MIT Photography Courses Online

Update: It looks like many of these courses are no longer available.

In a well known scene from Good Will Hunting, the main character Will drops the following gem as he defends his uneducated friend against a cocky Harvard student: “[…] you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f**kin’ education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the Public Library.”

If you’re looking for some education in photography, another school in Cambridge, MIT, is offering the material of quite a few photography classes for free online. This includes everything from reading lists and assignments to full downloads of course materials and student projects. Here’s a quick list:

4.341 Introduction to Photography

This course also offers practical instruction in basic black and white techniques, digital imaging, fundamentals of camera operation, lighting, film exposure, development and printing. Course provides opportunity for continued exploration.

4.341 Introduction to Photography and Related Media

This course provides practical instruction in the fundamentals of analog and digital SLR and medium/large format camera operation, film exposure and development, black and white darkroom techniques, digital imaging, and studio lighting.

4.343 Photography and Related Media

Fosters a critical awareness of how images in our culture are produced and constructed. Student-initiated term project at the core of exploration. Special consideration given to the relationship of space and the photographic image. Practical instruction in basic black and white techniques, digital imaging, fundamentals of camera operation, lighting, film exposure, development, and printing.

4.A21 Stories Without Words: Photographing the First Year

The transition from high school and home to college and a new living environment can be a fascinating and interesting time, made all the more challenging and interesting by being at MIT. More than recording the first semester through a series of snapshots, this freshman seminar will attempt to teach photography as a method of seeing and a tool for better understanding new surroundings.

11.309J / 4.215J Sensing Place: Photography as Inquiry

This course explores photography as a disciplined way of seeing, of investigating landscapes and expressing ideas. Readings, observations, and photographs form the basis of discussions on landscape, light, significant detail, place, poetics, narrative, and how photography can inform design and planning, among other issues.

21A.348 Photography and Truth

Photographs in anthropology serve many purposes: as primary data, illustrations of words in a book, documentation for disappearing cultures, evidence of fieldwork, material objects for museum exhibitions, and even works of art. This course explores photography as art, research tool, and communication.

Have other links to free online courses? Feel free to share with us in the comments!

(via Your Photo Tips)

Image credit: The Dome at MIT by opencontent

  • leahjo5

    If I could, for the life of me, figure out how to actually access the course videos, these would be splendid.

  • Astrogirl

    Maybe its just me, but I can't see any actual course content. I see the syllabus and the calender which has a week by week summary, and see examples os students work in the projects but I don't see any course/lecture notes where I actually learn something. Am I missing something?

  • Chip Chapin

    Yes, these look fascinating, but it's just an ordinary course catalog. If anything, this seems like an argument for spending the $$$ for tuition …

  • Michael Zhang

    Hey guys,

    Sorry, but some of the pages have more material than others. For example the “Sensing Place” course has video lectures you can watch.

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  • WilzDezign

    Looks like they post many of their videos on iTunes or YouTube

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  • Schneider

    Amazing, I'm gonna check this out.

  • nishant

    it is good..

  • chedyer

    The videos are at YouTube/MIT as well as iTunes (search MIT).

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  • Trailers for Sale

    Thanks for another one nice post

    Very useful to me “MIT Photography Courses Online”

  • Dee

    I haven't been able to find any courses at all, they are no longer available!!!!!

  • Middleman

    I've just completed this online photography course in the UK. Really impressed with it, so thought I would recommend to others. Check it out:
    Offers a free introduction trial lesson as well!

  • Johnny

    Guys, can’t recommend Proud Photography enough. Helped me tremendously.

  • Johnny

    Guys, can’t recommend Proud Photography enough. Helped me tremendously.

  • sanjusingh

    Your web log is incredibly well written and raises the tips close to particulars. Your site pretty sort out replies the issues. By using on account of get expressing.

  • Ade Marshall

    Yes the Proud Photography Course is fantastic-offers oneo-one tuition for the duration of the course.

  • A Marshall

    Are the videos still available?