Learn to take great photos


One full month, 2 Lessons, 2 assignments
How to shoot in full manual mode

Shooting in Manual gives you complete control over your exposure. DSLR cameras and many advanced point and shoot cameras have a manual exposure mode where you manually set both the shutter speed and aperture. In this exposure mode you, not the camera, are determining the exposure. In manual mode, you are the boss. This is a wonderful skill to have when you want to handle exposure very precisely.

You will learn to use manual exposure for standard exposures and also for tricky exposures like snow scenes. There are times when the camera's metering system does not recommend an ideal exposure for the scene. You can lock in the exposure you want by shooting in manual.

Shooting in manual for awhile will help you understand exposure and make you a better photographer. You'll also learn which aperture and shutter speed settings to choose and to understand the results of your choices. When you go back to shooting in aperture and shutter priority things will seem much more predicatable and easy to control.


  • Exactly how to set your exposure
  • Understanding the camera's TTL metering system
  • How metering modes influence exposure
  • Interpreting the histogram
  • Standard exposures
  • Effects of shutter speed on exposure
  • Effects of aperture on exposure


  • Tricky exposures like snow and night scenes
  • How white balance affects exposure
  • How to set a custom white balance
  • Getting the best possible exposure in low light with high ISOs


  • A digital camera with manual exposure mode
  • You will need a basic understanding of aperture and shutter speed. If you are a beginner, please take the Digital Photography 101 course first.


  • You will receive a reminder email on the course start date when your lesson is ready.
  • This course includes two written lessons in PDF format consisting of our best photography tips, detailed instructions and a photo assignment.
  • You will have two weeks including two weekends to work on your assignment.
  • You can ask questions, post work in progress, ask for help or chat with your classmates or instructors as you work on your assignment. We are here to help and a lively discussion makes the class a richer experience for everyone.
  • After shooting the assignment you will upload your photos to the website by the due date and we will critique your photos and give you helpful advice and tips.
  • The class is open two weeks after the final assignment and we will answer any follow up questions you have.

Course Overview
Price: $89
Includes 2 lessons & 2 assignments
Next session TBA

Purchase the course materials only for this course as an on-demand tutorial for instant access with no instructor.

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Learn To Take Photos is an online photography school run by professional photographers. Our online photo courses are fun and motivating.