Celebrating years of inspiring online art/design education
Digital Photography II course at Sessions College

Digital Photography II

3 credits

PHO 152: Digital Photography II

Advanced studies in digital photography

Looking to achieve better-looking results in your digital photography? 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? Class projects include still-life, action, panoramic, candid, and location photos in addition to retouching and printing.

Location photography by student Linda Sue Kocsis

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Credit-bearing: 3 Credits
  • Classes start January, April, and August


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Ken Milburn

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. Master Your Camera

      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.

    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.

    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?

    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.

    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.

    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.

Sample Student Work

Kimber Ramirez photography by Kimber Ramirez

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

Creative photography projects include camera control, candid and still life photography, location photography, correction and retouching, panoramic and composite shots, and creating prints.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Digital camera with at least a 3 megapixel rating, zoom, manual settings. RAW shooting capability recommended.
  • Access to an inkjet printer and outside print services (local or online).
  • Adobe Photoshop or equivalent program.
  • Basic experience in the above software

What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn 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.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Classes start January, April, and August
  • 3 Credit Course
  • Project-Based: Exercises, Discussions, and Critiques

Course Tuition and Fees 
Registration Fee* $200
Total Course Price $1730

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Click Register Now to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. In each course you’ll enjoy a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills, earning college credit for your completed course.

How Much Time Do I Need?

Classes start January, April, and August, and this course can be completed in a 15-week term. College credit from this course can be applied to a range of degree and certificate level programs at Sessions College.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).