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Back to Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing by Michigan State University

1,101 ratings

About the Course

Welcome to Course FOUR! In Modules 1-4 you will cover the final elements of the Specialization necessary to round out this introduction to the fundamentals of Photography, and prepare you for creating your own exciting project in the Capstone! You have come a long way since the beginning of this journey from Smartphone Basics to DSLR and Beyond. Just think of all the information you have absorbed and put to use in your assignments and quizzes, and the confidence you have gained that you CAN control the camera to make pictures you are proud to share. Here in Course Four you will start by gaining knowledge related to content in photography, from fact to fiction, documentary to purely expressive. Next you will learn principles, tips, and techniques for using the essential element of Light in Ambient/Natural settings. The flash/strobe unit, whether it is built-in to your camera or an add-on "hotshoe" model, will finally be something you, not the camera, controls! You will prove to yourself that those former mysteries of Controlled Continuous and Strobe lighting will no longer be mysterious, as you apply your knowledge to creation of assignment photographs in various situations. Sharing those pictures in Peer Review will give you the opportunity to learn from your fellow photographers' solutions to lighting challenges, and to gain insight into your own work and creative approaches too. There is an important word to share about Peer Review assignments for this course. As photographers who have accomplished the quiz and photography requirements of Courses One through Three, you have the knowledge and capability to create quality photographs at a much higher rate of success, and in a much shorter time, than when you began. You have also proven that you are a dedicated Learner, someone who has a passion for photography and is willing to put forth the extra effort necessary to accomplish your goals. This Course is the last before the Capstone Course, in which you will be tasked with creating a project over a 2-month period of dedicated photography. The Peer Review photography assignments have been structured with both your advanced capabilities and dedication in other words, they will require both! Be prepared to allocate more time than you have in previous Courses for the assignments, because they will take more time and because you will really enjoy them! Course Four ends with an overview of methods for finalizing your pictures in print form, including simple but effective matting techniques, and in web page designs as well. The pleasures and perils of sharing in social media sites are also yours to discover. Protecting your copyrights by understanding that concept and the ways that you can assert them, being careful about blogs and other outlets, and recognizing you are part of a community that respects the individual's creative effort, well that is important knowledge to have in preparation for the Capstone too! Let's get started with Module One!...

Top reviews


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I have face some audios problems which is actually technical problem. I also like to recommand if there would be a summery section end of the every long videos.


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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.

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1 - 25 of 278 Reviews for Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing

By Jannice P

Oct 21, 2019

Love these courses, I can not wait to start the Capstone course. I love how the professors want to help you improve, and that they try to keep it light ( as not boring) , and knowledgeable.

By David R

Jan 11, 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 Avinash T

Dec 2, 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 Deleted A

Jul 17, 2017

The content might me good but the presentation and the presenters mostly, are so boring! Dull speech in front of a green screen lost me at approximately 15 minutes.

By 赵兴

Oct 7, 2019

The sound is too low and comes with too much noise

By Leticia A N

Mar 19, 2018

As in overall comment for all this specialization, Professors have a very good didactics and you can progress on your rythim balancing theorical and practical. I definitly recommend this course for all photography lovers who want to get the basic knowladge and advance on their skills!

By Liyuan F

Nov 3, 2020

This course went beyond my expectations! The lessons were very practical for aspiring photographers of the modern era, especially if one wants to really stick to the field of professional photography.

By Pamela F

Oct 17, 2016

This was a fantastic course that help fill technical gaps in my knowledge of my camera and DIIY studios. There were days that were easy and then there were those that challenged me tremendously. The math was always tough. As a young student deciding on what university I would attend, for my degree in design I had to choose a school that did not have math in my curriculum. Visual arts are my strength. Peter's teaching style of descriptive definitions and instruction, made this class something I look forward to everyday. Students in your real world, Peter, are very lucky to have you as a mentor and a teacher. Those of us, in your virtual world will just have to settle for the lectures that we have on our screen.

By Evgenia E

Jul 8, 2020

The course was quite informative and useful, especially from technical point of view (use of flash and other lighting equipment, kitchen studio, calibration techniques, etc.). However, I think it was better to exclude or shorten the part about printing and hot-pressing and dedicate more time to the photography itself (some exclusive "art-related" information from profs), because printing-related information can be easily found on the Internet if one is interested in this subject. Anyway, the course was really interesting, just as the previous three. Can't wait to start the last one!

By Ilona P

Nov 19, 2016

Thank you very much for this great specialization! I joined Part 1-4 and learned so much about Photography. I always was interested in Photography. This course helped me to find out, which camera suits me best, conducted me with my first steps in advanced Photography and helped me to increase my photographic skills to the point i am now.

Thank you for this great journey you took me in the last months!

The Journey has just begun!

By Patryk Ł

Dec 21, 2017

This is my 4th course in this series. I am going to to finally stage The Capsture Project. But now straight away. I need to practice and have some beak then I am taking the last one

By Marcy W

Apr 30, 2018

Sometimes find it difficult to be judged by others, I wish that the professors would grade the photos.

By Erin B K

Dec 24, 2020

Disappointed by this specialization. I expected there to be more focus on photography techniques. Certain weeks in course 3 and 4 were very long and less related to actual photography than to what happens after the photograph has been taken. Transcripts are not especially good, despite the courses being given by native speakers, and sometimes the answers to quizzes were not learned in the previous lessons. I think these courses should be reviewed every 6 months or so, corrected and updated.

