Get a Stanford Education FOR FREE!

Get a Stanford Education FOR FREE!

Okay, so maybe you won't get the entire Stanford experience, but they do have their entire 2011 "CS 178" Digital Photography course available online for free here. It's jam-packed with more technical knowledge than most will ever be able to remember, including the scientific formula for DOF, diagrams showing the physics of light going through the lens, and even a downloadable animation of how to assemble an entire Canon 10D.


While I love to point out all of the stuff you'll probably never need to know, I do have to mention that there is some great information for the amateur photographer as well including a variety of interactive flash applets demonstrating various technical aspects of photography. The page author/course teacher, Marc Levoy has included detailed breakdowns of the course's weekly assignments which cover everything from how to take a "bad" (technically) photo, to more traditional uses of photography with portraiture, landscape, action/sports, etc. If you really want the classroom experience you can even challenge yourself with the final exam review test (archived from 2012. 2013 page doesn't have this yet), and check out some photos from students who took the course (2012 as well).

Of couse this all ties back into the popular debate of formal photography education vs self-taught, a lot of this information is available elsewhere online for free from sites just like Fstoppers, but not offered in the format of a structured curriculum - broken down into graded assignments and tests which some may find beneficial as a learning method. So what do you guys think? Would you pay for a photography class with the information in this course, or have you already; and did you think it was worth it? Discuss it in the comments!




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Arnold Newman's picture

Cool find. Change the link from "11" to "13" and you get the most recent version of the course — if there's a difference.

James Robertson's picture

Thanks, I stumbled upon it completely by accident and assumed that this was simply the last time the course was updated, I'll change the links!

This is quite valuable info. As you mention those applets are great tools to highlight the affects ov tweaking variables.