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Online Photography Course
Fundamentals of Photography Made Easy

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: Fundamentals of Photography Made EasyLearn the fundamental concepts for making beautiful photos. Join us for Jim Zuckerman's 8-week photography course especially designed for beginning photographers who know nothing about photography. Jim is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of photography, is patient with his students, and enjoys helping beginners gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles of photography. Enroll in his course today to learn how you can make beautiful photos!
Key Features

  1. Getting Started: Settings
  2. ISO, F/stops, and Shutter Speeds
  3. Understanding Lenses
  4. Exposure Basics
  5. Flash and Color Temperature
  6. Understanding Macro Photography
  7. Basic Do's and Don'ts in Picture Taking
  8. Simple Rules of Composition

  • Starts at the beginning with basic concepts.
  • No math skills needed.
  • Everything explained in simple terms.

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, I’d 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!

Debbi  Smirnoff
© Debbi Smirnoff

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Getting Started: Settings
Assignment: Experiment with shutter speed: fast to keep a moving subject sharp, slow to show a blurred subject. Also, experiment with Depth of Field: one showing a subject against a blurred background, the other showing the entire frame sharp.

Lesson 2: ISO, F/stops, and Shutter Speeds
Assignment: Shoot in a low light situation. This could be your living room, a theater, at twilight outdoors, or some other place. Think about ISO, shutter speed, tripod, etc. Shoot in a bright situation, like outdoors. Think about your shutter speed, lens aperture, and ISO setting.

Lesson 3: Understanding Lenses
Assignment: Submit two photos of each a wide angle, a normal lens, and a telephoto. If you don't have all the various focal lengths, submit what you can and identify in the captions what focal length lens or zoom setting you used.

Lesson 4: Exposure Basics
Assignment: Upload 4 photos showing pictures where shutter priority is appropriate, aperture priority is best, the program mode is OK, and spot metering is a good choice. Any subject is fine. Even though I always comment on the artistry of your photos, this isn't the point of this assignment. I just want you to understand the various modes of exposure and when to use them.

Lesson 5: Flash and Color Temperature
Assignment: Upload four flash photos. Tell me in the caption what you think about your images and ask any questions you may have. I'll critique the images based on the issues I discussed in the lesson. Any subject you want to photograph is fine.

Lesson 6: Understanding Macro Photography
Assignment: Upload images where you get very close to small objects, or to a small part of a larger object. If you don't have a macro lens yet, use either a normal or zoom lens at its closest focusing distance.

Lesson 7: Basic Do's and Don'ts in Picture Taking
Assignment: Take any of the do's and don'ts in this lesson and upload photos exemplifying them. If it's a 'do', tell us which concept the picture demonstrates and why it's good. If it's a don't, tell us why the picture suffers and how you could have made it better.

Lesson 8: Simple Rules of Composition
Assignment: Upload photos of any subject, showing images that follow a rule of composition as well as shots that are successful but break a rule. In the caption, identify the rule you followed or broke.

Review: Voting on Best Work

© Jim Zuckerman 

© Jim Zuckerman 



  • Digital or film-based camera.
  • Ability to control aperture/shutter speed.
  • Flash - either on-camera or off-camera.
  • Wide-angle as well as telephoto ability.



Who is this course intended for?
This course is especially designed for beginning photographers. If you would describe yourself as more of a "picture-taker" rather than a photographer, this course is for you. It will teach you all you need to know to begin to take great photos.  

What kind of camera and lens will I need to complete the photo assignments?
You'll need a digital or film-based camera - and one that has the ability to control aperture and shutter speed. For lenses, you'll need both wide-angle and telephoto ability. 

What about flash?
Yes, you'll need it. But flash can be either on-camera or off-camera..  

Can we use digital imaging software, such as Photoshop, to alter our photos?
Sure, I love Photoshop and those kinds of programs. However, this course is not about working images on the computer ... rather, it's about shooting techniques.  

© 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: Fundamentals Courses

$396.00 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 51 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
BetterPhoto Member Alana G. Smith
Alana G. Smith
member since: 1/10/2012
This was my first photography class online, what a wonderful experience. I went into the class having only shot in automatic. I now feel as though I have a much better understanding of the basic concepts of photography. Jim is an incredible instructor. His feedback was not only informative, but he also looked for the positive aspects of my pictures. During one critique, he even tweaked the picture and posted it next to my original picture so that I could completely understand his comments. Anyone looking to better understand the fundamentals of photography should enroll in this class. I look forward to taking the rest of the classes that Jim will teaching.

- 2/20/2012 6:57:59 PM

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 2 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Kathy l. Kunschner
Kathy l. Kunschner
member since: 12/21/2009
I signed up for this course and tried doing the assignments. I was unable to do what we were supposed to do so I was unable to complete the course. I thought it was a beginner course. It is hard to do an online course when you don't have a good understanding of camera and no one to show you how to do it.

- 11/14/2011 8:38:34 PM

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
BetterPhoto Member Charlyn C. Davis
Charlyn C. Davis
member since: 9/3/2011
This was a great course, especially since I went into the course without any knowledge other than how to shoot photos in automatic mode with my camera. Jim's lessons are very easy to understand and he gives great constructive critiques to help you grow in your ability. He was available to answer questions very quickly. I greatly admire his work and was honored to have him critique my photos. I have recommended this course to many of my friends who are interested in photography. I would definitely take another course with in the future.

- 11/6/2011 7:32:35 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
Katherine M. Smith
member since: 5/3/2011
I signed up for this course at the last minute, and I'm so glad I did! My understanding of the basics of photography have increased so much, and I'm so much more confident in taking control of my camera now. Jim was the perfect instructor. His lessons were to the point and easy to understand. And I always looked forward to his critiques because they helped me to understand what I was doing right and wrong. I hope to take many more courses with Jim in the future!

- 7/19/2011 8:38:04 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
Melissa A. Warren
member since: 12/6/2010
This was my first online class experience, as well as my first photography class. I have been completely satified with this class and my instructor. I intend to take more of his classes. This student is 100% happy.

- 2/16/2011 11:10:22 AM

Read all 51 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"Jim, I don't think I can express how grateful I am for everything in this class. You have taught me so much. Your feedback has been absolutely enriching. You have a tremendous way of being clear, concise, honest and sensitive." -Howie Nordström 

"This class was perfect for someone like me who is a beginner. The lessons were helpful, but Jim's comments/critiques were actually what made the class for me. Not only his comments on my work but on the work of my classmates. What worked, what didn't, here's how you could make it better - all of his comments were on point and very informative. I came away from the class a better photographer." -Beth J. Hahn 

"This has been an incredibly positive experience for me both in terms of learning and accomplishment. Your criticisms and comments were very insightful and helpful without ever being discouraging. You have made me want to continue to take pictures and have challenged me to see more and to take more pictures." -Beckwith Cooper 

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