Digital Photography II Course | Sessions College

Digital Photography II

Stretch your skills in an intermediate digital photography class

Looking to achieve better-looking results in your digital photography? You're not alone—the medium is hot, the technology changes daily, and designers, artists, and photographers are all rushing to get up to speed.

To take great photographs every time requires both technical and aesthetic mastery. How and when to use your advanced camera's features? What shooting or composition techniques will get the best results on location? And once you're safely home, how will you handle image correction, retouching, compositing, and printing?

In this 6-lesson class, you'll study digital photography with one of the leading experts in this burgeoning field. Ken Milburn, author of The Digital Photography Bible (among 20+ other titles), will guide you through technical concepts and artistic challenges that will stretch your digital photography skills. Class projects include still-life, action, panoramic, candid, and location photos in addition to retouching and printing.

Note: At least a 3-megapixel camera is recommended for this intermediate level course.

Course Instructor(s):

Sessions digital imaging instructor Taz Tally

Taz Tally  is an industry-leading author and educator in pre-press and color correction techniques.

Course content developed by Ken Milburn.
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To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection (56 Kbps modem or faster).
  • Digital camera with at least a 3 megapixel rating, zoom, and manual settings. RAW shooting capability recommended.
  • Access to an inkjet printer and outside print services (local or online).
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5 or CS6.
  • Basic experience in the software package needed for this course.
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The following courses can help you meet the above requirements:

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Course Objectives:

Students learn how to:

  • Assess and apply the concepts of aperture control, f-stops, and exposure.
  • Take photographs demonstrating skill in using aperture control, f-stops, and exposure.
  • Assess and apply concepts of camera angle, point of interest, rule of thirds, focus, and editing approach.
  • Take candid and still life photographs demonstrating skill in using camera angle, point of interest, rule of thirds, focus, and editing approach.
  • Conduct a basic travel shoot and take photographs that tell a story through a sequence of photos.
  • Assess and apply basic photo retouching and color correction techniques.
  • Use Camera Raw and high dynamic range techniques to enhance images and subjects.
  • Use filters, image merging, and image stacking to extend the possibilities of digital photographs.
  • Adjust monitor color calibration and judge the major differences between home and commercial photo printing quality.
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Course Outline

LESSON 1 Master Your Camera

Beyond point-and-shoot, a whole world of opportunity beckons. But do you know what features to use, and when? Lesson One kicks off the course with an in-depth look at the applications of your advanced digital camera features. Lesson topics will include special-purpose automatic exposure options and four methods of focusing. You'll look at when to choose light meter settings (average, matrix, spot, and and center-weighted) and how to stabilize your camera. The lesson wraps up with a discussion of how to frame your photos using different viewfinder and preview options. In the assignment, you'll explore exposure priority, focusing methods, light metering, and camera steadying.

LESSON 2 Composition and Artistry

Great photographs are created by composition, not chance. Lesson Two explores some classic approaches to this challenge. You'll discover how to emphasize the point-of-interest and structure your composition using the rule of thirds. You'll explore perspective—including point of view, angle of view, horizons, and vertical lines—and learn how to control it. The role of surfaces, texture, and lighting in creating contrast will be examined. Finally, you'll learn some tried-and-true photographer's tricks that simply work. In the assignment, you'll take candid and still life photos that demonstrate your mastery of camera angle, point-of-interest, rule of thirds, and depth-of-field.

LESSON 3 Shooting on Location

Photographers must adapt to survive. Lesson Three takes you on a tour through the technical and logistical challenges of the location shoot. You'll learn some sage professional wisdom on preparation for location shots, including what equipment to bring, how to keep it safe, and how to deal with unexpected or adverse conditions. All packed? In the assignment, you'll test your location photography skills with a challenging mission and report back to the class, telling a story with your photographs.

LESSON 4 Into the Digital Darkroom

In the real world, photos are rarely perfect first time around; that's why we have Photoshop. Lesson Four presents a pro photographer's guide to color correction and retouching. You'll learn how to use a gray card, do basic color corrections, correct brightness and contrast, dramatize eyes, and use the Healing Brush and Patch tools. Techniques for enhancing images in Camera Raw and by creating high dynamic range (HDR) files are also covered. In the project, you'll apply your correction and retouching skills to a model photo makeover, and you'll shoot and create your own HDR image.

LESSON 5 Extending Your Digital Darkroom

Lesson Five studies ways of taking your digital photography even further with new and specialized Photoshop features. You'll make precision selections with Refine Mask and the Masks panel, and you'll learn how to apply non-destructive edits with smart objects and smart filters. Special photography filters are explored along with techniques for creating panoramas, group composites, and black and white shots. In the project, you'll create your own stellar panorama, group shot, and black and white series.

LESSON 6 Creating Quality Prints

As our society gets more and more proficient in digital imaging, fewer and fewer people seem to know how to obtain quality prints. Lesson Six will address methods of managing your editing environment including monitor calibration, print settings, inks and papers, and more. In the final project, you'll create and compare a series of prints after calibrating your own setup.

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