Photography 1 Syllabus

Photography Syllabus 

Class Objectives: This course in Digital Photography is designed to develop your skills in pixel based photographic design and printing. In this course, we will use this new found power to create, edit, post and share our images electronically. Students will learn: to become proficient at the technical aspect of photographing with a digital camera and working with those images including digital editing, saving, sizing, posting and printing of those images; develop and practice skills using digital photography tools and the Internet including posting photos to Flickr; to learn to shoot with digital cameras  and learn to maximize the quality of the output from them; to appreciate more about the “Photographer’s Art” through the study of historic and contemporary trends and to apply that appreciation to your own work; to develop the habit of looking closely at the visible world around you in order to represent it in terms of aesthetics and truth. 


Grading: Points for assignments will vary from 20 points up to 50, there are a few larger assignments that will be worth 50-100. For each assignment, the days that we are working on them, you will receive 20 participation points. Participation points and assignment points will be valued on 1) Effort, 2) Attitude/Behavior, 3) Skill and Technique, and 4) Craftsmanship and Neatness. A grading rubric will be used, you can view the rubric on moodle if you would like. If you are absent you will receive a zero for the day. You can make up these points by turning in a piece of artwork that you do at home or completing the assignment from the day you were absent. If you are absent one day, then you have one day to make up the assignment. If you are absent two days, you have two days to make up the assignment, and so on. 

A – Outstanding, exceeds expected criteria, superior

B – Very good work, met criteria, considerable/high 

C – Good work, satisfactory, average/adequate 

D – Fair work, minimal

F – Poor, unacceptable, did not complete or turn in 

Late Work: I will accept late work up to two weeks after the due date. If your work is one day late up to the two weeks late, it will receive 50% of the total grade. If you are absent I will follow the school’s absentee policy.


Materials: I do have six digital SLR cameras available during the school day. Students that do not have a camera can check out one of my cameras for the class period, if a parent and the student sign the Camera Usage Form that will be passed out during class. You need to have the following materials by Monday. Every day that you do not bring in your materials you will lose 10 points. You will earn extra credit for bringing in your materials early. If you bring your materials in by Wednesday you will earn an extra 20 points for the semester. If you bring your materials by Thursday you will earn an extra 15 points. If you bring your materials on Monday you will earn 10 extra points.

  • Digital camera
  • 8gb thumbdrive (optional, good for backup)
  • 1 package photo glossy paper (to print photos)
  • Flickr account (we will discuss this in class)


Academic Cards: Academic cards will not be used for assignments in this class because the assignments are used to show the knowledge of the unit. Students can use academic cards for participation points or the teacher will take the lowest scored assignment at the end of the nine weeks and give an extra 40 points for academic card.

Info about the class: Above is what I hope you will learn while you are in this class. We are not going to just go out and start shooting random things. I want you to understand the history of photography, how to use the camera correctly, how to be artistic and creative in your shots, and how to maximize the quality of your photographs.  You need to make sure that your camera is here everyday during class, charged and ready to take photos for the entire class period. When we go walking you need to act like young adults. We are there to observe, not touch. Do not: throw anything, pick fruit or other things off properties, steal, move things, sit on property, walk in the middle of the road, etc. Think about what you are doing, we don’t want people in the community thinking that we are disrespectful students. All work needs to be uploaded to your blog by the due dates posted on the class blog to not be penalized. The days that we are working on reading articles, looking at other work, discussing other work, and taking photos, you will receive participation points. Each day you will receive a total of 10 points (10 being an A+ and 0 being an F). If you don’t participate you will not earn your points. Make sure that you are an active learner in this class so that you do get the most out of it as you can. The same participation points will be given on days that we are taking photos.  

Assignments: Each week you will have photography assignments posted on the class blog, please follow the instructions on the blog to earn all points. You need to rename your photos on your blog as your first name and a title (ex: Kacie, Rainbow). These assignments will be worth 60 points. Every Monday you will also look at the other students work and comment on their photos. You need to comment on your favorite four photos of the week. This will be worth 40 points for the week. Your comments need to be more than “this was cook, good job”. You need to be concise and explain exactly what you think of the picture using the language that we learn in class (light, shadows, color, shapes, etc).You will also have a writing to do for each unit, the writings will be worth 50 points each. 

Below you will find the syllabus explaining what we will be working on throughout the semester.

Setting Up

  • Learn iPhoto 
  • Get a edublog account and add
  • Read 10 great tips for great photographs 
  • Read Camera Controls
  • How to download images 
  • Different parts of your camera
  • What is photography
  • History of Photography 

The Art of Photography 

  • Composition
  • Elements of art
  • Principles of design
  • Artistic choices 
  • Viewpoint 


  • Types of Digital Cameras
  • JPEG vs TIFF 
  • Pixels and Resolution
  • The Rule of Thirds
  • Shutter Speed
  • Exposure
  • F-Stops 
  • Depth of Field
  • Movement 
  • Lighting and Metering


  • Thinking Artistically
  • Formal Portrait
  • Candid Portrait
  • Environmental Portrait
  • Self-Portrait

Action Photography 

  • Thinking Artistically
  • Freezing the Action
  • Blurring the Subject
  • Panning 

Documentary Photography

  • Thinking Artistically
  • Documentary Subjects
  • Photo-Essay
  • Street Photography


  • Thinking Artistically
  • The Big View
  • The Detail Shot
  • Interior Views 


  • Thinking Artistically
  • The Grand Landscape
  • Landscape Details and Close-Ups
  • Abstracted Elements


  • Thinking Artistically
  • Wildlife
  • Zoo
  • Pets
  • Bugs 
  • Farm animals

Still Life

  • Thinking Artistically
  • Using Color
  • Close-ups
  • Product Photography
  • Narrative
  • Toys

We will be using iPads this year. On the iPads we will use different types of apps where students will learn how to edit photographs and learn from National Geographic professional photographers. Students and parents will be required to sign and agree to a usage paper.

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