• Length:
    4 Weeks
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  • Course Type:
    Instructor-led on a course schedule


While previous experience with a camera will be helpful, it is not essential. Assignments will require some access to equipment; please refer to the course description for full information.

About this course

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In this six-week course, you will learn the basics of photography and gain intriguing new perspectives on the visual world. The course will include video tutorials, accompanied by photography assignments. Learners will upload their images to small, online working groups for discussion and review. You will discover how subtle changes in lighting, composition, and background contribute to creating more compelling images that help communicate science visually. The course also includes interviews with noteable image makers and art directors.

While previous experience with a camera will be helpful, it is not essential. In order to complete the course assignments, you will need access to a single-lens reflex camera (a camera that can accept interchangeable lenses), a 105 macro lens, a flatbed scanner, and a smartphone or tablet with camera. Learners without access to this equipment can still benefit from the course concepts. However, full participation in the image making assignments will create more meaningful hands-on experience.

What you'll learn

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  • How to see your images from new and varied perspectives
  • Methods and techniques that improve the quality of your images
  • Visual critical thinking skills
  • How to use a range of image making devices (scanners, cameras, smart phones, video)
  • How to enhance grant and journal submissions with powerful images
  • How to evaluate what makes an effective image

Meet your instructors

Felice Frankel
Research Scientist at the Center for Materials Science and Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Natasha Collette Busse
Designer and Producer
Natasha Collette Busse
Robin Heyden
Writer and Education Consultant
Robin Heyden
Joanne Larrabee
Course Staff
MIT Information Systems and Technology

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