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 Still Image

    The Digital Camera

    Camera Overview

    Amateur Cameras

    Phone cameras

    Point and shoot

    Micro four third

    Bridge and Super Zoom Cameras

    Enthusiast VS Pro Cameras

    Mirror-less or CSC Cameras

    The DSLR

    Recent Camera Developments

    Which Camera Should I Buy?

    Camera Features

    Service and accessories

    End usage

    Parts of a camera

    Camera Body

    Digital Sensor



    Memory card

    Important Features of the Modern Camera


    Sensor size

    Frames Per Second (Fps)


  • Light meter


    Recommendations regarding cameras

    Some general observations on cameras

    The Pro Camera

    The Small Format Camera

    The DSLR Camera

    The Rangefinder Camera

    A Friendly Caution

    The Medium Format Camera

    The Large Format Camera

    Small & Medium Format DSLR Features

    Interchangeable Lenses

    Adjustable ISO

    Depth of Field Preview

    Integrated Light Meters

    Mirror Locking



    Uncovering the Lens

    Lens Overview

    The Science of lenses


    Focal Length


    Angle of View

    Lens Types

    The Normal Lens

    Telephoto Lenses

  • Wide-Angle Lenses

    Specialty Lenses & Attachments

    Macro Lenses

    Extension Rings, Tubes & Bellows

    Zoom Lenses

    Reflex Lenses

    Tilt-Shift Lenses

    Lens Faults & Flaws

    Spherical Aberrations

    Chromatic Aberration

    Barrel & Pincushion Distortion

    Flare & Vignetting

    Advanced Features of Modern lenses


    Auto focus (AF)

    Image stabilisation (IS) or Vibration reduction (VR)


    Polarising Filters

    Nuetral Density (ND) Filters

    Taking Care of your Equipment

    Practical Lens Choices

    Food Photography

    Fashion Photography

    Portrait & Beauty Photography

    Architecture & Interior Photography

    Travel Photography

    Sport & Wildlife Photography

Module 2

Shutters, Aperture & Their Relationships

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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  • Shutters, Aperture & Stops of Light

    Shutter Types

    Focal Plane Shutters

    In Lens Shutter

    Exposure Stops

    Shutter Speed Stops

    Aperture Stops

    F/Stop Values

    The Advantage of Using F/Stops

    Full & Third Stop Reference Table

    Relationships & Depth of field

  • Reciprocity

    What is depth of field?

    Depth of field (DOF) Overview

    Circles of Confusion

    Perceiving Sharpness


    Depth of Field (DOF) Scale

    Hyperfocal Distance

    DOF Preview Button

    DOF Preview & DSLR Cameras

    DOF & The View Camera

  • Digital Sensors & The View Camera

    DSLR Shooting Modes in Practice

    Manual (M)

    Aperture Priority (AV) or (A)

    Shutter Priority (TV) or (S)

    Program Mode (P)

    Exposure Compensation

    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

    Scenario 1: Light Scenes

    Scenario 2: Dark Scenes

    Incident Metering

    Spot Metering

    Digital ISO

    Understanding ISO

    Increasing Light Sensitivity

  • Digital Noise

    High ISO, Contrast & Colour Distortion

    Auto ISO

    The Shutter Speed, Aperture & ISO Relationship

    The 18% Grey Card

    Palm Metering

    Dynamic Range & My Studio Light Metering Method

    What is Dynamic Range?

    Using Dynamic Range

    The Zone System

    An Introduction

    The Stepped Greyscale Test

  • Zone System Basics

    RGB & Colour Basics

    RGB, Greyscale & Colour Bias

    Custom White Balance

    Building Your Zone Ruler

    The Initial Procedure, Compiling Exposure Data

    The Final Procedure, Constructing The Zone Ruler

    Understanding our Results

    Metering Colours & Other Tips

    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

    Analogue Image Capture

    The Composition of Film

    The Wet Process

    Film Fogging

    Darkroom Printing

    The Digital Darkroom

  • Early Photo Manipulation

    The D-log E Curve of Film

    Digital Image Capture

    Digital Sensors

    CCD & CMOS Compared

    Tri-Linear Array Scanning Backs

    Film vs Digital

    Digital Advantages Over Film

    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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  • Light & Colour

    The Colour Spectrum

    Colour Temperature

    Early Colour Theory Development

    Maxwell’s Triangle & Modern Colour Theory

    Additive & Subtractive Colour Systems

    The CIE & LAB Colour

    Photographic Filters

    Useful Filters in The Digital World

    The Mired Scale

    Wratten Filters

    Managing Colour & White Balance

    The Colour Temperature Meter

    Digital White Balance

    Custom White Balance

  • Seeing Like a Camera

    Colour Perception

    Depth Perception

    Dynamic Range

    Some Useful Tricks


    Look Through a Filter

    Close One Eye

    Make a Fist

    Rotate the Image



    Setting Shadows & Highlights

    Black & White Photography

    A Brief Personal Tour

  • B&W Photography In The Digital Era

    Method One: In Camera B&W

    Method Two: Camera RAW Saturation

    Method Three: Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

    Method Four: Greyscale Colour mode

    Method Five: Photo Filter

    Method Six: Black & White

    Method Seven, My Favourite: Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer

