NVHS Credit Hours: 1

Course Description: Digital Photography is the use of a digital camera or DSLR and computer programs to bring your creative visions and artistic expressions to life using analytical and non-analytical thinking skills. The main emphasis of this course is to solve a series of open ended and inter-related problems through photography while learning about the camera (its parts and functions). These open ended problems are designed to enhance student understanding of how to use photography combined with traditional principals as a means of personal investigation, understanding, and exploration.

Course Prerequisites: Studio in Art or instructor permission
Student Audience – Grade Level(s): 10, 11, 12

Semester(s) Offered: Half Year (January-June)

Minimal Basic Skills Needed to Complete Course Successfully: Basic Skills are needed in how to compose a picture within a frame

Course Materials:
A USB flash drive that has at least 16G of space.
You may bring in a digital camera of your own if you would like to. We have some here, and they should be enough for the number of students in our course, but you are welcome to bring in your own.
There is no specific text for this course, but there will be articles assigned to you based on what we are currently studying. The school will provide you with the Adobe Suite of tools, but you are encouraged to use alternative freeware or purchased software at home to complete your projects in a timely manner.

Specific Learning Outcomes:

  • To understand the difference between taking a picture and making photographic art.
  • To understand the functions of digital and DSLR cameras and the parts of the camera.
  • To develop a thorough understanding of how, by applying the elements and principles of art and design, the artist can create limitless possibilities in photographic media that are aesthetically pleasing, thought provoking, and expressive. Students will learn the importance of self-reflection and challenging their current level of ability both visually and conceptually.
  • Establish a personal work ethic, time management/organizational skills. Learn to use various tools and materials and be able to know how to manipulate these to create successful solutions to various problems. To learn how to constructively criticize your own work, and accept constructive criticism from others.
  • Recognize exceptional art from an informed perspective through presentations of historic and contemporary examples of photography. You will learn to recognize when a piece is finished and know when to halt the creative process..

Course Requirements/Expectations

Class Attendance and Participation Policy
You are expected to be in class and working every day, on time, and for the full class time. If you know that you will be out, please notify me as soon as possible so that I can get you any handouts or assignments.

Student Responsibilities
Students are expected to be prompt, self-motivated , manage time well and participate in class critiques and discussion. While we will use every class to the fullest extent, it is expected that students will put extra time into their work outside of class time if it is required. Each student is responsible for keeping a personal photo journal to experiment in and practice foundational skills. I am available any time by appointment as well as during my lunch and preparatory classes and before and after school.

Course Readings
There is no specific text for this class, but we will be studying articles and readings as they become pertinent to our study. We will also be making use of YouTube, and other videos to help inform our learning and to study a topic more closely. You are expected to read and research outside of class to complete presentation projects.

Calendar of Assignments (please note that these are subject to change)

Getting to Know your Camera

  • Camera Controls, ISO, and F-Stops
    • Shooting in different modes
    • Shooting at different f-stops for effect
  • Exposures, Mode Conversions, Shutter Speeds and Composition
    • Exposure Compensation in different Lighting Conditions
    • Leading Lines
    • Night-time "light paintings"

Introduction to Photoshop

  • Color conversion
  • Adjustment Layers
  • The "dot bleed" effect
  • Burn, Dodge, Selections and Channels

Portrait Unit

  • Lighting and Classic portraits
  • Candid Portraits
  • Non-representational self-portraits (as a shoe)

Product Photography

  • Food products
  • Advertisement billboards

Photography as Art Unit

  • Conceptual Art (with write up)
  • Expressing Emotions and Moods
  • Social Issues
  • Photo Story
  • Recreation of a Master Work with a modern twist

Grading Policy
My grading policy separates into three categories: Participation (25%), Sketchbook assignments/Homework/Presentation (25%) and Projects (50%)

Academic Integrity
Use of copyrighted images is strictly forbidden. All images and photographic reference must be your own. Failure to comply with this will result in a removal of the project from the grade book until an appropriate project is turned in.

Instructor Disclaimer
This syllabus is intended to give the student guidance in what may be covered during the semester and will be followed as closely as possible. The instructor reserves the right to modify, supplement and make changes as the course needs arise in such a manner that will benefit the classroom environment.

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