Printable Syllabus (PDF)
Art 129 | Digital Photography

course description

This introductory course provides a theoretical, technical, and aesthetic foundation in digital photography. Students learn technical camera usage and principles of design through shooting assignments that focus on the correlation between photography composition and conceptual intent. Lab exercises and demonstrations develop basic digital skills using software to modify and enhance images for digital output and presentation. Theoretical readings, writing assignments, group critique and visual presentation of contemporary digital photography help contextual the student’s work and facilitate the development of analytical skills with an emphasis given to the vocabulary of photographic viewing. Class Hours: 4

course learning outcomes + objectives + measures

Upon successful completion, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand and utilize basic features of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera:
  • Create photographs demonstrating intentional use and control of exposure, shutter speed, and depth of field. All Exercises and Projects.
  • Create photographs demonstrating awareness of compositional principles:
  • Create photographs demonstrating understanding of composition, negative and positive space, visual flow, rule of thirds, emphasis/focal point, foreground, middle ground, background, exposure, depth of field, and shutter speed. All Exercises and Projects, Quiz.
  • Use creative visual thinking strategies to communicate meaning:
  • Create a photographic series that makes effective use of subject matter and formal elements to communicate a pre-determined meaning.
    Weekly class critiques, Reading & Research Blackboard posts & E-portfolio self-critiques, Final Project Written Statement.
  • Identify design strategies that are used to communicate a predetermined meaning or emotion (mark-making, high/low contrast, emotive color, composition, geometric/organic shapes).
    Weekly class critiques, Reading & Research Blackboard posts, E-portfolio self-critiques, especially Projects 4 to 6, Final Project.
  • Use technical vocabulary to analyze and evaluate photographic images:
  • Evaluate the use of basic photographic concepts and techniques in selected photographs.
    All Exercises and Projects.
  • Critically analyze and “decode” photographic images, and evaluate the relationship between form and meaning. All Exercises and Projects.