Digital Photography Course Syllabus
Lansing Catholic High School
Mrs. Jodi Kramarczyk
I. Course Description
This course is intended to introduce students to the use of the digital camera as a tool to create
art. Learning is assessed through weekly photo shoots, an online journal, photographer
presentation, matting of two best prints, a sequential poster, in-class worksheets, photo
display projects and a powerpoint presentation. Students will generally receive basic
instruction, demonstration and see examples of desired outcomes at the beginning of each
period. Students will be allowed to go outside of the classroom to shoot assignments based on
what they are learning.
II. Course Content
a. Areas of Study: Basic Composition, Advanced Composition, Self-Reﬂection, Portrait
Photography, Animals & Children, Scenic Photography, Macro Photography, Elements of
Design, Product Shots and Action Shots.
b. Skills - At the end of this course you will have learned: How to use various features of
the camera to have creative control of your photographs, be able to decide what type of
lighting to use in a given situation to produce optimum results, see how photographic
composition can make or break a photograph and understand how to use photo editing
software to improve the overall appearance of images.
c. Reading & Writing Requirements:
i. Reading - Students will read handouts that will be provided to them on the
techniques of the composition element they are learning each week.
ii. Writing - Students will be required to write formal captions and information for
all pieces of photography. All written work must be in full complete sentences
with correct punctuation.
d. Course Schedule – for a more detailed plan please see the table at the end of this
syllabus. Dates for topics as well as some activities or assignments are subject to
III. Course Materials
a. Textbook - None required for this class. Handouts will be provided to students and
kept in a 3-ring binder or folder.
b. General supplies –
i. A camera and the camera manual that belongs to that camera.
1. Your camera should be at least 4 megapixel, have a optical zoom and the
ability to switch to different settings or manual mode.
ii. A USB cable to connect your camera to the computer or a card reader.
iii. A 3-ring binder or folder for handouts and information given to students in
iv. A pen & pencil for note-taking and in-class assignments. PLEASE DO NOT
COMPLETE WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS IN RED INK.
v. A ﬂash drive to back up digital work and transfer images.
IV. Course Policies
a. Attendance/absences/tardiness –
i. If you are absent, please consult a fellow classmate or Mrs. K to get material that
you have missed. You are responsible for any information given during your
ii. For excused absences you have as many days as you are absent to make up the
work as is school policy.
iii. Students will not be allowed to make up any work missed from an unexcused
absence or tardy.
b. Make-up work/late work –
i. Any assignment not turned in on time on the date due receives a grade of zero
unless prior arrangements have been made with Mrs. K, or you have an excused
absence, in which case, the assignment is due in accordance with the policies in
the Student Handbook.
ii. It is your responsibility to ﬁnd out what you have missed when you are absent,
and to be prepared when you return to class. Ask your classmates for this
iii. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TELLING ME WHEN YOU HAVE MISSED SOMETHING. If
you fail to do so, and sit quietly in class every day hoping I will forget about your
missing grade, you will receive a zero on that task because you did not complete
it. DO THE WORK! It will help reinforce what you need to know or a skill that will
be useful later on.
c. Classroom rules/expectations –
i. Student Expectations
1. When the second bell rings everyone should be in their seat SILENTLY
logging in to their computer account.
2. ALWAYS bring your camera!
3. Do not bring work, books, etc from other classes with you.
4. Contribute to daily discussions.
5. No gum, food or drink inside the Computer Lab at anytime.
6. Students are to handle all school equipment with care (cameras, lights,
computer software, etc.)
7. Students are to avoid shooting photos in or near other classrooms as not
to disrupt the teaching and learning of others.
8. Students are not allowed to leave school grounds to take photos.
9. Students will be expected to professionally print 2 8x10 photographs for
display as well as one photograph on a weekly basis (using a computer
printer or professional printing studio).
ii. Classroom Protocol
1. Students will be considered tardy if they arrive to class after the second
bell. You will not be admitted without a slip from the Front Office or the
teacher who held you over. If the door is shut, please do not knock. Wait
silently by the door until the door is opened for you. If we are outside
shooting photos, a note will be left on the door as to where the class is
2. Bathroom breaks are a disruption during class and should only be taken
if it is an emergency, which means this should happen RARELY.
3. Listening is a crucial skill to develop and is respectful of others. Only one
person should be talking at a time. Side conversations are RUDE and
4. Class does not end when the bell rings, it ends when I have dismissed the
class after making sure it is neat and orderly for the next group just as
you found it. Don't shut your brain off early!
