Diamond BarHigh School

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Foley, William M. » Digital Photography Syllabus

Digital Photography Syllabus


Diamond Bar High School

Instructor: Mr. Foley
Room: 224
To print this document, go to the bottom of the page.
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!
  • Pass course quizzes
·         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.

Required Materials

To successfully complete this course, you will need:

  • Access to a digital camera is essential! (Both Compact Digital Cameras or SLR Digital cameras are acceptable) *The class has 5 compact digital cameras students may use during class time. But with the size of each photography class between 35 and 40 students, that is a very small number!
Additional Resources
  • 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!
  • The students are restricted to one gigabyte of memory on the school server.  This will be quickly used up when shooting and downloading photos at school.
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.
·         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.  
Grading Policies:
Photo assignments will be graded on their: quality, creativeness, relevance to the assignment, and ability to communicate an idea or message.  Quizzes will be multiple-choice. 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                   65%
2.     Quizzes                         20%
3.     PowerPoint Report                    10%
4.     Class discussion                        5%    
         = 100%
Grading Scale:
Grading Scale Percentage Letter Grade  93 – 100 A,  90 – 92 A-,  87 – 89 B+,  83 – 86 B,  80 – 82 B-,  77 – 79 C+,  73 – 76 C,  70 – 72 C-,  67 – 69 D+,  63 – 66 D,  60 – 62 D-,  59 and below F Grades are NOT rounded. For example, 89.9% is B+.



I will normally remain in the classroom for at least one hour after school. My extension is 33224 if you need to contact me, either before or after school.


  • [William M. Foley
  • Extension 33224]
  • [http://dbhs.wvusd.k12.ca.us/index.jsp]

Student Signature: _____________________________________ Date: ______
Parent Signature:   _____________________________________ Date: ______