This interactive visualizer allows you to play with all of the variables (lighting conditions, aperture, ISO, and exposure time (a.k.a. shutter speed) that go into selecting an overall correct image exposure. It also shows how changes in those variables affect depth of field, motion blur, and 'noise'. Please play with it until you are able to anticipate how certain changes will affect the image before you even make those changes.
Aperture, Depth of Field (DOF), and focal length explained
Color Theory Explained
Make sure you understand the difference between ADDITIVE and SUBTRACTIVE color mixing. How does the difference between the two impact the way you plan to present your work? (Hint: Consider the difference between work presented digitally vs. printed).
Deals! Any of these cameras would meet the gear requirements for this course. My personal bias favors Canon, but any DSLR that allows you to manually control your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO will work fine. Be aware that "body only" cameras do not include a lens, so purchasing a separate and compatible lens is necessary. It is usually cheaper to buy a "body and lens" kit together.
T5 with 18-55 lens for $383
XS with 18-55 lens for $218
Xti with 18-55 lens for $199
F1.8 50mm lens for $51
Amazon has lots of affordable gear, but when purchasing used, I'd make a point of staying local and making sure I tried the gear before buying it.
Photo Video Plus in Kalispell is a wonderful and reliable resource for finding and purchasing used gear. If you're looking for good new or used gear, look there first.
This is an intro to Photoshop CS6. Learn what some of the tools do, how layer masks work, and how to make selections!