5. RESPECT ~ for each other,for the work we are doing on our yearbook, and
for any guests we may have.
d. Disciplinary polices
i. Cheating in any form is unacceptable. If you cheat:
1. you will receive a zero on the assignment/quiz
2. your parents and the assistant principal will be notiﬁed
3. you will still need to complete the assignment to work towards mastery of
the material but it will be for no credit
ii. Gum ~ in addition to a school detention, you will be cleaning the desks in the
iii. Students who come to class not in the proper dress code will be asked to leave
to correct the problem. Detentions will be given for violations.
e. Homework policy
i. Shooting assignments and projects are always due at the end of the week unless
V. Grading Policy/Assessment
a. Grading scale
i. Magazine Assignments (20-30 points)
ii. Photography/Post-Processing participation in class (25 points/5 points per day)
iii. Final photography submission (50 points)
c. Calculation of Grades
i. To calculate your grade, add up all of the points you have earned and divide that
by the total points possible for tasks to date.
ii. As always, you can check your grade on Skyward Family Access. Grades will be
updated every two weeks if not sooner.
d. Extra Credit – There is no extra credit in this class.
e. Types of Assessments –
i. Informal assessments will be given each day through classroom discussions and
small assignments. These will not always be entered as a graded assignment.
ii. Formal assessments will be given following each unit. These will be in the form
of online submission of photography assignment.
iii. Photo assignments will be graded on their: quality, creativeness, relevance to
the assignment, and ability to communicate and idea or message.
iv. Quizzes will be multiple choice.
v. A ﬁnal exam project will be completed to demonstrate a student’s knowledge of
the photography skills learned throughout the semester.
f. Progress Reports – It is rare that a student will receive a progress report for a failing
grade in this course. However, parents will be notiﬁed at deﬁciency time if a student
has a 70% average or below for marking period.
VI. Course Procedures
a. Course format/pacing - to help students grasp the understanding of each of the
composition methods, I generally use the following format for each unit:
i. Classroom discussion regarding the unit’s expectations.
ii. Sample photography for students to grasp an understanding of each method of
iii. Magazine assignment for each unit to allow students to demonstrate their
iv. Practice shooting photography in and around the school as well as various
locations near the students home.
v. Evaluation of photography submission for each unit.
b. Work requirements
i. Students are given full class time to complete assignments.
ii. Photography is submitted to an online portfolio that students will need to set up
using a gmail account.
iii. Practice as much as you can! Don’t just take the number of photos that are
required to complete the assignment - always go above and beyond!
iv. Be respectful of other classmates work.
v. NEVER wait until the last minute to take your photos - ALWAYS have your camera
VII. Personal Statement
a. Words of wisdom- Succeeding in This Class
i. The key to success in this class is showing interest in photography and always
ii. Go for QUALITY WORK. Don't simply do the assignment just to get it done, it's
tempting but you're worth more than that. Give me your best stuff!
iii. Do not be afraid to ask questions and get your classmates opinions. You need
to feel comfortable having someone else critique your photography.
iv. Take part in class discussions and critiques of photos presented in class.
VIII. Course Schedule
Tentative Topics Textbook Activities, Assignments, and
Dates Chapters Assessments
Aug 23 – 26 Camera Basics Handout Getting to know your camera
Aug 29 – Sept 1 Practice Assignments & Handout Photography Terminology, Introduction
Post Processing to Picasa and Picnik
Sept 6 - 9 Basic Composition Handout Backgrounds, DOF, points of view
Sept 12 – 16 Advanced Composition Handout Leading lines, rule of thirds, shapes,
Sept 19 – 23 Depth of Field Handout Practicing of DOF techniques
Sept 26 – 29 Portrait Photography Handout Indoors, outdoors, lighting, shutter
speed, ISO, aperature
Oct 4 – 6 Animals & Children Handout Angles, distance, techniques
Oct 10 – 12 Self-Reﬂection & Handout Introduction to Photoshop
Multiples of Me
Oct 17 – 21 Macro Photography Handout Macro settings, distance, lighting, camera
Oct 24 – 28 Photography Handout Short Interview with another
Presentation photographer or history of photographer
Oct 31 - Nov 4 History Presentations Handout Presentations in class
Nov 7 – 11 Elements of Design Handout Colors, lines, shape, form, texture
Nov 14 – 18 Scenics Handout Landscapes, skyscapes, water scenes,
Nov 21 & 22 Kairos week
Nov 28 – Dec 2 Product Shots Handout Photography used for commercial
Dec 5 – 9 Action Photography Handout F-stop, shutter speed, image
stabilization, stop action
Dec 12 - 14 Final Presentation Handout
Dec 15-21 Semester Exam
Jan 3 – 6 Stop Motion Handout Claymation/Stop Motion Project
Jan 9 – 13 Stop Motion None Claymation/Stop Motion Project
Jan 16 – 20 Stop Motion None Presentations in class