18 Free Online Photography Courses for 2017

Online Photography courses & Certifications  for beginners‘ is one of the most searched online courses/classes according to 2016 reports. 

Photography as an art and career have bequeathed many options. This has eventually resulted in the spike of online courses in photography. These courses are highly beneficial to those who wish to pursue photography as a serious career or even a hobby.

By following these courses you will learn the intricacies in using a camera. How to capture an image without any minute flaws, appropriate composition, and learn various effects like composition and lighting. Moreover you will learn to produce photographs and effects using digital technology.

1. Udemy’s Free Online Photography Course with Certification for Beginners

Udemy Free Online Photography Course for Beginners

Initiated by Chris Bray who plays multifarious roles like photographer, adventurer and conservationist. This course dwells on the basics of the working of a camera, correcting the resolution, setting the metering modes, on reading the histogram graphs, white balance and the aperture,  controlling exposure, lighting, composition and practical tips.

The course is divided to 10 sequential sections with videos that feature jargonless explanations. Innumerous examples and animations included in the syllabus makes learning easier.

This course is designed for a beginner as well as an experienced photography enthusiast wherein after the successful completion of course you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Course Link

2. Alison’s Online Digital Photography Course



This course pretty much popular among the academic circle spans from 10 to 15 hours. Here you will learn extensively about photography, that essentially includes the exposure settings, working of camera lenses, lighting, techniques of reading histogram, using computer software to process a photograph and so on.

This will qualify you for an Alison Diploma which demands from you an 80 % score in all the assessment tests. This itself is testimony to the superior quality of Alison who offers courses on various disciplines as well.

Course Link

3. Open2study’s The Art of Photography Course by RMIT University


Dr.Shane Hilbert, when devised the online course had only the dream of elevating this art to communicate the incommunicable to the masses. Here you will learn photography not as an instrument of making money but as a visual art practice.

From unraveling the key features of your digital camera to understanding the contemporary photographic narratives this course consumes only 2 to 4 hours a week.

A Certificate of Achievement will be dispensed at the culmination of this course which spans a constructive four module that traces the evolution of photography to its digital possibilities.

Course Link

4. MIT Open Course Ware – Introduction to Photography


The course offered by the prestigious institution MIT aims to foster the growth of impeccable photographers. This is a definitely combined course where more stress is given on student related activities.

The course is a collation of practical instructions, group discussions,field trips and individual reviews. Besides examining the influence of images in our society and culture, the impact of words, their right interpretation and history are also dealt in detail.

Never-ending pursuit of knowledge being the watchword of the course is vouched by the instructions it dispenses on black and white techniques, digital imaging, film exposure and development.

Course Link

5. Futurelearn.com – Introduction to Commercial  Photography with Certification


This free online course offered by Norwich University of the Arts spans four weeks. Through this course significance is given to personal creative works, animation, the use of video, illustration, mobile devices and also examines the relationship between still and moving image photography.

However what differentiates this course from the remainder is that this is exclusively designed for those who are pursuing commercial photography and who want to hone the acquired skills. Expert academics and practising commercial photographers are part of the panel to whom any topic can be discussed .

At the culmination of the course, a Statement of Participation will be procured by the learner.

Course Link

6. Shaw Academy’s Free Online Diploma in Photography for Beginners and Advanced Levels


This online photography course dispenses opportunity to interact with educators as well as other learners. This live classes otherwise called webinars allow students to raise doubts and get adequate answers without any delay.

Students when logged into the webinar according to the schedule will learn the course in either foundation or advanced level depending on the aptitude of the learner. The course ranges from concepts of motion capture, perfecting exposure, advanced composition, understanding of file formats in common use like RAW and basic components of camera that include shutter, aperture, megapixel count, etc.

This streamlined method of teaching facilitate dissemination of knowledge from peer to peer circles.

Course Link

 7. Craftsy.com Online Class for Professional Family Photography


This course initiated by Kirk Tuck, a commercial photographer reputed for capturing Bill Clinton into a still image devise complicated techniques for family portraiture.

