About this Course
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Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...


Subtitles: English
Learners taking this Course are
  • Photographers
  • Translators
  • Artists
  • Journalists
  • Customer Service Agents

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: 5 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

5 hours to complete

The Content of a Photograph

7 videos (Total 48 min), 4 quizzes
7 videos
MEET THE PROFESSORS: Peter Glendinning and Mark Sullivan12m
MEET THE COURSE: an overview by Mark and Peter6m
The Portrait: document and image8m
The Landscape: document and image7m
The Still Life: document and image4m
The Tableau and Manipulated Landscape: fictions5m
3 practice exercises
Practice Quiz - Portrait and Landscape Genres10m
Practice Quiz - Genres of Still Life, Landscape, and Portrait10m
Portrait, Landscape, Still Life, Tableau - Summative Quiz32m
4 hours to complete

Light Fundamentals 1.0: People, Places, Things under Ambient Light

5 videos (Total 24 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
5 videos
Light: Colors and Color Temperature Theory4m
Tips and Techniques: People and Ambient Light6m
Tips and Techniques: Landscapes, Cityscapes, Interior-scapes, Things, and Ambient Lighti4m
Tips And Techniques: Things and Ambient Light3m
1 reading
Refresher on composition terms10m
3 practice exercises
Quiz - Light, Energy, Color12m
Practice Quiz - Ambient Light & People &Landscapes12m
Summative Quiz - Ambient Light30m
6 hours to complete

Light Fundamentals 2.0: People, Places, Things under Controlled Light

12 videos (Total 110 min), 1 reading, 7 quizzes
12 videos
Controlled Light: Basic Principles 23m
Camera Flash types/functions: Part 112m
Camera Flash types/functions: Part 28m
Camera Flash types/functions: Part 2.59m
Flash and the Focal Plane Shutter15m
A brief Flash Review!4m
Flash tools11m
Kitchen Table Studio: a copy stand for flat artwork/documents13m
Kitchen Table Studio: Lighting an Object Part 18m
Kitchen Table Studio: Lighting an Object Part 25m
Lighting a Person: in daylight!6m
1 reading
Links for Dr. Harold Edgerton,10m
6 practice exercises
Light Quiz 18m
Light Quiz 28m
Flash Types8m
Flash Quiz24m
Practice Makes Perfect Quiz20m
Kitchen Table Lighting Quiz20m
5 hours to complete

Finishing Pictures: Options for Showing and Sharing

12 videos (Total 145 min), 3 readings, 3 quizzes
12 videos
Calibrating for consistency: theory and monitor11m
OUTSOURCING to Learn About Printing Basics14m
Calibrating for consistency: the printer11m
Printmaking 1.0: Printers14m
Printmaking 2.0: Inks, Papers, and other materials19m
Kitchen Table Studio: dry-mounting a print Part 16m
Kitchen Table Studio: dry-mounting a print Part 27m
Photo Sharing Sites: Do's and Don'ts!12m
Your Photo Website: Part 111m
Your Photo Website: Part 28m
Copyright: Protecting what is yours16m
3 readings
Social Media Image Sizing Tips from JD LAB10m
Copyright tips from www.Pixsy.com10m
Capstone advice from fellow Learners10m
3 practice exercises
Practice makes perfect quiz!24m
Calibration Quiz16m
Sharing Online Quiz20m
113 ReviewsChevron Right


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Top reviews from Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing

By DRJan 11th 2018

This is an excellent course. I found the description rather intimidating but was very pleased with how it worked out. At least according to the peer reviews I submitted my best work in Course 4.

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.



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.