Introduction to Photography: Week 2 – Camera Operation and Basic Techniques Lesson Plan by ChatGPT

Introduction to Photography: Week 2 – Camera Operation and Basic Techniques Lesson Plan by ChatGPT


Photography is the passion that guides my life.  I am a self-taught photographer, and I have been using Nikon DSLRs and Mirrorless camera since 2008. I’ve taught myself the art of photography by reading books, taking online courses, watching YouTube videos, and years upon years of practice.

I wanted to up my photography game, but I didn’t have the time or money to head back to school. Instead I asked ChatGPT to create a course plan for a self-directed AI “degree” in photography. 

The results were amazingly detailed, so I decided to dive in, follow the AI-generated lesson plans and document my progress on my blog

My name is Lauren McDonagh-Pereira. I am a photographerartist, art collector, and web3 blogger. I am passionate in emerging technologies and how they can be used to enhance our lives. 

Continue past the jump to read the lesson plan for Week 2 of the ChatGPT-generated course, Introduction to Photography.


A red stop sign against a blue sky, with a red rocks on either side
ⓒ Lauren McDonagh-Pereira Photography 2013

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The INtroDuction to Photography Course By ChatGPT

I asked ChatGPT to review its lesson plan for week 2 of “Introduction to Photography Course” and this is what it said:

I have reviewed the Week 2 lesson plan on "Camera Operation and Basic Techniques." Overall, the plan appears comprehensive and well-structured to provide students with a solid foundation in camera operation and basic techniques in photography.

Since our new robot overlord seems confident… let’s dive in. 

Week 2: Camera Operation and Basic Technique

Week 2: Camera Operation and Basic Techniques

Duration: 3 hours

Lecture Outline:

  • Recap of Week 1: Briefly revisit the history of photography and discuss different perspectives on the definition of photography.
  • Understanding Camera Anatomy and Controls:
  • Overview of essential camera components: lens, body, viewfinder, controls, etc.
  • Explanation of key camera controls: shutter release, mode dial, exposure compensation, etc.
  • The Exposure Triangle:
  •  Definition and importance of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
  •  Relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO in achieving proper exposure.
  •   Examples and visual aids to illustrate the concept.

Discussion Topics:

  • Camera Anatomy and Controls:
  • What are the main camera components you find most confusing or intimidating?
  • Share any previous experiences or challenges you have faced while operating a camera.
  • The Exposure Triangle:
    • How do you envision aperture, shutter speed, and ISO working together to create a properly exposed image?
    •  Discuss situations where you might prioritize one element of the exposure triangle over the others.

Practical Assignment:

  • Exploring Different Exposure Settings:
  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Provide each group with a camera and a variety of subjects with different lighting conditions.
  •  Instruct students to experiment with different exposure settings, including aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, to achieve optimal exposure for each subject.
  • Encourage students to document their settings and outcomes for further discussion and analysis.

Reading Assignment:

Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera” by Bryan Peterson.

  • Read Chapter 3: “Aperture: The Control of Depth of Field.”
  • Read Chapter 4: “Shutter Speed: Controlling Action and Space.”
  •  Read Chapter 5: “ISO: Controlling Grain and Noise.”

Note: Please make sure to provide access to cameras and any required materials for the practical assignment.

A shot of Zabriske Point in Death Valley National Park. A jagged yellow peak reaches up. Muted purple mountains loom in the background.
© Lauren McDonagh-Pereira Photography

My Plan

I will read the assigned reading, find YouTube videos that explain each of the concepts outlined in the Lesson Plan above, and I will answer each of the questions from my perspective as a short-answer posted to Twitter so that you can join in on the conversation. 

When I have completed these tasks I will post a link to my experience and resources here. 

Be sure to join the NFTWITHLAUREN.COM mailing list so that you can follow along with my progress. 


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Lauren McDonagh-Pereira

More to explore

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MEET Lauren McDonagh-Pereira

Lauren McDonagh-Pereira is a photographer from Massachusetts, USA. She captures the beauty of the world around her, favoring Nikon cameras and lenses. She is drawn to shooting landscapes, wildlife, nature, and people authentically enjoying life.