Course Description:

Students study advanced digital photography with an emphasis on craftsmanship, creativity, and visual communication. The use of special effects, controlled lighting, and theory are included for a better understanding of photographic problem-solving. The course also includes advanced shooting and processing techniques. Web assets and resources are explored and utilized.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes

The successful student will:

Demonstrate an ability to operate a digital camera to current industry standards for entry level employment.

Demonstrate an ability to make informed, critical judgments of  their own and other’s work in terms of artistic and commercial merit.

Demonstrate an ability to process digital camera images with digital darkroom software to current industry standards for entry level employment.

Develop a portfolio and presentation skills acceptable for seeking employment.

Recommended Texts, Software, and Materials:

Photography, 10th Edition.  Barbara London, Jim Stone, John Upton.  Pearson, 2011.  ISBN-10: 0-205-71149-9, ISBN-13 978-0-205-71149-9.

Camera RAW 101.  Jon Canfield.  Amphoto Books, 2009.  ISBN-10:  0-817-43229-9, ISBN-13:  978-0-8174-3229-4

Adobe Photoshop CS5

Minimum 2 GB Data traveler and 2GB Memory chip in the camera.

Minimum of 100 sheets 8 x 10 INKJET PAPER.

DSLR camera capable of FULL manual operation & independent aperture & shutter speed adjustments. A hand-held light meter is preferred over through the lens metering (TTL) systems. This is not to say that the camera cannot have a TTL metering system but hand held metering allows the photographer to more easily make decisions relating to exposure than with a TTL system. EACH STUDENT MUST HAVE EITHER A HAND HELD METER OR A TTL METERING SYSTEM IN THE CAMERA (or both.)

A tripod is STRONGLY recommended.

Course Requirement and Grading:

Photographic assignments will account for 80% of grade, quizzes & written paper, each 10%.

Student work will be evaluated during the time allocated to the particular project with strengths, weaknesses, and problematic technical issues discussed.


Each student will present to the entire class.


A journal is required to record exposure information. Its effective use will contribute to a successful project and a good grade (rubric 11.)

A 90-100

B 80-89

C 70-79

D 65-69

F 0-64

W withdrawn

Digital Photo Rubric

Grade F – D C – B A

Attribute Emerging Competent Exemplary

1. Exposure

Student does not understand the elements of exposure, relies exclusively on program settings & randomly exceeds sensor dynamic range. Is not able to correctly choose best ISO.

Student understands basic exposure elements and is able to use the various priority settings, usually applies them properly & shows an understanding of dynamic range.

Usually uses ISO to good advantage. Student understands the elements of exposure & is able to utilize camera settings to best creative advantage. Camera histograms are creatively employed to plan approach. Always uses ISO to achieve maximum quality.

2. Composition

No understanding of the elements of design. Does not use rule of thirds, horizon line, balance, grouping, leading lines, framing, selective focus, or lighting in composing photographs.

Uses one or more composition techniques. Shows some understanding of the element of design. Uses cropping effectively. Shows strong intuitive grasp of balance, visual flow and tension within the context of composition while exhibiting facility with design. Rarely resorts to cropping because image is carefully composed in the viewfinder before the exposure is made.

3. Content

The selection of subject is arbitrary with respect to the assignment. The work submitted does not address the issues specified for the assignment. Images are missing or too many; student needed to edit down number.

Student needs to further polish project idea in order to avoid the obvious interpretation of the assignment.  Further brainstorming ideas is recommended. Images meet the minimum level of quality and subject matter to satisfy the assignment.  Subject matter could be improved; some images appear to be filler material.

Ideas for images and satisfying assignment are there, but the execution needs improvement.  Tell the idea/story through another “angle” Strong choice of subject matter.  Images are edited to include only the strongest images.  Proper size, naming and resolution.

Subjects are unusually creative or non-typical yet appropriate to assigned topic. Work shows “thinking outside the box.”

Strong and effective concept.  Idea is communicated well without giving more than is needed.

4. Camera Operation Always relies on automatic camera settings. Does not understand file format. Is usually able to use camera outside full auto mode. Shows limited understanding of best application. Shows a very good understanding of controls. Able to apply priority, quality, ISO, white balance, file format, exposure mode settings & AF to best creative advantage.

5. File processing / work-flow Student does not understand or properly utilize the elements of digital workflow.

Images are not properly exposed and/or focused. Images have not been corrected in Photoshop for colorcast, sharpness, and clone-stamp out distracting elements of image.

