8 Best Courses To Study and Learn Cinematography Online

Best Courses To Study and Learn Cinematography Online


Cinematography, the art of storytelling through images, is one of the most crucial elements of a good film. It is a culmination of several different visual elements such as lighting and mood, composition, camera angles, framing, choice of lens, exposure, and much more
While anyone today can capture a video on their mobile devices or cameras, but the ability to combine the elements correctly requires an eye for detail, a thorough understanding of lighting and light color manipulation, strong technical knowledge of cameras, and the process that goes into film production. Today, all these skills can easily be acquired by taking cinematography classes online.


If you feel you have the artistic flair of creating a visual story and are not ready yet to invest in a filmmaking course in person, enrolling for one of the best cinematography courses online can be the right option. You can also enroll in such classes to learn cinematography online if you simply want to get better at making videos and share them on social media.


To make the selection process easier for you, TangoLearn, after consulting 12 filmmaking experts, has shortlisted eight best cinematography courses online that you should enroll in to create better videos for personal or professional use.


8 Best Cinematography Courses Online

  1. Cinematography Course: Shoot Better Video with Any Camera [Udemy]
  2. Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials [Udemy]
  3. Cinematography Masterclass: The Complete Videography Guide [Udemy]
  4. Cinematography Course|Shoot Expert Video on Any Camera [Skillshare]
  5. Cinematography Basics: Understanding Filmmaking Style [Skillshare]
  6. Filmmaking Program [Lights Film School]
  7. Making a Short Film: Start to Finish [Lynda]
  8. Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen by NFTS [FutureLearn]


8 Top Cinematography Courses, Classes and Training Online


1. Cinematography Course: Shoot Better Video with Any Camera [Udemy]

Top Cinematography Courses, Classes and Training Online

What is this course about?

The cinematography classes online in this beginner course will help you learn the best video production techniques used by avid filmmakers. This course is one of the best cinematography courses online that will cover all the basics required to shoot professional-quality videos, including the skill of choosing the right camera and lenses, frame rate, ISO, shutter speed, and f-stop/aperture.


With a rating of 4.4 and 95,238 students already enrolled, this course is one of the best options to study cinematography online. Taught by a Hollywood cinematographer, this course is one of the top cinematography courses online that will equip you to shoot beautiful videos using just about any camera. You will also acquire the skills to light your sets like a professional Director of Photography and work and navigate a film set.


Another reason that makes this course one of the best cinematography courses online is that you will learn how to find work in the film industry and package your videos well to get paid for them.


The duration of this course is 3 hours and 15 minutes. This best cinematography training comprises 81 lectures divided into 12 sections. In addition to the on-demand videos to learn cinematography online, this course also includes six articles and eight downloadable resources. Visual School Online has created this course. The instructors of these cinematography classes online are Phil Ebiner, the founder of Video School Online Inc., and William Carnahan, a photographer and cinematographer.


You can register for this course with a one-off fee which is also covered under Udemy’s 30-days money-back guarantee. So, if you are not happy with this course’s content, you can seek a full refund. Purchasing this course to study cinematography online will give you full lifetime access to these classes, plus you will also be awarded a certificate of completion. You can even access Udemy’s cinematography courses online through your mobile or TV.


What You Will Learn

The fundamentals of cinematography covered in this course include:

  • The five essential tips for better cinematography
  • Basics of a camera – choosing the right equipment, video resolution, frame rate, and latitude
  • How to get the correct exposure using frame rate, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and ND filters
  • Understanding histogram and light meters
  • Shooting in RAW, color profiles, and LUTs
  • Understanding composition and types of shots
  • How to add movement to your shots – using a tripod, handheld camera, dolly, Steadicam system, and shooting with a jib or drone
  • Understanding the video lighting hardware, techniques, and tips
  • Order of occurrence on a set and set etiquettes
  • Color correction and applying a LUT using Adobe Premier Pro
  • How to earn working as a cinematographer


Who is this Course For?

