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Online Photography Course
Self-Discovery in Photography: Where Does Your Passion Lie?

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: Self-Discovery in Photography:  Where Does Your Passion Lie? This course is a journey of self-discovery in finding out what you love to photograph and how best to photograph it. With expert instruction by master photographer and author Jim Zuckerman, you will be gently pushed to explore different areas of photography and learn where your passion in photography lies, and you may discover new areas of creativity that will prove to be very fulfilling.
Key Features

  1. Exploring landscape photography.
  2. Having fun with creating abstracts.
  3. Classic outdoor portraits.
  4. Great architecture photography.
  5. Creating fine art black & white.
  6. Up close and personal with macro photography.
  7. Still life photography.
  8. The excitement of shooting action.

  • Explore many types of photography.
  • Learn to be creative outside your confort zone.
  • Discover your calling in 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: Jim  Zuckerman Jim Zuckerman
Few people are able to spend most of their time pursuing their passion in life. I'm one of them, and I feel blessed to have had a love affair with photography since I began taking pictures.

In 1970, I decided to abort my intended career as a doctor in favor of photography and have never regretted it. Photography has enriched my life more than I can tell you. My career has taken me to over 60 countries, and I've seen and photographed wondrous things.

I specialize in wildlife and nature, international travel, and digital effects. In addition, I also shoot nudes, photo- and electron microscopy, children, and other subjects that stimulate my visual or emotional sensibilities.

For 25 years, I shot a medium format camera, specifically the Mamiya RZ 67, for its superior quality. When I would lecture, Iíd project the large, glass mounted transparencies, and it was really an incredible experience to see the brilliant color saturation and resolution of these slides. However, I went digital in 2004 because the technology finally equaled or surpassed medium format. I now shoot the Canon 1Ds Mark II digital camera with a variety of lenses.

I am the author of 12 books on photography. My work is sold in 30 countries around the world, and my images have appeared on scores of magazine and book covers, calendars, posters, national ads, trade ads, brochures, and corporate promotions.

For many years I've led photography tours to exotic places. These include Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Burma, Greece, The Czech Republic and Slovakia, Spain, Morocco, and Peru.

A Couple of Photos by the Instructor

© Jim Zuckerman 

© Jim Zuckerman 

A Couple of Student Photos


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

Sarah  Pilapil - Sel
© Sarah Pilapil - Sel
Sarah  Pilapil - Sel
© Sarah Pilapil - Sel

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Exploring Landscape Photography
Assignment: Upload three photos. You can submit all three of them as pure landscapes or submit two landscapes plus one that includes a man-made structure. If you do include something man-made in your landscape, make sure that the image can still be considered a landscape. It's OK to submit photos taken previously if time or weather prevent you from getting out to shoot a new landscape.

Lesson 2: Having Fun with Creating Abstracts
Assignment: Upload three photos showing your best abstractions. Make at least one of them unrecognizable, so the entire strength of the image is dependent on form and color. Let me and other students try to guess what it is.

Lesson 3: Classic Outdoor Portraits
Assignment: Upload three outdoor portraits. Mix sunrise/sunset and overcast, and make sure the background environment is complementary and not too busy. If you want to challenge yourself, submit at least one wide-angle portrait as part of the three uploaded shots. You can use fill flash if you wish, but it's not necessary. It's fine to concentrate on using the beauty of natural light. If you travel and want to submit photos from a previous trip that meet the requirements of this assignment, that's perfectly fine as well.

Lesson 4: Great Architecture Photography
Assignment: Upload three photos of architecture. You can use photos from the past if you like, but I'd like you to challenge yourself to find new shots just for this lesson. You can take pictures of any type of home, commercial building, movie theater, outhouse, barn, or whatever appeals to you. If you are stumped as to what would make a compelling picture for this lesson, remember that twilight illumination does wonders for almost any architectural subject.

Lesson 5: Creating Fine Art Black & White
Assignment: Upload three pairs of photos showing the color original and the black and white conversion. Let me know in the caption how you converted it. Make sure the contrast in the black and white rendition is strong.

Lesson 6: Up Close and Personal: Macro Photography
Assignment: Upload 3 macro photos of any subject you like. I've included in this lesson several different types of macro subjects to give you some ideas. The pictures can be taken indoors or outside, and you can use any method of focusing closely to the subject. If you use selective focus, justify in the caption why you used shallow depth of field. You will have the most artistic success if you use diffused light rather than direct sunlight.

Lesson 7: Still Life Photography
Assignment: Upload up to three still life images. If you want to really take your time and make one setup that is perfect, that's fine, too. Pay attention to the lighting and to the graphic arrangement as well as the background. You don't have to use a solid color background, but just make sure the background does not detract from the subjects. You can use flash, ambient daylight, reflectors, a flashlight, or window light - whatever works for you. I would prefer that you submitted photos of elements that you set up at home and not shots of something you found, such as a store window display.

