography, fall under new circumstances while being in a photo-walk. It made me see the world by other learner's cameras. I got to learn not only by other learners' comments on my project but also by observing their works as well.

I recommend this course as well as the whole specialization for all photography enthusiasts who would want to elevate their photography skills and knowledge to a new level.

By Luis E B P

Aug 24, 2020

A complete and excellent course on photography technique, from the technique of handling the reflex camera, through the principles of lighting and digital development, and reaching the composition as well as the ideas to improve the contents based on the concept and the coherence when carrying out a photographic project. A great way to reflect on the intention and message of your photos, and to hone your love of image and artistic expression.

A total of 5 courses, which I have taken in almost 6 months, in which I have had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of photography and explore it as a means of communication and personal expression.

By Lyneth R

Jan 25, 2021

The five courses within this specialization really taught me a lot as a beginner photographer. All courses were very true to its specialization title, teaching photography from the basics and more. The assignments were really the highlight since they all allowed me to practice my photography skills and learn from my co-learners as well. Not only that, they also taught me how to critique photographs, which I think, is also a very important skill to have as a photographer. Hands down to Sir Glendinning, Sir Sullivan and the rest of the team who made all the courses possible. :)

By Tricia A C C

Apr 29, 2021

As a person who has been taking documentary style photos (badly) for over ten years, the course was the perfect introduction to getting me started on the right path to making great photos. The mix of theory and practice with sharing and reviews is perfect for those who may be a little shy about sharing their work. One of the most important things I learned is that it's not about the equipment you have but the skill and techniques you use. I highly encourage doing the entire specialization. You will never think about photography the same way again.

By Benny G

Jul 24, 2021

The Capstone Project takes you up another level. The whole course is excellently organised and well presented. Some of the links in the course are outdated, but with a little searching on the internet everything can be found. The degree of success is dependent on the amount of effort the student puts in. Always look at the various links and read everything you can get. Peter and Mark provide so much information. It is up to the student to make the most of it. Above all, always keep that camera near at hand.