Nikon camera photographer
Photo credit: double : zanzo via Flickr

Free Photography Classes: Upgrade Your Skills While Quarantined

Whether you’re a rank beginner or seasoned pro, there’s always something new to learn in photography. There also might be no better time to work on your photography skills than now. Nikon is here to help, and it’s free.

Through the end of April, Nikon is offering a selection from its Nikon School Online photography classes for free. With so much time at home right now, many of us may never have a better time to break out the camera and get creative.

Yes, you do need to sign up with your email to get the free courses. Luckily, Nikon allows you to opt out of the marketing emails upfront. There are also no payment details or Facebook account linking shenanigans. Just create an account with your name and email and start learning.

While there are quite a few video lessons that revolve around specific Nikon products, even those have a ton of useful information for every photographer. If you’re not a Nikon shooter, there are also quality video lessons. Plus, these lessons suit a range of skills, from the first-time photographer to the seasoned pro.

Most of the video classes cover still photography, but there are also video lessons on offer.

Free Nikon Photography Lessons

Nikon camera photographer
Photo credit: Bryon Dorr

Tips for Beginner Photographers

A great place to start is Fundamentals of Photography. This 42-minute video helps you move past automatic mode on your camera and start taking control. Obviously, you’ll get much better images if you can unlock your camera’s potential.

I’ve been a professional photographer for nearly a decade now. Way back when I first started honing my craft, I spent an entire year shooting in full manual mode and with only a 50mm lens. I did this specifically as a challenge and to ingrain the camera controls to muscle memory.

This challenge helped me greatly improve my photography in all ways. Today I still shoot 90% of the time in full manual mode.

Maybe take the time to watch this class, take some notes, and tackle taking at least five images a day in full manual mode while in quarantine. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can pick up this important photography skill.

How to Practice Photography at Home

Many of us are lucky enough to have kids or pets to keep us entertained during this time at home. A fun course that’s sure to bring the whole family together is Photographing Children & Pets. Not only will this video improve your photography of dynamic, living creatures, but it might also help provide another tool to keep your kids and pets entertained.

One class I really liked that’s great for intermediate-to-advanced photographers is Environmental Portraiture. This course will help you take quality images of your loved ones around the house. It can also help you make the most out of some of the beautiful, now much less-trafficked, scenes in your local area.

Take away some great images of your family to remember these unique times.

Advanced Photography Skills: How to Use a Flash

I shoot a lot of natural-light events and action photography. What that means is my flash photography skills are rusty and always in need of improvement. Nikon offers a course for this, Hands On with SB-5000 Speedlight, in this free school program.

It’s basically a product tutorial for the SB-5000 flash specifically, but it also has a ton of quality info on shooting with a flash in general. Both on-camera and off-camera flash techniques are covered.

The bottom line is that Nikon is a market leader in the photography space and has some of the top image-makers and instructors in the industry at its disposal.

So make the most of this month with a selection of online courses that are sure to bring value to any photographer’s arsenal.

Sign up to get access to these free photography classes here.

Bryon Dorr

Bryon Dorr is the Motors Editor of GearJunkie. He has been writing about overland travel, off-road vehicles, whitewater kayaks, and outdoor and travel gear for 11+ years, with over 2-years of that at Lola Digital Media. Prior to his current role, he freelanced across a wide range of outdoor, automotive, and travel media outlets, both online and in print, as well as with a wide range of commercial clients as a photographer, social media marketer, and copy editor. Based in Portland, Oregon, Dorr is an avid kayaker, cyclist, skier/snowboarder, runner, and photographer. When not outdoors doing human-powered adventures you’ll find him behind the wheel or bars of something with a motor and wheels or enjoying a dark craft beer with friends.