Lesson 8: The Excitement of Shooting Action
Assignment: Upload up to three photos showing blurred motion, either hand held or using a tripod. Make sure you show enough blur so the photo doesn't look like a mistake. For example, if your picture shows only a small amount of blur, it might not be artistic in the way you'd want. And be careful to not show too much blur, unless your goal is complete abstraction of color.

Review: Voting on Best Work

© Jim Zuckerman 

© Jim Zuckerman 



  • Digital or film-based camera.
  • Knowledge of - and the ability to control - aperture and shutter speed.
  • Tripod strongly recommended.
  • A means of focusing closely.



Who is the course intended for?
Itís intended for photographers of all levels,- as long as you understand the basic fundamentals of photography: how your camera works, and f/stops and shutter speeds. 

I am not sure in what aspects of photography I excel or what really excites me yet. I havenít discovered my niche in photography. Will this course help me with that?
Yes, it will. The lessons will expose you to many types of picture taking, and the assignments are designed to help you explore areas of photography that you might not investigate on your own.  

Can we use digital editing software like Photoshop or Elements to alter our photos for our assignment submissions?

Do you hire an assistant to help you write the critiques, or do you do them all yourself?
 I am the only one who writes the critiques. You are getting 36 years of experience in the feedback you receive each week.  

© Jim Zuckerman 

© Jim Zuckerman 

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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At a Glance
8-Week Photo Course
Category: Composition Courses

$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 17 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 Kenneth J. Rhodes
Kenneth J. Rhodes
member since: 4/17/2012
This is an outstanding course, my second with instructor Jim Zuckerman. The lessons are excellent, highlighted by superb images from Jim's own work. The assignments stimulate you to shoot in different situations, using a range of techniques, to find those that you most enjoy. Jim's feedback is very constructive and valuable. I am very glad that I took this course and am already enrolled in one of Jim's other offerings.

- 11/12/2012 4:32:20 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 Phyllis Peterson
Phyllis Peterson
member since: 5/19/2011
This is my second Better Photo class with Jim Zuckerman. I knew I would receive valuable instruction from Jim on improving my photographic technique. Each week I enjoyed reading his critiques of my photos and the critiques of my classmates because I learned so much from them. In Self-Discovery I enjoyed exploring many different aspects of photography which has helped me narrow in on the areas I wish to pursue as well as improving my eye and technique along the way.

- 11/9/2011 8:28:29 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 Gale Stoner
Gale Stoner
member since: 6/27/2009
Jim is a fantastic teacher. His instructions, tips and techniques helped me create "gallery quality" images. His lessons are well-designed and informative and his critiques are very detailed and spot on. This is my 9th course with BetterPhoto and Jim is at the top of my list.

- 11/9/2011 5:57:32 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
member since: 7/10/2011
I'm new to photography, less than a year. My education has been through magazines and guide books. I discovered Jim through articles he writes for magazines and started reading his e-blog. After finding BetterPhoto and reviewing their courses, not to mention Jim was an instructor, I decided to take my first course. I am not disappointed, and I expected a great deal from the course. Assignments have been challenging, educational and got my creative juices flowing. Jim's instructions and examples are informative and well written. I can hardly wait to hear back from Jim after submitting the week's photos. Each critique is a learning experience and how to's to improve your photo experience. I am signing up for another course. Bravo Jim Zuckerman and BetterPhoto, you make a great team! Thank you.

- 10/24/2011 8:20:55 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 Fred Barger
Fred Barger
member since: 6/21/2007
This course was excellent. Jim Z was an excellent instructor. He challenged and encouraged us to delve into different types of photography, including things that were outside of our "comfort zone". He has me now looking at my photos in a different way. His constructive criticisms were spot on and professional. He gave a lot of great examples of how to improve on our submitted photos. He always answered my questions in a very timely manner. The content of this class was wonderful and the experience was made even better through the great insight and feedback from Jim. I can't wait to take another one of his classes.

- 7/6/2011 1:25:59 PM

Read all 17 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"Jimís professional critiques are extremely helpful and encouraging; lessons are easy to understand with examples of Jimís beautiful images. The assignments are challenging and fun. His course opened my eyesand gave me many ideas, and improved my creative vision." -Thomas Sterr, student in Jim Zuckerman's "Developing Your Creative Artistic Vision" course† 

"The course was a very rewarding experience. I was pushed out of my boundaries and forced to look at new ways to photograph. I would have never gotten anything like this from a book." -Greg Rollins, student in Jim Zuckerman's "Developing Your Creative Artistic Vision" course 

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