Learn Photography

Beecher's Handouts >

Assignments > Introduction


Assignments #1 & #2

The first two assignments are about seeing.

This gives you time to learn about depth-of-field and shutter speed before you have to use them.

Assignments #3 & #4

Then, you'll use depth-of-field and shutter speed in the next two assignments to make your photography more creative.

Assignments #5 & #6

Next you'll do two assignments within two genres of photography: portraiture and interior photography.


The final assignments are self-assignments.

If you develop the habit of giving yourself self-assignments or projects, you'll retain what you learned in class.

You'll continue to grow as a photographer.

You may bring non-assignment photographs to class.

How to Bring Your Photographs

To Class


If you want to show prints, use the lab you normally use.


You can also transfer your photographs for class to a CD or DVD, memory card, or a USB flash drive.

Flash drives are the most convenient.

If you’re unfamiliar with transferring photographs from:

•  Your camera to your computer, go to How to Move Photographs from Camera to Computer: Downloading.

 • A folder on your computer to one of the above media, go to How to Bring Your Photographs to Class and How to Move Photographs to a Flash Drive.

Five Photographs

Please edit your photographs down to about five.

Getting Started

If you don't see anything to photograph, take a photograph of anything.

This will often get you going.

Take more than one photograph of the same scene.

Often, you make a change in the second or third photograph.

Doing a little "sketching" with your camera will improve your photography.

About Creating

• Creativity is a combination of intellect, feelings, and intuition.

The latter includes previous experiences that have become built-in, and are put to use while making photographs.

You'll move between the above modes.

• In the arts, learning often comes after creating.

In many other endeavors, one learns first, and then puts the learning to work.

For example, if you read the section on light, you'll gain only some sensitivity to light.

In contrast, doing the first assignment will teach you much more.

• Creativity can be unpleasant.

There's ambiguity and uncertainty in creativity.

There's confrontation.

One has to have the gumption to go out and take photographs, even when:

1) You're not sure.

2) You don't really know how.

3) You don't know why.

Mistakes Are Good

Finally, and most importantly, please make mistakes.

That's how you learn best.