Nikon is offering free online photography classes

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With social distancing in full effect, many people are staying busy (and sane) by trying out new at-home hobbies. Everything from doing virtual puzzles with friends to channeling your inner barista and perfecting trendy whipped coffee recipes have become popular ways to pass the hours.

But if you’re an aspiring shutterbug, now may be the ideal time to take your photography skills to the next level. Amid the coronavirus shutdowns, Nikon has made its online courses available for free so that you can learn new photography tips and tricks from the comfort of your home. (Just wait until you can travel again and can finally do those stunning sunsets justice with your new camera skills).

According to the company’s website, the courses will be free throughout the entire month of April.

“Nikon’s mission has always been to empower creators,” Nikon says on its website. “In these uncertain times, we can do that by helping creators stay inspired, engaged and growing … Let’s come out of this even better.”

Each of the 10 Nikon classes is taught by a professional photographer, and most of the courses are less than an hour long. A couple of the shorter classes are specific guides to using different Nikon photography equipment to full effect but most of the longer ones are suitable for any photographer, no matter what kind of gear they are working with.

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For beginners, a good starting point is the “Fundamentals of Photography” course that covers basics like exposure and shutter speed, while also lending tips for shooting photos indoors in low light, capturing portraits and more.

Beyond the basics, though, Nikon’s online school has plenty of fun niche classes. Learn how to make a music video with your DSLR camera in “The Art of Making Music Videos.” Or, in the “Photographing Children and Pets” class you’ll learn how to create poses that look and feel natural as well as which lenses are best for capturing these portraits and candids. Perfect the art of capturing stunning landscapes before your next vacation with the “Exploring Dynamic Landscape Photography” class.

Of course, you don’t need to wait until quarantine and social distancing measures are over to try out your newly learned skills. Many people, for instance, are doing porch portraits to capture family photos during. And while you may not be able to travel at the moment, you can get some good practice snapping local scenery on your walks.

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If photography isn’t your thing, Fender is offering three free months of online guitar lessons right now and there are plenty of places offering free access to online workout classes if staying fit is your goal at this point.

So, are there any skills that you’re looking to learn during this time at home?

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Brittany Anas

Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure. I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Learn More.