This course is one of the best cinematography courses online for anyone who wants to:

  • Shoot better videos with any kind of camera and make money from it
  • Learn how to handle the camera like a professional cinematographer and work in the film industry


Pre-requisites for this Course

  • No fancy cameras are required to attend this best cinematography training
  • You must attend these cinematography classes online with some idea of what type of videos you want to shoot


Review O’Neil Allen:

Just enough information to get me started without being overwhelming. Very knowledgably transferred making it easy to learn and be an attentive student. Your teaching style is at the prefect pace, which is very motivating. Thank you!


2. Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials [Udemy]

Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials

What is this course about?

This course is one of the highest-rated cinematography courses online on Udemy, with a rating of 4.6 and 15,466 enrollments so far. This course is one of the best cinematography courses online for individuals engaged in 2D animations and who want to create characters that come to life. The cinematography classes online in this training will teach you different concepts that you can apply to your animations which will help you create more dramatic scenes and showcase strong or weak characters using different camera angles, lighting, and other visual techniques. By the end of this course, you will be ready to craft more sophisticated animations that include Over-the-Shoulder shots and camera movements like push and pull.


What makes this course one of the top-selling cinematography courses online is that this course takes just 35 minutes to learn cinematography online. It consists of 16 on-demand video lectures divided into three sections. Besides the video lessons, this course also includes three downloadable resources and quizzes to test your knowledge acquired in each section.


This course to study cinematography online has been created by 2D Animation 101 Courses, a group of animators teaching pre-production, animation, and post-production. You can enroll for its cinematography classes online with a one-off fee covered under Udemy’s 30-days money-back guarantee. You will get complete access to the content and will also bag a certification of completion at the end.


What You Will Learn

The cinematography concepts taught under this best cinematography training that can be applied to 2D animations include:

  • Basic cinematography concepts
  • Different frame compositions
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Types of camera angles
  • Difference between blocking and posing
  • Using cinematography concepts to depict dialogue between two characters
  • Panning and tilting camera views
  • Types of camera movements
  • Importance and impact of parallax on shots


Who is this Course For?

This course is well-suited for amateur and experienced animators who want to learn cinematography online to enhance their animations and take them to the next level.


Pre-requisites for this Course

This is one of the cinematography courses online for beginners, so it does not require any prior knowledge of videography.


Review Elaine-Kaitlyn Wong:

Great course overall for beginner level. It will be nice to learn a more advanced level learning of cinematography/animation course to add even more depth to the speaking points that you have laid out from your foundation course, and tailored for intermediate and advanced level learners. Thanks so much, great work!

3. Cinematography Masterclass: The Complete Videography Guide [Udemy]

Cinematography Masterclass

What is this course about?

This Udemy course is again one of the bestseller cinematography courses online that will serve as an all-inclusive course. In this masterclass, you will learn how to set up light, record, and shoot like a pro regardless of your equipment and budget. We think this course is one of the best cinematography courses online because the instructor will give you first-hand film set experience by taking you behind the scenes of a high-end client shoot to witness how the video production takes place.


Whether you want to shoot Instagram reels, YouTube videos, short films, or documentaries, this course to learn cinematography online includes all the key concepts of filmmaking that you will need to create good video content. You will proceed to study cinematography online in terms of camera functions and camera settings, use of lighting and video production techniques, and how to record the best audio quality.


The cinematography classes online in this training will also take you through some of the advanced concepts such as B-roll and cutaway shots, camera movements, and creating a shot list and montage. Besides this, you will get inspiration, insights, and actionable takeaways from the instructor and three guest speakers who have had successful filmmaking careers.


The duration of this course is around 6 hours. Besides the rich video content to study cinematography online, this course also includes eight downloadable resources, six detailed case studies, bonus lectures, interactive exercises, one-on-one Q&A with the instructor, and three articles for you to read. The mentor of this best cinematography training is Julian Melanson, a film director and teacher with over ten years of industry experience. This course has a rating of 4.5, and 2685 students have enrolled for this course so far. This course also awards a certificate of completion.


