Centre for Continuing Education

Photography Course: Essentials

Photography. Focus your creativity.

Learn Photography the smart way with Photography courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.


Designed for the digital SLR enthusiast (but it’s suited to users of any camera with interchangeable lenses). It combines a considerable amount of location photography with practical critiques of the student’s work online once the class is finished.

Covering the use of semi-auto and manual metering modes, focus modes, the use of RAW files and much more, you’ll get an understanding of exposure in all its intricate variants. We will also cover depth of field, camera handling, choice of lens and focal length, resolution settings, colour management issues, ISO sensitivity, working with tripods, gear suggestions, plus a basic introduction to flash and custom settings.


Upon completion of this course participants will:

  1. Have a better understanding of the capabilities of their DSLR (or FourThirds) camera.
  2. Understand exposure (both auto and manual metering modes).
  3. Understand depth of field and the application of lens focal length.
  4. Understand auto focus (AF) and how it’s best used.
  5. Understand the use of ISO and flash basics.


Consists of two days, one lecture-based session and another shooting at various locations in and around the city (e.g. Darling Harbour, Cockatoo Island, shipyards, Ultimo, etc.). You will be given assignments and a deadline to submit your work to the tutor’s website once the location classes are over (normally a week after class finishes).

This Photography course covers the following topics:

  • Understanding RAW files
  • Exposure Compensation
  • Flash Exposure Compensation
  • White Balance
  • ISO
  • Resolution
  • Output considerations (i.e. for print or web)
  • Colour profiles
  • Picture Control and Creative Filters
  • Lenses
  • Focal lengths
  • Depth of Field
  • Close up photography
  • Flash photography basics
  • Composition basics

Intended Audience

Suitable for personal interest adult learners, university students and active retirees who have an interest in photography.


Participants must bring their own camera (DSLR, FourThirds or Micro FourThirds camera with manual exposure controls and RAW file recording capability).


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • A great tutor, really knowledgeable and patient, taking the time to go through any questions, and was obviously passionate about the subject. I also appreciate the feedback provided out of class time.

  • In addition to being a very talented photographer, the presenter is an excellent communicator and showed a genuine desire to assist all members of the group to improve their techniques.

  • The presenter clearly knows his stuff and was incredibly knowledgeable, experienced and a great communicator. Most importantly, with unending patience.

  • Despite having a class full of students at varying levels of competence, each with different equipment, our tutor was able to get across to the group the fundamentals of DSLR photography — with an ability to always give positive advice and feedback which was greatly appreciated and boosted the general confidence of the class. This made it easier for us to learn.

  • A very useful and entertaining course.

  • Excellent course with a good mixture of classroom lectures, practical demonstrations and student exercises. A very good teacher and has a relaxed but effective way of passing on his vast knowledge of photography. This was a fantastic course for me and I look forward to using what I learned.

  • Great course. Learnt a huge amount. Well explained and demonstrated. Great practical help.