Course Outline

Module 1

Cameras & Lenses

Get to know the author, George Seper, before he introduces you to the world of professional photography as it exists today. This module is an extensive look at the equipment you will use, covering cameras, how they function and when to take advantage of the broad range of lenses available to you.

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  • Introduction to the Course

    About the Author


    The Small Format SLR

    The Medium Format Camera

    The Large Format Camera

    Small & Medium Format SLR Features

    Interchangeable Lenses

    Adjustable ISO

    Depth of Field Preview

    Integrated Light Meters

    Mirror Locking


    Interchangeable Focusing Screens

  • Lenses

    Focal Length

    Lens Faults

    Spherical Aberration

    Chromatic Aberration

    Barrel & Pincushion Distortion

    Flare & Vignetting

    Lens Types

    The Normal Lens

    Wide Angle Lenses

    Telephoto Lenses

    Specialty Lenses & Attachments

    Macro Lenses

    Zoom Lenses

  • Reflex Lenses

    The Tilt-Shift Lens


    Caring For Your Lenses

    Camera Care

    Practical Lens Choices

    Food Photography

    Fashion Photography

    Portrait & Beauty Photography

    Architecture & Interior Photography

    Travel Photography

    Sport & Wildlife Photography

Module 2

Shutters, Aperture, ISO & Their Relationship

Learn how to control your camera and capture the images you have always imagined. George introduces powerful previsualisation techniques and provides an in-depth understanding of the settings available through your camera to achieve what you want, when you want.

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  • The Shutter

    Shutter Types



    The Aperture / Shutter Speed Relationship


    Depth of Field (DOF)

  • Circles of Confusion


    Depth of Field Scale

    Hyperfocal Distance

    The Depth of Field Preview Button

    Depth of Field & the View Camera

    Digital Sensors & the View Camera

  • SLR Shooting Modes

    Manual (M)

    Aperture Priority (AV) or (A)

    Shutter Priority (TV) or (S)

    Program Mode (P)

    Putting it all Together


Module 3

Exposure & Metering

Accurate exposure is the basis for all photography and this module draws on methods popularised by the great Ansel Adams, modernised to give you an edge in a competitive world. As a professional or advanced amateur you will be able to capture any subject consistently and with growing confidence.

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  • Light Meters


    Hand Held Meters

    In Camera Light Meters

    Average Reflective Metering

    Incident Metering

  • Spot Metering

    ISO & Exposure Compensation Control

    The Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO Relationship

    The 18% Grey Card

    Palm Metering

    Dynamic Range & A Metering Method

  • The Stepped Greyscale Test

    Zone System Basics

    Building Your Own Zone Ruler

    Metering Colours & Other Tips

    Some Final Thoughts on Metering

    The Sunny F/16 Rule

Module 4

The Film & Digital Process

A short step back in time provides the basis for effectively working and photographing in a digital world. In understanding what comes before, we are able to take full advantage of the tools we have at our disposal today for ever improving photographs.

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  • A Brief History of the Photographic Process

    The Optical Process

    The Chemical Process

    Composition of Modern Film

    The Wet Process


    Stop Bath





  • My Darkroom Method


    Colour Film Processing



    The D Log E Curve of Film

    Digital Image Capture

    CCD & CMOS Compared

    Tri-Linear Array Scanning Backs

    Film V Digital

    Digital Advantages

  • Digital Disadvantages

    The D Log E Curve of Digital

    The Histogram

    In Camera Controls & What to Do With Them


    Adobe 1998 RGB



    Saturation, Contrast & Sharpening

Module 5

Light & Colour

After understanding photographic equipment and exposure, light and colour is explored as defining factors in professional photography. Refine your ability to previsualise, see and think like a camera, then delve into post production techniques for monochromatic images.

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  • The Colour Spectrum

    Colour Temperature

    Early Colour Theory Development

    Maxwell’s Triangle and Modern Colour Theory

    Additive and Subtractive Colour Systems

    The CIE and LAB Colour

    Photographic Filters

    Useful Filters in the Digital World

    The Mired Scale

    Wratten Filters

    The Colour Temperature Meter

    Digital White Balance

    Custom Colour Balance

  • Seeing Like a Camera

    Colour Perception

    Depth Perception

    Dynamic Range

    Some Useful Tricks


    Looking through a ND Filter

    Closing One Eye

    Making a Fist

    Rotate the Image



    Setting Shadow and Highlights

  • Black and White

    Method One

    Method Two

    Method Three

    Method Four

    Method Five

    Method Six

    My Favourite Method

    The Red Channel in RGB

    The Blue Channel in RGB

    The L Channel in Lab

Module 6


What is the world’s best lighting? This module takes an in depth look at natural and artificial lighting and how you can use these to your advantage. Explored in the context of portraiture, this knowledge is applied to all genres of photography and it is a crucial part of any good photographer’s education.

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  • About Light

    The Sun




    Light Quality

    I love Daylight

    Artificial Light Sources

    Lighting Outdoors

    Time of the Day

    The Weather

  • Lighting People & Small Moveable Objects

    Fill in Flash





    The World's Best Lighting

    The Daylight Look Indoors

    Lighting Method 1

    Lighting Method 2

    Lighting Method 3

  • Tungsten Lights

    Pros & Cons

    Bouncing Light

    Balancing Flash & Daylight

    Flash Duration

    Portrait Lighting

    Unisex Portraiture Lighting Scheme

    The Vanity Index

    Lighting Men and Women

Module 7

How To Take Better Photos

George explains, through his extensive experience, the commercial realities surrounding photography and methods to help produce the best images you can. Learn from photographers you admire, analyse images to improve technique and recognise what they can be used for.

