Fundamentals of Photography


Lesson Info

Remove Distractions

There's a number of distractions that you can have in photographs. First off, you should try to avoid these when you shoot the photos as much as possible, but there is in some cases no way to avoid it, or you just didn't realize it and you're dealing with it after the fact. So there is a number of ways of just diminishing the things that aren't so good. Alright, so I like the big open space in this photograph but I have a couple of problems down in the right hand side, I had two different types of problems: I had sensor dust and I had a little bit of gunk in the water. And so, there's some distractions down here that I didn't really like. So I took out the sensor dust, and you can lock me up in Photoshop prison but I took out that little weed in the water, 'cause I just didn't think it was necessary there. If you go back and photograph it right now I guarantee you it's not there, alright? So for that part, it's pretty honest rendering of what this place looks like. So I did take those ...

out and you can use various cloning tools to take that out. There is a spot removal tool in Lightroom that is mainly designed for dust but can be used for other small items. It's not super versatile at getting everything out if you have a really complicated thing that you need to take out, like an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, you're probably gonna need Photoshop for that, and that's will be on what we're doing in this class. Sometimes, there's just a lot of extra-space, you didn't have a long enough lens for what you shot, so that's distracting in some ways, so we wanna focus on our subject, so just simply cropping in is a factor that I don't like to do but sometimes you're forced into doing it because that's just the best you've got at the time. There's a Crop Overlay tool in every photo editing device, use it sparingly 'cause you are throwing away pixels at the time that you do that. So our main subjects are in the middle of the photograph and that's where I want your eyes to go, and I don't need them around the edge. It's okay if you explore the photograph here, but if I want to darken the edges a little bit it really keeps your eyes right there in the middle of the photograph. There's a number of ways of doing that adding your own vignettes. Where is the action here? And I'm just gonna add, just a very little subtle change to this. To adjust those corners to keep your eyes where I want the action to be. In order to do this, the Radial Filter can be used, you can also use the Adjustment Brush, if it's not a simple circle or oval, it's a more unusual shape that you wanna make it big. Be honest about yourself when you look at your photos, what's important, what's drawing your eye away from what's important. On the photo on the left, I felt that the sky was just a little bit too bright. It may seem very picky but I'm just adjusting those highlights and the whites down, so just that the sky is not quite as pure and stark white, as it is in the photo on the left. And it's good when you get picky, that means you're really paying attention with your photographs. Your eye is attracted to color, and the color in the background is kind of distracting from what we wanted here. It's very easy just to diminish the color a little bit, so I've selected the color and just diminished it, just a little bit so it doesn't draw your attention quite as much as before. Another way to do this is, you can add a little bit of a blur to the subjects that you don't want. This one is a little bit hard to see so let's blow this up so you can see what I'm doing here. There's a variety of ways that you can add a little bit of blur to your subject. Now, you can do a complete fake blur and do a fake shallow depth of field, but just going in, and throwing that subject just a little bit more out of focus than it already is, and it's just gonna tend for the eyes to go more to that subject that is in focus, rather than the one that's out of focus.

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!