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Online Photography Course
Composition Boot Camp

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: 4-Week Short Course: Composition Boot CampLearn how to become a master in composition in ways that you may have never considered. So potential boot camp campers, listen up! Are you ready to be pushed into better composition? We are going to have some fun with a boot camp theme. Instructor is professional photographer Rob Sheppard, editor-at-large of Outdoor Photographer magazine and author of over 30 books about photography. Keep in mind that this is a boot camp, meaning we are going to be tough on composition. Are you ready for the challenge? Are you ready to take that next step in your photography?
Key Features

  1. Let's Be Perfectly Clear
  2. Attention! Out of the Middle, Everyone!
  3. Choices - Distance and Angle Make a Difference
  4. Extreme Composition for Impact

  • Learn how to work with composition.
  • Learn the difference between unity and clarity and use those ideas.
  • Learn to root out distractions.
  • Discover that composition is far more than the rule of thirds.
  • Learn how you can better work distance and angle options into your compositions.
  • Find out that relationships work in compositions, too.
  • Learn to make good decisions about composition in order to get more from your photography.
  • What You Get


    You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.  
    • Learn at your pace, with structure.
    • Be guided by a real pro instructor.
    • Get your photos critiqued every week.
    • Join students from around the world.
    • Go far beyond any book or DVD.
    • Make great pictures, again and again!



    Photography Instructor: Rob  Sheppard Rob Sheppard
    Rob Sheppard has had a long-time and nationally recognized commitment to helping photographers become better photographers, regardless of the equipment and technology. He was the editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine for 12 years and was the original editor of PCPhoto (now Digital Photo). Now he is editor-at-large.

    He is also the author/photographer of over thirty photo books, including The Magic of Digital Landscape Photography, The National Geographic Field Guide to Photography - Digital, and Adobe® Photoshop Lightroom for Digital Photographers Only. He writes regularly for Outdoor Photographer and teaches around the country, including workshops for the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and the Light Photographic Workshops. His Web site for workshops, books and photo tips is at, and his blog on nature and photography is at

    As a photographer, Rob worked for many years in Minnesota (before moving to Los Angeles), including doing work for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Norwest Banks (now Wells Fargo), Pillsbury, 3M, General Mills, Lutheran Brotherhood, Ciba-Geigy, Anderson Windows, and others. His photography has been published in many magazines, ranging from National Geographic to The Farmer to, of course, Outdoor Photographer and PCPhoto.

    He and his wife, Vicky (married 30+ years), live in the Los Angeles area. They have a son working on his Ph.D. in youth sports and education, and a daughter studying communications/journalism.

    Also see Rob's Nature and Photography blog.

    A Couple of Photos by the Instructor

    © Rob Sheppard 

    © Rob Sheppard 

    Course Outline


    Lesson 1: Let's Be Perfectly Clear
    What is composition, anyway? More on clarity. Unity. Distractions.
    Assignment: Work for simplicity and clarity in your photographs.

    Lesson 2: Attention! Out of the Middle, Everyone!
    Now you are going to step into ground that most photographers never reach. Out of the middle! Sure, you might have heard of the rule of thirds, but you are composition boot campers, and soon the rule of thirds will seem like training wheels.
    Assignment: Get out of the middle and watch your edges.

    Lesson 3: Choices - Distance and Angle Make a Difference
    We're going to step into the realm of choices affected by distance and angle in this lesson, and you know how tricky choices can sometimes be. So step lively and keep close.
    Assignment: Try out a series of images that work the subject from wide shot to medium shot close shot.

    Lesson 4: Extreme Composition for Impact
    Learn to make good decisions about composition in order to get more from your photography. 
    Assignment: Look for compositions with visual impact.

    © Rob Sheppard 

    © Rob Sheppard 



    • Digital camera with aperture and shutter speed control.
    • A variety of focal lengths either with a zoom on the camera or interchangeable lenses.
    • A basic understanding of f/stops and shutter speeds.  
    • Desire to go beyond automated photography to capture better images.




    What level of photographer is this course designed for?
    This class is intended for everyone from the "serious hobbyist" to the advanced amateur or aspiring pro. However, it is a little different than other classes with its boot camp emphasis. Be prepared to be challenged to become a better photographer!  

    Do I need to have a digital camera?
    It is not a necessity. You can shoot film and gain from these lessons. However, the lessons will be oriented toward digital SLR camera users.  

