Online Courses for PSA Members

To enroll in an online course, select it from the list on the bottom of this page and access the Course Enrollment Form - you must be logged in to reach the Enrollment Form.

For a list of graduates of PSA's online courses, select the relevant list from the navigation on the left side of this page.

Education Administrator for
Online Photography Courses

✉ Stephanie Sioras·

If your photography has never been critiqued or you would like additional information about having your photography critiqued, please read The Pain and Pleasure of Critical Analysis.

Only one online course may be taken at a time.

Please select the course you are interested in to reveal or hide its description. To see a list of all course descriptions at once, choose "Show All."
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  • History of Photography

    Michael Todd, GPSA·
    Coordinator and Instructor

    Geoff Blackwell·

    This course is for those who have the time each week to complete a lesson. This course, much like a college course, includes written work as well as photographic assignments. 


    Course Enrollment Form  (requires member be already logged in or link will take you to home page to login)


    In this course you will discover who were the founders and the early workers in photography. The course explores how and why photography, which is both an art and a science, has become so inextricably entwined with the human narrative exerting influence in our world of communications, culture, entertainment, news and advertising. This course explores the early history of photography and does not address the emergence of digital technology.

    This course requires that you purchase the textbook by Beaumont Newhall, “The History of Photography”. This 300-page work was first published in 1937 and is a great resource about every stage of the evolution of photography. The revised (1982) edition is a classic text that provides an important framework for the course. The text is filled with historic images depicting the very beginnings of photography and embellished with scholarly and solid documentation. The 16-week course follows the 16 chapters of the course text and each week there is an essay due on the chapter of that week and most weeks there is also a photographic assignment. Although this is the course textbook, the student is expected to widen their research by investigating other publications, books and of course the Internet.


    The student must purchase the course text before enrolling in the course. Used copies, in good condition, can usually be purchased from Amazon, Abe Books or similar outlets.
    Newhall, Beaumont. The History of Photography: from 1839 to the present. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1982.

    Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 82-81430
    You may find earlier publications

    This course will take about 4 months to complete. The instructor reserves the right to suspend a participant if the required essays and images are not completed in a timely manner.

    History of Photography Course Graduates

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  • Photography Analysis
  • Image Evaluation

    Jennifer Fawkes, PPSA, SPSA, FAPS·

    Larry Treadwell·

    Dee Darius Sams·

    Susan Hansell·

    This on-line course is designed for individual members of PSA who wish to advance their photography by understanding the key elements within an image. Since the course is designed for members of the PSA, it is designed to help the learner evaluate their own images within the framework of the camera club environment and PSA-recognised International Exhibitions.

    REGISTRATIONS OPEN SOON: This course will open for enrollment on November 1, 2020.

     COURSE APPLICATION   Members must be logged to access the enrollment form.


    Image Evaluation Course Graduates 


    This on-line course is suitable for photographers of all abilities. There are no pre-requisites for participation.

    The course aims to cover the following:

    • Understand of the subjective nature of photographic judging
    • Understand and identify the key elements that are present in an image (to include the impact, technical, compositional, artistic, and presentation elements), and how these elements can contribute to the success of an image
    • Identify the rules and definitions relating to photographic competition

    The course is self-contained, and all teaching material and homework exercises are provided. The learner will be required to provide their own images for self-evaluation. 

    There are 6 lessons that are required to be completed within 8 weeks. An application for extension is at the discretion of the instructors. Each lesson will include some written information, guidance to access the internet for further research and homework activities. The learner will be required to return the homework activity to their instructor before being sent the next lesson. 

    At the completion of the course the learner will be sent an e-certificate indicating satisfactory completion of the course, and the student's name will be listed on the PSA website and in the PSA Journal.

    Please note that satisfactory completion of this course may be a pre-requisite for learners wishing to undertake further on-line courses with PSA.

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  • Individualized Photography
  • Creating Competitive Images

    Roy Killen, APSA, GMPSA/B, EFIAP, APSEM·

    This course is for the intermediate to advanced worker that wishes to fine tune their competitive eye.  All course material is provided, there is nothing to buy.

    Competition is a major activity in PSA and camera club.  This course will attempt to teach the norms necessary for making images which may have a better chance for judge’s acceptance.

    This course is not for the beginning photographer, and will not deal with the basics of camera operation. This is a structured course with six lessons and multiple exercises to be completed in six months.

    Course Enrollment Form  (requires member be already logged in or link will take you to home page to login)

    Creating Competitive Images Course Graduates

  • Photography Instruction (students work with instruction)

    Obradovich, John·
    Administrator & Instructor

    David Halgrimson·

    This course is designed for the beginner to intermediate worker that wishes a more traditional instruction process. The advantage of this type of training is the technical instruction provided within the lesson text which may go a long way toward guiding the beginning and intermediate student toward the goal provided.

    Course Enrollment Form  (requires member be already logged in or link will take you to home page to login)

    There is a combined application for Creating Competitive Images, Photography Instruction, and Still Life Photography.


    This is a structured course based on lessons provided online. These lessons are designed to instruct and then provide the student the opportunity to submit work based on the lesson instructions. The lesson content has been selected based on past experience with student's interests.

