Learn to take great photos


In this course you will learn to control depth of field to create a soft blurred background and how to use selective focus as a compositional tool. When we talk about these ideas we are talking about using a shallow depth of field and a soft, out-of-focus background for a creative effect that allows us to eliminate visual clutter, simplify the image and direct the viewer's attention.

Snapshots taken with point and shoot cameras are characterized by too much depth of field making them busy with no clear subject. Controlling depth of field effectively is one of the immediately recognizable characteristics of a professional quality photograph. You can use depth of field to hide distracting backgrounds, to make your subject pop and to selectively focus on a point of your choosing.

Our creativity series concentrates on composition and design skills to help you find and articulate your photographic vision.


  • Understanding and controlling depth of field
  • How to get a soft, blurred background
  • What is bokeh?
  • Hiding a distracting background
  • Making your subject pop out from your background
  • Selective focus
  • Directing the viewer's attention
  • Camera settings and shooting techniques


  • You must have a DSLR camera and a telephoto lens greater than 80mm
  • To get the most from this course, you will need to shoot new photos using the lesson materials.


  • On the course start date you will receive an email reminder when the lesson and assignment becomes available on the website.
  • This short course includes one comprehensive lesson in PDF format with detailed instructions and an assignment. You will have two weeks including two weekends to work on your assignment.
  • After completing the assignment you will upload your photos to the website.
  • Your instructor reviews your photos and offers constructive comments.
  • You can ask questions and discuss ideas with your classmates.

Course Overview
Price: $49

Next session TBA

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