• Photography 1-4

    Course Title: Photography 1 - 4

    Subject Area: Visual Arts

    Student Grade Level(s): 10 - 12

    Length of Course: 20 Weeks

    Credit Assigned: 0.5

    Prerequisites: None (without college credit);

    Articulation with Villa Maria for 3 College Credits = Studio in Art or Teacher Recommendation- Portfolio review through Villa Maria

    Photo 2 - can earn 3 college credits through ECC for the "Photoshop Basics" course for an extra fee ($98/credit)

    Enrollment Limit: 15

    This course fulfills ½ credit for the Technology requirement at Akron High School. 


    Overview:  Digital Media has become an integral part of life in the 21st century. Photography I is an exciting and contemporary course based on learning and using a digital SLR camera, learning manual exposure settings, basics of photographic composition, lighting techniques, and incorporation of images with a computer.  Students will develop a series of projects for print, digital, and presentation.

    Studio in Photography II continues concepts learned in the first semester.  Advanced camera techniques help students create their digital portfolio.  Basic introduction and incorporation of video skills on the computer will assist students in creating exciting presentations using visual and sound equipment.  At the end of the course, students will have an interactive digital media portfolio.

    Goals & Objectives:

    • To study the elements of art and principles of design through various digital photography projects

    • To learn effective planning, idea gathering, and composition methods.

    • To use a variety of art media, technology, tools, and techniques.

    • To gain a variety of skills to present their work to the public, including print and mounting/matting techniques.

    • To understand how to read, write and talk about digital photography using a critique, vocabulary, and rubrics.

    • To understand copyright laws, fair use rules, technical and computer ethics, and digital citizenship.

    • To demonstrate basic camera care and responsibility, history of photography and careers in the field of photography

    Materials (Include title & Author of Text(s):

    • No assigned textbook, but may include readings from a variety of sources, including books, Web pages, and tutorials. Basic texts include Photography by London & Upton, The Rules of Photography and When to Break Them by Kamps, articles from “Practical Photography,” etc.

    • Hardware: Dell Multimedia Workstation, Wacom Pen Tablet, Scanning Devices, Printer, and Canon Rebel digital SLR cameras (3, 3i, 6, 6i)

    • Software: Adobe Creative Suite, including: Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere, Microsoft Power Point, Publisher, etc.

    • Art Supplies Include: Photograph Paper, Mat board and X-acto knives, variety of digital print paper, hand coloring equipment, mixed media for transfer methods

    • Storage: Network Server, DVD, flash drives, Google Drive

    Time Allotment per unit:

    (Projects vary, but this is a general overview)

    Photography 1:

    • Basic camera parts and handling: power, auto modes, focus (auto and manual), menu, continuous burst, self-timer, flash, resolution, tripod. Safety, stance, and camera care.

    • Photo scavenger hunt using basic settings.

    • File management: deleting photos, naming photos, folders. Basic Photoshop correction: exposure, histogram, levels, curves, and color correction. File> new, save, save as, file formats, where to save, naming files.

    • Portraiture and lighting: 4 point lighting system (key, fill, back, and background). Well-lit exposure vs high-key, low-key, and Chiaroscuro lighting. Lighting and backdrop set-up and safety. (Annie Liebovitz)

    • Adjusting ISO for lighting situations. When to use low vs high settings.

    • Black and white effects- using non-destructive methods in Photoshop to create stunning contrast.

    • Photoshop Special Effects- spooky movie poster: green screen, selective color, color adjustment using clipping mask, vignettes, distress brushes, texture layers, color replacement, color filters.

    • Still life photography and lighting. We have created alphabets and words from objects, food still lifes, floral art, etc. Results are organized into a sequence, recipe page, or collage.

    • Surreal photo montage, transformation, scale shift, etc.- blend a variety of unrelated images into one image. Create unity through masking (hard edge vs soft edge, partial masking with gray), color correction and clipping masks. (Uelsmann, Man Ray)

    • Macro photography of toys to achieve shallow and wide depth of field. Understanding aperture and f-stop. Creating bokeh. Photoshop-created shallow depth of field and tilt-shift effect. Composition: rule of thirds. (Slinkachu)

    • The exposure triangle: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. Simulation showing how each is interconnected. Animal and/or child photography, and when to adjust each of the three settings. (outdoor vs indoor, posed, sleeping, and moving, depth of field) (William Wegman, Anne Geddes)

    • Silhouette and back lighting. Creating light diffusers with household objects. Opacity vs transparency. Creating a Photoshop silhouette in a new background from a non-shadowed object using masking, lock transparency, gradient tools, and vignettes. Use of spot metering and manual focus. (Henri Cartier Bresson)

    • Understanding long shutter speed and Tv setting. Long exposures and light painting: words, drawing, “flashing” or “painting” objects, color effects, and mixing techniques. Use of tripod and shutter release cable, and manual focus. Composition: movement and rhythm.

