Photography

How do photographs impact the world, and how can they impact my life?

Why Take This Course?

Photography

Photography gives you the tools you need to better capture moments in your life you want to remember.

Photography is everywhere. Especially with the advent of the digital camera, anyone can be a photographer. You’ve participated in the art form yourself when using a camera phone to take a picture of your friend eating that huge piece of cake! However, while incredibly accessible and fun, photography is also an art form worthy of mastery. In this online Fine Arts course, we study the mechanics of photography, as well as all of the principles of composition, lighting, and photo editing. So, next time you are inspired by a sunrise, a facial expression, a sporting event, or the moment your puppy cuddles up with a stuffed kitty, you can take a beautiful picture and share it with the world.

 

Course Framework

Unit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4
Why do we take photographs?What are the Composition Rules?How do I take more interesting photographs?How do I tell a story or demonstrate a message through photos?
Why are photographs an important element in media?What is the significance of color?What is the role of light in photography?What story do I want to share with others?
How do we recognize a good photograph?How do I focus on my subject?What are the different types of pictures I can take, and how do they differ?What are the elements of a good story?
Why do we respond to certain images?How can good composition make my photos more interesting?How can photography be used to share my thoughts with the world?
What is the evolution of photography?What are the different settings my camera has, and how do I select them?What can digital manipulation do to my photographs?
How do I effectively use my camera?How do colors work together to enhance my photographs?

Texts and Materials Students Must Purchase

A Pringles can. Any flavor will suffice.
A digital camera that can capture quality images. Any digital camera that connects to your computer will work, but one that meets the following specs is ideal:

  • At least 8 megapixels (most cameras made today meet this requirement)

  • An optical zoom lens of at least x4 (note: not the same thing as digital zoom. Optical zoom means that the lens moves in and out of the camera as you change zoom)

  • It should have optical image stabilization (unless you are planning on using a tripod most of the time, which isn’t a bad idea anyway)

  • Look to see that the camera’s settings can be changed based on the situation. Usually, cameras have “sunny, night, movement, etc.” options, and you should make sure yours does too

  • If you’d like to purchase a new one, check out this article or see the point-and-shoot bestsellers on Amazon
Photo-editing software. If you already own one, awesome. If not, you can download Gimp for free from this site. Gimp is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop, and it’s a pretty solid program. If you have Adobe Photoshop, you are welcome to use that. Otherwise, please download Gimp. Note: Programs that simply apply “filters” to photos (ie Instagram, PicMonkey, etc.) are NOT sufficient for this course.
Not required, but recommended:
  • Tripod

  • Reflectors (we discuss making DIY reflectors in class)

  • Family members or friends willing to be frequently photographed
 

Details

  • Recommended Grade: 9th (Freshman), 10th (Sophomore), 11th (Junior), 12th (Senior)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Versions & Estimated Weekly Hours: 4
  • Format: Live
  • Credits: 0.5