    The lessons are:

    1. The elements of photography
    2. Portrait photography
    3. Architectural and Night photography
    4. Macro and Still life photography
    5. Action, Sports and Animals
    6. The Landscape

    This course is available to individual members of PSA. Students will have six (6) months to complete the course. At the end of that period we hope you will be finished. If, however, you are not finished, the course will end.

    After completion of an assignment, and when your instructor is satisfied, a new assignment will be sent to you. There is no textbook requirement for this course.

    Additional needs:  Camera, computer and access to the internet,  the ability to work with Microsoft Word, the ability to upload and download photographs, and Adobe Reader. 

    At the successful conclusion of the course a certificate will be sent to the student, and the student's name will be listed here and in the PSA Journal. We hope you have as much fun as we do making these courses available to you.
  • Portraits in Available Light (in English)

    Steve Estill, EPSA·

    This course is designed for the serious worker who may not feel strong doing portraits of people in available light. The course will dwell heavily on backgrounds and available light.

    Course Enrollment Form  (requires member be already logged in or link will take you to home page to login)



    There will be six lessons, all designed to help the student make portraits of individual subjects in a proper setting and with minimum distraction. The course is not designed to help the student make portraits for competition. The course is designed to give the student a foundation in portraiture so advancement toward competitive portraiture may be much easier.

    There will be no discussion of electronic flash, umbrellas, snoots or background lights. There will also be no lessons on hair lights, makeup, or software that make the portrait look unnatural. There will be no instruction regarding complex setups with multiple people. There will be no discussion of weddings or babies.

    The only light discussed in the course will be available light; there will be no discussion of studio work or the use of supplemental lighting. All of this will be left for a more advanced study.

    There will be lessons on portraits of men, women, and children. At least four of the lessons will dwell on the head and shoulders portrait. One lesson, #5, will revolve around the ¾ pose and its pitfalls. The final lesson, #6, is an elective and the student may wander into any area of portraiture that is comfortable, bringing forth the tools learned in the previous five lessons.

    This course will be six (6) months in duration, with one lesson expected to be done every month, at the very least. 
    At the successful conclusion of the course a certificate will be sent to the student, and the student's name will be listed here and in the PSA Journal
  • Portraits in Available Light (in Chinese)


    Instructor: Andy Yau·

    Portraits in Available Light Enrollment Form
    (requires member be already logged in or link will take you to home page to login)



    本課程會涵蓋男性、女性及小孩的人像拍攝,至少有四節課論述頭及肩以上的拍攝方法。第五節會提到拍攝 ¾ 姿勢,以及拍攝時會遇到的陷阱。最尾一節課是選修的,可以由學生自由選擇自己喜歡,而在之前幾節課提到的拍攝方法。

  • Still Life Photography

    Terri Hood·

    This course is designed for the intermediate to advanced worker and should be familiar with photography in general. Through guidance of each lesson and completing its accompanying assignments this course will help you in creating a pleasing still life photograph.

    Course Enrollment Form  (requires member be already logged in or link will take you to home page to login)


    Lessons include:
    1. Composition, Rule-of-Thirds, & Balance
    2. Backdrops & Backgrounds
    3. Lighting
    4. Simplicity
    5. Found Still Life
    All work presented in this course will be photographed specifically for this course, after the date of enrollment. No work created previously will be considered.
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  • Advanced Photography
  • Creating a PSA Portfolio

    Joanne Stolte, HonPSA, MPSA, EFIAP, ESFIAP·

    The Photographic Society of America (PSA) awards a distinction for a successful portfolio assessment. (BPSA, SPSA, and GPSA.) This is a very advanced course and one that will require the student to have a substantial archive of competitive images.  It is recommended that the student’s archive consist of no less than 50 to 75 competitive images around any particular theme.


    Creating a PSA Portfolio Enrollment form (requires member be already logged in or link will take you to home page to login.)          

    Creating A PSA Portfolio Course Graduates

    This is a short course to be finished in two (2) months.  It consists of three (3) lessons; each lesson is a building block toward the creation of a portfolio.

    The lessons are:

    1. The Theme
    2. The Overview Image
    3. The Statement of Intent

    The student will be expected to understand each of the three important elements in a portfolio, as well as demonstrate proficiency in each.

    Successful completion of this course does not guarantee a successful portfolio assessment, however the student should come away with an understanding of the portfolio elements.

    A certificate will be sent to the student after successfully completing the course.


  • Light Painting the Still Life


    Light Painting Course Enrollment form (requires member be already logged in or link will take you to home page to login.)          

    Light Painting Course Graduates 


    The applicant for this course should be comfortable setting up a studio still life arrangement for competition. This will be required.

    The concept of Light Painting, is radically different than conventional lighting, however an applicant should have a good  understanding of conventional lighting, to the point of multiple light sources, including, but not limited to, the understanding and use of the key light, fill light, back lighting, and background light.  The applicant should understand the intensity of light and how it is affected by the distance from the subject, technically called the inverse square law. The applicant should be comfortable with the concept of time exposures and what this entails.

    A student in this course will no doubt be asked to repeat exercises multiple times before creating an acceptable result, so patience and perseverance is a prerequisite.

    The course will have six (6) exercises and be completed in less than six (6) months.