Digital Photography – ARTS 561

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course will provide the graduate student with a basic knowledge of digital photograph and to operate a digital single-lens reflex camera with proficiency. The correction and digital manipulation of images using current industry-standard software will be taught. Students will learn to communicate with their photography by posting their images to the Internet, printing their images using current inkjet technologies, and producing slideshows of their images for group consumption. Students are required to have their own digital single-lens reflex cameras. May be taken twice.




Within the past two decades, photography has undergone a technological revolution. The days of shooting, developing, and printing with film are gone for all but the personal artist. Therefore, a visual communicator must add a whole new set of digital skills to their basic knowledge of traditional analog photography. The visual communications field is changing on an almost-daily basis; communications professionals must keep up or be left behind. The demand in the job market is great for communicators that possess honed and polished digital photography skills.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify and then utilize the fundamental controls of his/her camera to create his/her own visual imagery.
  2. Enhance his/her captured images using the “digital darkroom;” learning the correct order or workflow in which to perform various tasks.
  3. Effectively output his/her images for print and size them for Internet usage and presentation.
  4. Effectively archive, catalog, and backup his/her work so that his/her images will be safe and retrievable in the future.
  5. Interpret/criticize a digital photograph for the basics, such as: exposure, density, contrast, composition, and perspective; but also for the so-called intangibles, such as: meaning, style, and artistic merit.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (7)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, you are required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 400 words, except for Discussion Board Forum 7, and demonstrate course-related knowledge. The thread in Discussion Board Forum 7 must be at least 200 words. In addition to the thread, you are required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words, except for in Discussion Board Forum 7, in which each reply much be at least 100 words. Any sources used must be cited in current MLA format, and biblical principles must be integrated. 

Photo Assignments (6)

The student will be given a photo assignment for each module/week. All photographs submitted during the course must be taken by the student submitting the work and must be taken during this course. The student will be required to submit photos each module/week for review by the instructor. The student will be required to upload the photos to a digital portfolio created on for review and critique by his/her peers. The student must respond to at least 5 of his/her classmates’ photos.

Research Paper

The student will compose a 5-page research paper in current MLA format entitled “My Top 5 Favorite Photographers.” A photographer must have his/her own website domain to be considered as a viable professional photographer for this paper. Also, none of the photographers can be a relative or personal friend of the student. The student’s paper must include biographical information, a description of the subject’s work, reasons to support the student’s admiration of the photographer, and the photographer’s career journey. The student will also be required to provide links to 5 examples of each photographer’s work, as well as a link to each photographer’s website. These resources will not be included in the 5-page minimum for the paper.

Final Project

The student will create a final slideshow showcasing at least 35 of his/her images. The show must be 3.5–5 minutes long and include some type of synchronized soundtrack (music, narration, etc.). The student may use any software program he/she wants to present his/her show. Images may be in color or black and white. All photos must be taken by the student during this course. The student will be graded on the following: originality of subject, quality of images, professionalism of presentation, length of show, and creativity. The slideshow must be in 1 self-contained file and must run continuously without outside prompts. The soundtrack must be embedded in the self-contained video file. The slideshow must be formatted as a video file and uploaded to YouTube.

Quizzes (6)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the previously assigned module/week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain between 15 and 40 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a time limit of 30 or 60 minutes.

Final Exam

The Final Exam will cover all the Reading & Study materials for the course. The exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 100 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 2 hour time limit.