FE600: Shoot the Dog!

Instructor: Amy Johnson

Course Details

Note: Week one class lectures will be released on June 1st but your instructor will not join the classroom until Monday, June 4 due to participation in the FDSA Training Camp. This class will be extended to July 15th to allow for this delay.

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Did you get a new camera and aren’t sure how to take photos of your dog that aren’t one big blur?  Do you have a black dog that seems to become a black hole in every photo you take?  Are you still shooting in Auto mode on your expensive camera?  Do you want to take control of the buttons on your camera?  Then you are in the right place!  Start learning the skills and tools you need to be more comfortable with digital photography.  Learn to see the world differently and get better results. Move beyond “point and click” to “compose and create.”
This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of photography with an emphasis on using available light.  This class emphasizes the principles of exposure and starts teaching you how to choose the right camera settings for the type of photo you wish to take, both indoors and out.  Initially, you will not be photographing moving objects (i.e. your dog), but gradually we will add the skills that will allow you to photograph a wide range of subjects, both still and in motion.
Shoot the Dog is just the beginning.  You will leave this class with the foundation you need to start making better choices when composing your shot.  You will also be ready for the rest of the photography classes taught here at FDSA, including the new class coming in December called Expose the Dog, which will emphasize strategies you can use to choose the best settings for most situations.
This course requires a Digital SLR (DSLR) camera. If you want to know if your camera will work for the class, you can check the list here:
If you are buying a camera and want to know what to look for in a camera for this class, I have posted an article on that topic here:
You will receive two Photo Lab assignments per week and use Google Photos to share images.  There will be lecture material each week, in addition to the photo assignments.  However, the greatest value of this class will be in the discussions carried on through the forum. The lecture material will not be new or unique--the basics of photography have been well-covered in multitudes of books and websites.  Having a working photographer at your virtual "beck and call" to answer all of your questions is where you will find the most value in this course.  If you're wondering about it, it's a good bet someone else is, too, so don't hold back with your questions.
GOLD STUDENTS will complete the Photo Labs and receive feedback on the results.
SILVER STUDENTS will be to post one photo a week (6 total), accompanied by a specific question about the photo, as well as participate in the Discussion forum.  This will allow Silver students to get direct feedback on their photos and any problems they are having, just not as much as the Gold students.  
BRONZE STUDENTS are auditors and can read everything that is written, but not interact with the students or instructor directly.
If you have questions about the requirements for the class that are not answered in the articles, please feel free to email Amy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
You need to know how to transfer images from your camera's memory card to your computer and upload them to a website.  A tutorial for using Google Photos will be provided with the first lecture material.