PHO 103 – Digital Photo I

This course utilizes digital cameras. If you are a photo major, it is highly recommended that you have a fully manual digital camera. All students will be able to borrow a digital camera for the semester as long as supplies hold out.

PHO 103 is a beginner Digital Photo class. We cover camera basics and Adobe Photo editing software or Adobe-like alternatives, all with an emphasis on looking at your photos and learning to talk about your work. You will need an external hard drive (or thumb drive at a minimum)

Please be sure that your college email account is up and running. We will utilize various platforms including, BlackBoard, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneDrive, and a Video Conference platform. BlackBoard, Teams, and OneDrive are all part of your college account that you access using your college email and provided password. The Video Conference platform will be provided by your instructor.

For virtual meetings, you will also need a computer (or tablet) with a webcam, microphone, and a reliable internet connection. Visit to check your internet speed. Anything over 20Mbs should be good for class.


Adobe Photoshop Help

Adobe LightRoom Classic Help

Photography Assignments (60% of your grade)

  1. Creative Controls (Motion + Depth of Field)
  2. Black and White
  3. Portraiture & People
  4. What is Home
  5. What is Place
  6. Panoramic Landscape

Mimic Presentation (15% of your grade)

Final Presentation (15% of your grade)
Show your best 15 photos from the class.

Classroom Assignments (10% of your grade)
Classroom Assignments will be done together in-class and may consist of:

  • Using Microsoft Teams or Blackboard properly
  • Photoshop techniques (editing, resizing, retouching, etc.)
  • Using AI for photo manipulation
  • Inkjet Printing
  • There may be other in-class exercises as needed

Each session is equivalent to 1 week of a 14 week semester with 2 meetings

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

  • MS Teams tutorial on creating a slideshow and we will create a slideshow 
  • Intro to cameras and sensors

Session 4

  • More on F-Stops, Shutter Speeds, and ISO
    • File Formats and Camera Settings
    • Go over end of the semester Mimic Assignment
    • Start working in Camera RAW with sample photos provided

Session 5

  • Go over any technical concerns with your capture devices
  • More Tools in Camera RAW

Session 6

  • Start Layer Adjustments in Photoshop
  • Basic Photoshop Retouching: Cloning – Spot Healing – Content Aware
  • You will need the photos you have made so far for practice

Session 7

  • More review of online conversations if needed
  • Photoshop Selection Tools and removing/moving items
  • Review for midterm

Session 8

  • Practice Critique
  • More on Retouching
  • Virtual Printing Demo
  • Look at Classic Portraiture Examples=
  • Don’t forget to take midterm on BlackBoard

Session 9

  • Open Questions on Adobe Photoshop
  • Introduction to Adobe Lightroom
  • Look at the different genres of photographing People

Session 10

  • Look at the different ways of creating a photographic project
  • Missing or Failed Assignment Amnesty
    • Makeup one of your missing of failed assignments

Session 11

  • Review for end of the semester (finish printing – if in-person)

Session 12

  • Start preparing for final presentations
  • Discuss sequencing and your decision making

Session 13
Look at Mimic Presentations

Final Session
Look at Final Presentations

Course Description

Introductory course for students having basic computer knowledge and interested in gaining knowledge of digital imaging tools and techniques, and improving their creativity. Topics include Photoshop, digital retouching, digital cameras, resolution, and inkjet printing. and will include lab activities as well as classroom lecture.

Course Student Learning Outcomes (SLO):  

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the use of a Digital camera with all of its controls, including focusing, viewing, and regulating the shutter speed and aperture control (ILG 4; PLO 1)
  2. Utilize natural light in an effective way (ILG 4; PLO 1)
  3. Demonstrate proper exposure under different lighting conditions (ILG 4; PLO 1, 4)
  4. Demonstrate proper processing and retouching of digital images (ILG 4; PLO 2, 3)
  5. Utilize various digital techniques to create pigment inkjet prints (ILG 4; PLO 3, 4)
  6. Evaluate how well an image communicates a concept (ILG 1, 11, PLO  5)
  7. Criticize and defend photographs in a group setting (ILG 1, 11, PLO  5)

Course-specific Institutional Learning Goals (ILG):

Institutional Learning Goal 1. Written and Oral Communication in English.  Students will communicate effectively in both speech and writing.

Institutional Learning Goal 4. Technology. Students will use computer systems or other appropriate forms of technology to achieve educational and personal goals.

Institutional Learning Goal 11.  Critical Thinking:  Students will use critical thinking skills understand, analyze, or apply information or solve problems.

Program Learning Outcomes for Photography (PLO)

  1. Demonstrate proficiency with photographic capture devices;
  2. Process, manipulate, and print images in photographic labs;
  3. Practice archival image work flow;
  4. Integrate different techniques and approaches to photography and digital imaging;
  5. Analyze and evaluate images in the context of group critiques;