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Fundamentals of DSLR Photography

New to DSLR cameras? Learn fundamentals for your best photos yet! This introductory photography class is a smart, inspiringway to get up to speed quickly. Ta...
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Platform: Skillshare
Video: 1h 19m
Language: English
Next start: On Demand

Table of contents


New to DSLR cameras? Learn fundamentals for your best photos yet!

This introductory photography class is a smart, inspiring way to get up to speed quickly. Taught by photographer Justin Bridges, you’ll learn how to manually balance shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to achieve perfect exposure, every time — and then hit the NYC streets to see it all in action.

Easy-to-follow lessons include how to:

  • Balance shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for perfect exposure (and conquer fear of “manual” mode)
  • Freeze and blur motion via shutter speed
  • Control background blur via aperture
  • Edit your photos in 5 minutes or less

Plus, you’ll also learn Justin’s go-to camera settings, must-have gear, and recommendations on a budget. By the end, you’ll know how to master your settings, shoot in manual mode for total control, and create the pro-level photos you’ve always imagined.


Take the Next Step: Join Justin’s intermediate DSLR Photo class & learn how to get more out of your lens!


What You’ll Learn in Fundamentals of DSLR Photography

Introduction. Justin Bridges will go over the fundamentals of how to use your camera, discussing camera settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. You’ll take a look at the “exposure pyramid.”

Understanding your DSLR. You’ll learn exactly what happens when you click the button to take a photograph and dive deeper into what is really meant by the exposure pyramid and its three elements:

  • Shutter speed. You’ll learn how to represent shutter speed as a number and how different shutter speeds capture motion.
  • Aperture. You’ll learn how aperture settings can affect the amount of light let into your photograph and dictate a distinction between the foreground and background of your image.
  • ISO. You’ll see why Justin calls ISO “the weapon of last resort” and learn how to avoid digital noise in your photographs.

Balancing the exposure triangle. You’ll learn how to balance the three elements of the exposure triangle. Justin will teach you how to choose a number for your aperture or shutter speed and how to gauge the exposure in your photograph before you take it.

Preparing to shoot. While you’re metering, you’re also picking your focus point. Justin will walk you through how to choose your focus point when photographing one person, a group of people, and a landscape. You’ll learn the term “focal plane” and explore the difference between digital photography files RAW and JPEG.

Studio demonstration. You’ll watch as Justin takes pictures of a moving fan to demonstrate how to adjust your exposure triangle to capture different levels of movement. You’ll learn how to freeze the fan blades and let them blur by adjusting shutter speeds and aperture values. You’ll learn how to use aperture settings to control the sharpness and depth of field in your photograph.

Deeper dive: Shutter speed. You’ll learn how to shoot in manual and TV modes on your camera in an outdoor, city setting and how to pan your camera with the motion of your subject.

Deeper dive: Aperture. You’ll learn to shoot aperture photography by setting your camera to aperture priority mode. Justin will show you how to pick your aperture value first and let the camera do the rest of the work for you.

Deeper dive: ISO. In an indoor setting, you’ll see how to play with your ISO settings to take product photographs in low light. You’ll learn how to adjust and set ISO ranges in your DSLR camera.

Editing tips & tricks. Don’t be picky about your editing software — as long as you can adjust such things as clarity, exposure, and contrast, you’ll be able to edit your photograph effectively. Justin will explain the benefits of editing RAW files while looking at faraway subjects, close-up images, and a picture taken indoors. You’ll also learn how to clean up digital noise.

Bonus: Buying cameras & lenses. Justin will explain the benefits of using a DSLR camera over a point-and-shoot. You’ll get some alternative camera recommendations and learn how to choose a lens.

This class is ideal for beginners and intermediate enthusiasts. Looking for more? Explore Justin’s Skillshare classes for intermediate photographers: One-Light Setups and Shooting Portraits with Natural Light.


Looking for more inspiration? Head here to discover more classes on photography.

You will learn

Share your photos in the Project Gallery!

Upload a few of your photos and share your process. Let us know what camera settings you used and why, whether you shot in RAW or jpg, what photo effect you were going for, and whether you achieved the look you were after. Things to keep in mind:

  • What were the lighting conditions on your shoot? How did that affect your photo?
  • Did you have to compromise on any shutter speed, aperture, or ISO settings to ensure balanced exposure?
  • Do you prefer a particular priority mode over manual?



  • The Ultimate Guide to Learning How to Use Your First DSLR
  • Dive deeper into metering
  • Dive deeper into focal Length



Camera Bodies

  • Introductory: Canon Rebel
  • Mid-Level: Canon 7D
  • High-Level: Canon 5D Mark iii


  • Introductory: Canon 50mm f1.8 or Canon 85mm f1.8
  • Mid-Level: Canon 24-70 f2.8 V2 or Canon 24-105
  • Professional: Canon 85 f1.2 or Canon 50 f1.2
  • Affordable lenses for Canon and Nikon: Sigma


More Skillshare Classes with Justin Bridges

  • Portrait Photography Essentials: One-Light Setups
  • Fundamentals of Portrait Photography: Using Natural Light to Create Drama


More Photography Classes on Skillshare

  • Documentary Photography — Ami Vitale
  • Cityscape Photography — trashhand
  • Portrait Photography on the Street — Zun Lee


There is no prerequisite, anyone can begin this course.. This course is also great for beginners without any Other Photography & Video knowledge.

This course is for

This course is suitable for beginners.
Browse all courses by on Coursemarks.
Platform: Skillshare
Video: 1h 19m
Language: English
Next start: On Demand

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