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  • The Big Question

    Commercial Reality

    Travel Photography


    Magazine Photography

    Advertising Photography

    The Little Photoshop on the Corner

    Back to Business of Taking Pictures

    Educate Yourself

    Why a Duck?

    A Process for Photographing Objects

  • A Mental Shooting Checklist

    Thinking Like a Lens


    Colour Management in Camera

    Adobe RGB (1998)


    ProPhoto RGB

    The Cameras Preview Tools

    Low Resolution LCD Colour Preview

    Black & White Histogram

    Colour Histogram

  • Exposure Warning

    Working Tethered

    The Photoshop Trap

    Warning --- Danger Ahead

    Sticking to a Subject

    Be Honest With Yourself

    Be Realistic

    A Word on Plagiarism

    A Cut-Out Portfolio

    A Style to Call Your Own

Module 8

Equipment & Software

Where is technology going and what do you really need to be a successful photographer? Develop a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages that different equipment provides, for now and in the future.

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  • Camera Choices

    Format Size

    The Small Format Camera System

    The Medium Format Camera System

    The Large Format Camera System

    My Choice of Camera System

    Small Format System

    Medium Format System

    Large Format System

    Questions & Considerations

    Buying V Hiring

    Which Lenses do I Need?

  • Old Film Lenses in a Digital World

    Where is the Technology Going?

    Lighting Equipment

    Studio Flash Units

    Which Brand Should I Buy?


    Tungsten Lighting

    Second Hand Gear

    Computers & Monitors

    The Calibration Device

    Data Storage

    Compact Discs – CDs

  • Digital Video Discs – DVDs

    Disc Dos and Don’ts

    External Hard Drives

    RAID Arrays

    The Future of File Storage

    A Storage File Formal Suggestion

    My Storage System

    The Graphics Tablet

    Capture Software

    Capture One Software

    Adobe Photoshop, Bridge & Camera Raw

Module 9

Retouching, Resolution & Printing

Since the dark room, post production and printing has been a defining part of all photography. This module addresses how to get the best out of your images when it comes time to edit and print your work.

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  • Photoshop & Other Retouching Software

    Adobe Photoshop

    Adobe Photoshop Elements

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

    Capture One

    Aperture by Apple

    Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo

    Adobe Creative Cloud & Corel Draw Graphics Suite

    Other Image Editing & Retouching Tools

    The Interesting Issue of DPI & PPI

    Image Size…How Big is Big Enough?

    Output Devices & Resolution Requirements

    Photo Quality Inkjet Printers

    Offset Press

    The Professional Print Lab

    The Web

    Dot Gain

    Working in RGB



    The CMYK Workspace

    Bit Depth

    Colour Channels in Photoshop

  • File Formats for Digital Imaging & Printing

    Camera Raw



    File Formats for Print Bound Images

    Photoshop’s PSD File Format




    CompuServe GIF

    JPEG 2000

    Other Random File Formats

    Working with 16 Bit Files

    HDR for High Contrast Images


    Photoshop Toolbox

    Quick masking

    Photoshop’s Densitometer

    Adjustment Layers


    Every Digital Image Requires Sharpening



  • Threshold

    Traps for Young Players

    My Sharpening Methodology

    Camera Raw Image Adjustment Basics

    Info Panel


    Temperature Slider




    Fill Light








    Camera Raw Toolbar

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Image Adjustment Basics

    Do Your Prints Look Like the Screen Image?

    Calibrate the Whole Shebang

Module 10

The Studio

Working in a studio has many advantages for a photographer. Whether this is full time or only a passing requirement of your photographic practices, it is important that you are familiar with a studio space and the equipment it contains.

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  • The Photographer’s Studio

    Do I Need a Studio?

    Hiring a Studio


    Living In

    How Big a Studio Do I Need?

    Working from Home

    The Perils

  • The Joys

    The Wedding & Portrait Studio

    In Your Studio

    The Question of Daylight

    Ceiling Heights

    Colours & Decorating

    The Floor

    Poly Boards

  • Must Haves

    Bus & Train Routes



    Hiring Out Your Precious Studio

    Start Small

    Where to Begin

Module 11

How To Construct A Professional Portfolio

Constructing a portfolio is one of the most important tasks a photographer carries out. This is ever changing and must develop as your photography develops. George explains the process and how to put your best foot forward in all circumstances.

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  • Where to Begin

    Selecting a Speciality Area

    Fashion & Beauty


    Weddings & Family

    Nudes & Glamour


    Travel & Resort


  • Product & Still Life

    Architecture & Interiors

    Industrial & Corporate


    The Photographer’s Assistant

    Career Path Suggestions

    Try to Get a Look at Other Photographers’ Work

    Look at the Portfolios of Stylists to get Ideas

  • How to Find the Right People to Schmooze

    Talk to Photo Agents

    Be Ruthless Don’t Dilute the Portfolio

    Is One Folio Enough

    Get Other Opinions

    Think About Your Presentation

    This is Where to Spend Money Wisely

    Some Ideas on Marketing Tools

Module 12

Photo Agents - Picture Agencies. How To Get Work & Keep It

As a professional or advanced amateur creating a style to call your own can help set you apart from the masses. Be an individual, work smart as well as hard and photography will be a lifelong passion as well as a rewarding career if you so choose.

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  • The Photographer’s Agent

    The Role of the Agent

    The Photographer/Agent Relationship

    How to Find a Photo Agent

    Avoid Mixed Agencies if You Can

    Be Prepared for Your Interview… You Only Get One Chance

  • Fees & Charges

    Agency Politics

    Don’t Argue!

    Photo Libraries & Picture Agencies in a Nutshell

    The Copyright Issue

    How to Submit Images

    Be Organised

  • Do Your Homework

    Write Down Names in the Lift

    Sell Yourself!

    Going It Alone

    Befriend the Art Buyer

    A Final Word