Centre for Continuing Education

Photography Essentials Course

Photography. Focus your creativity.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses both online and in-person. Please check the delivery format for each class before you enrol.

Please note that course materials for all classes (excluding prescribed textbooks) are shared electronically within 48 hours of a course starting. Printing is not available.

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.


The aim of this course is to illustrate the most important functions of the camera, flash and lenses, so you can 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 facilitator. Afterward, you will receive valuable feedback on your new-found skills.


By the end 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 includes 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 you 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 work from each specific camera in class.

You will be given assignments and a deadline (usually one-to-two week’s post class) to upload your work onto the facilitator’s website after the class has finished.

Intended audience

Anyone with a general 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
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • LOVED it! I went home and downloaded all of the editing programs, and photos already look great. I hope to take some of the tutor's other classes.
  • A very knowledgeable tutor with excellent presentation skills
  • An excellent course on photography basics, with an excellent tutor!
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