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Photography & Digital Imaging
Launching Fall 2020
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Quickly expand your knowledge of photography in a highly structured way!Spacer
32 Hours - 14 Modules - 110 Segments - Fee $350
  PHOTOGRAPHY & Digital Imaging - Intermediate Level Course


This course is aimed at intermediate enthusiasts who have severe time restraints due to work/family commitments. Using key camera, software, & location shooting techniques, you will quickly & expertly accelerate progress on your photography journey.

About this course

Based around vastly different photography topics this Photography & Digital Imaging Course is aimed at those who really want to push the limits of their photography while testing out various photography disciplines such as Landscape Photography, Street Photography, Macro Photography and Off-Camera Flash. A heavy emphasis on shooting and processing Raw files will be a core element of this course. Also, with each student required to present a project of images at the end of the course participants can be sure that their photography will be at a completely different level at the end of this amazing course!

Course Description

The beauty of this course is that participants do not need a wide range of skills to get great results, you can be a complete beginner or someone with more photography experience. Each week we prepare participants for photography discipline by only discussing the camera techniques needed for that particular topic.


The course takes place over 16 weeks - one night a week plus a weekend tutor led field trip every two weeks or so. At the end of the course participants will have an in-depth understanding of how the creative process works and how to put it into effect in all your photos.

The widely different photography topics are the bedrock of this course. From HDR to Landscape Photography to Street Photography to Macro Photography to Off-Camera Flash to Studio Flash - at the end of this course each participant will have a much clearer idea as to which photography discipline most suits them and their personality. Classroom based tutorials form the core of this exciting course where each tutorial will give participants the key information needed to help participants capture great shots on each of the scheduled field trips.

A digital camera which allows participants to change the shutters speeds and apertures is a requirement for this course, and the camera must have an ability to shoot in Raw format. Suitable cameras would include almost any Digital SLR and some Bridge cameras. Lightroom is also required. A very special element of this course is the project presentation on the final night. Each student is asked to choose a project from a list and to present 6-10 photos based on this theme on the final night.

Painting with Flash
Spacer Painting with Light in a graveyard

One Personal Photo Project

Students will create a personal photography project during the time of the course. On the first night of the course participants will be asked to choose a project from a list of themes. Over the length of the course you will be expected to put some personal time into researching and shooting this project. On the final night students will make a slideshow presentation of the 6-10 photos that participants have shot over the preceding 16 weeks. The presentation, and the shots included, will be critiqued by the tutor in class. Time will be set aside during a number of classes to assess the progress of each personal project.

Some Photo Projects to choose from:

  • Project 1 - Elements that make up a bathroom
  • Project 2 - My journey to work
  • Project 3 - A child’s play area
  • Project 4 - Flowers in vases
  • Project 5 - Talking the dog for a walk
  • Project 6 - Making dinner
  • Project 7 - Personal choice project
Landscape Photography

Landscape Photography


Video Slideshow Presentation

Full training will also be provided in the creation of a slideshow of your photo project, this will include the ethics and issues around use of copyrighted music in your work. Also discussed will be the video file types and their suitability for various social media sharing platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

Zero Essays

An important feature of this course is that we do not require you to write 2,000+ word essays on your favourite photographer. Unlike other courses at this level, where written articles are regularly required, we simply want you to spend each precious hour of your time giving your technical and creative skills a major boost. This can only be done, in our opinion, by concentrating on what matters; taking and processing pictures.

Hard Light
Spacer Manual Flash

Required Equipment & Software

The following is a list of the equipment and software that each student must have on the first session of the course:

  • A Digital SLR with at least an 18-55mm kit lens
  • Laptop (Mac or PC)
  • Lightroom (or equivalent)
  • We recommend that all of our long-term students consider Adobe's Cloud offering of Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC for $9.99 per month, more details, including pricing for your region is available at this link.


Please note that there are no hidden fees or extra registration costs.

Who is this course suited for?

This course is ideal for those who wish to get a jump start on their photography but have limited time available due to work/home commitments. Many students will be looking to gain a highly competent level in photography as a personal creative expression, others will be seeking to prepare themselves to work as freelance photographers and wish to have a professional level of experience to help them build a solid pool of images in various photography disciplines. Those looking towards further study in art or photography will gain significantly through this course by learning the key photographic techniques while spending their time building a substantial portfolio to illustrate their new found skills.