By J K

Aug 3, 2019

Instructors have abandoned the first four courses in the series. One makes only token appearances in the "capstone." There aren't enough students to get timely required peer reviews in any if the five courses. What could be an excellent course is a scam.

But it is from Michigan State, so integrity is not expected.


Apr 30, 2020

assignment requires you to create a Self-Portrait without showing yourself in the manner of a traditional portrait. By representing yourself in symbolic ways in a still life arrangement, you will not only convey a message of unique content to your viewers but perhaps reveal new insights about yourself to yourself!

You will draw on knowledge gained from lessons in Courses 1 to 3, to control the camera, lighting, and composition. In addition you will take into account what you have learned in Course 4 lessons related to a range of purely creative approaches to photography.

There are undoubtedly already still life arrangements in your own home that speak volumes about you, just waiting to be framed in, focused, lit at the right moment of daylight or nightlight or illuminated purposefully by you. Searching for those "found still-lifes" can be a challenging and rewarding creative experience of self-discovery.

You might also try assembling objects that have symbolic significance, and arranging them for the purpose of creating a still life full of your own life in general, or full of a singular aspect that is closest to the essence of who you are. Whether you find your self-portrait still life, or assemble it, or both, this assignment can be one of great creative growth and application of well-earned photographic knowledge.

The picture you settle on as your most successful will certainly not be a "selfie," in the sense that it will not be about something so ephemeral as a single moment, or an offhanded randomness in camerawork or concept. The photograph you post should convey some essential nature of yourself, through careful camerawork, composition, sensitivity to light as illuminator and content, and symbolic purpose. See Prof. Glendinning's series entitled "My Paris," as an example of this style of photography, at his website You can also see his works, and read an interview with him about that series, at The work of Benedicte LaSalle, whose photography was featured in an exhibit with Prof. Glendinning's at LOFT Gallery in Brussels, Belgium, in 2015, is also recommended for your inspiration. Benedict is a French

By Ramesh B P

Oct 27, 2022

Here, day by day, I have been able to improve my photography skills with theoretical knowledge, self-confidence etc. Now I have the confidence to take pictures and find mistakes in my previous captures. I have practically experienced Mr Peter Glendinning Sir and Mr Mark sir both skills in this online course. They have their own formulae for each structure and shortcuts. I'm sure I can say that their way of teaching, makes everyone get a lot of confidence. The notes, which I have prepared in the institute, can be very helpful to me throughout my life. It's the path to my knowledge. lam indebted to Mr Peter Glendinning Sir and Mr Mark sir.

By William M L

Mar 1, 2022

This was an interesting course where I learned some useful skills of lighting, content and context, and how to go about the sharing process in websites without "giving away the store."

As always, Mark and Peter's video explanations were clear and interesting. The quizzes and exams were helpful in providing focus on the content.

Finally, the submissions of photos and feedback helped me to apply theory to practice. I would've liked more in-depth feedback from my fellow students, in the same way that I tried to give them in my evaluations. Often, all they said in the comments was "Wow." or "Beautiful.:

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 Paolo M

Sep 18, 2021

A good overview of the content concept in photography and an explanation of lighting techniques with a still life example, even if only with two light sources and a smartphone. I appreciate the advices about how to share your pictures too. The course is short so I think that you will have to go deeper in what you have learned reading books or looking for information on internet, Youtube or advanced courses.

By Jonathan M

May 28, 2020

It was an excellent course, highly practical and with lessons that go straight to the point, this is a course that invites you to meditate like a professional, and project yourself to advance and continue learning about art. A thousand times I recommend it to anyone, whether you are interested in improving your technique or starting from scratch as has been my case.


Jun 14, 2021

thank you so-so much for pushing me to this far, I will do my best to practice practice practice, thanks to everyone, Professor Christopher P.LONG ,DEAN OF COLLEGE OF ART AND DESISGN, Professor Peter Glandining and Mr., MARK SULLIAN, and everyone forgive me if I didn't mention you by name, I LOVE YOU and appreciate you., I really really appreciate.

By Neil B

Apr 27, 2017

Each specialization has been better than the previous one, and I have learned so much. The sad part for me is that with everything I learn I understand how much more I need to learn. But having said that, this course and the professors are wonderful, and their excitement about photography is conveyed in every class.

By Nora S G G

Feb 24, 2021

Me parece que es una gran opción para repasar conceptos generales sobre la fotografía, o como en mi caso, aprender un poco más sobre los temas que se abordan. Los profesores son dinámicos y explican de manera muy clara. No es un curso tedioso y tampoco en exceso extenso, creo que vale toda la pena tomarlo.

By Eiko S

Sep 6, 2018

The introduction of the course says that this is a basic photography course though, details are more beyond the basic. My knowledge becomes rather deeper for the photography and the technique of taking photos, which is great and I am very thrilled to dig the knowledge deeper more!!

By Ryna P

Apr 7, 2022

This course is absolutely amazing. I had so much fun learning all these new things about photography and learning new content was really fun and easy as well. Would definitely recommend for those who are trying to improve their photography skills and wanting to learn more.