06. Putting it all together

It’s great to know how to use all the key functions of your camera but combining everything you have learned can be tricky.

Having explained fundamental concepts such as aperture, shutter speed and depth of field, Karl heads out to put everything into practice. In this chapter Karl takes you through how to put all your skills together through a practical demonstration of a seascape shot.

He discusses his creative decisions and explains how he selects his aperture and shutter speed and how to identify good composition.

In this photography class we cover the following:

  • How to photograph using manual mode
  • The relationship between shutter speed and aperture
  • How to compose a good photograph
  • Landscape photography: How to photograph seascapes
  • How to blur water motion

To learn more about some of the concepts discussed in this class, take a look at our Photography Quick Start Guide.

If you have any questions about this class, please post them in the comments section below.

NOTE: This course is available with subtitles.


  1. Greetings Mr. Taylor,
    I am a new student of yours and need some guidance. I saved for over a year and purchased a used 1DS Mark III with less than 50K actuations, 24-70 2.8 L USM II lens and a 430EX flash, all in mint condition (not even a scratch) for around $1000 from a private party. I understand the camera is over 10 years old but I am still able to take some clean /sharp shots based on your courses and in manual mode (Thank you for that). Without your course, I doubt I would ever buy such camera and would have went for the newest and latest of camera gear. My goal eventually is to do some real estate/commercial shoots for income and landscape for fun. I am trying to mimic your above shot on my 24-70 using a Lee filter but I can see some limitations. I wonder if you recommend I save and get a 16-35 2.8 II or III lens or get a used 16-35 4 IS lens now (save money and use it to buy accessories like better tripod lights etc.) and accomplish my short and long term goals. Thank you. Leo

    1. Hi Leo, the camera you’ve got is very good I used to use one. Yes a 16-35 would be a good tool but the f4 one is also very good and I mostly use them at f11 so if it saves you money then that would be your best choice.

  2. Hey Karl,
    Great information so far in the course. But what happens with the videos? They barely load and many times they fail to load. Is your server overloaded, or down?

    1. Hi We are not experiencing any problems. We use enterprise private Vimeo for our video delivery so their shouldn’t be any problems. Please ensure that your internet connection is correct and sufficient and that no other people in your household are also watching video. Which country and location are you viewing from we can check if there are any issues with our provider, thank you.

    1. Hi That would be a graduated Neutral Density filter which you will learn more about as you progress through the courses.

  3. Bought this course and it’s good. Only thing that puts me off a bit is gear they use . It is kind of beginner level tutorial wit so expensive top cameras and lenses , studio lights etc. Maybe one day somebody can make course for standard Canon like 70D with affordable lenses . Still don’t want to sell my kidney or slice of liver on eBay to buy just camera body . Anywa … course is well explained . I am watching it 5th time to get the modest of technical aspect and will put it into my Canon 70D cam.

    1. Hi, As this course teaches it can be done with any camera. It simply introduces you to the basic concepts of camera control and manual exposure and understanding light. It applies to all cameras and all photographers.

  4. Ok… Nice shoot… I understand this is a more basic video but I need to understand some things… Did you expose for the sky probably don’t you?but now… Did you expose with the meter in zero? Because some people say u should let it shine and expose 2/3 of stop higher making the sky brighter and trying to keep the rocks in a level where u don’t loose details.

    1. Hi Alexandre, you will see my more detailed explanation regarding exposure on your other question on Chapter 02. ‘Understanding Exposure’. In this chapter I overcame the problem of the ‘exposure range’ by bringing that range back into my recordable parameters by using graduated filters, we will learn more about these as the courses progress.

    1. Hi Andrew, yes I always almost shoot at the lowest or default ISO to get the best image quality (low noise). I only up the ISO when situation demands and there is no other way to record the image.

    1. Hi Akansh, I’m glad you are enjoying it! I tilted the filters so that it didn’t cover over the rocks on the left too much, so I followed the angle of the rocks on the left.

    1. Hi Ross, manual mode is the way to learn and to master your camera. Manual mode is also the ‘purest’ form of photography because you are controlling the Aperture, the Shutter and the ISO. When the camera is in Auto modes it also controls those same 3 things but it doesn’t always know what it is doing or why and often the auto modes won’t give you the creative freedom. If you’re shooting in manual mode and the picture is to dark then it is easy to figure out as there can only be one of three (or combination) of options. 1. Slow the shutter speed to let more light in, 2. Make the aperture bigger to let more light in. 3. Increase the ISO to record more light. The best options are 1 and 2 as you will find out as you progress through the course.

  5. Do you currently have any night photography courses? I live in Alaska and its dark almost all the time in the winter, I take northern lights photos all the time and have trouble with lighting people, trees or even the ground the way i would like to.

    1. Hi Felicia, There are some night photography sections in Advanced section courses but we also have more planned soon.

  6. i am really enjoying your course so far, i have been having trouble truly understanding how to get depth of field and the correct exposure, however now i understand it all better and how to get the desired effect without just switching back to auto mode to get what I’m wanting because I am frustrated. Thank you for explaining it the way you do!

  7. I don’t know guys. I bought some videos from you a couple years ago and although I love your results, you never explain what you are doing to get the shot you got. ie where are you focusing, why did you choose those particular filters, etc.

    1. Hi Gerry, the focus on this particular shot was set in the moving water area where you see the sunlight reflecting strongly off the waters surface. At this position the depth of field was sufficient enough to render the area of rocks in the foreground sharp and the further distances sharp. This is often the case with wide angle lenses as they inherently have large depth of field. To check the DOF I simply use the ‘stop down’ button but more commonly I take a test shot and zoom in on the results on the back screen and pan around to check. For the filter you never know which one you will need until you actually try it as the exposure in the sky varies based on the conditions. However I didn’t introduce information on filters in this stage of the course because they are covered later as you progress through in order and my way of instructing is delivering the right amount of information at the right time so that it sticks. As you progress through the lessons and onto ‘Travel & Landscape’ and ‘Advanced 1 & 2’ you will find more information revealed about these subjects. But for your information the filter in this shot was a graduated neutral density which means it is dark at the top and clear at the bottom (and changes gradually from one to the other) its purpose is to keep the sky exposure the same level as the rocks level, without it the sky would not be able to be recorded but as I said I cover that in the ‘Travel & Landscape’ course which is the course to complete after this one. Cheers Karl.

    1. I think it was slightly past that, I use the stop lens down button to quick check my DOF range and then take a test then I zoom in on and around the test shot on the screen to check everything I want is sharp.

  8. Why the LEE filter was inclined ?? Not as per the horizon ? Or you consider the Inclined Big Rock ?

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