James Caldwell  High School

    Instructor: Ms. Amacher

    Room: 404


    Course Description

    This course will help the students become well rounded in the fundamentals of digital photography.  Four areas of instruction will be emphasized: How cameras work, how composition works, how lighting works, how to use photo editing software. Students will, generally, receive basic instruction, demonstration, and see samples of the desired outcomes, at the beginning of each period.  They will be allowed to go outside and shoot assignments, based on what they are learning.  Perhaps the most useful part of classroom instruction will be daily reviews of photos students have shot the previous day(s).  They will see what makes a successful photo and what does not.


    At the end of this course, you will:

    Know how to use various features of the camera to have creative control of your photographs.
    Be able to decide what type of lighting to use in a given situation to produce optimum results.
    See how photographic composition can make or break a photograph
    Understand how to use photo editing software to improve the overall appearance of images


    Learning Outcomes
    To successfully complete this course, students must: 

    Show up in class, on time!
    ·         Complete assignments by given deadlines

    Cooperate with other students and staff to increase learning potential
    Take and Edit photos successfully using digital cameras and photo editing software
    Research a photographer and report on his (or her) style and impact on photography
    Take part in class discussions and critiques of photos presented in class.


    Suggested Materials

    It would be wise if students have a portable USB storage device so they will be able to download images from the computers to take home!
    An SD card for the camera.


    Course Topics


    The course will cover the following topics:

    1.     Various Camera Modes and their uses

    2.     Flash Modes

    3.     ISO settings

    4.     White Balance

    5.     Drive Modes

    6.     Lens Focal Length

    7.     Exposure Compensation

    8.     Focusing Options

    9.     Depth of Field (Depth of Focus)

    10.  Macro Photography

    11.  Portraiture

    12.  Landscape

    13.  Action Photography

    14.  Still Life

    15.  Candid Photography

    16.  Indoor Photography

    17.  Fine Art Photography

    18.  Black and White (Monochrome)

    19.  Basic Techniques of Lighting (Including: Front, Side, Back, Defused, etc.)

    20.  Basic Photo Composition (Including: Rule of 3rds, Leading Lines, Framing Subjects, etc.)

    21.  Basic Photo Editing (Using Photoshop and Picasa)

    22.  Special Photoshop Creative Ideas involving use of layers

    23.  High Dynamic Range (H.D.R.) Photography

    24.  Knowledge of Pixels, Mega Pixels, DPI, PPI




    I will attempt to make a calendar for due dates of assignments, quizzes, etc. as soon as I am up and running on the school software!



    General Rules:


    ·         Students are to handle all class equipment, (including computers, cameras, lights, etc.) with care.

    ·         Students are responsible to replace any equipment damaged by their actions

    ·         Students are to be assigned specific numbered equipment and computers. They are to use only their assigned equipment unless they have express permission from the teacher.

    ·         Cell phones, head phones, I-pods, etc. will not be allowed in class. (Either in the classroom or outside, when shooting)

    ·         Students are to avoid shooting photos in or near other classrooms so they will not disrupt the teaching and learning of others.

    ·         Students are not permitted to leave the school campus during class time to shoot photos.

    ·         Food and beverages are not permitted in the classroom at any time.

    ·         Class lab time is expected to be spent working on assignments.  Students will not be allowed to defer shooting photos, or editing photos until a later time.

    ·         Photos taken at home may only be counted for extra credit, and then only if a student has completed all of the other assignments for the class.

    ·         There may be occasions where assignments are to be done at home (outside of school on student’s own time) in which students would sign out cameras at the end of the day.




    Grading Policies:

    Photo assignments will be graded on their: quality, creativeness, relevance to the assignment, and ability to communicate an idea or message.  The photographer PowerPoint report will be presented in class.  (Most likely, these Power Points will be done in pairs.)


    Grading Plan

    Coursework will be graded as follows:

    1.     Photo Assignments                   75%

    2.     PowerPoint Report                    10%

    3.     Class discussion                       25%    


             = 100%





    Mea Amacher