Landscape Photography



Level of Prior Knowledge Required

Most students on this course will be at a relatively very early stage in their photographic journey, with many of the participants having only previously used Program Mode on their cameras. Some will have been dabbling in Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority, but getting mixed results that they find difficult to fix.

Required Reading & Further Research

A list of important titles are will be provided to attendees once they have booked the course. This list comprises books that will help expand your knowledge and understanding of photography and the creative process as it relates to this course.


The majority of photographers earning a living from photography are self employed, and the majority of these are self taught. As such, a qualification is not a requirement for employment or advancement in this industry. In fact, no-one asks to see your qualifications, they ask to see your portfolio, ask any photographer.. College Degree Courses, by their nature, have to concentrate on many aspects that are irrelevant to the reality of life of as a photographer and rarely leave participants ready for the real world at the end of the course. These courses quite often do not provide training in the latest software or the latest techniques.

We feel strongly that our concentration on the important aspects of photography are key to the success of our long term courses. This course is laser targeted on helping you build a solid portfolio or quality work and gain in-depth knowledge of photography which will stand you in good stead over the rest of your life as a creative photographer.

Full color, Illustrated PDF Tutorial Notes

Full color, illustrated PDF tutorial notes which are carefully worded and appropriately illustrated are an integral part of our courses. Because lectures tend to have an effect which lasts only a short while, particularly if no notes are given out, we believe our handouts are the key to making your newly gained knowledge much more long-lasting. As part of that philosophy, you will receive detailed notes covering the whole course that will both aid learning both while on the course and in the weeks and months afterwards. These will be made available to you for immediate download once the course is purchased.

This course is made up of Modules and Segments

This course is made up of various modules, each of which has a number of video segments that set out to explain individual elements of the main topic.

Understanding Modules

Every module is designed to stand on its own, covering the overall topic that the title of the module suggests, but it may benefit from the modules that come before it. Whether it is possible to watch modules out of sequence depends on your own previous experience with this topic.

Understanding Segments

Each module has a number of video segments, each of which correspond to a particular page in every set of tutorial notes. These segments concentrate on a specific topic relevant to that particular module. They are also great for quick recaps at a later stage.Spacer

