Digital photography lessons are available in many different forms, both through online learning and through offline resources such as college courses. The right course for you will largely depend on your own ambitions in the photography field, and whether or not they include any ambitions to become a professional. Some photography jobs demand a high standard of formal education, and are virtually impossible to enter without the right college course, while others can be entered by anyone who has the necessary skills.
If the lessons are to be comprehensive enough to allow the complete beginner to achieve a high standard, they will need to start with the fundamentals of how a photograph needs to be taken in the first place. This is not as simple as it sounds, and there is little fundamental different between the front end of a digital camera and one which has been made in the previous era of film cameras. The shutter still operates in the same way, to pull light into the mechanism which processes the photograph. Any tradition wisdom you have from previous experiences with film cameras will still be perfectly valid. There are many useful tips which can reduce the need to rely on modern software.
The lessons which you take should give you the confidence to shoot in different lighting conditions, and to take photographs whenever the opportunity presents itself. Photographers who specialize in still subjects are able to choose the optimum conditions for the photograph to be taken, but those who are seeking to take action shots do not have that luxury. The are still ways to create an image which is more easily edited, and the great advantage of digital photography is that this editing is easily possible. Editing is still more effective if you can produce a quality photograph to work with at the start.
Taking digital photography lessons will allow you to understand and use the complex industry standard software which manipulates digital images, and which can create virtually any effect that the photographer chooses. This is Adobe Photoshop, and it is not cheap or easy to use. You will need to be prepared to spend upwards of $500 on this complete state of the art solution, but it will be the only photograph manipulation program you will ever need. You will have the ability to correct obvious errors, as well as to enhance the result with effects.
It is not absolutely necessary to own this software, or to know how to use it, if you are only seeking to take photographs for your own purposes. There are other free software programs which can give you some of the functionality of Photoshop, including Paint.NET, which will allow you to open Photoshop files, as long as you have a certain plug in to go with it. Amateur photographers can still produce reasonable results without having to go to the extreme of buying software which will probably be more expensive than the camera itself.
Although digital photography lessons should be complete by themselves, there is never any harm in giving yourself an advantage by reading up on the subject in advance. There are many resources online which can give you graphic illustrations of what is possible with modern digital photography, and in some cases you can even attempt to manipulate photographs yourself through an online interface. Don’t try to learn too much too soon, but do give yourself the best possible chance by laying a foundation for the courses to come. You can them hit the ground running and gain the greatest advantage from your digital photography lessons.