Digital Art & Design I

2018-2019 Assignment List
Rules & Procedures
Class Overview 

Unit 1 - Understanding Manual Exposure

Week 1 - Syllabus / Rules / Manual Exposure

Due Date: Fall - 8/24 | Spring - 1/11
Assignments 1 - Manual Exposure
Description - Students will learn about the DHS Digital Art & Design program as well as
the classroom rules and procedures. Students will study basic camera operation and care guidelines, safety and security issues related to photography, the basics of manual exposure and the exposure triangle, and what how to make a “good” exposure.

Week 2 - Controlling Motion w/ Shutter Speed

Due Date: Fall - 8/31 | Spring - 1/18
Assignment 2 -
Shutter Speed 
Description - Students will learn how to use shutter speed to adjust exposure and to make creative decisions in their photography. Students will also learn to use a tripod and how to create various effects through the use of slow and fast shutter speeds, as well as how to reduce motion blur and camera shake, and how to choose the appropriate shutter speed for  the various shooting scenarios.

Week 3 - Controlling Depth of Field w/ Aperture

Due Date: Fall - 9/7 | Spring - 1/25
Assignment 3 - Aperture
Description - Students will learn how to use aperture to adjust exposure and to make creative decisions in their photography. Students will learn about depth of field and how it controlled by both aperture and focal length, and students will learn about “bokeh.” Students will also learn how to determine the appropriate f-stop for various shooting scenarios.

Week 4 - Quantity, Quality, Color, and Direction of Light

Due Date: Fall - 9/14 | Spring - 2/1
Assignment 4 - Characteristics of Light
Description - Students will study light and its main characteristics, quantity, quality, color, and direction. Students will learn techniques for capturing more or less light, what white balance is and how to manipulate it, how to utilize light coming from various directions, and what photographers refer to as “good” and “bad” light. Students will also learn how to utilize these various qualities in order to get certain “looks” in their photos.

Unit 2 - Composition in Photography

Week 5 - Introduction to Composition in Photography

Due Date: Fall - 9/21 | Spring - 2/8
Assignment 5 - The Rule of Thirds
Description - Students will learn the basics of composition (what it is, why it’s used, etc.) and will study and then apply the Rule of Thirds to different types of photos in order to demonstrate their mastery of one of the most ubiquitous compositional rules.

Week 6 -Introduction to Color Theory

Due Date: Fall - 9/28 | Spring - 2/15
Assignment 6 -
Basic Color Theory
Description - Students will study the basics of color theory and how it applies to photography, and will demonstrate their understanding of basic color theory by creating images composed of a predominantly complementary color scheme.  

Week 7 - A Picture Inside a Picture

Due Date: Fall - 10/5 | Spring - 2/22
Assignment 7 - Sub-framing
Description - Students will study sub-framing in composition and how to add depth, complexity, and even “layers” to their images by utilizing it in their compositions.

Week 8 - Camera “Tricks”

Due Date: Fall - 10/12 | Spring - 3/1
Assignment 8 - Forced Perspective
Description - Students will study forced perspective and how to apply it to their photography for practical reasons (such as blocking an unwanted background element) or for aesthetic reasons (such as humor or “trick” photos).  

Unit 3 - Achieving Style

Week 9 - The Power of Line, Shape, and Tone

Due Date: Fall - 10/19 | Spring - 3/8
Assignment 9 -
Black & White Photos
Description - Students will learn to compose without color, relying on the power of line, shape, and tone to do the “heavy lifting” in their visual storytelling.  

Week 10 - Harmony in Composition

Due Date: Fall - 10/26 | Spring - 3/15
Assignment 10 - Balance & Symmetry
Description - Students will study what balance and visual weight in composition and how it applies to photography, and will try create images that are both balanced and symmetrical.  

Week 11 - Directing your Viewers

Due Date: Fall - 11/2 | Spring - 3/22
Assignment 11 - Dynamic Tension + Leading Lines
Description - Students will study how to direct viewers through the use of leading lines, and how to create visual tension through composition (and content).  

Week 12 - The Instagram Game

Due Date: Fall - 11/9 | Spring - 3/29
Assignment 12 - Phonetography  
Description -
Students will study ways to improve their mobile photography editing, as well as analyzing the effect of mobile photography on the industry as a whole. 

Unit 4 - The Art of Photographing People

Week 13 - Portraiture Basics

Due Date: Fall - 11/16 | Spring - 4/12 (4/1-4/5 is spring break)
Assignment 13 - Self-Portraits
Description - The best portrait photographers are those who are able to accurately and succinctly convey directions to their models, often through having their models mirror them. Students will begin their unit on the art of photographing people by learning the basics of posing, and then practicing those basics in front of the camera to create self-portraits that portray their individuality and artistic expression.  

Week 14 - Taking Good Headshots

Due Date: Fall - 11/23 | Spring - 4/19
Assignment 14 -
Basic Headshots
Description - Students will next focus on the art of the headshot, a separate subset of portrait photography, that focuses on technical execution both in shooting and editing. Students will also learn tips for retouching skin in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

Week 15 - Creative Portraits

Due Date: Fall - 11/30 | Spring - 4/26
Assignment 15 -
Negative Space Portraits
Description - Students will take a few steps back (both literally and figuratively) to create wide portraits that incorporate the compositional theory of negative space into their portraits to help focus the viewer, tell a story, set a mood, give context to a portrait, or several of these things all at once. 

Week 16 - Photographing Groups

Due Date: Fall - 12/7 | Spring - 5/3
Assignment 16 - Group Portraits 
Description - Rounding out the study of photographing people, students will study best practices for photographing more than one person, and will work to create group compositions that bring together the skills studied in prior lessons to create interesting compositions that incorporate multiple individuals.  

Unit 5 -Misc. Topics

Week 17 - Angles in Photography

Due Date: Fall - 12/14 | Spring - 5/10
Assignment 17 -
Angles in Photography
Description - An old adage in photography is that “six feet up is boring,” so students will work from high and low angles to capture unique perspectives to create interesting images.  

Week 18

Due Date: Fall - N/A | Spring - 5/17
Assignment 18 - Open Project


Due Date: Fall - 12/21 | Spring - 5/24
Assignment 19 - Thematic Shooting
Assignment 20 - Portfolio
Description - Students will complete two final assignments designed to display their growth over the course of the semester.

Assignment 19 requires students to create a small collection of images of (10) images that adhere to some type of common theme, whether it’s technical, thematic, or contextual.

Assignment 20 requires students to complete a very simple portfolio website using Portfoliobox, a photograph-centered website hosting service that has generously donated pro memberships to members of the Dorman High Photography Program.