Professional Photography Course

Unit 2: How to Take a Photograph & Edit Like a Professional Photographer

In Unit 2 you will master the picture-taking process. Throughout this unit you will learn to make compositional decisions, then adjust your technique accordingly. You will learn to vary your exposure based on certain subjects and lighting scenarios. You’ll discover the histogram and learn how it can be used to improve your photos.

You will make decisions based on practice scenarios such as selecting the best exposure when half your subject’s face is in the sunlight and the other half is hidden by shade. Towards the end of the lesson, you will hear insight on what separates amateurs from professionals in the photography industry, and you will learn what it takes to go pro yourself.

Unit 2 Objectives

In Unit 2, we will focus on Capturing the Image, including:
  • How should you vary your exposure based on your subject and lighting?
  • How do you use the histogram in your digital camera?
  • How should you set your exposure if half your subject is in bright sunlight and the other half is in dark shade?
  • How does a photographer become a professional, and what does it take to be a great photographer?
  • How do professionals create visually interesting compositions?

In the first Learning Sequence in this Unit, 2.1 Developing Your Eye, you'll learn how to use different emphasis techniques to fulfill NYIP's Guideline 2. Sometimes a subject is so dominant, it doesn't need the photographer's help, but most of the time you can give a lot more strength to your subject using the emphasis techniques we'll be showing you.

Unit 2 Outline

Unit 2 Project Assignments

Mastering Exposure Mastering Exposure

Submit one photo demonstrating your ability to use your in-camera light meter. Photograph a person surrounded by a bright background that would cause him or her to be silhouetted.

Rule of Thirds Rule of Thirds

Submit one photo demonstrating an understanding of subject placement. The photo should utilize the rule of thirds in the placement of the subject and other dominant elements in the frame.

Emphasis Emphasis

Submit one photo using a specific compositional element or principle to emphasize the subject, such as large size, contrast, color, balance, leading lines, framing, subject placement, selective lighting, or selective focus.