Like I mentioned in one of my previous articles, online learning is one of the great ways to spend your time in self-isolation. More and more companies and individual creatives are unlocking their online courses, offering them for free to everyone stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak. To make it easier for you, we put all of them in one place. So, here’s a list of online courses that you can access for free during the coronavirus crisis. There’s a bunch of them all over the web now, but we’ve focused on those related to photography and visual arts.
Courses for everyone
Professional Photographers of America’s online classes – as we reported earlier today, PPA has unlocked over 1,100 courses so you can watch them for free while in quarantine. All you need to do is register for a free account or log in to your account if you already have it. From there, you can browse and access any course that you find interesting.
Creative Photography for Social Media by Daniel Rueda and Anna Devis – I’ve been following Anna and Daniel ever since I wrote about their work three years ago. Last week, I saw on Anna’s Instagram that the creative duo is offering their online course for free. I signed up, I am currently on the third unit and it’s really fun. Not only that I am learning something new about photography and design, but I am also refreshing my rusty Spanish. :) But don’t worry, the course comes with English subtitles if you’re not a Spanish speaker.
You can sign up here and watch the entire course for free. If you’d like to access the forum and some additional material, you’ll need to pay, but this and other courses are currently on a discount. With a gift code, I paid $8 which is more than affordable in my opinion. Browse through domestika.org for more courses if you’re into photography, illustration, design, animation, crafts… There are plenty of great courses, and they’re free or very affordable.
Seeing Through Photographs by MoMA – this course has been on Coursera for years. All course materials are free to access, but you need to pay if you want a certificate. I finished it around three years ago; it focuses mainly on the story behind photos and n the social, cultural and political aspects of modern art.
Film, Images & Historical Interpretation in the 20th Century: The Camera Never Lies by the University of London – here’s another free course you can access through Coursera. I haven’t enrolled it (yet), but it sounds interesting for everyone interested in history and photography because it brings the two together.
Modern Art & Ideas by MoMA – this course isn’t specifically about photography, but if you’re into art, you will surely find it useful. It’s designed for anyone interested in learning more about modern and contemporary art, and it’s free to access on Coursera.
Photography courses by Skillshare – Skillshare are offering free trials for everyone before you decide to enroll in any of their courses. But during the coronavirus crisis, they’re offering 2-month access to all courses for teachers and students, and some courses are open to everyone. Students with .edu and .k12 email addresses can explore their options here, and everyone else can apply here for a free two-month membership during the COVID-19 outbreak. Photography courses are on this link.
Free Ivy League courses – Class Central offers almost 500 free Ivy League courses you can access online. Exposing Digital Photography by Harvard University is the one I found about photography, but there are so many great courses on various topics, so make sure to explore the site I linked above.
Photography webinars by DxO – Throughout April 2020, DxO will host five free webinars for photographers. All you need to do is register for the ones you’re interested in and be online on the scheduled date and time. You can read more here and register via DxO’s website.
Photography school by Photocritic – here’s one that’s perfect for beginners. Photocritic offers a complete one-year photography course entirely for free. By the way, it’s always been free so this offer will likely be valid even after the coronavirus crisis. All you need to do is sign up with your email, and you’ll have the materials delivered to your inbox every couple of weeks. (thanks for the tip, Daniela)
Free courses for library members – one of our readers told us that some public libraries offer free online courses from Lynda.com for local cardholders. There are courses of all sorts, including photography and video, as well as ebooks and magazines. Sadly, libraries are now closed, but many of them offer using your card electronically. Some of them enabled it at least during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Many taxpaying citizens aren’t aware of what they’re entitled to from their public library,” our reader Albin says. So, it doesn’t hurt to check what you can access with your library card online. (thanks for the tip, Albin)
Leica free online classes + photo challenge – Leica has announced a series of free online educational talks that you can attend on its website starting from 29 March. The talks will take place every Sunday and each will be followed by a challenge announced the following day. Winners of weekly challenges will be awarded, and you can register for the talks on Leica’s website. Read more details here.
Free online classes by Nikon School – during the entire month of April, you can stream all classes from Nikon School for free. All you need to do is sign up and you can access all the videos on Nikon School’s website.
Canon Connected – Canon’s free content hub is now available for all photographers, vloggers, and filmmakers. There are plenty of educational videos available on Canon’s YouTube channel, with more to come. You can find out more on Canon Connected.
Photography Life premium courses – although they’re normally paid $150 each, Photography Life has decided to release all their premium courses for free. You can watch them on Photography Life’s YouTube channel.
Courses for educators and students
Story Art Education’s Photography and Photoshop training – you’ve probably heard of Karen Alsop’s Story Art through the wonderful The Christmas Wish Project. Story Art now offers Photography and Photoshop training for free to all teachers and their students. There are classes on Photoshop, photography, and business, and it’s a fantastic resource if you’re currently forced to teach online. You can sign up and learn more here, and see the video below for more details.
Adobe Education Exchange – on its Education Exchange website, Adobe offers a whole lot of free courses for educators. They are either self-paced or live, they cover various topics, and they’re divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Photography courses are on this link, but there are plenty more interesting topics so take a look around the website.
For now, these are all of the free online courses that we could find. Considering that companies and individuals keep offering free resources, we’ll keep updating this article as we hear more. Of course, if you’ve heard about or attended an online course that we haven’t included, let us know so we can add it to the list.