Get a Complete, College Level Education on Photography – For Free!

One of the most common questions that comes up when a noob is getting into Photography or is thinking about starting a photography business is, “Should I take some photography classes or get a photography degree?” In 99.99% of cases the answer to both is simply a resounding NO. It’s not that the information that you learn in these courses is not good information, it’s just that in terms of being valuable to you as a photographer, in the real world, it is debatable at best. What they best provide is an environment where you can be surrounded by other creatives.

Generally, you are much better off taking business classes and self-teaching yourself photography through free online resources, or just by practicing and training your eye. For those of you in this situation now, we have a new resource for you to take a look at, and it is 100% free.

Lectures on Digital Photography, By Marc Levoy


Marc Levoy, Photo by Thomas Hawk Used on a Creative Commons License.

Marc Levoy is a Stanford professor and Google Engineer who has been teaching photography for a long, long time now. He has made his photography course, CS 178 (Digital Photography), which he taught at Stanford from 2009 to 2014 available online, 100% free for any of you to use or follow along with.

So in other words, you can now get a Stanford level education on photography (and as we all know, Stanford is not cheap), for free. If you are newer to photography, or maybe you aren’t so new, but you are looking to improve your work or just get a better general understanding about photographic principles or techniques, then this is a course that you may want to take some time to do.

In all the course includes 18 lectures, along with weekly assignments (ungraded of course, he isn’t running the class, but these will be helpful for you to just have a prompt to follow), which will take you through basic digital photography as if you have/had no prior knowledge. “Topics include lenses and optics, light and sensors, optical effects in nature, perspective and depth of field, sampling and noise, the camera as a computing platform, image processing and editing, and computational photography. We will also survey the history of photography, look at the work of famous photographers, and talk about composing strong photographs,” Levoy says of the course in it’s description.

If you are interested in checking this out and downloading the course, more information is available over on Levoy’s website here.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.