MODULE 1 Overview: How To Set Yourself A Photo Project
Segment 01 Creating A Photographic Project
Segment 02 Outdoor Cafe Life
Segment 03 Light And Shade
Segment 04 Night Scenes From Around The World
Segment 05 By The Sea
Segment 06 Under My Feet
Segment 07 Abandoned Cars
Segment 08 These Four Sticks
Segment 09 Suggestions For Photography Projects
Segment 10 Assignments For Photography Module 1
MODULE 2 Overview: Important Camera Settings
Segment 01 Watch For Camera Shake
Segment 02 Increase The ISO To Get Higher Shutter Speeds
Segment 03 Blur Movement With Slow Shutter Speeds
Segment 04 Pre-Focus To Help Keep Rule Of Thirds Shots Sharp
Segment 05 A Small Aperture Number = Small Depth Of Field
Segment 06 A Large Aperture Number = Large Depth Of Field
Segment 07 Depth Of Field Is Shorter At Longer Focal Lengths
Segment 08 Depth Of Field Is Larger At Wide-Angle Focal Lengths
Segment 09 Exposing For The Right Part Of The Picture Is Vital
Segment 10 Assignments For Photography Module 2
MODULE 3 Overview: Shoot Small For Greater Impact
Segment 01 Shoot Raw Or Raw+Jpeg (At The Highest Setting)
Segment 02 Focus On The Important Bit, Lock Focus, Re-Compose
Segment 03 Watch For Camera Shake
Segment 04 What You Focus On Is What Is In Focus
Segment 05 Play With Depth Of Field
Segment 06 Use Reflections To Show The Whole Thing
Segment 07 Less Is More
Segment 08 Kiss: Keep It Simple Stupid, Border On Abstract
Segment 09 Isolate Small Parts Of The Big Picture
Segment 10 There Are Many Pictures In One Picture
Segment 11 Look For Abstracts
Segment 12 Assignments For Photography Module 3
MODULE 4 Overview: How To Shoot Better Landscapes
Segment 01 Keep Going Back To A Location
Segment 02 Try Black & White
Segment 03 Rule Of Thirds Rules
Segment 04 Minimize Washed Out Skies
Segment 05 Go Low To Kill Flat, Uninteresting Areas
Segment 06 Find Foreground Interest
Segment 07 Find Lead-In Lines
Segment 08 Look Up At The Sky
Segment 09 Capture Movement With Slow Shutter Speeds
Segment 10 Polarizers Deepen Blue Skies
Segment 11 ND Grads Darken The Top Of The Sky
Segment 12 Bracketing Gets More Detail In The Light & Dark Areas
Segment 13 Use Manual Focus Points
Segment 14 Watch Your Depth Of Field
Segment 15 Do Not Forget The Small Subjects
Segment 16 If Depth Of Field Is Not An Issue, Shoot Stops Down
Segment 17 Get A Decent Tripod
Segment 18 Turn Off Anti-Shake When On A Tripod
Segment 19 Use A Spirit Level In The Hot Shoe
Segment 20 Use Aperture Priority (Av)
Segment 21 Raw Gives The Best Quality
Segment 22 Assignments For Photography Module 4
MODULE 5 Overview: Key Tips For Street Photography
Segment 01 Use Wide Angle Lenses & Fast Shutter Speeds
Segment 02 Focus On What You Want By Using Single Focus Points
Segment 03 Compose Using The ‘Rule Of Sixths’
Segment 04 Is Street Photography Black & White Or Color?
Segment 05 Do Not Stand Out: Try To Blend In
Segment 06 The Law Is On Your Side: You Can Shoot People In Public
Segment 07 Start Off Where The Tourists Take Pictures
Segment 08 Get Over The Fear Of Going Close
Segment 09 Find A Scene & Wait For Something To Happen
Segment 10 Try To Capture Interesting Expressions & Action
Segment 11 Tell A Story By Using Something Else In The Frame
Segment 12 If You Are Afraid, Try Shooting From The Waist
Segment 13 The Waist Level Technique Explained
Segment 14 Wait For The ‘Decisive Moment’
Segment 15 Assignments For Photography Module 5
MODULE 6 Overview: Get Closer With Macro
Segment 01 Use Aperture Priority To Control Depth Of Field
Segment 02 Use Depth Of Field Preview To Check What Is In Focus
Segment 03 Use Manual Focus If Auto Focus Fails
Segment 04 Focus Behind The Subject To Maximize Depth Of Field
Segment 05 Use A Tripod To Keep The Photo Sharp
Segment 06 Use The Self Timer Or A Remote Release
Segment 07 Mirror Lock-Up Also Helps Minimize Camera Shake
Segment 08 Real Macro Lenses Are 1:1
Segment 09 Reversing Rings Turn Any Lens Into A Close-Up Lens
Segment 10 Extension Tubes Turn Any Lens Into A Macro Lens
Segment 11 Close-Up Filters Get You The Cheapest Macro Shots
Segment 12 Turn Off The Flash (Unless You Want It)
Segment 13 Card Can Help Remove Cluttered Backgrounds
Segment 14 Even Blurred Backgrounds Can Be Distracting
Segment 15 Spraying Drops Of Water Adds Impact
Segment 16 Wire Stops Flowers Moving In The Wind
Segment 17 Use A Diffuser To Soften The Light
Segment 18 Assignments For Photography Module 6
MODULE 7 Overview: Settings For Painting With Light
Segment 01 Set Your Camera To Manual Mode & Manual Focus
Segment 02 Use A Tripod & The Self Timer Or A Cable Release
Segment 03 Set Shutters To Seconds & Vary The Aperture To Suit
Segment 04 Set The Lowest ISO & Use The Correct White Balance
MODULE 8 Overview: Painting With Torches (Flashlights)
Segment 01 Try Test Exposures Keeping The Torch Steady
Segment 02 Keep Away From The Wall
Segment 03 Shoot Lots But Keep The Camera In The Same Position
Segment 04 Light The Background
Segment 05 Use The ‘Lighten’ Blend Mode To Make The Final Shot
Segment 06 Assignments For Photography Module 8
MODULE 9 Overview: Painting With Flash Guns
Segment 01 Use Your Flash On Manual Settings
Segment 02 Determine Your Shutter Speed For The Ambient Light
Segment 03 Now Run In And Fire The Flash
Segment 04 Light Behind Or The Interior Of Your Subject
Segment 05 The Final Combined Shot
Segment 06 Assignments For Photography Module 9
MODULE 10 Overview: Advanced Camera Techniques 1
