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Basic Photography

Short Programmes upgrade skills and knowledge to ensure success in a chosen field of learning, but are not credit bearing and not registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

*Course start dates and tuition fees are subject to change.


The beginner’s course offers a thorough grounding to enable the student to understand how the camera works and how photography may be used for a number of different purposes, i.e. conceptually and practically. This course will include:

  • the development of visual literacy
  • an introduction to photographic language and terminology
  • camera anatomy and techniques
  • practical photography utilizing manual controls
  • composition and framing
  • depth of field


Your own digital camera (secondhand cameras acceptable) with which you are able to adjust:

  • Manual Focus
  • Aperture Shutter Speed
  • I.S.O.
  • White balance
  • Your camera must also have a working internal light meter.

Note: While it is assumed that most students will have digital slr cameras, those with 35mm film cameras will not learn any less (with the exception of white balance and the class session on camera menu settings) as the course concerns itself with fundamental photographic principles that transcend whatever photographic format is used.


  • Introduction
  • Exposure, light metering + basic camera operation.
  • Manual exposure on their camera, Aperture and Shutter priority
  • Depth of field, movement, freezing, blurring
  • Making vs. taking photos:
  • Lenses, ISO,
  • JPG and other shooting formats
  • Downloading and image resizing
  • Shutter speed: Hard to meter scenes
  • Visual communication + visual literacy
  • Composition
  • Flash photography and bulb mode
  • Discuss light
  • Menus
  • Discuss Portraiture, reflections, silhouettes
  • Overview of Genre photography


On successful completion of the programme, the learner will receive the CityVarsity Certificate of Proficiency in Basic Photography.