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Online Photography Course
Landscape Photography

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: Landscape PhotographyLearn exciting new techniques for capturing dynamic landscape images. For many of us, landscapes are the foundation of photography. From Ansel Adams's dramatic b/w photos to more contemporary color scenes that are recorded with digital cameras, landscapes are an expression that most photographers turn their attention to at one time or another. In this class, top pro Doug Steakley will help you develop your personal vision and discover new ways of seeing. From the Rule of Thirds to photographing star trails, this course covers a wide range of landscape possibilities and combines technical assistance with refining your personal expression.
Key Features

  1. Introduction, Camera Settings and Rule of Thirds
  2. Use Perspective - Foreground, Middle Ground and Background
  3. Look For and Use Leading Lines, Reflections and Repetition
  4. Find and Photograph in The Best Light
  5. The Intimate or Mid-Range Landscape
  6. Moving In Closer
  7. Twilight and Night Landscape Photography
  8. Develop Your Personal Vision

  • For serious amateurs, intermediate and advanced photographers.
  • You will learn the importance of developing a personal vision or expression so that your landscapes become distinct and unique.
  • This course covers the basic tenets of landscape photography and then moves into mid-range and close up photography and to a separate lesson on photographing at night with long time exposures.
  • The final lesson is about developing a personal vision so that you can create a portfolio of images, which share common elements. The development of a portfolio is important for approaching galleries, magazines or stock agencies, as well as developing your personal artistic growth.
  • Take your landscape photography to the next plateau by avoiding common errors that will allow you to "see like a camera". Landscapes are three dimensional views that ultimately have to be successfully rendered as two dimensional prints and this transition requires a conscious understanding of how the image has to be transformed in the process.

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: Doug  Steakley Doug Steakley
Douglas Steakley is a widely published photographer from Carmel Valley, California. His distinct images range from the Monterey Peninsula to many international destinations where he enjoys traveling.

Two large-format books featuring his color photography have been published: Pacific Light, Images of The Monterey Peninsula, in 2000, and Big Sur and Beyond, The Legacy of The Big Sur Land Trust, in 2001. Pacific Light won an Honorable Mention from the National Outdoor Book Awards in 2001. A third book, A Photographer’s Guide To The California Coast, was published in 2005, by Countryman Press. Doug is currently working on a fourth book, A Photographer's Guide To The Big Sur Coast, which will be released in 2010.

Photographs by Doug Steakley have received awards in many photography contests including those sponsored by National Geographic Traveler magazine, Petersen’s Photographic magazine and The National Park Service. He recently won a two week safari to Africa as the Grand Prize Winner in a photography contest co-sponsored by National Geographic and Energizer batteries.

Doug supports and works closely with several land conservation groups and a variety of his images have been published in annual reports and a variety of other publications. He has worked with The Big Sur Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, The Land Trust Alliance, The Trust For Public Land, The Wilderness Coalition, The Tuolumne River Trust and The Monterey County Regional Park District. In 2003, he received the Ansel Adams Award from The Sierra Club for his conservation photography.

His images have been widely published in many local, national and international magazines including Architectural Digest, Backpacker, Outside, Better Homes and Gardens, Art and Antiques, Private Pilot, Luxury Living, The Robb Report, and Town and Country. He regularly contributes to travel catalogs published by Wilderness Travel, Mountain Travel and others.

Recent one-person exhibitions of Doug's photography include The Pacific Grove Art Center, The Fireside Gallery at the Highlands Inn, The Monterey Conference Center, The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, The Maureen Doud Gallery in The Sunset Center, and The Gallery at The Blackstone Winery in Gonzales.

Doug's stock photography is represented world-wide by Lonely Planet Images.
Doug currently serves as treasurer on the board of directors of The Center For Photographic Art in Carmel, California.

Aside from photography, Doug is an avid cyclist and recently completed his third Markleeville Death Ride in the Sierras.

A Couple of Photos by the Instructor

© Doug Steakley 

© Doug Steakley 

A Couple of Student Photos


View photos by previous students. You can make pictures like this too!

This class is new. Student photos coming soon...

Course Outline


Lesson One: Introduction, Camera Settings and Rule of Thirds
An introduction to landscape photography with a discussion of correct camera settings and The Rule of Thirds. This first lesson talks about hyperfocal focusing and the techniques associated with using wide angle lenses for large, inclusive landscapes. Wide angle landscapes are very different from those taken with longer lenses and have the benefit of a very large depth of field, which enables you to have objects in the near foreground that are in sharp focus as well as having the background remain sharp.