What You Will Learn

The topics covered in this one of the best cinematography courses online are:

  • Film and video production basics
  • How to maximize your video settings
  • Understanding the camera essentials
  • Understanding the studio setup, including video, lighting, lens, framing, and colored gels
  • Learning the natural light setup
  • Getting cinematic shots with any camera
  • Microphone essentials to get clear audio
  • Upgrading videos with B-roll and cutaway shots
  • Upgrading videos with camera movements
  • Advice from experts on the lens, camera, and audio equipment


Who is this Course For?

  • It is one of the best cinematography courses online for YouTubers, Instagramers, artists, photographers, and aspiring filmmakers who want to shoot impressive videos.
  • This course is also one of the top cinematography courses online for anyone who wants to learn professional-level videography without going to a film school.


Pre-requisites for this Course

You will need a smartphone or a camera to learn cinematography online and to complete the assignments in this course.


Review Riccardo Corno:

This course really inspired me and Julian is a master at approaching the audience by explaining difficult concepts in a very simple way!


4. Cinematography Course|Shoot Expert Video on Any Camera [Skillshare]

Cinematography Course|Shoot Expert Video on Any Camera

What is this course about?

This short and quick course is one of the best cinematography courses online for those who want to take their videos to a whole new level, increase their social media followers, or kick-start a career in professional cinematography. In approx. 1 hour, the cinematography classes online in this course will cover all the latest cinematography tips and knowledge that will help you to shoot like a professional photographer without spending much on expensive gears. You will learn how to use shot composition and camera settings to capture better videos. You will also learn how to recreate movie-like movements and the right way to film people, landscapes, and architecture. You will learn how to document your travel and shoot short films for online content. This best cinematography training will also equip you with the skills to immediately start shooting quality videos using either a DSLR o a smartphone.


The cinematography classes online in this course comprise 30 on-demand video lessons from the instructor Dale McManus, a professional photographer and videographer and also an award-winning YouTuber. Besides the video lessons to study cinematography online, this course includes class projects to test your newly acquired skills. The instructor has also attached the class notes in a downloadable PDF and provided links to purchase gears. This course is one of the best cinematography courses online on Skillshare that 19,110 students have enrolled in. You can register for such cinematography courses online by subscribing to Skillshare’s Premium membership that also comes with a 7-days free trial. However, you will not receive any certificate of completion for this course.


What You Will Learn

This course covers topics such as:

  • Video resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate
  • Lenses and Depth of Field
  • Introduction to exposure
  • Aperture and shutter speed for cinematography
  • Why it is better to shoot darker
  • Changing resolution and frame rate
  • Shot compositions
  • Perspective and storytelling
  • Types of vantage points
  • Rule of Thirds and the 180 degree rule
  • Kinds of camera movements, handheld vs. stabilized footage
  • Shooting outdoor and indoors
  • Lighting techniques; natural and controlled light
  • Color temperature and visualizing the scene


Who is this Course For?

Anyone interested in shooting like a seasoned cinematographer can enroll in this course to learn cinematography online.


Pre-requisites for this Course

The instructor has mentioned no pre-requisites to undertake this best cinematography training.


Review Dwayne:

I sat through this entire course in one sitting and what a ride, really enjoyed this class, I would recommend this as a first class for anyone wanting to go a little more in-depth with videography. These principle apply to photography as well so something for both disciplines.


5. Cinematography Basics: Understanding Filmmaking Style [Skillshare]

Cinematography Basics

What is this course about?

This is another course on Skillshare worth including in the best cinematography courses online that will help you understand the fundamentals and tools of videography. This course will serve as foundational training to understand filmmaking style, which gives a film its artistic look and feel. Another reason for including this course in our top cinematography courses online is that it serves as an inspiration and guide for beginners interested in filmmaking, rather than only providing technical tutorials.


To learn cinematography online, the mentor of this course has used a scene from his short film ‘Obselidia’ to explain a film’s visual language and the concepts that apply to any kind of film that you wish to shoot. The short cinematography classes online in this course will teach you the key considerations for cinematography and the tactical tips for creating a shot list.


