Blog #52 Marc Levoy’s 18 Lectures on Digital Photography

April 28, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Photography is fun! Learning about how to make pictures and the underlying principles about how it all works can be equally fun.  Whether you are an amateur, hobbyist, or aspiring professional, the field is vast and the breath of knowledge is deep.  Past blogs have discussed and encouraged formal instruction in photography as a form of self-improvement (see also Part 2). Becoming better at making pictures and putting in a little effort and practice can yield lifetime of enjoyment in the medium for you and others. 

iPhone 7+

iPhone 7+

Marc Levoy has offered 18 lectures on the topic of Digital Photography online through You Tube.  Click here to begin watching Video & Lecture 1. Dr. Levoy is a very knowledgable professor emeritus.  His background is in architecture, and computer science.  His lectures are all available online and for free.  Click here.

Topics include: a history of photography, color theory and related information, cameras, lenses, lighting techniques, and other related subjects within photography.  Caveat! There is a heavy emphasis on the math and science behind the principles and techniques.  Discussions about sensor architecture are somewhat interesting but you might not find them so.  He uses algebra, geometry, and calculus along with some advances operations and visual graphic displays to illustrate the points.  All this gets a bit tiresome for the non-electrical engineers in the audience [such as myself].  Students in his lecture are typically engineers from Pixar, Google, and other silicone valley agencies.  However, just as you’re about to fall asleep he changes topics into areas that are more interesting albeit relevant to the typical photographer.  

The lectures wavered between irrelevant and review for me, personally. However, they were entertaining and interesting on some level.  

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On another topic, in my recent Blog #48  titled Five Reasons Why it’s Better to Shoot with a Real Camera Over a Smartphone I wrote about shooting with a camera versus a smartphone.  There are obvious advantages to using a real cameras such as having a larger sensor, higher resolution images that is required for printing larger than A4 size, and who doesn’t love interchangeable lenses? That’s all fine and good, however, the purpose of that article was not to hate on smartphones. I shoot with my iPhone 7+ although I prefer my other cameras.  To illustrate this point I have included a few recent images made on the iPhone within this blog post just to shake things up a bit.  Am I a hypocrite? I don’t think so I just have my preferences and through sharing my viewpoints, I find that it helps me to shape my own attitudes and approach to my photography.  


The light is always right. 



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