Under his guidance any dishevelled setting could be turned into a portrait studio by following his tips on composing a shot, adequate lighting and bounce flash. Kirk also offers advice on pacifying unruly children to assembling a larger group for a perfect shot.

Post-production techniques like removing blemishes and crow’s feet and enhancing colour are taught with the aid of 5 streaming HD video lessons wherein you can freely air your queries to fellow learners and instructor.

Course Link

8. Photographycourse.net’s Beginners Course


This course teaches you from scratch and enables you to polish the acquired skills. From procuring a camera to its cleaning is taught here. How shots need to be perfected, enhancing the color effects in photography, reflector basics, comprehending flash shutter and speed sync, familiarizing with HDR photography flashes and pop-up flashes in your camera are some of the features of the course.

Post-production processes are delineated along with photo editing and tips for night time shots. Syllabus also covers adjusting the focal length and studio lighting which are extraneous benefits of the course.

Impeccability is the ultimate goal as conceived by the developers of this course. Similar to Alison they also offers different varieties of other courses as well.

Course Link

9. Cambridgeincolor.com Photography Lessons


The online course in addition to interactive learning also facilitate photo competition and photo exhibition for the learners leading to the advertising of your work in a global scale.

Recent techniques like portrait lighting, the rule of thirds and creatively activating the camera shutter  speed advances your knowledge level without fail.

The tutelage covers a vast expanse of topics like basic concepts in photography, adjusting lens and lighting, composition, making use of natural light, acquainting oneself with photography accessories and photo editing techniques. This course provides a more in depth learning of photography.

Course Link

10. Lifehacker’s  Basics of Photography: The Complete Guide


This course gives you an overview on how a camera works. In addition to learning the automatic and assisted settings of a camera, the manual settings like shutter speed, ISO and aperture are also taught extensively.

You can also learn to compose photos, colour correction and edit them in posts. Photoshop technique can be acquired via the night school session offered by the instructors.

To those who desire to take up complicated projects in photography, DIY photography comes to aid wherein diffusers, camera straps and light rings are familiarised and those who seek more knowledge on the intrinsic working of the camera is being directed to various education sites like lynda.com, Samy’s camera etcetera.

Tutorial Link

 11. Lectures on Digital Photography by Marc Levoy from Google


This course devised by Marc Levoy, who works as principle engineer at Google Research’s computational photography team. This course comprises of 18 lectures on CS 178 Cdigital Photography which were delivered live on Google Mountain View campus later to be broadcasted on to Google offices by live streaming and also to be recorded for playback.

The lectures are compressed to PDF files and given as an appendage at the end of the lecture. Various aspects like scientific, artistic and computing are dealt by Marc Levoy. In addition to topics like lenses and optics,light and sensors, image processing and editing, the history as well as the current trend in the field is also examined.

Course Link

12. Whimmagazine – Overcoming Self-Doubt as a Photographer


This free ecourse is designed for 7 days by Melanie who kickstarted this publishing venture while she was pursuing her studies. As the name of the site denotes, photographs taken in concurrence with your whims can be exhibited here provided you have an exceptional skill that will be put to test by veterans.

The learner will be provided with fun worksheets, checklists, photo challenges and goal mind maps. In addition to this you can showcase your best works if it suits the motif as proposed by the magazine.

This is a golden opportunity for budding photographers who are eagerly waiting for a platform where they can manifest their talents.

Course Link

13. Free Wild Life Photography Course by Will Burrard


The much acclaimed wildlife photographer Will Burrard known for his exotic adventures with Africa’s predators is trying to bring out the best wildlife photographers. From procuring the equipment for wildlife photography within the stipulated budget to processing a photograph is elucidated here.

The course endeavors to transcend the auto settings and be an adept at handling your own camera. You can also learn how to take razor sharp photos as an expert and also the post-processing of it.

He also introduces learners to Beetlecam, a remote control buggy that he developed for capturing dangerous animals at close-up while shooting predators in Africa.

Course Link

14. Beyond Snapshots – Free Five Week Photography Course


This a free course spanning 5 weeks. The course is comparatively lighter when compared to other online courses of the same. There is photography workshop for beginners to boost their confidence where they will be also taught how to create an attractive portfolio and market themselves.

