This online course is 6 weeks long, followed by a 2-week period to complete the final exam (online, open book). Lessons are released on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week. You are not required to be online at any specific time. You register and pay on our website and instructions on how to access your course will be emailed to you immediately after registration.

The actual time commitment involved in completing any given lesson can vary significantly based on a number of factors including reading speed, familiarity with the topic, related experience, the amount of time spent completing optional assignments, and involvement with discussion board. For planning purposes we suggest setting aside 1 hour per lesson as a starting point.


Photographing Nature with Your Digital Camera

Photographing Nature with Your Digital Camera

$190 + applicable tax

Nature photography can be a fun, relaxing, and exciting hobby! In this course, you'll learn about the many aspects of outdoor photography as well as how to master your digital camera's controls and features. With the knowledge you gain in this course, you'll be taking exceptional nature photos in no time.

We'll explore composition and lighting issues, and you'll find out how to take beautiful photos of landscapes, flowers, trees, and water. Along the way, we'll delve into your camera's shutter speed and aperture controls so that you'll be able to capture the photos you really want. Then we'll shift gears a bit and consider telephoto work in nature photography. Some natural subjects are always too far away or too dangerous to photograph up close, so we'll see how telephoto lenses and composition techniques can help.

We'll also focus on photographing animals—wild and domesticated, as well as large and small. You'll find plenty of tips to help you get great zoo shots and take excellent photos of pets. If you're a bird lover, you're in for a treat because you'll get an entire lesson about photographing birds.

In addition, we'll talk about macro photos, which are extreme close-ups of small items in nature. You'll find macro photography opens up a whole new world for you! And then we'll discuss using your computer to process your photos and digitally correct the most common problems. We'll wrap up by exploring abstract nature photography. You'll see how your photos can become works of art rather than just snapshots of nature. By the end of this course, you'll have become the nature photographer you always wanted to be!

Week 1 Wednesday - Lesson 1

The Joy of Nature Photography
In this first lesson, we'll explore what makes nature photography an exciting and joyful hobby. You'll do fun exercises that help you focus on the details in the world around you. We'll delve into the concepts of composition, form, shape, and contrast. And finally, you'll join me on a photographer's journey in one of my favorite places in the world!

Week 1 Friday - Lesson 2

Light and Composition
Nothing could be more important to a photographer than light, right? So today we're going to explore how to work with different kinds of sunlight, use fill flash, and photograph the sun. We'll talk about using the rule of thirds to compose attractive photos, and we'll also take a look at three cool natural forms that make great patterns to photograph. Light + composition + natural forms = the next step in your development as a nature photographer!

Week 2 Wednesday - Lesson 3

Landscape Photography
Landscapes are a pleasure to photograph, so we'll explore how to make landscape photos that are a pleasure to look at, too! In this lesson, you'll figure out how to manage aperture settings and depth of field to get the most from your landscapes, and you'll realize the benefits of focal points and vantage points. You'll also receive some tips to help you spice up landscapes that are flat or lack obvious details.

Week 2 Friday - Lesson 4

Photographing Flowers and Trees
Nature is full of interesting subjects to photograph, and flowers and trees are two of the best. So get ready to experiment photographically with a variety of textures, patterns, and colors. We'll start today with the basics of photographing flowers, and then we'll move on to explore advanced techniques the pros use. You'll also gain an appreciation for the ways trees can communicate feeling and practice photographing them in a way that evokes the specific feeling of a season or place. You'll discover the joys of trying unexpected perspectives as you take your photos.

Week 3 Wednesday - Lesson 5

Photographing Water
Water is a fun subject to photograph, but it does present some challenges that we'll tackle together in this lesson. You'll learn how to use your camera to compose photographs of large bodies of water (like oceans and lakes), and you'll receive fun tips for taking effective shots of streams and rivers. You'll also get better acquainted with your shutter-speed settings and practice controlling them to blur or freeze action to create interesting effects.