    Utilising Colour Channels

    The Red Channel in RGB

    The Green 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


    Blue / Amber

    Green / Magenta

    Light Quality

    I Love Daylight

    Artificial Light Sources

    Using Flash Light

    Lighting Outdoors

    Time of Day

    The Weather

    Lighting People & Small Moveable Objects

  • Fill In Flash





    The World’s Best Lighting

    The Daylight Look Indoors

    Lighting Method 1: Simulated Hazy Day

    Lighting Method 2: Simulated Overcast Day

    Lighting Method 3: Simulated Full Sun

    Continuous Lights

    Hot Lights

    Tungsten Lighting

  • Cool Lights

    Fluorescent & LED Lighting

    Fluorescent Lights

    LED Lights

    Balancing Flash & Daylight

    Flash Duration

    Portrait Lighting

    Unisex Portraiture Lighting Scheme

    The Vanity Index

    Lighting Men & Women

    The Law

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 - Taking Pictures

    Educate Yourself

    A Process for Photographing Objects

    A Mental Shooting Checklist

  • Thinking Like a Lens


    Colour Management in Camera

    Adobe RGB (1998)


    ProPhoto RGB

    Image Preview

    In Camera Tools

    Low Resolution LCD Colour Preview


    Exposure Warning

  • Working Tethered

    Improving your Photography

    The Photoshop Trap

    Warning, Danger Ahead!

    Sticking to a Subject

    Be Honest With Yourself

    Be Realistic

    A Word on Plagiarism & Improving Technique

    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 DSLR System

    Small Format Compact Systems (CSC’s)

    Medium Format System

  • Large Format System

    Questions & Considerations

    Buying Vs Hiring

    Buying Considerations


    Which Lenses Do I Need?

    Where is the Technology Going?

    Lighting Equipment

    Studio Flash Units

    Monobloc Studio Lights

    Using Multiple Speedlights

    Which Brand Should I Buy?


    Tungsten Lighting

    Second Hand Gear

  • Computers & Monitors

    The Calibration Device

    Data Storage

    Digital Video Disc - DVD’s

    Disc Do's & Don’ts

    External Hard Drives

    RAID Arrays

    Solid State Drives

    The Future of File Storage

    Future Proofing your Files

    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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  • Image Retouching Software

    Adobe Photoshop (PS)

    Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE)

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (Lr)

    Capture One

    Aperture by Apple

    Corel Paint Shop Pro

    Affinity Photo by Serif

    Other Image Editing & Retouching Tools

    The Interesting Issue of DPI & PPI

    Image File Size… How Big is Big Enough?

    Output Devices & Resolution Requirments

    Photo Quality Inkjet Printers

    Offset Printers

    Lines Per Inch & DPI Conversions

    The Professional Print Lab

    The Web

    Dot Gain

    Your Work Space

    Work in RGB


  • Gamut

    Gamut Warnings

    The CMYK Colourspace

    Bit Depth

    Colour Channels in Photoshop

    File Formats for Digital Imaging & Printing




    Print Bound Images

    PSD Photoshop’s File Format





    JPEG 2000

    Other Random File Formats

    Working With 16 BIT Files

    16-Bit Capture & ACR

    Converting 8-Bit Images to 16-Bit

    16-Bit Editing

  • Photoshop Retouching

    HDR for High Contrast SCenes


    Photoshop Toolbox

    Quick Masking

    Photoshop’s Densitometer

    Adjustment Layers


    Every Digital Image Requires Sharpening

    Unsharp Mask (USM)

    Traps For Young Players

    My Sharpening Methodology

    Selective Sharpening

    Camera RAW Image Adjustment Basics

    Camera RAW Tools

    Adobe Lightroom Image Adjustment Basics

    Do Your Prints Look Like The Screen Image?

    Greyscale Print Test

    Calibration 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


    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 Height

    Poly Boards

    Must Haves

  • Equipment

    Bus & Train Routes



    Hiring Out Your Precious Studio

    Start Small

    Where to Begin

Module 11

Genres & Portfolios

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

    The photographer’s assistant

    Career Path Suggestions

    Fashion & Beauty


    Weddings & Family

    Nudes, Boudoir & Glamour


    Landscapes, Travel & Resort

  • Food

    Product & Still Life

    Architecture & Interiors

    Art Photography

    Industrial & Corporate


    The Professional Portfolio

    Look at the Work of Other Photographers

    Look at Stylist’s Portfolios for Ideas

    How to Find the Right People to Schmooze

  • Talk to Photo Agents

    Be Ruthless - Do Not Dilute Your Portfolio

    Is One Folio Enough?

    Get Other Opinions

    Think About Your Presentation

    This is Where to Spend Money Wisely

    Some Ideas on Marketing Tools

    A New Portfolio Approach

    Advantages of a Tablet Style Portfolio

    Disadvantages of a Tablet Style Portfolio

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