Digital Photography – Class 1

  • Welcome to Photography.
    Though the overall focus of this course will be Digital IMaging, the intent of this course will be Photography, plain and simple – how to use your camera to take great photos – get the foundations and it doesn’t matter what camera you use! (well….)
  • There will be both theory and practical units in this course.
  • Evaluations will be ongoing.
  • There will be both major and minor photography assignments.
  • There will be a final evaluation.
  • Though a Digital SLR camera is not a pre-requisite for this course, having one would be an asset. The digital camera can be either compact/point and shoot, pro-sumer or DSLR.
    Film cameras are, of course, always extremely welcome!
  • Software solutions include Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements – either PC or Mac platform.
  • Some suggested photo sources and links:
    BJ PhotoHenry’sVistekStaplesFuture ShopBest Buy – all have their specialties.
  • Some Digital Camera Manufacturer links.
  • Please e-mail me at over the next week with a mini-profile of:
    e-mail address:
    current camera:
    current scanner:
    comfort level with Adobe Photoshop:
    photography background:
    personal course goal(s):
    please e-mail me a photo of yourself – maximum width of 700 pixels
    (not sure how to do this? please ask and I will be happy to show you in Photoshop)

  • Course Evaluation and Assignments
    Every week there will be PhotoTasks and CameraTasks for you to complete and save to your workspace.
    Students will be using Adobe Photoshop and Elements for this course and will be taught how to use this software from a photographer’s perspective.
    By the end of the course you will have created three portfolios of personal, people and postcard images.
    One of you final tasks will be to manipulate one of your images and one that I will pre-determine.
  • We will talk more about the criteria in class.
  • Session 1 PhotoTasks
  • 1. choose a photographer that is somewhat famous whose photography you enjoy or would like to emulate. Do some research on the photographer and do a one page write=up that talks to:
    who the photographer is,
    what type of photography best describes this photographer,
    what you really like about the photographer’s images,
    and how you might emulate this photographer.
    Please include up to 10 images that this photographer has taken.
    Due in 2 weeks.
  • 2. begin taking images of letters and what ‘appear’ as letters to your eye.
    You will be assembling these letters to write a word or short phrase.
    I will be showing you examples in class.
    Due in 3 weeks. 
  • Session 1 – CameraTask
     – identify on your camera:

    the brand/name/model of your camera,
    number of megapixels,
    focal length (including zoom),
    aperture range,
    how to preview,
    how to load/unload the memory card (type of)
    and how to change/charge the battery(ies),
    how to turn off/on.
    how to – if possible – remove and install the lens.
    and anything else that is special about your camera 

Course Topic Sample Overview:

