Great photography goes beyond knowing about how lenses and f-stops work. It’s about creative problem solving under real-world conditions. Taking great photographs means knowing how to choose the right tool or apply the right technique to capture your subject in the best possible way. Photographers who wish to excel—professional and recreational alike—need to have a solid foundation of technical skills and the ability to apply that knowledge intuitively to a wide range of scenarios and subjects. For example:
- How do professional photographers anticipate and capture "the decisive moment" that separates a snapshot from a great composition?
- Under what conditions should you ignore your camera's warnings and push the limits of manual mode to best reflect the scene?
- What are the technical tricks and equipment that professionals use to quickly turn harsh lighting, reflections, or cluttered environments to a photographer's advantage?
Now, in Fundamentals of Photography II, a vibrant and vital continuation of our best-selling Fundamentals of Photography, you’ll hone your skills, improve your ability to optimize picture-perfect moments, and capture jaw-dropping images. Filmed entirely on location and designed as an extension of the first course, Fundamentals II adds new skills to your repertoire and expands upon the skills you already know. It's your chance to rejoin award-winning National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore for an even deeper dive into the secrets of powerful photography, as he shows you how to apply your hard-learned technical knowledge to take amazing photographs out in the real world. In these 24 lessons, you’ll cover advanced topics like:
- professional shooting techniques
- night photography and time exposures
- working with studio lighting setups—and taking those setups outdoors
- specialty filters
- shooting over and under water
- and much more!
Out of the Studio and into the Real World
Professor Sartore has designed this course as a follow up to his wildly popular Fundamentals of Photography course. Mimicking the progression of his in-person workshops, Fundamentals II takes you out of the studio and into the real world as you go on-location and learn to apply the tools and techniques you already have at your disposal. While you are there, he also teaches you a plethora of more advanced techniques, adding to your photographic toolbox of knowledge. Each lesson drops you into a different scenario and lets you shoot alongside a master of the craft as he approaches situations, identifies and overcomes various challenges, and produces engaging, breathtaking photography from seemingly simple events and subjects.
- Adapting to unusual lighting: If photography is the art of capturing light, then how do you make the best of situations that challenge you with difficult lighting? Explore how to properly utilize side lighting, ghost lighting, colored lighting, and more.
- Black-and-white photography: There’s a unique mood to black-and-white photos. You’ll be surprised at how different the world looks through a monochromatic lens, and how choosing black and white frees you to do things you’d never dream of doing in color.
- Smartphone photography: Most of us now take photographs with our smartphones every day—but that’s no excuse to forget the art of great photography. Discover some insider tips and strategies for making the most of your smartphone camera.
Add to Your Photographer’s Toolbox
Even if you already have a decent-sized toolbox of photographic tips and tricks, Fundamentals of Photography II gives you even more to adapt to what (and where) you’re shooting. Great photography, says Professor Sartore, “takes more tools in the toolbox.” And to that end, he’s packed each of these lessons with specific strategies—many of which will surprise you with just how dramatically they can change the way you take photographs.
- If you're working in low ambient light and want to capture a moving target, try employing rear-curtain sync, which triggers the flash towards the end of the shutter duration. The result will be an artistic motion trail recording the movement of the subject with a sharp and highly focused, subject at the end.
- Want an interesting aerial perspective on your subject? Depending on the subject, you can just look down on it from your standing height using a wide-angle lens and, here's the real trick, cutting out the frame of reference. This even works well for subjects with geometric or graphic patterns.
- Think your chances of taking great outdoor photos end when the sun sets? Think again, as Professor Sartore explores how to use and effectively capture moonlight, starlight, urban lights, and more.
What makes Professor Sartore such a rare and delightful photography instructor is that he is an excellent mentor as well as a talented artist. A teacher of the highest caliber, he knows how to share his knowledge and creative process with other photographers (both professional and amateur) in a clear and engaging manner. He makes photography exciting and inspiring. And he doesn’t shy away from highlighting common mistakes and missteps even the most seasoned professionals can make from time to time, making this course valuable for photographers of all levels.
This visually dazzling course is an excellent opportunity to learn from this master photographer, whose photographs have earned him the Best Picture Award from National Geographic magazine and the Veolia Environment Award for wildlife photography—and whose work has been covered by national broadcasts including the CBS News Sunday Morning show, National Geographic’s Explorer, NBC’s Nightly News, and NPR’s Weekend Edition.
“Good is what your mind imagines, but great is often what reality gives you,” says Professor Sartore. And to get great photos, you have to get out there in the field and start looking at the world with your eyes—and your skills—prepared to overcome challenges and find the best story. Consider the 24 lessons of Fundamentals of Photography II your gateway to taking better, richer photos.