Lesson Two: Use Perspective - Foreground, Middle Ground and Background
This is an extension of the first lesson, but in this lesson we concentrate on wide angle landscapes that have a feeling of depth due to the placement of an object in the near foreground, another in the middle ground and a sharp, in focus background. I will point out the importance of shooting from a low angle and switching to manual focus so the entire image remains tack sharp. Including perspective is the foundation for successful landscape photography.

Lesson Three: Look For and Use Leading Lines, Reflections and Repetition
In Lesson Three we review several elements that can be incorporated into your landscapes to make them more successful. Using leading lines, reflection and repetition are effective techniques that we often see but too often are not consciously aware of. Your landscapes will be greatly improved by learning to see and to incorporate these important elements.  

Lesson Four: Find and Photograph in The Best Light
When I review images by students either in workshops or in BetterPhoto classes, I often see photographs that have great potential but were photographed at the wrong time of day. Nothing is more important in landscape photography than taking advantage of good light. In this lesson we will review and emphasize how photographing at the right time of day or under the right conditions can make the difference between an outstanding image or one that just has potential. Sunrise, sunset, cloudy or foggy days or clearing storms are times and conditions we should be aware of and take advantage of when they exist.

Lesson Five: The Intimate or Mid-Range Landscape
Intimate landscapes are very different from the wide angle photographs in the first three lessons. Moving in closer requires a more sophisticated or developed vision because the selection process is more stringent. Every element counts and those that are excluded are equally as important as those that are included in the scene. Photographing this type of landscape requires the development of a personal aesthetic as the photographer selects elements he or she wants to present and the selection process becomes ever more subjective.  

Lesson Six: Moving in Closer
This lesson is an extension of Lesson Five, but now we move even closer and focus on only one or two elements in the landscape. The composition becomes tighter and emphasizes the photographer's ability to see and select. But the benefit of intimate landscapes is that they are personal and unique. As is pointed out in the lesson, you are no longer going to a location such as Yosemite or any national park and trying to reproduce well-known images that you have seen in books or calendars. Instead you are narrowing in on small elements of the landscape that appeal to you and learning how to frame and photograph them so they become expressive archetypes of the larger environment.  

Lesson Seven: Twilight and Night Landscape Photography
This lesson focuses on photographing from evening twilight into dark. Twilight is one of the most flattering lights for a wide range of images and from there we move into even darker settings. Night photography includes how to photograph fireworks and lightning, how to "paint with light" using a powerful flashlight, how to photography by moonlight and how to photograph star-trails. Modern digital cameras have an amazing ability to capture detail in low light situations and we will take advantage of these capabilities in this class.

Lesson Eight: Develop Your Personal Vision
The previous seven lessons have covered a wide range of landscape techniques and in this final lesson I emphasize the importance of developing your personal style by photographing a group of images that are related either through a common technique or subject matter. I ask that you write a small text or artist's statement about this body of work because I believe that writing is a powerful tool or technique to bring sub-conscious feelings and attitudes into the conscious realm where they can be used as stepping stones to further development and growth. I ask that you share with us your personal feelings as they are expressed in your images. Developing a strong vision must become the ultimate goal and purpose of the many skills and techniques we continue to learn and develop as artistic photographers. 

© Doug Steakley 

© Doug Steakley 



  • The first requirement is that you have the time to commit and delve into this class and are able to take photographs during the class as part of the assignments.
  • You will need a DSLR camera with a lens that can photograph in the wide-angle to short telephoto range, or several lenses. A single lens such as the Nikon 19-200mm will suffice .or a series of lenses including a wide angle and a mid-range lens will also work.
  • A tripod.
  • A basic understanding of aperture settings, shutter speeds, ISO settings - and how they relate to and affect each other.
  • A sense of humor, curiosity and willingness to try new thing are all very helpful!



What level of photographer is this course designed for?
This class is designed for any photographer who has a working knowledge of the basics such as aperture settings, shutter speeds and ISO settings and how they interact and affect each other. It is not a beginning class but the assignments are not difficult to understand. 

Do I need to have experience in Photoshop or Elements?
I think this class would be difficult for anyone without some experience in Photoshop or Elements. While Photoshop is not an integral part of this class, the ability to make basic improvements to images is very helpful to maximize them. And I will be happy to answer questions about techniques in Bridge, Lightroom or Photoshop throughout the class.

