Learn to take great photos


Self Directed Tutorial
DSLR Photography 201 - Materials only
This tutorial includes the course materials only for our DSLR Photography 201 course. This tutorial is for self-directed learning with no instructor, assignment or critique. For the instructor taught version of this course click here.

This tutorial digs into advanced camera settings and controls with an emphasis on using them creatively. It covers creative uses of aperture and shutter speed as well as many of the supporting functions of your DSLR camera. Not only will we discuss the settings but how they are used practically while shooting to make great photos.

This class is suitable for intermediate level photographers and will take you the next mile down the road with getting the most out of your camera and polishing your shooting techniques.

The first lesson digs into creative uses of aperture and depth of field. A creative use of depth of field is perhaps the main characteristic of professional photographs. In some images depth of field can be used to isolate and showcase the subject while in others front to back sharpness can create a breathtaking landscape worthy of a postcard or calendar.

The second lesson explores creative uses of shutter speed. We will concentrate primarily slow shutter speeds which give us the opportunity for some beautiful motion blur effects. These camera handling and shooting techniques will also teach you an alternative way of photographing in low light situations where freezing fast action is not possible.

As you work through both lessons you will be exploring and fine tuning other camera controls and how to use them to get the best photos possible.

This tutorial includes two lessons in PDF format and two companion videos.


  • Creative uses of aperture
  • Shallow depth of field
  • Maximum depth of field
  • Shooting in Camera Raw
  • Interpreting the histogram
  • Using the highlight warning
  • Exposure compensation
  • White balance
  • Color space - sRGB vs. Adobe RGB


  • Creative uses of shutter speed
  • Panning
  • Still scene, moving subject
  • Camera control
  • Drive speed
  • Metering modes and techniques
  • Focus point selection
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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.