MIT Offers Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Course for Free Online


It’s not unusual for colleges with large open-source programs to put out a number of courses free for the world to browse through online. In the past we’ve featured courses from both MIT and Stanford.

Today, we have a new course from MIT. Taught in the Spring semester of 2009, this course came a full two years later than the original MIT course we shared and is packed full of useful information for anybody interested in photojournalism.

Published through MIT’s Open Courseware project, Prof. B. D. Colen’s Documentary Photography and Photojournalism: Still Images of a World in Motion course gives you a chance to benefit from a photography course given at the storied Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

With syllabus, readings, assignments, image gallery and course material downloads available, the class has everything you need to walk yourself through the world of documentary photography and photojournalism one step at a time.


For those wondering how open-source classes like this work, for the most part, you must be both the teacher and the student. As you learn the material, you must constantly reference the syllabus to make sure you’re taking the course in the correct manner… those who have trouble self-motivating might have trouble.

Of course, if you only want to work on snippets of this course or use it as a rough guide for learning on your own, you’re welcome to do that, too.

Even if you don’t necessarily plan on using it, there’s no harm in sharing it with the world so those who prefer a less formal photography education can gain some valuable knowledge. Check it out for yourself and give the needed materials a download by clicking here.

(via Reddit)

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  • Pickle

    I like opencourseware but the classes like this one that don’t have video lectures online are really hard to be motivated about and I doubt many of us will be buying text books for it

  • Paulissa Kipp

    I’m not sure that I understand how to either register,submit assignments or if I need to have all of the books mentioned? It is not really clear how this works beyond downloading the course materials.

  • Gannon Burgett

    That’s all there is to it. There is no teacher. You’re the teacher…and the student. You have the class plans in the download and the other material needed to follow said plans.

  • mpphoto

    I was interested in this until I took a look at the required readings. One or two books, OK. However, there are five required books and more than 10 that are recommended. When I was in college, I never bought the recommended books, but I never had five required books either.

  • Paulissa Kipp

    Do you need to have all of the books, though, because that is a seriously long list of books lol

  • Victor Hugo Rocha

    The course is interesting, but where is the course? I just see the course materials, but the materials are not an online course at all.

  • Olivier Tomsin

    Standford one is much more interresting cause it actually have a course (with pdf, photo gallery and so on…). Here it’s just a list of book to buy and read…

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