Segment 01 Learn The Full ‘Stops’ For Aperture, Shutter & ISO
Segment 02 Aperture, Shutter & ISO Are Your Building Blocks
Segment 03 Small F No. = Big Aperture = Small DOF = More Light
Segment 04 Big F No. = Small Aperture = Big DOF = Less Light
Segment 05 Fast Shutters = Frozen Action = Less Light
Segment 06 Slow Shutters = Blurred Action = More Light
Segment 07 Higher ISO Numbers Bring More Light And Noise
Segment 08 If Depth Of Field Is Not An Issue Shoot 2 Stops Down
Segment 09 Use Of Auto ISO In Manual Mode
Segment 10 Assignments For Photography Module 10
MODULE 11 Overview: Advanced Camera Techniques 2
Segment 01 Shoot Raw Or Raw+Jpeg
Segment 02 Exposing For The Right Part Of The Picture Is Vital
Segment 03 Auto Exposure Lock Keeps The Exposure From Changing
Segment 04 Exposure Compensation Lightens Or Darkens All Shots
Segment 05 Auto Exposure Bracketing Extends The Exposure Range
Segment 06 Use The Highlight Warning To Check For Overexposure
Segment 07 Assignments For Photography Module 11
MODULE 12 Overview: Advanced Camera Techniques 3
Segment 01 Choose The Right Focus Mode For The Shot
Segment 02 The Right Shutter Speed Prevents Camera Shake
Segment 03 Continuous Shooting Can Increase Your Success Rate
Segment 04 Mirror Lock-Up Prevents Camera Shake
Segment 05 The LCD Might Be Lying, Zoom In To Check
Segment 06 Understanding ‘Custom’ White Balance
Segment 07 Check And Re-Check Everything Before You Start!
Segment 08 Assignments For Photography Module 12
MODULE 13 Overview: Test Exposures
Segment 01 Test Exposures 1
Segment 02 Test Exposures 2
Segment 03 Test Exposures 3
Segment 04 Test Exposures 4
Segment 05 Test Exposures 5
Segment 06 Assignments For Photography Module 13
MODULE 14 Overview: Using Manual Flash
Segment 01 Manual Flash
Segment 02 Flash Terms
Segment 03 Flash Modes: Manual, TTL & Stroboscopic (Multi/Rpt)
Segment 04 Auto Zoom & Focal Length
Segment 05 Manual Zoom & Focal Length
Segment 06 When To Use The Wide Angle Diffuser
Segment 07 Use The Histogram To Gauge The Exposure
Segment 08 Flash Exposure Compensation In Camera Or In Flash
Segment 09 Fill Flash
Segment 10 Using ISO To Increase The Power Of The Flash
Segment 11 Use A Flash White Balance To Get Consistent Color
Segment 12 Balance Flash And Ambient Light
Segment 13 Assignments For Photography Module 14
MODULE 15 Overview: Advanced Flash Techniques
Segment 01 Front Curtain/Rear Curtain (1st/2nd Curtain) Flash
Segment 02 Use Off-Camera Flash Cords To Create Shadows
Segment 03 Using Wireless Flash
Segment 04 Assignments For Photography Module 15
MODULE 16 Overview: Softening Hard Flash Light
Segment 01 Bounce Flash
Segment 02 Adjusting Bounce Angle To Get Wider Coverage
Segment 03 Use A Bounce Card To Throw Light Into Eye Sockets
Segment 04 Use A Bounce Card To Create A Catch-Light In Eyes
Segment 05 Flash Modifiers: Bounce Flash With No Ceiling
Segment 06 Flash Modifiers: Soft-Boxes
Segment 07 Assignments For Photography Module 16
MODULE 17 Overview: High Dynamic Range Photography (HDR)
Segment 01 Use A Tripod And Consider ND Grads
Segment 02 Take Bracketed Exposures, Stops Apart
Segment 03 Use A Pre-Set White Balance, Not Auto
Segment 04 See If You Can Change The Exposure Sequence
Segment 05 Assignments For Photography Module 17
MODULE 18 Software Overview: Lightroom Import
Segment 01 Set Up Your Folder Organization First
Segment 02 Create Your Own Custom Metadata Template
Segment 03 Changing The Preferences For Importing Photos
Segment 04 Importing Your Photos
Segment 05 Speed Import Tip
MODULE 19 Software Overview: Lightroom To Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements)
Segment 01 Lightroom Grid
Segment 02 Lightroom Develop
Segment 03 Lightroom Edit In External Editor (Photoshop)
Segment 04 Lightroom Back To Photoshop
Segment 05 Lightroom Export
MODULE 20 Software Overview: Lightroom Develop Module
Segment 01 Fixing The White Balance
Segment 02 Adjusting The Exposure
Segment 03 Shadow Slider
Segment 04 Vibrance
Segment 05 Clarity
MODULE 21 Software Overview: Lightroom Develop Module
Segment 01 Noise Reduction
MODULE 22 Software Overview: Key Photoshop Techniques
Segment 01 How To Show File Type Suffixes On A Windows Pc
MODULE 23 Software Overview: Setting Up Your Image Editor
Segment 01 Change The Preferences To Help Things Along
Segment 02 Change The Color Settings For Better Color
MODULE 24 Software Overview: Understanding Histograms
Segment 01 Understanding The Histogram In The Camera
Segment 02 Understanding The Histogram In The Computer
MODULE 25 Software Overview: Layer Masks
Segment 01 Use Layer Masks To Merge Shots Together
MODULE 26 Software Overview: Non-Destructive Black & White Conversion
Segment 01 Create Non-Destructive Black & Whites In Photoshop
MODULE 27 Software Overview: Processing Of HDR Shots
Segment 01 Correct Chromatic Aberrations First
Segment 02 Launch Photomatix And Load Your Exposures
Segment 03 Click And Drag Works Also
Segment 04 Choose How You Want Photomatix To Help You
Segment 05 Choose The Area To Be Selectively De-Ghosted
Segment 06 Try The Various Presets, Then Try The Settings Below
Segment 07 Save Settings You Like As A ‘Preset’
Segment 08 Photomatix Can Be Used On Single Photos As Well
Segment 09 Use The Same Quality Settings
Segment 10 Save The Bracketed Or Single File
Segment 11 Single Exposure And Exposure Comparison
Segment 12 Reduce Noise In ACR, Lightroom Or Special Software
MODULE 28 Where to from here?
Course Tutor: Dave McKane
Course Tutor: Dave McKane