  1. Defining Digital Photography
  2. Digital versus Chemistry Photography
  3. Advantages & Disadvantages
  4. CCD
  5. Deciphering Pixels
  6. Film
  7. Cameras
  8. Anatomy of a digital camera
  9. Read your manual
  10. Research reviews online
  11. Shooting modes
  12. Online tutorials….
  13. Memory cards for digital cameras
  14. Compact Flash, MicroDrives, SD, xD, Memory Stick
  15. Card Readers
  16. Portable storage units
  17. Connecting to a computer
  18. Lenses – fixed vs zoom
  19. Compact digital camera conversion lenses
  20. Camera Modes
  21. What lens to use when
  22. Lens distortion
  23. Focal Length
  24. AutoFocus
  25. Auto Settings vs Manual
  26. Focus Lock
  27. Compact vs DSLR vs Full Frame DSLR vs Medium Format
  28. Cleaning a DSLR CCD
  29. DSLR focal length magnification
  30. Depth of Field – Focal length/Aperture/Subject Distance
  31. Aperture
  32. Shutter speeds and movement
  33. Shutter lag
  34. Ways to hold the camera
  35. Standing vs Sitting
  36. Tripods and heads
  37. Monopods
  38. Scanners – Flatbed vs Film vs PhotoScanners
  39. JPEGs – what to do with them
  40. Files
  41. File formats
  42. File sizes
  43. De-mystifying megapixels
  44. File management and organization
  45. File saving, archiving and backups
  46. File Recovery
  47. USB 1, 2, 3 
  48. Photo manipulation software
  49. Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, PaintshopPro, Photosuite, Online, OEM versions-
  50. Plug-ins
  51. Resampling
  52. Interpolation
  53. Perspective
  54. Cropping
  55. Selection tools
  56. Input Resolution
  57. Output Resolution
  58. Filters – physical and digital
  59. Dust and Scratches
  60. Red-eye and Red-eye Reduction
  61. Collages and composites
  62. Panoramas
  63. Colour to Black & White
  64. Creations – print
  65. Creations – web
  66. Creations – CD & DVD
  67. PDF slideshows with sound
  68. Photo prospects
  69. Your purpose for taking photos
  70. Mastering your camera’s controls….
  71. Image File Format
  72. Image Resolution
  73. ISO
  74. Taking images with Image Editing in mind
  75. Do you have everything for the photoshoot
  76. History of Photography
  77. Time of Day and Weather influence on photos
  78. Where’s the Light – What direction – front/back/side/above/below
  79. Take a variety of shots of subject
  80. Building a rapport
  81. Consider focal length based on person
  82. Group shots
  83. Sports and Action shots
  84. Changing camera angle
  85. Faster shutter speeds for kid pictures
  86. Self-portraits
  87. Reflections
  88. Timer
  89. B
  90. Photo balance
  91. Unconventional
  92. Stay in one place for a day shooting different light
  93. When a Tourist – Be Original but capture essence
  94. Protecting camera from rain, dust, water
  95. Housings
  96. Shooting Fireworks
  97. Composition (Rule of Thirds, Framing, Focus)
  98. Having a Theme
  99. Finding your Style
  100. Look at the Details
  101. Thinking of Proportions
  102. Digital Photography EXIF data
  103. Adding Photo Info to your files (metadata)
  104. Holding the camera
  105. Cleaning the camera and lens
  106. Batteries – charged, backups, keeping warm
  107. AC power
  108. Patience
  109. Repetition
  110. Understanding Exposure
  111. Choosing Exposure Modes
  112. Exposure Compensation
  113. Digital Exposure HIGHLIGHTS
  114. Keep the Focus Sharp
  115. Decide on what will be in Focus
  116. Program Mode
  117. Aperture Priority Mode
  118. Shutter Priority Mode
  119. Manual Exposure Mode
  120. Adjust shutter speed for action shots
  121. Panning….
  122. Try Manual Focus
  123. Deciphering Depth of Field
  124. Creating Effects in the Camera
  125. Focal Length
  126. Finding the right light
  127. Haze and Fog
  128. Change pose to eliminate distractions
  129. Layout – Portrait or Landscape
  130. Fill the Frame
  131. Looking for the Lines
  132. Photographing documents
  133. Silhouettes
  134. Graphic elements like lines
  135. When to use flash
  136. Fill Flash
  137. Soften the flash
  138. Angle the flash
  139. Lights off flash
  140. Looking for the sparkle in the eyes
  141. Adding light
  142. Close ups – Macro
  143. Window light
  144. Golden sunlight
  145. Sunrises and sunsets – lenses and cautions
  146. Food photography
  147. Weddings
  148. Car photos
  149. Architecture
  150. Pet photos
  151. Telephoto lenses
  152. Overexposing snow scenes for better results
  153. Juxtapose subjects
  154. Emphasizing subject
  155. Simple backgrounds
  156. Experiment
  157. Juxtapose colours
  158. Polarizing filters
  159. Low contrast
  160. High contrast
  161. Capturing changing seasons
  162. Composition
  163. Patterns, Repetition and Shapes
  164. Foreground framing
  165. Scale
  166. Have a plan
  167. Shoot shots for your photo library
  168. Storing images on a trip
  169. Increasing colour depth
  170. Working with RAW files
  171. Eliminating parts of images digitally
  172. Creating a digital panorama
  173. ‘Seeing’ in Colour and Black&White
  174. Converting Colour to Black&White
  175. Converting Black&White to Colour
  176. Converting parts to either
  177. Changing exposure in Photoshop
  178. Adding/subtracting contrast
  179. Adjusting colour
  180. Lighten and darken all or parts of image
  181. Making large prints
  182. Printing Photo Packages
  183. Digital Photo Albums
  184. Web Photo Galleries
  185. Calendars
  186. Greeting Cards
  187. Business Cards
  188. Photo montages
  189. Computer considerations
  190. Monitor – Scanner – Printer matching
  191. Monitors
  192. Scanning ideas – objects, b&w as colour
  193. Restoring old photos
  194. Straightening images
  195. Removing dark circles under eyes
  196. Removing or minimizing wrinkles, blemishes, freckles
  197. Vignettes
  198. Adding Motion
  199. Toning
  200. Tinting
  201. Dodging and Burning
  202. Desaturation
  203. Focus effects in Photoshop
  204. Textures
  205. Frames and Edges
  206. Filters
  207. Selecting objects
  208. New Backgrounds
  209. Type Effects
  210. Watermarks and Copyrighting images
  211. Contact sheets
  212. Printer types
  213. Media/Paper types
  214. Inks
  215. Comparing Results
  216. Chemistry printing