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Estimated Completion Time

18 weeks


Have you wondered how professional photographers manage to capture that perfect image? Gain a better understanding of photography by exploring camera functions and the elements of composition while putting theory into practice by taking your own spectacular shots! Learn how to display your work for exhibitions and develop skills important for a career as a photographer.

During this course, you will learn career-related skills and earn a badge for this accomplishment. A badge is a digital certification of your career-related learning that you can share on social media and higher education platforms, or with colleges, potential employers, peers, and colleagues. Select this link to learn more about badges.

Course Requirements

  • A digital camera that offers both automatic and manual control
  • An image editing program (GIMP or something similar)
  • A camera with video recording abilities (camera phone, digital camera, or computer camera)
  • Audio recording device (smartphone, computer program, digital voice recorder)


Major Topics and Concepts

Unit 1: Taking The First Shot

  • Identify and explain basic camera anatomy and function
  • Discuss the main subjects found in photography
  • Explain how to care for and maintain camera equipment
  • Describe how a camera is held and used

Unit 2: Moving Into Manual

  • Explain the significance of file format
  • Identify different types of camera lens and how they function
  • Discuss the workings of a light meter.
  • Discover the importance of exposure and overall lighting effects

Unit 3: A Snapshot of History

  • Explain the difference between art and fine art photography
  • Identify and discuss selected artists who have contributed to the development of photography
  • Identify and discuss general themes and trends in different periods of photographic history
  • Describe the mechanics of early photographic systems

Unit 4: The Nature of Light

  • Identify light sources and describe how they differ
  • Explain how to effectively use available light
  • Describe safe and proper use of photographic tools and processes
  • Discuss the characteristics of color and how they are affected by light

Unit 5: Creative Composition

  • Explain various composition techniques and their effects
  • Identify the appropriate lens for a subject
  • Discuss how a camera lens relates to visual composition
  • Describe the basic components of a tripod and other support equipment

Unit 6: Producing Great Images

  • Identify job titles associated with digital photography
  • Discuss the interrelationship among artists
  • Describe the various stages of production
  • Explain photographic terms and jargon

Unit 7: Manipulation and Management

  • Explain how image editing and manipulation affects the craft
  • Apply design skills to create original works of art
  • Discuss the significance of image distortion in digital photography
  • Define and discuss the boundaries of copyright protection

Unit 8: Presenting Your Work

  • Discuss the key components of a photographic exhibition
  • Create an artistic statement
  • Explain the various ways a print can be mounted and installed
  • Identify the important factors in a budget

Credits .5

Competency Group Overview

Meets art and ICT graduation requirement


  • Career Connections
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of various careers by researching careers and participating in and reflecting on sessions hosted by professionals working in these careers.
  • Camera Anatomy and Function
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of basic camera anatomy and function by identifying the parts of a camera and using various camera modes, such as auto, manual, aperture and shutter priority to take original photographs.
  • History of Photography
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of how photography has changed throughout history by analyzing changes in camera technology and how these have impacted photography over time.
  • The Artistic Process in Digital Photography
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of careers in digital photography and the stages of production by identifying jobs associated with digital photography and completing the pre-production, production, and post-production stages for a photoshoot.
  • Image Editing and Presentation
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of image editing and presentation by using a photo editing program to manipulate photographs, planning an exhibit and creating a photography portfolio.
  • Light and Composition in Photography
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of how photographers use light and composition in a photograph by explaining how light is used in photography, explaining various composition guidelines, and taking original photographs that use various types of light and compositions.



Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.