Fundamentals of Photography


Lesson Info

Editing Assessments & Goals

Okay folks, so we have worked our way through most of the class. And now we are to the art of editing. And so, we're gonna talk about what you do after you take the shot. All right. 'Cause there's a lot of things to think about. And what you do after the shot might affect the way you go out and shoot the next shot. So let's talk about all those other things that photographers need to worry about. And so what we're gonna be doing here in the art of editing is talk a little bit about the set up and the mechanics of what you need. A little bit about organizing and culling and debating your images as to what's best. And then a little bit on developing. And, you know, if I was just to pause here for a moment, as far as the skill levels that photographers need to get good at, one of the things that it seems like is lacking in most photographers is the ability to edit themselves. I have found that they tend to, people tend to overshare too many items, and it's like, you were good at ten. But ...

now that I've seen your top 100 shots my opinion has gone a little bit downhill. And I know it's really hard to only show a few images at time. But sometimes it's better to show few that are really good than the other ones. The other skill that's really hard is just simply deciding is this a good photo or is this a good photo? And is there something I can do to this photo that makes it better than that one? And that's a skillset, it's a little bit harder to learn, I think. And so that's what I wanna try to tackle in this class. Let's talk about the setup. All right. Personal assessment. Just doing, ask these questions of yourself, how much are you shooting? And the person who shoots 1,000 photos at a sporting event is going to be very different than the portrait photographer who shoots 40 or 50 in a session. What are you doing with your images? Are they being sold? Are they going into a hard drive that nobody ever looks at again? Be honest about what you plan to do with 'em now and into the future. And, how do you access your images? How do you want to get to them? And so, I've done this myself. And you know, one of the things that I've set up that I'm really happy about is that when I'm sitting at my computer and my hard drives are spinning and I've got my program up, and I decide, you know, what, I need a photo. I can find that photo in less than 10 seconds in almost every single case. And that feels really good. It's just, you've got access to everything that you have. And that's because I've tried to keep things as organized as I can. Now, if I was to ever break both legs and be confined to my office for a year, part of me would love it. I would go in and I would organize this even better so I could photos in five seconds. And so, there's a limited amount of time that we can spend on that. But you need to spend some so it makes life easier. And so, this is my personal objectives. But they seem pretty reasonable. I like to download quickly without any hassles. I wanna back up my stuff and make sure it's not lost in any sort of way. I don't like to spend a lot of time editing. I wanna be able to get through my edits and have things taken care of in a fairly reasonable fashion. And then I wanna be able to search for my images and find them whenever I want them. In preparing this class, I sat at my computer for a lot of hours. And quite frequently I was like, I need a photo. And I'd think in my brain of like, I remember shooting that and this is what it was. Let me go find it. And I wanna find it in 10 seconds. I don't wanna look all over the place and be lost looking for things. And I wanna be able to find things very, very quickly and easily. Now, the ultimate photographic goal is to get the best image when you're shooting there. And have it developed and have it ready there for you. And you're trying to capture the best moment. And so, I'm talking about this because the way you shoot affects the way you edit and back and forth. Because you could be saying, well, I don't wanna go through too many images so I'm not gonna shoot too many images. Well that's not exactly the right thought. I know, some people hear the saying that great photographers shoot lots of photos. And that's the reason they have great photos is they shoot lots of photos. So I'm just gonna go out and shoot lots of photos. Well that doesn't help you out. You gotta have the right skills in there as well. And so let's analyze a moment. A really good moment. Something that like, oh yeah, that was a good moment. How do things happen? Well, often times you're going along and things aren't that interesting. So we got our timeline on the bottom and the quality of photos over on the left. And then you kind of see, oh yeah, that's kind of interesting. Let's go over here. Let's try this angle. And, you gotta keep shooting. 'Cause that's maybe not as good as it gets. The next photo, to be honest with you, could be terrible. That could be it. It's just like a glimmer of something. But then it just faded and it's nothing. But you don't know. The next photo could be the best photo you ever took. All right. And if you're doing things right, you're learning about you're subject. You're figuring out, oh, this technique worked. This one didn't. Oh I gotta do this to make it look good. Now I have this problem. Now I'm solving that problem. And then it's likely gonna get worse. But you keep shooting because it may get better again. Remember we talked about the light. Had kind of one dip. And then, oh, time to go home. Oh no, it's getting good again. All right. You gotta stick around for a little bit. But you know, most things, they kind of have a peak moment. And then they come back down. And this is what happens in a lot of events. And so let me share with you one of my favorite photos of the last year. And this is from my safari in the Nogorongoro Crater. And I call this zebra framing. And, first off I'll show you the final shot. Which is this shot here. And it's just kind of a fun, unusual, different shot. And, kind of the back story on this is I'd been out shooting on safari for about three or four days and I was looking at my images and I'm saying, wow, I'm using that telephoto lens for everything. It's like, if I ever get a chance to use a normal or wide angle lens and we can get really close to an animal I just want a different view. Rather than that standard telephoto shot. And so we're in Ngorongoro Crater. And the zebras are there. Which are nice graphic elements. It's just blue sky day. Not that interesting. And I'm just shooting wide angle. Just to see what I can get. And I notice that there's some zebras that are standing right next to the path that we're driving down. And I tell my driver, just drive really slowly and come to a stop near the zebras that are standing right next to the road. And maybe, cross my fingers, they won't move. Maybe they will. And it won't turn out. But maybe if they don't move it'll be kind of interesting. So he stops right beside the zebra. And rather than shooting out the roof of the vehicle, I get down, and I open the door. And I'm just sitting in the seat so I'm as low as possible. 'Cause you can't get out of these vehicles. It's not right to do that. And I tried shooting wide angle. And okay, well, that isn't exactly what I thought would be a great shot. Let me try just using the back of the animal as a bit of framing for the other animals. And wasn't quite right. And then I wanted to experiment with, 'cause you know the animals are all, everything is in movement so you gotta keep shooting. And maybe I'll try these animals off to the side. No that doesn't look quite right. But okay, these are kind of getting in position. And that's kind of nice 'cause it's a clear shot of the two of them. Maybe I'll try getting a little bit more sky in there. And, no, that doesn't really help. Let me get in a little bit tighter. And so I'm just playing around with different things. Let me go in real tight. I'm getting a nice mix of zebras in the background. I don't like the one zebra off the top of the ear on the left. I wanna little bit more separation. And then I come back and this is my favorite shot here. And it took a while to kind of figure out the goods and the bads. And you learn from your mistakes. And if you do so quickly, you can end up with the things you want. And then I tried doing some shallow depth of field. And tried doing some other things. And they didn't turn out as well. And, you know, the situation is falling apart. And it's just not quite the same thing. And it very much falled into that same thing. You know, there was a glimmer of something that might turn out interesting. I worked the problem over. I ended up with a shot that I was happy with. And then it kind of fell apart and it just wasn't the same again. You know, there are just good moments in time. And, you need to be free to shoot these out in the field. It's kind of hard just to go, well, I'm gonna wait until it's really good and I'll take my one shot. I'm not that good. I don't know very many people who are. Could just take one shot during the day and that be the best shot. This is part of working the process. So I shot a total of 33 images in this situation. And there's really a bunch that I threw away. That are just complete garbage. I didn't even show 'em to you here. And then there's really just one winner of the group. And so I'm gonna shoot 33 photos to get one. And I'll keep the others around in case I need 'em for some other slightly different reason.

