SPEC301: Intro to Digital Photography

  • Specialty Programs
  • Level 1
  • Hardware/Software/Books Required?

Course Description

With the ever popularity of social media and selfies, taking photos has become a common practice that can be  used at any point in life for fun and even in business. People can actually make money from taking photos and  there are many careers where photography is useful.  In this course, students will learn the Elements of Photography, look at and discuss master photographers work  so we can learn from them, watch the documentary My Octopus Teacher and see how photography captures life  underwater by a professional filmmaker and we will discuss the movie in another class, and review more photos that students collect and learn about storytelling in photography. At the start of each class, a summary of what  we covered the week prior will be discussed and any questions will be answered before moving onto new material. It is imperative that the student doesn’t miss a class because there will be info given that won’t be on the Canva  presentation. Students will be taking lots of notes that they’ll have for the future and will be assigned homework  to complete in order for the instructor to ensure that they understand what they’re learning.  

Pens for taking lots of notes 
Notebook for taking lots of notes they will refer back to in the future 
Day 1 – Intro
We’ll review the Zoom rules, learn more about me and my skills, what types of careers you can use
photography in, the Elements of Photography and vocab.
Homework: Review the Elements of Photography and be familiar with them.

Day 2 – Discuss Master Photographers
In the art world it’s standard to study the masters and learn from them to see what styles we like and
can imitate. In this day’s lesson, we’ll examine various master photographers which will allow us to
see how the Elements of Photography are applied in each image and what makes each Photography
so well-known.
Homework: Review the photographs and notes we cover in class.
Day 3 – My Octopus Teacher
Craig Foster is a South African documentary filmmaker and founder of the Sea Change Project. He
is known for the film My Octopus Teacher on Netflix. In today’s class, we’re going to watch part of the

movie, My Octopus Teacher, to see how this filmmaker was able to capture beautiful sea life under-
water. Class participation is a must as we will be discussing the film in class.

Homework: Write a summary of what you liked about the movie and how photography was used.
Make sure to include descriptive words, instead of things such as, “I think the movie was really good”.
This statement tells me nothing. I need to know your “Why”. Bring to class next day as we will be
sharing our thoughts.
Day 4 – Discuss the movie, My Octopus Teacher and the Art of Storytelling
In this day’s lesson, we’re going to discuss what we learned from watching the movie, My Octopus
Teacher, and share our thoughts from our homework summary with the class. Class participation is
Day 5 – Lightning and Composition
In this day’s lesson we’re going to look at the different ways we can use light in our photography and
how to do it.
Homework: Review the different lighting techniques and be familiar with them
Day 6 – Lighting Part 2
Since lighting is a huge part of photography, we’re going to discuss different ways we can get better
lighting with props. We’re going to talk about flash filters you can attach to your digital camera, we’ll
explore ring lights and learn what they are, what options we have to choose from and how to use
Homework: Research other lightning options you might consider getting for yourself.
Day 7 – The Art of Selfies
With the boom of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok, selfies have become
widely popular, especially with youngsters between 12 – 30. This day’s lesson is going to focus on
how to take a good selfie.
Homework: Using your digital camera or mobile device (can be a phone or tablet) take 10 selfies – 5
inside and 5 outside. Pay attention to the light, your background and the overall image.
Day 8 – Portrait Photography
Now that we’ve understood how to take a good selfie, in today’s lesson we’re going to learn the best
ways to photograph people.

Homework: Using your digital camera or mobile device (can be a phone or tablet) take 8 photos of

someone you know – 4 inside and 4 outside. Pay attention to the things we’ve covered in the previous lessons.

Day 9 – The Gestalt Theory in Photography
What is The Gestalt Theory? How do we use it in photography? We’ll also look at some photos to
determine if The Gestalt Theory was applied or not.
Homework: Take at least 10 photos of anything you choose and apply The Gestalt Theory to your
images and send them to be prior to class.
Day 10 – Show and Tell Discussion
We’re going to discuss everyone’s photo submissions and discuss what principles have been applied
to the image, as well as including any feedback to make things better in the future.