Digital Photography

Digital Photography Syllabus

Course Introduction

Welcome! This course is designed to introduce you to the spectacular world of digital photography and to equip you to take extraordinary pictures.  We will be using Tom Ang’s beautiful introductory book, Digital Photography Essentials, as well as our own online content for instructional purposes. 

We will be covering both theory and practice with special emphasis on taking lots of photographs combined with peer evaluation and instructor critiques. By the end of the course, you will have a strong understanding and well-developed appreciation for photographic concepts, principles, and styles as well as an ability to successfully operate and manipulate a camera to produce beautiful, eye-catching images.

Course Description 

Digital photography is an exciting introductory elective course designed to train students how to effectively and successfully use a digital camera. Among the many subjects addressed in this class are the history of photography, ethics, cameras, lenses, accessories, lighting and exposure, composition, photography techniques, and explorative special effects. The course is offered completely online exclusively through Oaks Christian Online and its online delivery system. Content and instructional material is custom designed and supplemented with Tom Ang’s Digital Photography Essentials. Students will take many photographs throughout the course and will demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of various aspects of picture taking. Peer review and instructor critique will provide students with valuable feedback for improving images. Assignments will be assessed on clearly presented rubrics. Grading will be based on participation in synchronous sessions and contributions to the discussion board. Additional assignment types will also include Prezi presentations and a final portfolio project as well as sporadic unit quizzes, movie reviews, and brief essays. This enjoyable class will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce beautiful photographs by mastering an array of camera techniques.

This is a 1 semester course consisting of 9 units.  Upon successful completion students will receive 0.5 credit towards high school graduation.

Purpose of the Course

The purpose of the course is to provide an introduction to the wonderful world of digital photography. The curriculum and assignments are intended to teach students how to become proficient photographers with appropriate attention to the historical, technical, and artistic aspects of the medium. At the conclusion of the course, students will be familiar with cameras and accessories techniques and be able to produce beautiful images that demonstrate mastery of the course material.

Course Overview

  • History of Photography
  • Ethical and Legal Aspects of Photography
  • Cameras, Lenses and Accessories
  • Digital Images
  • Lighting, Flash and Exposure Compensation
  • Composition
  • Genres of Photography
  • Explorative and Special Effects Photography
  • Socio-Cultural Aspects of Photography, The Future and Final Project

Course Expectations

  1. Practice as much as you can with your camera and become familiar with its settings! The more experience you obtain, the better your photos will be!
  2. Share your images with your family and friends and ask for their honest feedback and assessment.
  3. Bracket your photos (try different shutter speeds, ISOs, or apertures) and try different focal lengths and angles of the same scene. 
  4. Experiment and be creative! 
  5. Take your time and set up the scene. Think about what you are trying to do and find the best way to accomplish your task.
  6. Analyze and critically evaluate your images. Examine the photos for ways to make improvements. Be your own best critic!
  7. If you have an appointment, make sure you keep it.
  8. If you are covering an event, get there in advance and find the best location prior to the action. Get permission if needed.
  9. When on photographic assignments, make sure to have a fully charged battery and sufficient memory on your camera card. It may be helpful to carry extra batteries, cards, and supplies in case they are needed.
  10. If you are photographing a person, have them sign a photo release.
  11. Don’t just take the number of photos that are required to complete the assignment – always go above and beyond!
  12. Be respectful of other classmates and their work.
  13. Do not submit images that are inappropriate or out of character for a Christian school.
  14. Never procrastinate. Pace yourself so that you can complete the course on time.
  15. Choose quality over quantity. Give everyone your BEST!
  16. Take your camera with you wherever you go!
  17. Ask questions, share your knowledge and enthusiasm, contribute to class discussions and critiques, encourage others, and learn from everyone!
  18. Share new websites, applications, apps, and other photographic resources with the class!
  19. Only use photos that you have taken in this class – not ones taken earlier in time unless it is part of the assignment.
  20. Photos of photos are not allowed.
  21. Have fun!

Required Course Materials

Please review the course materials information below and order your materials as soon as possible through the Oaks Christian Online book ordering system.  Often times, course materials are on back order and you may experience a delay in receiving them, causing students to fall behind in their online coursework. When ordering used or rented materials, be careful that online access codes are also current.

Methods of Instruction

Many types of assignments and assessments will be used in class to enable students to demonstrate proficiency and mastery of the material. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Participation in Synchronous Sessions
  • Contribution to Discussion Board
  • Prezi Presentations
  • Quizzes
  • Essays
  • Movie Reviews
  • Final Portfolio Project

Methods of Evaluation

The following types of assignments and percentages of overall grade are core components of this class:

  • Participation (synchronous sessions, discussions) (10%)
  • Quizzes (20%)
  • Assignments (essays, movie reviews, prezi presentations) (45%)
  • Final Portfolio Project (25%)

Each assignment will be assessed by and accompanied with a rubric. Please consult this rubric for project requirements and grading criteria. 

Printing Services

In the event that you would like to make prints of your photographs, you can either print the images with your own photo printer or have them done by an outside source. One of the least expensive ways to do this is Costco’s Photo Center where you can upload your images to their website and order online. There are many additional photo printing services and it wise to shop around for quality and best value. Be aware that while printers are becoming more affordable for purchase, the cost of ink cartridges and high quality paper (matte or glossy) can be expensive. Also, note that Costco, Kinkos, WalMart, Target, and other locations now require a completed release form prior to printing any images.

Permission Form – Images Taken in Class

You are the owner of the images you create in this class. This means that you have the rights to the images. However, Oaks Christian Online reserves the right to use any images that are submitted for class assignments in its course curriculum and publicity. These images will not be sold or used for profit because the images belong to you, the photographer. You may take these images and use them for commercial purposes. 

Photo Release Form

When photographing models for your portrait assignment, you will need to have a signed photo release form that grants permission without remuneration before the image is viewed online by students in the class or publically displayed (online or in print) for educational and non-commercial promotional purposes by Oaks Christian Online.

* Semester-long Course and ** Eight-week Course

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