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Photography is more than pointing and shooting with a camera. Although digital cameras have made life much simpler, it still takes artistic talent and technical knowledge to come up with a great photograph. This knowledge can be gained through informal or formal courses in photography.
Informal learning includes gathering information through books, websites, free online tutorials, practical work and interning with a professional photographer. Formal learning consists of taking certification, diploma and graduate-level photography courses from accredited educational institutes. It is possible to take both offline and online photography courses.
While formal photography courses are not absolutely essential for becoming a photographer, they do have some distinct advantages. One of the advantages of taking a formal photography course is that a professional certification or degree looks great on the resume and appears reassuring to prospective employers. Formal courses in photography may also have a more structured and extensive approach to learning.
There are many different types of photography courses, ranging from traditional to digital photography courses. These will usually cover everything from basic to advanced photographic styles and techniques. Students can learn about photographic equipment as well as about how to effectively use this equipment, how to keep it well-maintained, and how to repair it.
The photography course matter can cover information on light, exposure control and color management. It may dwell on black and white techniques, and traditional and digital printing. There may be information about using digital and video media platforms, and about building an effective portfolio.
Topics may also cover history of photography and analysis of current photographic trends. Prospective photographers also need to know about photojournalistic ethics. Critical thinking abilities are necessary, and so also the ability to see things from a global perspective.
Courses in photography may also teach important business, marketing and career management skills. It is necessary for photographers to know how to get projects, how to work with clients and how to manage finances. They must know how to advertise their services.
Students can choose to specialize in specific photography areas. The different specialization areas include portraiture, landscape photography, nature photography and wildlife photography. Some photographers specialize in underwater photography, aerial photography and documentary photography.
Still others may choose to concentrate on certain areas like pets, sports, food, weddings, festivals, fashion, fine art, celebrities, technology, industries and advertising. There are photographic specializations in forensics and policework. Knowledge of medical digital imagery is also widely needed in the medical world.
Photography courses can lead to various types of employments. Photographers may work freelance or have their own photographic studios. They may also hold a regular job. Photographic jobs are available with newspapers, magazines, media channels, advertising agencies, fashion houses, art galleries, commercial firms, police departments, hospitals and medical research centers.