    • Artist research and emulation project. Based on list of photographers.

    • Printing and mounting artwork.

    • Basic critique techniques to discuss historical art, as well as student art.

    Photography 2:

    • Managing files. Adobe Bridge and Metadata. Contact sheets.

    • Capturing motion- splash photography, sports photography, water drop photography. Using fast shutter speed to freeze motion.

    • Multiples of Me – using multiple photos taken in a sequence using a tripod. Photos are stacked on layers, and masking techniques are used to reveal the figure from each.

    • Motion blur to show movement. Using long shutter speed for an emotional effect.

    • Double exposures in Photoshop using photo montage, blending modes, and masking.

    • Snow photography and use of exposure compensation. Cold weather and camera care. White balance settings.

    • Night photography, exposure compensation, and long shutter speeds.

    • Narrative photography- telling a story with a sequence of photos. Create a well-balanced collage using templates, rulers, and guidelines.

    • Bracketing of exposure to achieve High Dynamic Range. The Zone system and Ansel Adams. Landscape and Nature Photography. Use of Photoshop to layer multiple exposures, Photomatix, or RAW and Lightroom.

    • Cinemagraphs, sequence of movements, gif animation, and other movement-based photography series.

    • Combining photography with drawing or painting. This may be a graphic design paired onto the photo on a layer in Photoshop, may be image transfer onto a traditional media support for further manipulation, or involve combining drawn or painted objects that are scanned in and manipulated with the photo.

    • Photo restoration…or degradation. Using Photoshop to age photos, or restore and improve them.

    • Macro using depth of field and bokeh from natural light. Aperture and manual focus. Color saturation and desaturation.

    • Develop a series of photos based on a theme of choice.

    • Contemporary Photography and Careers in Photography- research and emulation (create a product inspired by your research)

    • Printing and matting artwork for display. Artist statements.

    • Creating a digital portfolio – online software and/or Adobe Premiere

    Photography 3 is an Independent Study-based course where students create a project plan with the instructor. Students will use their camera and composition skills in a more meaningful and narrative way to express emotion and story. Advanced techniques will be explored with teacher tutorial, through research methods, and individualized plans.

    Photography 4 focuses on developing a Concentration of work based on a specific theme, topic, or extended study of a technique. The goal is to develop a particular photographic style and voice. Student will have a portfolio of work, as well as display their concentration as a  unified work with explanation/ artist statement.

    Methods of Study:

    Methods of study include project work, portfolio development, teacher instruction, tutorial work, individual and group critique, written and oral critique, small group interaction, and research papers/power points. A majority of the work will be student driven project work based on problems posed in class based on historical photography as well as usage of techniques learned in class.  Students will develop a portfolio of work in digital and print form. Teacher instruction will often be tutorial work, which includes watch and follow methods to inspire visual and kinesthetic learners.  Worksheets, teacher-created how-to videos, web links, and articles may supplement teaching. Critique may be written or oral, individual, small group, or class.  Occasionally, research projects will be included to further student understanding of current digital photography concepts.

    Assessment Plan:

    Grading Procedure

    Major Projects…………….50%  (approximately 6-10 per marking period)

    Must be turned in on time to receive full credit. Projects can be re-worked for a higher grade, but must be turned in by the end of the marking period.

    Class Participation, Critiques, Being Prepared, & Effort…………..50%

    Participation = constructive class participation, use of entire class period for work, concentration on art, care of tools and art space, proper storage of work, critique participation, team work, etc.

    Prepared = in class on time, notebook, portfolio, assignments, etc.

    Quizzes- may include quizzes if APPR directs me to do so

    Extra Credit…………….5%

    Can be earned through participation in the arts outside of class: including but not limited to volunteer work, contests, etc.

    Marking Period 1 Grade (50%) + Marking Period 2 Grade (50%) = 100%

    (If quizzes and final: MP1= 40%, MP2=40%, final=20%)

    Marking Period 3 Grade + Marking Period 4 Grade = 100%

    (If quizzes and final: MP1= 40%, MP2=40%, final=20%)