Do I have to shoot in Raw or can I shoot in JPEG format?
I always recommend shooting in Raw format. However, for this class it is possible to shoot JPEGs. At some point, I encourage every photographer to embrace the digital process, which now means learning the basics of a post-processing program such as Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture.

© Doug Steakley 

© Doug Steakley 

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.

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At a Glance
8-Week Photo Course
Category: Nature / Travel

$396.00 USD
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Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Read all 14 reviews

Course Reviews:

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Rebecca Barkley
Rebecca Barkley
member since: 2/27/2008
This class is the best class I have taken yet here at Better Photo! The lessons are clear, very well done, and the assignments are really enjoyable. Doug is a wonderful teacher- he has an enthusiasm for photography that is contagious, and he is a very encouraging instructor. His critiques very constructive, and he helps you with every aspect of photography, even if it seems to lie outside the scope of this class. If you are at all interested in nature photography, you should take this class- you could not help but grow as a photographer!

- 11/13/2013 8:56:07 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Kathleen F. Krauss
member since: 5/7/2008
Thanks for a great class! I really felt you were on our side, helping us with the benefit of your experience, vision and knowledge, and that support was very nice. You have an amazing ability to find the positive and then give plenty of guidance for improvement. ...
It was a fun class. ... Very complete, and we had the time to feel ourselves develop and grow. I'm sorry to see the class come to an end but will take what I learned with me whenever I'm out shooting!

- 3/25/2013 11:54:29 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Pam Baumann
Pam Baumann
member since: 1/6/2009
One of the better instructors at BP for sure. I enjoy Dougs classes as he is open and sincere with his comments and critiques. Both classes that I have taken with Doug have provided new skillsets for me in my quest to be a better photographer. IMO, he goes above and beyond in answering any questions and providing whatever assistance you may need. I look forward to Doug picking up another one or two topics. Thank you for a great class.

- 11/24/2012 5:08:12 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Curtis Ghent
member since: 3/20/2012
Excellent on line course. I've taken several online courses before from another company, but this course, Landscape Photography with Doug was by far the best course I have ever taken. Doug made you really thing about what you were doing when out in the field shooting along with the post processing part. The range of subject matter I think covered all the bases. Doug was very open and easy to talk to and responded in a timely manner. I also appreciated the fact that I have the opportunity to contact Doug in the future if the need arises.
Overall, an excellent class.

- 11/15/2012 1:46:59 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Salwa  Afef
Salwa  Afef
member since: 10/3/2008
It was a wonderful course !!
Doug Steakley critiques,tips and suggestions are always helping to develop your own work and to make a piece of art not just to capture a photo .
He leads you gently to be attached to the scene: how to see and how to sculpture your photo before you click the shutter .
To watch carefully the elements and analyze every part of your photo !
To have tack sharp eyes as a photographer is a great thing you build, and this course is one of BP courses that improves this significant skill .
I like also the part of post processing to re edit the photo when it needs some adjustment : tone ,colors ,saturation converting to b&w …etc
Doug lets you free to do many editing to one photo until he says : I think it’s better now, what do you think ,do you like it ?
Or he does another editing by himself .
Sometimes he will surprise you with adding one of his own photo to your “assignment photo” and you would think maybe something wrong happen, photo from nowhere landed beside your photo !!
No, it’s not my photo and then you see he puts his photo to support your work with an idea or just as a nice memory between 2 photos,so nice from you, Doug ! :)
Thank you so much Doug,for your excellent course, your critiques are shaping my mind,opening my eyes more and leading me to the right track !

I’m going to miss your course and the artistic approach .

- 11/7/2012 4:00:39 AM

Read all 14 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"This class has been excellent! Thank you, Doug, for all of your comments, suggestions and extra tips that you have given to us. My experience has been a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10!" -Carol Grady, student in Basic Masks in Photoshop 

"The instructor's comments are helpful, knowledgeable, and encouraging, and he is diligent in the question and answer section as well. This is the second course I have taken from this Instructor. In short, I am a Doug Steakley fan!" -Frank Deland in Basic Masks in Photoshop course 

"This is an outstanding course! The best part of the course is Doug's thorough and constructive feedback. His feedback was very individualized. ... This course really broadened my skill set." -Stephanie Lewis in Doug's The Creative Use of Shutter Speed course 

"Thank you for a wonderful class! ... The class was fun, challenging and exciting. It made me see new possibilities!" -Christine Greenspan in The Creative Use of Shutter Speed course 

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