Week 3 Friday - Lesson 6

Telephoto Photography
Telephoto equipment can help you get close to subjects that are far away or too dangerous to approach, thus giving you access to an otherwise inaccessible natural world. So today we'll investigate the ways telephoto equipment can enhance your experience of nature photography. You'll find out how your camera and lenses handle magnification, and you'll gain an understanding of how to work effectively with a telephoto lens. Then we'll turn our attention to composing telephoto shots, and you'll practice photographing clouds, the moon, and the stars. Whether you're already working with a telephoto lens, want to buy one, or prefer to stick with the zoom lens on your consumer camera, this lesson will help you gain confidence in the telephoto realm.

Week 4 Wednesday - Lesson 7

Large Animal Photography
Large animal photography, as you might expect, can be a lot of fun and very exciting! In this lesson, we'll explore how to get the best photographs of large animals, whether domesticated or in the wild. You'll photograph single animals, groups, and animals in zoos and other captive areas. You'll also learn how to get pets to cooperate for a photo shoot!

Week 4 Friday - Lesson 8

Small Animal Photography
Today, we'll delve into strategies for photographing small animals in the wild, including reptiles and other sneaky creatures. We'll discuss common composition, angle, and lighting issues you're going to be wrestling with. You'll learn tricks for photographing small animals at zoos, including animals in terrariums and aquariums. And you'll receive tips for photographing your small pet, including how to keep your pet's attention and what to do to avoid getting an ugly yellow color cast in your photos when shooting pet portraits indoors.

Week 5 Wednesday - Lesson 9

Photographing Birds
In this lesson, you'll learn about the challenges of photographing birds and the techniques for overcoming those challenges. Birds in flight, for example, can be tough to handle, because you have to be fast on the draw with your camera's settings and manage backlighting to prevent exposure problems. You'll learn to deal with these issues and get started setting up a bird photo studio in your own backyard, which you can use to practice all of your bird photography skills year-round.

Week 5 Friday - Lesson 10

Macro Photography
With today's lesson, we'll delve into macro photography, which you'll use to document some of the smallest creatures in our natural world. We'll sort through your equipment options, ranging from inexpensive attachments to more expensive options like macro lenses. And we'll investigate the particular challenges of exposure, shutter speed, and depth of field. We'll end with a look at a collection of macro photos and discuss what works and what doesn't.

Week 6 Wednesday - Lesson 11

Post-Processing
Photo-editing software gives you the opportunity to correct common photography problems and enhance photos creatively. Need to fix a blemish, crop a photo, or adjust the color? In this lesson, you'll find out how to make these quick fixes. Then we'll turn our attention to more advanced functions, like using layers and masks to make complex edits. And we'll finish by exploring some of the just-for-fun options of photo-editing software, like special-effects filters and using layers to add text. If you're not already working with photo-editing software, I'll direct you to a free program you can download in order to explore the techniques we discuss.

Week 6 Friday - Lesson 12

Abstract Nature Photography
Today we'll wrap things up with a fun exploration of the creative possibilities of abstract nature photos. You'll expand your understanding of subjects and composition, and you'll see how abstract photos work to achieve a specific effect or feeling. We'll end our discussion with a tour through a gallery of abstract photos, and I'll share a final entry in my photo journal about my visit to Tulum, Mexico—a favorite spot for photographers.

Course Details
This course is fully online, you require internet access and an email account. The course duration is 6 weeks, followed by a 2-week period to complete the final exam (online, open book). Lessons are released on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week, for a total of 12. You are not required to be online at any specific time.

In addition to the specific lesson content, there is a discussion board with each lesson and often there is an optional assignment to apply the learning.

Following each lesson, there is a short multiple choice quiz. Your score on these quizzes does not count towards the final mark but completing these helps solidify your learning as well as prepare you for the final exam.

The final exam is an open-book, multiple choice exam and you need to achieve a minimum of 65% on the final exam to pass the course. There is only one opportunity to pass the exam. A certificate of completion from Ed2Go is available for printing immediately upon successful completion of the course and a certificate from the University of Waterloo will be emailed typically 1-2 weeks later.

Certificates
Many of the Ed2Go courses are eligible towards the various online certificates offered by Professional Development.

Choose your course start date:

Aug 12, 2020Sep 16, 2020Oct 14, 2020Nov 11, 2020Dec 09, 2020