The duration of Skillshare’s best cinematography training is just 29 minutes, and it consists of 7 on-demand video lessons. Besides that, this course also includes a hands-on class project wherein you will be required to create a shot list for a 15-seconds film. The instructor has also included a sample shot list of his film and a list of related courses to study cinematography online. This course’s instructor is Zak Mulligan, an American cinematographer known for his extensive work in film and television.


More than 23000 students have already undertaken the cinematography classes online in this course. You can register for these classes by purchasing the Premium subscription of Skillshare. However, this course does not offer any certificate of completion.


What You Will Learn

To study cinematography online, the concepts covered in this course are:

  • Cinema’s visual language toolkit – tactics for controlling mood, tone, and feel of a film
  • Tips for making a shot list covering all the cinematic details
  • Breaking down a scene using a shot list
  • How to use commentary narration


Who is this Course For?

These cinematography classes online are suitable for anyone who wants to learn the visual language of a film.


Pre-requisites for this Course

This beginner course does not have any pre-requisites to learn cinematography online.


Review Teo Uratadze

Great tutorial! I got a very detailed information about the shot list. Couldn’t find any better 🙂 Just a clear example of the actual shot list was best then all the words been said in other videos I’ve found. Thank you !


6. Filmmaking Program [Lights Film School]

Filmmaking Program

What is this course about?

Lights Film School is offering this excellent filmmaking program to students who wish to learn the trade tricks but cannot afford to enroll in a filmmaking school. This all-inclusive filmmaking program offers one of the best cinematography courses online that gives you the flexibility, depth, and motivation to hone your skills and present the idea in your head through filmmaking.


We think this program offers the best cinematography training because it will help you understand the complete filmmaking process that too at a fraction of cost and time. Technically, this course will take you through the fundamentals of screenwriting, direction, cinematography, editing, and sound design. Through this course to study cinematography online, you will be able to develop a new perspective and shape your creative voice.


This course is entirely self-paced, but if you wish to, you can complete all its cinematography classes online in just three months. This course consists of six modules that comprise video tutorials, workbooks, images, hands-on exercises, a screenplay library, and more than 150 downloadable audio and video examples that are constantly updated. By completing this course to learn cinematography online, you will also be given a digital certificate of completion or a signed copy on request. You can enroll for this best cinematography training with a one-time fee that includes a 15-days money-back guarantee. You can get the Premium version of this program to gain access to the additional assignments with teacher feedback and other networking, workshop, and alumni groups. Enrolling in this course will also give lifetime access to its classes and all its updates.


What You Will Learn

The topics covered under the different modules of this course include:


Module 1: Screenwriting

  • The pre-writing process includes the story and character development
  • How to structure the story
  • Understanding the screenplay format and writing action and dialogues
  • Creating documentary scripts


Module 2: Directing

  • Script analysis and finding the subtext
  • Mise-en-Scène, including costume design and color palette
  • Directing actors and casting
  • Blocking and shot sequencing


Module 3: Cinematography

  • Composition and framing – visual elements and technical applications
  • Lighting – natural and artificial
  • Camera movement types
  • Tonal range
  • Continuity and shot flow – the 30 Degree Rule, cutting in the camera


Module 4: Editing

  • Basics of editing and editing software
  • Understanding production value
  • Color grading, exposure, saturation, and contrast
  • Credits and title cards


Module 5: Sound Design

  • Basic concepts – equalizers, filters, Bit depth, mono and stereo
  • Sound capturing and microphones
  • Sound editing and mixing
  • Sound designing


Who is this Course For?

  • It is the best course to study cinematography online if you cannot afford to attend a filmmaking school
  • It is also the best cinematography training for those who have a story in mind and want to share it through the art of videography.


Pre-requisites for this Course

No technical pre-requisites have been mentioned to learn cinematography online through this course.


Review Julia Johansson:

Because of my schedule, I couldn’t attend film school, which is also quite a big investment. I got to know Lights Film School and understand a very different value proposition… And for me it made complete sense. It makes you start getting your hands dirty within the filmmaking process, even if you have never done it. It’s a safe space, and you learn so much.


7. Making a Short Film: Start to Finish [Lynda]

Making a Short Film

What is this course about?