Besides this, Online Product photography and workshops also figure in this course. Moreover learners are championed to post their best clicks and share it with the Facebook community in concurrence with the monthly theme. As the course is aimed at amateurs, anyone is free to make use of this opportunity.

Course Link

15. Udemy’s Green Screen Photography Course


This course is at odds with the remainder of the photography courses as this zeroes in photoshop. The instructor Dave Cross is determined about the scope of this exceptional course.

Packed in 23 lectures and 1 hour 60 minutes per lecture, Dave Cross encourages creativity among photographers who want to excel in their field. Greenscreen commonly used for videos are being turned to enhancing photographs using Photokey software.

The learners are familiarised with FxhomePhotokey software in its basic as well as extended version, to work with masks, to employ layers, overlays, filters and their effects are gauged for future exporting and printing.

Course Link

16. Creativelive.com – Tutorials on Fundamentals of Photography


This course dwell more on the prospects of marketing your photographical temperaments. Beginners are given impetus by not only teaching the basics of camera but also advanced level courses for paid basis.

Portfolios which are imperative for the fast growth of your photography business can also be learnt here. By creating attractive portfolios and designing personal logos through photoshop, the art of photography can be turned into a steady income. Moreover SEO guidelines are also dispensed along with this course.

Course Link

17. Free Photography Tutorial – Bastardsbook of photography


Course initiated by Dan Nguyen in June 2012 is all about low cost maintenance in photography. The course dwells more on pragmatic approach towards photography. From choosing the best digital camera that comes handy and is affordable to employing various effects are discussed here.

The most redundant topics like automatic mode, manual settings and composition are given a bird’s eye view. How to exploit light and shadow, how to control exposure with the aid of shutterspeed, variance in exposure and exposure through spot selection, ISO and aperture also figure in this course.

Dan Nguyen differs from other experienced ones in not curbing the rights on his works as he freely gives it to anyone in need.

Course Link

18. Peta Pixel Photography  and Camera Tutorials


This tutorial act as abstract guides on how to take an impeccable photograph. The learners are free to choose any topic and avail tutorials accordingly.

The recent additions in technical repository is given emphasis here. Tutorials consists of photoshop, creating luminosity masks, adjusting the focal length, DIY photography and accelerating lightroom editing.

Moreover terminologies in photography like setting the aperture, shutter speed, ISO effect, rule of thirds and composition techniques are also included in the curriculum. No prior experience is warranted in photography to learn this course.

Course Link

The digital age is fraught with changes in every second. Pictures have always arrested the attention of man. It has aroused his imagination to an inexplicable extent.

The discovery of camera was corollary to the overhaul of digital technology. The unexplored realms of photography and its use have opened new vistas to the human intelligence beyond doubt.

Camera is an equipment used to capture an image. Earlier this equipment was used to capture moments from great events like marriage, birthdays, etc. However now this is being employed in every areas possibly known. Photographers may choose an area where they can specialise and where they can render maximum contributions.

For instance photographers can be categorized into portrait photographers, photojournalists, industrial photographers, fine arts photographers, fashion photographers, scientific photographers, feature photographers, wildlife photographers and the list goes on.

This seemingly wide expansion of photography in its capacity have accentuated the necessity of learning this art.


As the online courses in photography are in anvil, many aspiring youngsters are on the pursuit of metamorphosing them to a full time photographer.

The art of photography garnered attention only towards the turn of the century. This was not regarded as a lucrative business and hence many were dissuaded from taking up this profession.

Thus many talents were put off at a very early age. But with the advent of technology, photography got a lift from its period of cessation and rose to full vigour.

The renowned photographer Ansel Adams once enunciated, “A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety”.

True to his words, he pursued his long term goal of being a photographer and in the process encouraged several budding artists to do the same. While there is a hue and cry of who outsmarts the other in creativity and technique what matters is the knowledge of the requisite.

Though photographers may spring up every second from any nook and corner of the world, but what makes them exceptional is their understanding of the instrument at hand and  realising its best potential. It is to this effect that online courses in photography are rampant.


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