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Online Photography Course
Techniques of Natural Light Photography

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: 4-Week Short Course: Techniques of Natural Light PhotographyLearn how to be sensitive to light, one of the two main ingredients that go into making great photographs. In this 4-week online class - taught by famed author/photographer Jim Zuckerman - you will find out how to become a "pro" at working with natural light. You will learn to use natural light to take your images to the next level - to having them be seen as fine art. You will explore topics that will immediately transform your work, such as low-angled sunlight, moody light (fog, low clouds, and rain), backlighting, and window light.
Key Features

  1. Learning to use dramatic sunrise and sunset lighting.
  2. Recognizing the beauty of moody light - fog, mist, rain, low clouds and deep overcast.
  3. Using the beauty of backlighting, preventing flare and holding as much detail as possible in the highlights.
  4. Recognizing the subtlety of window light and how artistic it is.

  • Designed for photographers of all skill levels - from serious hobbyists to advanced.
  • Digital or film based camera, in which you have the ability to turn off your flash.

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 

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Learn to Use Dramatic Natural Light
The one thing you can do that will instantly transform your images from embarrassing to awesome is to shoot early and late! This lesson is filled with tips, techniques and photo examples!
Assignment: Submit pairs of before-and-after photos that show any subject in both drab light and dramatic early morning/sunrise or late afternoon/sunset lighting.

Lesson 2: Moody Light
How to work with fog, mist, rain, deep overcast and even moody artificial lighting.
Assignment: Submit up to three photos showing subjects in moody light. You can use artificial or natural light.

Lesson 3: The Beauty of Backlighting
How to take advantage of backlighting (when the light source is behind your subject): silhouettes, transillumination (when light comes through translucent subject, such as leaves or hair), and rim lighting.
Assignment: Submit photos showing backlighting. Try to include at least two of the three types of lighting I've discussed.

Lesson 4: Window Light
Learn to work effectively with window light (as a main source of illumination), which is soft, natural, and very flattering in many situations. Instead of destroying the appropriate highlights and shadows with flash, ambient window light lets you retain the correct relationship between light and dark in the picture.
Assignment: Submit  window light photos of any subject. For one or two of the images. you can combine artificial light and window light if this appeals to you.

© Jim Zuckerman 

© Jim Zuckerman 



  • Digital or film based camera - ideally (but not required) with controls over aperture and shutter speed.
  • The ability to turn off your camera's flash.
  • Tripod recommended, although optional, since the instructor will provide options for non-tripod camera suppport.
  • A basic understanding of f/stops and shutter speeds



Who is this course intended for?
This course is open to photographers of all levels. As long as you are interesed in learning how to control light, you are welcome to join this course! 

What kind of equipment will I need for this course to complete the assignments?
You can use any kind of camera system, from point and shoot to sophisticated SLR digital cameras. To get the most out of the course, you should be able to control your lens aperture and shutter speed, but sensitivity to light doesn't depend on your equipment. You can learn to recognize beautiful lighting with any kind of camera. 

Do I need a tripod?
A tripod is not required for the course. However, in low light situations, it will come in handy, but Jim has often improvised in places where tripods were not allowed and he can share these techniques with you. 

© 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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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: Lighting / Exposure

$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 27 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
Carla Maddox
member since: 6/29/2010
This was probably the most exciting course I've taken so far from Better It's all about lighting and I fell in love with the use of misty morning and window light. Truthfully, this lesson was about light that I never really noticed before. There is a new skill to take away from every one of Jim Zuckerman's lessons, whether he likes your picture or not - he is a teacher.

- 5/2/2011 3:02:38 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 2.5 out of 5
Marta Lesniak
member since: 3/29/2010
It's been the most disappointing betterphoto course I have taken so far, in comparison to others, that have been excellent. In my opinion, the lessons contained too many examples of the instructor's photos, without the actual decription of the techniques he used. I missed the technical instruction. I have seen Jim's beautiful shots, but still I don't know how to take such photos myself.

- 1/12/2011 12:43:37 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 4.5 out of 5
John Kalb
member since: 3/18/2010
I really enjoyed this class. It helped me be able to look at and think about about the light I am seeing and capture it in more sophisticated ways. The lessons were clear and had lots of examples to consider. The assignments asked us to focus on ideas, not just techniques. Jim's critiques were supportive, insightful and helped me understand how to refine the photos even further. I feel that this class helped my photos get better technically but more importantly my images are getting stronger too.

- 6/3/2010 6:32:45 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 Steinar Kibsgaard
Steinar Kibsgaard
member since: 5/31/2006
I must say - we learned the secrets of the best light. I have to thank Jim so much because he forced us to take photos of the same subject in different light - ....that will say go to the same place more than once the day, and that was hard work, but it payed off, and suddenly I began to get more attention about my photos at my photo-forum after I learned this;);)

In a way I knew the secrets - have read it, but NOT learned it, but as mentioned: Jim really forced us to try it out and experience the difference ourselves - to compare it, and W A U - I will never shoot in midday anymore. The difference is night and day.

- 5/1/2009 1:58:15 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 Pamela L. Bycraft
Pamela L. Bycraft
member since: 10/9/2008
This is a great course from a fantastic instructor. I learned lots about using natural lighting.

- 4/5/2009 6:02:56 AM

Read all 27 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"Jim, I would like to thank you very much for your generosity, kindness, patience, and for being an inspiring instructor. This class was just great... The quality of this course, your level of instruction, your professionalism, and how you always went out of your way to answer my questions were unexpected bonuses." -Dawn ODay 

"I really loved this class! ...Jim inspired me to go out and shoot. His critiques were truthful and encouraging. I found his interaction and comments great... I also like that he is out there shooting cool stuff and sharing it with us!" -Carin Smolinski 

"Thanks a lot, Jim,! ... Your lessons really made me get up early in the morning to SEE the moody light! As one of our classmates said: the way of looking at things and their lighting changed dramatically from the very first moments when this class started." -Willy Haenggi 

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