Centre for Continuing Education

Photography Essentials Course

Photography. Focus your creativity.

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

Limited Time Only | 25% off Photography Courses

From 3 September – 31 December inclusive, receive 25% off any Photography course.* The discount will apply automatically on checkout.

*Enrolments made as part of this offer are non-refundable. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

This two-day course offers a wide range of learning outcomes, from the absolute basics of photography, to an intermediate level of camera craft. This course is designed for beginners with digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLR), mirrorless cameras and advanced point and shoot cameras.

The first day is spent running over the camera functions and lens features, looking at different types of camera, lenses and their uses, focal length, resolution issues, and ISO sensitivity, with a short section devoted to how best to handle the resulting image files: downloading from the camera, memory cards, photo storage options, post-processing software recommendations, and much more.


This course aims to illustrate the most important functions of the camera, flash and lenses, and then get the students to put this knowledge into immediate practical use in the field. Assignments can be submitted online after the class is finished – these are then critiqued by the tutor, giving each student valuable feedback on their new found skills.


Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • outline the capabilities of your camera and associated lenses
  • discuss the role that the aperture, shutter speed and ISO play in the production of an image
  • apply different settings to the camera to control sharpness and depth of field
  • shoot in both the RAW and JPEG file modes
  • set up and shoot flash, indoors and out, with predictable results
  • manage auto focus, metering and scene modes and apply them to a wide range of photo locations and scenarios
  • manage your own digital darkroom, the software needed, plus tricks and tips to make your work pop off the page.


This course covers the following topics:

  • Basic functions of the camera, aperture, shutter speeds, sensitivity, exposure modes, scene modes, and pop-up flash
  • Setting resolution, choosing file formats and the right lens for the job
  • Exposure Compensation
  • Flash Exposure Compensation
  • Colour and White Balance
  • ISO sensitivity
  • Resolution and file format options
  • Output considerations (ie shooting for print or web)
  • Using Picture Control and other creative camera-centric filter effects
  • The role of Aperture and Depth of Field
  • The role of Shutter speed and sharpness
  • Close-up photography
  • The basics of flash photography
  • Computer software and hardware requirements to support your camera
  • Data backup strategies

Half of Day one is spent with classroom practicals, followed by an escorted walk through the University grounds. A short assignment is set for the students to shoot before the next session. These are then submitted online for critical feedback before the next session begins.

Day two is spent shooting camera RAW files (different from regular JPEG files) with a sharp focus on the exposure latitude that these files provide photographers in a wide range of applications. The afternoon is spent learning how to process these files into beautiful images, plus feedback on student work from each specific camera in class.

Students will be given assignments and a deadline (usually 1-2 week’s post class) to upload their work onto the tutor’s website after the class has finished.

Intended Audience

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


You should bring your own camera/s (DSLR, mirrorless and advanced point and shoot cameras), lense/s, flash (if available), and any other photo gear you would like to use over the two days. If there’s any question about the suitability of the equipment, you are welcome to contact the tutor prior to class.


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

<p>{block name:“Course Tagline - Photography”}</p><p><h3>Limited Time Only | 25% off Photography Courses</h3></p><p>From 3 September – 31 December inclusive, receive 25% off any Photography course.*


What others say.

  • Excellent tutor. Well designed course. Good follow-up.
  • It was a great introduction into photography, it gave me enough tools to be able to make use of my new camera and take great shots, as well as providing a good stepping stone for future courses.
  • An excellent tutor. Very organised, polite and patient. I learnt a lot and will keep improving. Thank you very much!!