If you want to make your own short film and are looking for short cinematography courses online, then this course on Lynda is the perfect match. This training will cover everything from start to finish that goes into the process of filmmaking. By enrolling for this beginner course to learn cinematography online, you will learn how to write and analyze your script, understand shot composition, lighting a scene, scheduling, budgeting, and finally, how to run a successful shoot. Through this course, you will also learn how to manage cameras and sound, work with actors, and effectively plan your production.


CreatorUp has created this course, and the instructor of its classes is Avi Glijansky, a writer, director, and producer. This course’s duration is 4 hours and 52 minutes and contains 39 on-demand video lectures to study cinematography online. You can access the cinematography courses online on Lynda through a LinkedIn subscription that offers a one-month free trial. You will also bag a certificate of completion with the Premium subscription. This course has already had 9650 views so far.


What You Will Learn

The topics covered in this best cinematography training on Lynda include:

  • Defining characters and mapping the script structure
  • Screenplay format and writing the screenplay
  • Script analysis and understanding visual storytelling
  • Shot compositions
  • Camera movements
  • Lighting and sound
  • Production design, hair, makeup, and costumes
  • Creative and technical challenges while preparing for production
  • Budgeting, location, scheduling, and assembling the crew
  • Casting of actors, rehearsals, and working on sets
  • Planning post-production


Who is this Course For?

This course is one of the top cinematography courses for anyone who wants to learn to make a short film and everything that goes into the production process.


Pre-requisites for this Course

There are no pre-requisites mentioned to study cinematography online through this course.


8. Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen by NFTS [FutureLearn]

Explore Filmmaking

What is this course about?

The last course in our list of best cinematography courses online is a filmmaking course designed by NFTS (National Film and Television School), supported by the British Film Institute. Created by a team of award-winning filmmakers, the cinematography classes online in this course will take you through the different approaches to telling a story.


You will dig deeper into the film production details starting from writing, directing, cinematography, editing, and composing. You will learn cinematography online as each instructor takes you through examples taken from their own work and from films that have inspired them in one way or the other.


Whether you want to make your own short films, take up filmmaking as a full-time career, or simply want to understand the art of filmmaking, by the end of this best cinematography training, you will have a clear idea of the filmmaking process. You will have a better understanding of the story and theme of a film, the different people involved in a shoot, and the roles of the camera, editing, and sound in storytelling.


It will take approx. 6 weeks to study cinematography online through this course, provided that you dedicate three hours daily to its classes.


This training’s instructors are Jon Wardle, Director of the National Film and Television School, and Tom Woodcock, a film education specialist. This training has a rating of 4.8/5, and 131,790 students have already enrolled for this course to learn cinematography online. While you can view the classes for free for up to eight weeks from the starting date, upgrading this course will give lifetime access to the course content and course tests, if any. Plus, you will also be eligible to earn a digital Certificate of Achievement.


What You Will Learn

The concepts taught in the cinematography classes online in this course include:

  • Understanding different roles within film production
  • Understand what a ‘short film is.’
  • Different ways in which films are structured
  • Using characters and action
  • The difficulties of funding a film
  • Types of equipment needed for a shoot
  • Visualizing a location
  • Processes of detailed planning of a shoot
  • Role of the cinematographer
  • Challenges faced by editors
  • Understanding time, space, and the other dimensions of editing
  • Using sound to provide a sense of realism
  • The work of music composer in a film


Who is this Course For?

This course is for amateur filmmakers, movie buffs, or anyone else interested in filmmaking.


Pre-requisites for this Course

No prior skills are required to undertake the classes of such cinematography courses online.

Review Ann H.:

Review by Ann H. on 25 Feb 2021 review stating Learning about how films are made The course is well structured and information is easy to understand. Those with some experience of filmmaking would gain more from the exercises. Overall very interesting and will help me appreciate the background to the films I watch.


That brings us to the end of our best cinematography courses online. Pursuing a career in cinematography can open up several avenues. With the right knowledge and guidance, you can initially fill in different shoes on the film sets and work your way up to shooting your own film one day. We hope that these cinematography courses online will set you on the right path.

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