The tutor for this course is a fine art photographer, Dave McKane. Over the years, he has owned and used over 30 cameras, covering all of the major brands. He is well versed in almost every camera available on the market today. Dave started teaching photography in 1985, and set up the Institute of Photography in 2005 (now the IOP-Online), since then, he has taught over 20,000 students. He has also been the lead trainer for both Canon and Nikon.

Dave has vast experience in the field of using photography as a creative expressive medium. He has held multiple exhibitions of his own photography, mainly in the United States.

Dave graduated with honors from a 3 Year Photography Course in Dublin, Ireland, in 1985, and has over 35 years of experience in creative photography. He received his first film SLR in 1982 and has owned many darkrooms. Dave was early to adopt the use of a scanner (1989), Photoshop (1993), his first digital camera (2002), and Lightroom (2007).

His favorite saying? "It depends..."

Dave believes that there is only one answer to every question in photography. When he is asked what lens to get, "it depends"; the best flash; best camera; best tripod. He feels he is not being trite with this answer, simply because there is no "best." With flash, for example, a good one might not be available for your camera, so he needs to know the camera first. With lenses, he needs to understand what your budget is.

Dave's work can be seen in the following places: Website | Facebook | Flickr | Instagram | Twitter
Launching Fall 2020
Click here to be notified
Course Code PDI1-O
Modules 28 Modules/280 Segments
Learning Hours 32 Hours
Course Fee $350
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