Fundamentals of Photography


Lesson Info

Quiz: Lighting

We're gonna take a look now and see how well our class has done at figuring out what type of light is this? It's really not that hard, it's can you recognize what type of light this is? This quiz is pretty simple and I want you to play along at home, as well. I'm gonna show you a photograph. I'm gonna give you some options as to what type of light it might be. And you tell me what you think it is. I believe we're starting with Team A. Everybody on Team A get in position to assist your captain. And here is your first shot. I think we actually saw one pretty similar to this in the future, so take a look. Your options are on the left, it is one of those choices. Okay, the consensus is Open Shade. Open Shade, give them a point for that! (cheers) Okay, so there is no sunlight in here. We would need some direct sunlight for that to be Mixed. The Twilight, we're not really getting the Twilight in there. It's a blue day, it's a blue sky day, it's before sunrise, and it's all in nice, even ...

light. It's illuminated by the sky, so you can complain to me after class. (class laughs) All right, so let's see. Who originally. It originally started over there. They stole the point, but it goes back to them. 'Cause it's their turn for the next photograph, that was originally your photograph to start with. So, Team A, what type of light do we have here? We're gonna go with Front Light. Front Light, that is correct in this case. Side Light is not terribly wrong, because if we look, there's just a tiny shadow. The sun isn't perfectly in front, but it is very much in front. If you look at his face, it is predominantly in sunlight there. So that is a Front Light situation. All right, we're going back to B (laughing) for this. Your next photograph is right here. This is ours? This is B, this is B. Be ready to steal, A, if they don't get this one right. We're gonna go with Twilight. Twilight, this one I think is a little bit easier. We can see that beautiful blue, that deep blue in the sky there. Some of these are easier, some of these are harder. Let's go to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. How is this scene illuminated? Let's go with, we're gonna go with Backlight. Backlight, Backlight is the correct answer! See, our lion here is all evenly in shade, here. I guess you could say that light is not perfectly behind; it's a little off to the side. But it's generally backlit. It's all in even shade. Look at this little rim lighting that we're getting up here. So that's what you're looking for. What type of light on this? (clears throat) (murmurs) We're gonna say Overcast. Overcast is correct. Cloudy day, nice, even lighting, there's no distinct shadows in there. There's nothing that. You could argue that some of these leaves are reflecting some of that light up there. But it's predominantly an Overcast situation. We're going back over to Team A. We're going with Reflected. Reflected light is spot on, that is right. You can tell by the really warm color. If you can look really closely into his eyes, you might be able to see that there's some strong lights there. But you can tell he's in a dark environment and that nice, warm color is kinda telling on that. All right, let's go back over to Team B. And we're heading back, in this case, where are we? We are in the Serengeti now. What is our light source? All right. We're gonna say Overhead. Overhead light is exactly right. Look at that tree and look at where that shadow is. That shadow is right below that tree, tell-tale sign that it's coming straight down on that subject. Back over to Team A. Take a little trip up to Montana in Glacier National Park. We're going with Mixed. Mixed light is correct. We've got some spotlight coming in. We've got some places in the shadows here, probably some light reflected around. There's nice, good mix in there. Very good job overall, I think. There was a couple of missed ones, but it's kinda hard to pinpoint some of these exactly into categories. Generally, I think you guys did a great job. I hope you were paying attention and following along at home, 'cause I think it just helps you think about subjects. And now you can continue to play that game on the rest of the photos that you look like. How was that illuminated?

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?


  • Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.
  • 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!