Life is a journey. Don't hesitate. These are just two of the many great advises you'll be receiving from a photography master. Behind every great photographer is a person who loves life and who loves to watch life. Learning to do artistic photography is not always easy. For those who don’t have a background in arts, finding a good course can be a struggle. Keep in mind that you have to understand the topics, evaluate the teachers, find time and money to do the course, and last, but not least, have your course recognized. Here are some of the best photography courses that will help you follow your dream.
Photography Basics and Beyond, from Coursera
Black and white photography is perhaps more about composition than any other type of photography. Without colors, you have to be pretty accurate working with lights, shadows, and shapes. One of the best courses that covers composition is offered by Michigan State University, trough Coursera platform. It is called Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization and it is a five courses pack (Cameras, Exposure, and Photography; Camera Control; Principles of Photo Composition and Digital Image Post-Production; Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing; Photography Capstone Project). This one is not dedicated to black and white photography, but is taught by experience professors (Peter Glendinning and Mark Valentine Sullivan are photographers as well) and covers so well the basics of composition and lighting, that you will definitely want to attend. Besides, you can attend for free, anytime, from any part of the world. It is an online course, with materials presented in English. You'll have homework and peer reviews. If you want to earn a certificate, this specialization will cost you 49 $ / month. You need 6 month to finished all five courses. Coursera is an international online courses platform, with more than 1.1 million followers on Facebook.
Black and White Photography Foundations, from Lynda
If you choose to focus exclusively on black and white photography, this course from Lynda can help you. Black and White Photography Foundations is taught by Ben Long, photographer and senior editor at Macworld magazine. He wrote many photography books, has famous clients (like 20th Century Fox and the San Francisco Jazz Festival), he teaches photography classes around the world, and sometimes creates image editing utilities.
The course follows Ben Long in different locations and helps you visualizing the scene in black and white. It also covers exposure strategies and black and white preferred subjects. A part of this course is dedicated to Photoshop conversion in black and white. The course is free and you need three hours to watch the materials. How much time you need to practice is up to you.
Lynda also has over 1.1 million followers on Facebook and many other courses you can take. One of them is Analog Photography exclusively dedicated to analog photography as well as to black and white film processing.
Black and White Photography as Fine Art, from learningwithexperts
For those who want to take photography further, Black and White Photography as Fine Art is the course to take. It is taught by Julia Anna Gospodarou, fine art photographer and architect, who believes that photography is much more than composition and camera settings. She thinks that everything stays in the vision and that the photographer should find the creativity in the digital darkroom.
In this course you will be learning about photographic voice and vision, about composition in black and white photography, and about specific drawing techniques. The course has four lessons, each with a 30 minutes video and assignement. You can start anytime for 39$ (or 155$ if you need a certificate). To deepen the knowledge, look for the associated book, called "From Basics to Fie Art - B&W Photography" by Julia Anna Gospodarou and Joel Tjintjelaar.
Julia Anna Gospodarou has almost 8 000 followers on Facebook and a visionography group with more than 14 500 members.
Creative Black & White Photo Artistry, from creativeblackandwhite
When the focus is on post-processing, you might need a course taught by an acclaimed Photoshop instructor, like Sebastian Michaels. Creative Black & White Photo Artistry talks about creative photography and artistic composition. It explains everything from the digital point of view and covers in details all the required steps of digitally achieving an exquisite black and white photo. With more than 70 videos, five modules, and many bonuses you can start your career as black and white photographer anytime. This course costs around 157$ and you can enroll anytime you want. Everything is online nowadays.
Sebastian Michaels has a Photoshop Artistry group, with more than 45 000 Facebook followers.
Make Sophisticated Black and White Images, from creativelive
If you are looking for shorter ans less expensive classes, you should take a look at this one. Make Sophisticated Black and White Images is a short course taught by Chris Orwig, which covers everything you need to know about a couple of black and white photography types. The course speaks about travel photography, portraits and skin tones, and iPhone images. It also talks about Photoshop presets and features, retouching, and workflow. This course has 8 modules and it only costs 11$.
Chris Orwig is photographer, writer, and teacher. You can also find him on Lynda with several photography related courses. He has over 10 000 followers on Instagram and students all around the world.
The Art of Software Making Black and White Photography, from Udemy
Another course focused on post-processing is offered by Udemy, for only 10$. The Art of Software Making Black and White Photography is dedicated to photographers looking for Photoshop methods to achieve black and white pictures. The course has 6 hours of video resources and gives you a certificate of completion. With over 4.2 millions Facebook followers, Udemy assures you that your certificate will be acknowledged. It doesn't require any previous knowledge of Photoshop and can be taken with any Photoshop version starting with CS3.
The course is taught by David Nightingale, photographer and trainer. He worked in London, Dubai, Florence, and Bulgaria. You can find him on his own photography and post-production training website, Chromasia, which has more than 1300 fans on Facebook.
Sometimes, a great mentor can light up your path. Experience and attitude make from a good photographer a great one. If you are lucky enough, you might enter one of the Albert Watson's courses. Four decades of photography, one of the gurus of fashion and commercial photography, the master of some of the greatest portraits you'll ever see, awarded by Queen Elizabeth II for his lifetime contribution to photography, Albert Watson teaches online courses from time to time. You can look for him here. Always learn. Always practice. But remember, life is a journey. Don't hesitate. Learn every day.
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