The photo(s) are in need of both color and level adjustments. Student makes no use of layers or selective adjustments. Print is draft quality and on wrong paper. Print is oriented incorrectly on the paper.

Images are slightly out of focus creating a distracting element in the photograph.  Slight sharpening could improve quality and effectiveness of image.

Image needs additional work in Photoshop to be properly exposed, (lighting, color, levels).  Overworked in Photoshop; images do not look natural, overly filtered/manipulated.

The photo(s) are in need of either color or level adjustments. Student makes use of layers and selective adjustments. Print is the correct quality and on good paper. Print is oriented correctly on the paper. High quality images, properly exposed, effectively retouched/altered without being distracting.

The photo(s) color and level adjustments are correct. Student makes effective or innovative use of layers and selective adjustments. Print is the correct quality and on good paper. Print is oriented correctly on the paper.

6. Understanding the Effects of Light Vague notion of effects of light on image.

Uneven metering.

Poor exposures that often result in lost data through clipping. Understands the effects of varied lighting situations. Uses camera meter properly. Usually produces un clipped files. Thorough understanding of effects of light, uses these to best advantage.  Able to meter for specific situations. Good exposures in all situations. Is able to expose to set histogram location for best aesthetic affect. Applies HDR techniques when appropriate.

7. Artistic expression utilizing elements of design & of context. No or unsuccessful attempt at communication. No understanding of the elements of visual communication. No understanding or expression of social implications when applicable. Some facility is exhibited within the context of design. Social implications are occasionally touched upon.

Understands basic principles of design, i.e., unity, variety and emphasis.  Utilizes principles of design while shooting and printing photographs.  Able to communicate intended message graphically and is able to express ideas within the context of the photograph.

8. Professionalism Students needs regular redirection to stay on task while creating a project. Student puts in little or no time outside of class. After completing their own work the student is a distraction or disruption to others. Student offers no constructive criticism in critiques and is disrespectful of their peers. Student is usually on task when creating a project. Student puts in necessary time outside of class. After completing their assigned work, the student creates additional projects or helps others in the class. Student offers some constructive criticism in critiques. Student is consistently on task when creating a project. Student puts in extra time outside of class. After completing their assigned work, the student creates additional projects and helps others in the class. Student regularly offers constructive criticism and leadership in critiques.

9. Written Assignment Paper does not meet the minimum length requirement. Student unable to convey ideas in a clear & concise manner. Numerous disjointed sentences, incorrect spelling and poor grammatical structure.  Shows no understanding of critical objectivity. Relies on subjective evaluations. Papers using content that has been plagiarized or cut & pasted from internet articles without crediting the source, will receive a zero. Paper just meets minimum length requirement. With minor translating, a student’s thoughts can be understood. Several spelling and grammatical errors are found.

Shows reasonable measure of critical objectivity, rarely relying on subjective evaluations. Length of paper is determined by the student’s need to develop ideas and, generally exceeds the minimum specified length.

Point of paper easily stated and understood.

Paper is neat and void of spelling and grammar errors.

Shows complete understanding and facility regarding critical objectivity never utilizing subjective evaluations.

10. Journal Does not use a journal or fails to make meaningful or accurate entries. Generally remembers to record data in the journal & data are largely meaningful. Understands the value of recording data, records accurate, meaningful data and uses it to improve future work.

Attendance Policy:  TBD by Instructor

ANGEL Course Management System (CMS)

Additional course  information that is common to all courses and specific to this course is found in the Course Information Folder located  in the Learning Modules Tab.  Log in to ANGEL at  HTTP://sullivan.sln.suny.edu

Additional Information: TBD by Instructor

Outline of Assignments:

Assessment Tasks Rubric attributes Due Date

1 Light & Texture 1-8 1/31/11

2 Abstraction 1-8 2/7/11

3 Architecture pt 1 1-8 1/14/11

4 Architecture pt 2 1-8 1/21/11

5 Candid Portraiture 1 – 8 1/28/11

6 Studio Portraiture 1 -8 3/7/11

7 Lighting Ratios 1 -8 3/14/11

8 Collage 1 -8 3/28/11

9 Scale 1 – 8 4/4/11

10 Multiple Images Project 1-8 4/18/11

11 Book Project 1 –9 5/11/11

12 Quiz Quiz TBA

13 Written Report 9 5/11/11