    Does my digital camera need to be expensive - a professional model?
    No, as long as your camera allows you to control aperture and shutter speed and use a variety of focal lengths - those are important things. A digital SLR is ideal, however, an advanced compact digital camera would also work fine. However, without the creative options of exposure control plus a range of focal lengths, you will find the camera insufficient for this course.  

    Do I need anything else?
    Yes. A tripod will help, along with an attitude that learning composition can be fun!
    We will also cover topics and do assignments that would require the following. While you do not need all of these functions and tools, the more you have will have a direct relationship on how much you enjoy the class:
    - LCD monitor.
    - The ability to shoot in JPEG, RAW, TIFF and/or other file formats.
    - The ability to lock your exposure as well as your focus.
    - Exposure compensation.
    - The ability to view a histogram in your LCD monitor.
    - At least one zoom lens.
    - The ability to control white balance settings.
    Remember, you do not need all of these... a few would be enough. But the more, the merrier.  

    Are you going to teach things you can do in Photoshop in this photo course?
    Not really. We will touch on a few topics such as how technology can aid in striving for better pictures but, overall, this course is not about Photoshop  or digital image-editing software. 

    © Rob Sheppard 

    © Rob Sheppard 

    Do I have to be online at any specific time?
    No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.

    Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
    Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.

    Do you offer a money back guarantee?
    Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.

    For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.

    Still have questions about this course? Ask Us

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    Only $198.00 USD  Click to Verify - This site has chosen a thawte SSL Certificate to improve Web site security  We accept Visa and Mastercard  We accept American Express

    At a Glance
    4-Week Short Course
    Category: Composition Courses

    $198.00 USD
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    Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
    4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5
    Read all 21 reviews

    Course Reviews:

    4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 5 out of 5
    Marisol Kelly
    member since: 12/12/2013
    This class was a great learning opportunity. Rob Sheppard managed to convey the information in a way that made it clear, and examples he provided were helpful. He is very thorough and encouraging with his critiques. I highly recommend this class, it made me pay attention to details I never give a second thought to. I highly recommend his class.

    - 7/4/2014 6:26:13 AM

    4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 5 out of 5
    BetterPhoto Member Beth W. DeBor
    Beth W. DeBor
    member since: 9/9/2009
    I have to reiterate how much I enjoyed the lessons from the boot camp style that made me smile when I read them to your clear and concise critiques which I found to be extremely helpful. I'm only sorry the class is four weeks!

    - 6/9/2014 10:44:10 AM

    4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 5 out of 5
    BetterPhoto Member Richard J. Boyle
    Richard J. Boyle
    member since: 11/3/2013
    I learned a huge amount from this course. Rob Sheppard is a delightful instructor and one totally taken with his subject-it is infectious.

    Having other students' work to evaluate prior to seeing Rob's evaluation was invaluable. I learned a great deal from the images of my classmates-some of them phenomenal.

    I would recommend this course to all photographers trying to stretch themselves. The time spend thinking about each assignment, going out and shooting images, self-critiquing your work, and reviewing and analyzing Rob's comments produced large dividends.

    Dick Boyle

    - 1/1/2014 9:10:38 AM

    4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 5 out of 5
    BetterPhoto Member Rebecca Barkley
    Rebecca Barkley
    member since: 2/27/2008
    Thank you for this class! I really feel I have a stronger understanding now of what makes a good composition ... Your comments were always very helpful- you have an impressive way of identifying exactly what is wrong or can be improved in an image.

    - 10/8/2013 10:35:07 AM

    4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 5 out of 5
    BetterPhoto Member William J. Duntzee
    William J. Duntzee
    member since: 7/5/2012
    This was by far a 5 STAR course. I appreciated Rob's honest and to the point evaluations. Not only did Rob explain what he liked/disliked....he also showed me on some pic's to emphasize the point. I also appreciate how Rob allowed us to submit some extra pics in the Q & A section to further better ourselves. Rob, by far has made me a better photographer and although, there is a lot of information to digest in this 4 week course, has accomplished his mission...I now think about how to compose a better shot. Kudo's to you Rob and thank you for your honest and direct evaluations...I highly recommend this course to any photographer that wants and honest opinion on composition and how to get that "WOW" factor!!!

    - 12/29/2012 9:25:29 AM

    Read all 21 course reviews...

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