LearnCinematography – Online Course for Aspiring Directors of Photography

LearnCinematography - Online Course for Aspiring Directors of Photography

LearnCinematography is a new online course by Jakob Owens and Thomas Taugher. This high-quality program covers 70+ subjects about lighting and cinematography in detail. LearnCinematography aims to teach you everything you need to know from pre-production to location scouting, light sources to lighting diagrams, and real-life project breakdowns. If you want to start your career as a freelance DOP, let’s take a closer look at this course!

LearnCinematography – Meet Your Instructors

LearnCinematography is an online course launched by Jakob Owens and Thomas Taugher. Jakob Owens is a Los Angeles based director, cinematographer, editor, and serial entrepreneur. Indeed, he is also the founder of Tropic Colour, Prism Lens FX, Buff Nerds Media, and he owns several locations/studios such as Honey Moon Hideout, The Eclectic West, and The Barracks.

Thomas Taugher, on the other hand, is a director of photography that works on music videos, commercials, and short/feature films. He worked for artists and brands such as Willy William, A$AP Rocky, Netflix, Forever 21, Dr. Marten, and so on.


Jakob Owens and Thomas Taugher. Image credit: LearnCinematography

Jakob and Thomas are two creative and ambitious individuals that have been working together for years. After sharing tips and tricks on social media, the next step was to create a course born out of frustration of their “traditional” film school past and path. LearnCinematography was born, with the idea to save thousands of dollars and years of mistakes to young creatives wanting to pursue a career in the film industry.


Image credit: LearnCinematography

LearnCinematography – Course Overview

As of now, the LearnCinematography course consists of more than 70 videos in 18 chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Pre-Production
  • Lighting breakdown
  • Camera breakdown (Coming Soon)
  • Lighting fundamentals
  • Quality of light
  • Directionality
  • Diffusion
  • Shaping light
  • Power
  • Color
  • Tips & Tricks (Coming Soon)
  • Cinematography tools
  • The business side of cinematography
  • Cinematography breakdown
  • Creative documents and contracts
  • Conclusion

As you saw, some of the chapters are still in “coming soon” state. New videos and lectures are added nearly every week. I like this aspect of the course, it keeps growing, and all the new content is free. It took me one month to review the LearnCinematography course, and several new videos popped up along the way. The idea of Jakob and Thomas is to continue uploading videos regularly, so it becomes one of the best lighting courses available on the market.

There are several videos in every chapter. Everything is laid down comprehensively, and the development is straightforward. A lot of thoughts have been put into it, so students logically learn new things.


Image credit: LearnCinematography

For example, you start by learning the film terminology before moving on to pre-production and top-down diagrams. Then, you’ll be shown the different types of lighting fixtures and diffusion before moving on to the lighting techniques.


Image credit: LearnCinematography

Jakob and Thomas explain everything in a distinct, detailed, and friendly manner. You can spend hours watching videos without feeling bored; it’s not just them talking in front of the camera: there are diagrams, BTS footage, real-life examples all over the place, so you don’t feel asleep in front of your computer. Also, at the end of every video, there is a little recap of the lesson you just watched so that you can take notes.

Finally, you can view all the LearnCinematography videos as much as you want, and find them very quickly on the site.


Image credit: LearnCinematography

Who Is This Course for?

If you are an aspiring director of photography, gaffer, director, or every job that relates to lighting in general, the LearnCinematography course is perfect for you. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get started in the industry and not feel lost on a film set. Of course, years of “real-life” experience can never be replaced, but this is a solid foundation for your career. Can it replace a film school? Not entirely as of now, but I would say it can save you one or two years of film school easily.


Image credit: LearnCinematography

I had the chance to watch the entire course before writing this article to see if it was worth it and to give you my opinion about it. To be honest, with ten years of experience in the industry, I’m not 100% the main target of this course, as I’m not starting from zero. However, I still learned some tips and tricks, and the “cinematography breakdown” chapter is a gold mine on its own.


Cinematography breakdown of A$AP Ferg – Pups feat A$AP Rocky. Image credit: LearnCinematography

Pricing and Availability

LearnCinematography keeps growing every week, but most of the videos are available now. Until 70 videos are on the site, you can “pre-order” it for $250.00 instead of $300.00 RRP. If you want to ask questions to your instructors and chat with them, it’ll cost you $400.00 instead of $450.00 RRP. For more information, you can visit LearnCinematography’s website here.

If this is not enough for you, Jakob and Thomas gave us a promo code for an extra 10% off – which means $25.00 on the $250.00 course and $40.00 on the $400.00 one – that is valid until the 30th of June. At checkout, simply enter code “cinema5D” (without “” and this is case-sensitive).

What do you think of the LearnCinematography course? Do you keep learning new techniques and skills regularly? Let us know in the comments below!

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