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Digital Photography Course by Stanford Professor

We are constantly on the lookout for free quality photography education and training resources, and we found an outstanding series of Lectures on Digital Photography course from a professor at Stanford University.

Instructor Marc Levoy

Mr. Levoy is a pioneer in the field of digital imaging. He is an emeritus professor at the prestigious Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA where he taught his digital photography course from 2009 until 2014. Mr. Levoy is a Distinguished Engineer at Google where he works with his team at Google Research focusing on cameras and photography. His work includes computer-assisted cartoon animation, volume rendering, 3D scanning, computational photography (including light field photography and microscopy).

Mr. Levoy co-designed the Google book scanner, launched Google’s Street View project, and currently leads a team whose projects include HDR+ and Portrait mode on smartphones, a Light Field camera, and the Halide Image Processing Language. He attended Cornell University and received his PhD in Computer Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lectures on Digital Photography

After Mr. Levoy started working at Google full time, he found there were people that wanted to learn more about photography. So, he decided to teach a revised version of the digital photography course he taught at Stanford (CS-178 Digital Photography) at Google. He recorded the photography course he gave at Google’s Mountain View campus. The Lectures on Digital Photography consists of 18 individual lectures running approximately 75 minutes each. His course reviews the artistic, scientific, artistic, and computing aspects of digital photography.

Digital Photography Course Outline

Mr. Levoy is an outstanding instructor and if you really want to learn photography, you’re going to love this course. The entire course consists six sections and 18 video lectures. Links to each lecture video and presentation slides in PDF format are next to each lecture. Some lectures use multiple slides. The audio in lecture one is less than optimal due to problems encountered with the microphone. If you like mathematics, small portions of the lectures cover probability and statistics (like mean and variance), and matrix algebra. Feel free to scrub past any portions of the video you wish.

Enjoy the Lectures on Digital Photography by Marc Levoy!


Image Formation Video | Slides
Choosing a Camera VideoSlides
History of Photography (part 1) Slides
Extreme Photography Slides

How Digital Cameras Work

Optics I: Lenses and Apertures Video | Slides
Optics II: Practical Photographic Lenses Slides
History of Photography (part 2) Video | Slides
Composing Good Photographs Slides
Autofocus (AF) VideoSlides
Exposure metering (AE)  Slides

Photons, Pixels, and Bits

Sampling and Pixels Video | Slides
Photons and Sensors Video | Slides
Night Photography & Astrophotography Video | Slides
Special Effects & Trick Photography Slides
Noise and ISO Video | Slides
Image Stabilization (IS) Slides


History of Photography (part 3) Video | Slides
Why is Sports Photography Hard? Slides

Color and Lighting

Color I: Trichromatic Theory Video | Slides
Color II: Applications in Photography Video | Slides
History of Photography (part 4) Video | Slides
Light and Reflection Video | Slides
Photographic Lighting Video | Slides

Image Processing

In-Camera Image Processing Video | Slides
Panoramas Video | Slides
History of Photography (part 5) Slides

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