Digital Art & Design I

Fall 2018 Assignment List
DAD I Syllabus
DAD I Overview

1st 9 Weeks
Unit 1 - Understanding Manual Exposure

Week 1 - Syllabus / Rules / Manual Exposure

Due Date - 8/24
Assignments 1 & 2  - The Rules & Manual Exposure
Description - Students will learn about the DHS Digital Art & Design program, as well as 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, the exposure triangle, and what makes a “good” exposure.

Week 2 - Controlling Motion w/ Shutter Speed

Due Date - 8/31
Assignment 3 - 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 - 9/7
Assignment 4 - 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 - 9/14
Assignment 5 - 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 - 9/21
Assignment 6 - 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 - 9/28
Assignment 7 - Color Theory I
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 - 10/5
Assignment 8 - 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 9 - 10/12
Assignment - 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 10 - 10/19
Assignment - 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.  

2nd 9 Weeks

Week 10 - Harmony in Composition

Due Date 11 - 10/26
Assignment - 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 - 11/2
Assignment 12 - Dynamic Tension + Leading Lines
Description - Students will study how to direct their viewers through the use of leading lines, and how to create visual tension through the use of both content and composition.  

Week 12 - The Instagram Game

Due Date - 11/9
Assignment -


Assignment 13 - Phonetography  
Description - Students will study ways to improve photography with the best camera they have: the one that’s always with them. Students will also study trends in photography and image editing that are popular on social media (e.g. the lowfi look of Instagram) and how to achieve that through image editing with their own “real” photos.  

Unit 4 - The Art of Photographing People

Week 13 - Portraiture Basics

Due Date - 11/16
Assignment 14 - 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, so students will begin their unit on the art of photographing people by learning the basics of posing 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 - 11/23
Assignment 15 - Headshots + Skin Retouching
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 - 11/30
Assignment 16 - 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 images to help focus the viewer, tell a story, set a mood, give context to a portrait, or several of these points all at once.  

Week 16 - Photographing Groups

Due Date - 12/7
Assignment 17 - Group Portraits
Description - Rounding out the study of photographing people, students will learn 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 - 12/14
Assignment 18 - Bird’s Eye/ Worm’s Eye Photos
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 - Finals Week

Due Date - 12/21
Assignments 19 & 20- Personal Project & Portfolio
Description - Students will complete two final assignments demonstrating their growth over the course of the semester. The first, is a personal project of their choice, consisting of a (10) images adhering to some type of common theme, whether it’s technical or contextual. The second assignment is a simple portfolio website using
Portfoliobox, which generously provides our students with pro accounts.