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Online Photography Course
Developing Your Creative Artistic Vision

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: Developing Your Creative Artistic VisionYes - the creative, artistic side of photography can be learned! Just as a music student learns the principles of music to play guitar, you can learn to see creatively and to develop your photographic vision through sound principles of art. Master photographer and author Jim Zuckerman draws upon decades of experience to share with you creative ways of seeing that will enable you to identify and capture great pictures.
Key Features

  1. Composition, Part 1 - Rule of Thirds, leading lines, symmetry, framing.
  2. Composition, Part 2 -Negative space, the concept of balance, S and C curves, space in front of moving objects.
  3. Graphic Design - a look at shape and form.
  4. Color  - Complementary colors, harmony, shock value, super saturation, muted.
  5. Patterns and Textures - What causes texture, patterns in nature and architecture, etc.
  6. Points of View - Exploring unusual perspectives and the unorthodox use of lenses.
  7. The Power of Lines - Simplicity, directional lines, the power of diagonals, repetition of line.
  8. Breaking the Rules - When it is desirable.

  • A critical study of design elements.
  • Hands-on approach to composition.
  • Color relationships for impact and shock value.

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, Id 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!

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Composition, Part 1
Rule of Thirds, leading lines, symmetry, framing.
Assignment: Show each of the three compositional concepts in this lesson: Rule of Thirds, framing, and leading lines. You can use previously taken photographs, but to really grasp these ideas, you should take new images and specifically concentrate on the lesson. Any subject matter is fine.

Lesson 2: Composition, Part 2
Negative space, the concept of balance, S and C curves, space in front of moving objects.
Assignment: Show any of the composition concepts I've discussed in this lesson. For example, all your shots can show the idea of balance or you can submit shots that demonstrate balance and two other that show negative space and moving into the frame.

Lesson 3: Graphic Design
A detailed look a one of the most important aspects of great pictures: shape and form.
Assignment: Submit photos of any subject showing either good graphic design or design that is flawed, and in the caption tell me - briefly - whether you think the graphics are successful or not. You may use photos taken just for this course or any image from your stock library of pictures.

Lesson 4: The Power of Lines
Simplicity, directional lines, the power of diagonals, repetition of line.
Assignment: Show distinctive lines contributing to the success of your pictures. You can choose any of the types of lines discussed in this lesson. Just remember that having a nice line isn't an excuse to forget about the other factors that go into making excellent photographs, like lighting, clean backgrounds, and compelling subjects.

Lesson 5: Patterns
One of the easiest ways to immediately create striking photographs is to seek out patterns. Patterns are essentially color, texture, and design and usually there is no center of interest.
Assignment: Submit photos showing any kind of pattern. Try to make the patterns compelling in terms of color, graphic design, or lighting. Make sure that you have enough depth of field so we can see and appreciate all the rich detail in your shots.

Lesson 6: Color
Complementary colors, harmony, shock value, super saturation, muted.
Assignment: Submit photos where you use any of the concepts in this lesson: complementary colors, shocking colors, manipulation of color temperature, and super-saturation. As with all of my assignments, taking pictures of exceptional colors is not an excuse to forget about other important principles in photography like composition, graphic design, and light.

Lesson 7: Creative Perspectives
Once you discover that there are new and unique ways of looking at the world, you will start to see many possibilities. Your creative potential will be stretched, and the ways in which you normally think about composing pictures will take a new turn.
Assignment: Submit photos showing one or more of the creative perspectives described in the lesson. Make sure that you don't forget about the other aspects that make good photography, like lighting, composition, compelling subject matter, etc. Without these things, a great perspective won't give you a great picture.

Lesson 8: Breaking the Rules
When it is desirable to bend or break the rules of composition, color harmony, and design.
Assignment: Submit photos showing where you successfully break the rules to create an artistic composition. If you wish, use the captions to explain your thoughts to explain why you broke the rules and why you feel your shot is the better for it.

Review: Voting on Best Work

© Jim Zuckerman 

© Jim Zuckerman 



  • Digital or film-based camera.
  • Wide-angle and telephoto capability.
  • Understanding of aperture and shutter speed.
  • Designed for serious hobbyists, intermediates & advanced students 



Who is the course intended for?
Its 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 feel like I am not artistic because its really hard for me to find good compositions. Will this course help me?
Yes, it will. Jim breaks down the elements of composition and design into basic steps that anyone can understand and incorporate into their shooting. His lessons and assignments are practical, and they address real-world situations. What he does NOT do is dwell on theoretical and esoteric concepts that dont help anyone take better pictures.  

What kind of equipment will I need to complete the photo assignments?
Any kind of camera is fine as long as you can adjust the shutter speeds and lens aperture, and as long as you have the capability to use a wide-angle and telephoto lens.  

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

Do you hire an assistant to help you write the critiques, or do you do them all yourself?
Jim is 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.

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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
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Read all 51 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
Mehmet I. Goral
member since: 12/27/2007
This is a very well designed course. The material presented on the lessons were not new to me but the way the course and the assignments was organized pushed me to take better pictures.

I felt that the comments and the criticism were always on target, I was either expecting them or the unexpected ones made perfect sense.

I would recommend to submit new work for each assignment to make the most out of this course.

- 5/10/2014 4:26:53 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 Mark Calibo
Mark Calibo
member since: 5/8/2009
I'll keep it simple. This is a really good course and having a professional like Jim Zuckerman is really amazing. Even if some of the topics look familiar, Jim always takes you to another level and a different perspective. Highly recommended primarily because you get to work with, and critique by a Jim Zuckerman.

- 7/7/2013 6:36:41 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 Antoinette Addison
Antoinette Addison
member since: 1/4/2013
I have taken three classes with jim Zuckerman and each has been wonderful. He is very helpful and encouraging with his critiques. He somehow manages to convey the information in a way that makes it crystal clear, and his photos provide great inspiration. I highly recommend this class.

- 5/5/2013 7:42:28 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 Abhijit Sarkar
Abhijit Sarkar
member since: 7/16/2012
This class was a great learning opportunity. I had never attended an online class before this one and was apprehensive to start with. However, once I got critiqued on my first assignment, I understood how seriously you take the classes. I appreciate you going beyond the course syllabus and giving PS tips. Thank you, Jim! I'm looking forward to further improving on my newly acquired knowledge and I hope to learning from you again in the future.

- 9/7/2012 2:35:04 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
Carol C. Harris
member since: 3/31/2012
This was a wonderful course. Jim's class material was clear and easy to understand, plus there were plenty of photo examples to illustrate his points.
His critiques were well thought out and honest, but never harsh or hurtful. Maybe the fact that I've already recommended this class to several of my friends is proof enough that I am sold on Jim's teaching ability and that I very much admire his photographic style. I will definitely be signing up to learn more from Jim Zuckerman.

- 7/11/2012 4:44:31 PM

Read all 51 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to develop or improve creative artistic vision! Especially Jims professional critiques are extremely helpful and encouraging; lessons are easy to understand... The assignments are challenging and fun. His course opened my eyes." - Thomas Sterr 

"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 

"Jim is an excellant instructor, and, again, I am really enjoying this course and the other students. This course is enhancing my abilities with photography as a new medium for me." -Suzanne Hull 

"Thanks for the critiques! This class is definitely improving my photography. I feel like I'm getting my money's worth already! Your critiques on other photos are helping me a lot as well. The feedback is perfect." -Kristin Burfeind 

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