Photography I is designed to be a year-long introduction to the use of a digital camera as an art-making tool. This course will help the students become well-rounded in the fundamentals of digital photography, including learning and applying basic elements of art and principles of design. Students will receive basic instruction, demonstration, and see samples of the desired outcomes. In class time will be focused on instruction and peer review, while homework will be focused on applying concepts and submitting work for review. Students will have the opportunities to discuss their work often, focusing on what makes a successful photo and what does not. Students are expected to be able to work independently in order to complete assignments, often times creatively using found objects to express their vision. Digital photography equipment, materials, methods, and processes, including editing and file management will be explored. Multiple genres of photography will be introduced including: portraiture, landscape, candid, fine art, still life, and others. Cell phone photography and editing with a variety of editing applications will be infused throughout the curriculum.

Photography I will be open to Middle School and High School students. Assignments will be graded based on demonstrated understanding of instruction based on each student’s level of competence, as well as on participation in the review process. Students with previous photographic experience will be able to add complexity to assignments by combining additional elements of design to their assignments. Regardless of experience, students will be expected to put time and effort into projects, strive to produce interactive and creative work, demonstrate good technical quality, be active and engaged in class and participate in critiques. Extra credit will be made available for students who are willing to utilize concepts learned in class and contribute work for the benefit of the RCA Student Newspaper and/or Yearbook.

Concepts to be covered include: Exposure Triangle, Camera Modes, ISO Settings, White Balance, Lens Focal Length, Exposure Compensation, Focusing Options, Depth of Field, Still Life Photography, Action Photography, Landscape, Portraiture, Fine Art Photography, Photography Composition, Black and White, Techniques of Lighting, Image Editing.

Access to a camera is required for this course. A DSLR camera is preferred, however a point-and-shoot or camera phone will be accepted. Use of the instructor’s DSLRs will be available to students as needed during class time to reinforce concepts specific to manual operation.


  • 1″ 3-ring binder with page protectors
  • Composition notebook

Book Needed:
Stunning Digital Photography – click here for link

Lab fee $40 + Personal cost of printing in Spring for Art Show