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.


Class Introduction
Photographic Characteristics
Camera Types
Viewing System
Lens System
Shutter System
Shutter Speed Basics
Shutter Speed Effects
Camera & Lens Stabilization
Quiz: Shutter Speeds
Camera Settings Overview
Drive Mode & Buffer
Camera Settings - Details
Sensor Size: Basics
Sensor Sizes: Compared
The Sensor - Pixels
Sensor Size - ISO
Focal Length
Angle of View
Practicing Angle of View
Quiz: Focal Length
Fisheye Lens
Tilt & Shift Lens
Subject Zone
Lens Speed
Depth of Field (DOF)
Quiz: Apertures
Lens Quality
Light Meter Basics
Quiz: Histogram
Dynamic Range
Exposure Modes
Sunny 16 Rule
Exposure Bracketing
Exposure Values
Quiz: Exposure
Focusing Basics
Auto Focus (AF)
Focus Points
Focus Tracking
Focusing Q&A
Manual Focus
Digital Focus Assistance
Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF)
Quiz: Depth of Field
DOF Preview & Focusing Screens
Lens Sharpness
Camera Movement
Advanced Techniques
Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance
Auto Focus Calibration
Focus Stacking
Quiz: Focus Problems
Camera Accessories
Lens Accessories
Lens Adaptors & Cleaning
Flash & Lighting
Being a Photographer
Natural Light: Direct Sunlight
Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight
Natural Light: Mixed
Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light
Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light
Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light
Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light
Quiz: Lighting
Light Management
Flash Fundamentals
Built-In & Add-On Flash
Off-Camera Flash
Off-Camera Flash For Portraits
Advanced Flash Techniques
Editing Assessments & Goals
Editing Set-Up
Importing Images
Organizing Your Images
Culling Images
Categories of Development
Adjusting Exposure
Remove Distractions
Cropping Your Images
Composition Basics
Point of View
Angle of View
Subject Placement
Framing Your Shot
Foreground & Background & Scale
Rule of Odds
Bad Composition
Multi-Shot Techniques
Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction
Human Vision vs The Camera
Visual Perception
Quiz: Visual Balance
Visual Drama
Elements of Design
Texture & Negative Space
Black & White & Color
The Photographic Process
Working the Shot
What Makes a Great Photograph?


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  • I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!
  • Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even <maybe> / <slightly> / <a tiny little bit> interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!