Photography Next Steps course

when is the Next course?


Please contact me if you would like to join a course.




Introduction to the course


I've been a professional photographer since 1981 and have taught many photography and Photoshop courses at North Herts College. This page is about course content on a Photography Next Steps course.


Winter or Spring course?


Please note that this course is best taken in the Spring, when we can make use of the light and get outdoors. The winter course doesn't allow us to get outdoors or use any daylight, so all exercises are therefore limited, compared to the spring course. If you are also planning to attend the Photoshop courses, I recommend Photoshop in the winter and Next Steps Photograhy in the spring.


Course Requirements


To enrol on this course, you should;


Have completed a Photography Beginners course...



Be competent with the following;

Understand Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO and their relationship, using Aperture Priority, basic composition, various camera settings using different shutter speeds, aperture and ISO.,


Be committed to practice. You are expected to complete homework assignments each week and email images to me, for feedback in class.






All classes are supported by detailed handouts. Handouts are emailed immediately after the class.



related courses


For information about other courses, please see;


Photography Beginners

Photoshop Beginners

Photoshop Next Steps

Digital Painting in Photoshop



photography next steps course subjects


Please note that course content may change.


Course content always depends, to some extent, on students - their experience, knowledge and skill. You should have a good grasp of the basics and be able to select and use a variety of different camera settings, depending on your subject, or the effect you want to achieve. All students are expected to be able to use Aperture Priority.

On Next Steps courses, I am usually asked to recap various beginner subjects. In addition, there may be students who have not attended the beginners course and also need, or want to cover these areas. Therefore, I usually recap some subjects that were covered on the beginners course, albeit at a faster pace. Complete beginners will be recommended to enrol on the beginners course.

In most lessons on the beginners course you learn something new, which can be exciting. As the beginners course was fairly comprehensive, there are a limited number of subjects that would be brand new. There will be some new subjects, but a next steps course can't continue to introduce a new subject every lesson. We will look at improving photography in all areas. Because we are limited to a classroom and college grounds, this is not easy to do, but we will get outside as weather permits.

In the first lesson I have a discussion with students about what they would like to learn. Many times on a photography next steps course I receive requests about subjects already covered on a beginners course, such as;

Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO
The Histogram and how to use it on camera
Overriding exposure - Bracketing, Exposure Lock, Exposure Compensation
Flash basics
Macro photography
Action photography


Lenses and using focal length for composition


Other subjects would include;

Flash - High Speed Synch - (requires external flashgun)
Off-camera flash - (requires external flashgun) and controlling lighting with flash
Controlling lighting and working with multiple off-camera flashguns (requires external flashgun)
1st Curtain v 2nd Curtain flash - for use with long exposures & light trails - may require external flashgun, depending on camera
Multi-flash - may require external flashgun, depending on camera

High key and low key lighting
Street and candid photography
Various exercises to take photos according to a more specific brief and at a higher level than the beginners course
Exercises, taking a limited number of shots, 1, or 6, or other, to practice composition and other subjects
Black and white photography - concentrating on line, shape, tone
Exercises, shooting in b/w, viewing images on screen in class, with a self-critique
Focus Stacking - create macro shots with amazing depth of field, taking multiple differently shots of an object
Controlling focus stacking manually, or via computer software
Shoot images for compositing in Photoshop, or for use in digital paintings
Using 10 Stop Neutral Density filters - landscape photography long exposures in bright light
Studio lighting setup - if there is demand, I will bring studio lights in and explain setting up. Perhaps photographing a volunteer model.
Difficult lighting - understanding when, why and how to override the camera

RAW files - taking things further than the basics. You should really understand using RAW, for better quality

Basic colour management to achieve accurate colour - essential for Product photography and useful/essential for other photography
Editing basics - things you should know to get your images looking better than straight out of the camera. This is just the basics, nothing fancy.

Extra equipment

Various camera settings, depending on type of photography

Accessories will be discussed and recommended in relevant lessons




examples of course subjects


All images copyright © Glen Smith