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Michigan State University

Cameras, Exposure, and Photography

Michigan State University via Coursera


Welcome to Course One of Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR! In these first 4 Modules you will gain the knowledge and the confidence that will help you make good choices as you consider qualities of the camera you own, and the qualities of the other types of digital cameras you might be considering. You will learn about the basic functions that most digital cameras have in common. You will also go beyond the "technical" matters and learn about how you can make exciting pictures by emphasizing the aspects of Frame and Vantage Point to interpret old subjects in new ways. Discovering accessories that photographers find useful, and the types of camera bags from mini to carry-on sized, is also in store for you. You will also make your first photographs and, if you are a subscriber to the specialization, upload pictures to the web gallery and start interacting with your fellow learners in our "Gallery." Let's get started with Module One!


    • Welcome to the Module One of Course One, where we will begin our journey together to gain the knowledge and skills that will help you take control of your photography! The world of digital photography presents so many "tech" options that it can be quite confusing. Throughout this Course and Specialization, we will be sorting through the various functions, menus, and also the good old focus and exposure and camera craft aspects, so you can build a foundation for success. We'll start with some Basics, and keep building!
  • Camera capabilities: differences and similarities
    • In Module Two we will survey different types of digital cameras that are in widespread use today, discuss their different capabilities and characteristics, and help you determine which might be most appropriate for the uses you plan to make of your photographs. Whether you need to make photographs to capture the important moments of personal experience with friends and family, or need to make photographs for purposes related to your employment or small business, you will find an overview of information to help you here. Along with the time you spend learning about cameras, you should continue to experiment with your own camera and your own interest in photography!
  • Setting up yourself and your digital camera: Menus, Settings, and baggage!
    • In Module Three you will be guided through the critical steps of "Setting Up" your Digital Camera. Digital cameras of all types offer many options to choose from, allowing you to customize the way the pictures are recorded and to be more successful in achieving your goals in photography. This is NOT just a checklist of functions, simply guiding you as to which buttons to push! You will learn the practical significance of what the settings mean and how they impact the way a picture looks, and how your camera works. You will understand not only HOW but also WHY! Whether you have a brand new camera or have been making digital photographs for a while, this information is critical to your success.
  • Picture Decisions: The Vantage Point and Frame
    • In Module Four we will turn to concepts related to the way photographs look, and how practical decisions that are unique to photography can have dramatic effect in terms of what their creative content might be. We examine the aspects of Vantage Point and Frame as essential choices that must be made by photographers no matter what their ultimate goal for image-making. We also introduce the Peer Review process for paid-Learners, and the ways we can learn about our own ideas through using "terms of art" in written reviews the photographs of fellow Learners.

Taught by

Mark Valentine Sullivan and Peter Glendinning


4.3 rating, based on 6 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 5085 ratings

Start your review of Cameras, Exposure, and Photography

  • Anonymous
    I find the instructors inviting ,experts in their subjectmatter and able to maintain my interest at a high level. I am learning a lot of new information about how digital cameras work. Though I've used early models, I've recently purchased a more professional level camera and found myself overwhelmed. I look forward to completing all modules.
  • Anonymous
    There is always an important relationship between these 3 elements and my review is going to be a control aspect which is the center of them. Cameras: photos or videos always have the same point of view only just with a difference between 2D and 3D but they are both performing a visualizations function. Exposure: this is how they represent these creations
  • Anonymous
    A very through and comprehensive class. A great introduction to then use and review in depth on your own. Weekly assignment help imprint the learning material.
  • Kristyn Kaiser
  • Alvin Limosinero
  • Ron Filiault

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