Digital Photography 1b - VLACS
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Estimated Completion Time

18 weeks


Building on the prior prerequisite course, further develop your photography skills by learning more professional tips, tricks, and techniques to elevate your images. Explore various photographic styles, themes, genres, and artistic approaches. Learn more about photojournalism and how to bring you photos to life. Using this knowledge, build a portfolio of your work to pursue a career in this field!

Major Topics and Concepts

Unit 1: Photojournalism: Real Life in Pictures

  • Apply the ethical rules of photojournalism
  • Create photos using the “decisive moment” idea of Cartier-Bresson
  • Connect the history of photojournalism to the Pictorialist and straight photography movements
  • Analyze the use of citizen journalists by professional news organizations

Unit 2: Context is Everything: Style and Genre

  • Discern the difference between creative and editorial photography genres
  • Compare and contrast stylistic characteristics of different genres of photography
  • Differentiate between ethnographic photography and authentic cultural expression
  • Analyze photographs by using aesthetic, historical, and contextual cues

Unit 3: There’s an App for That

  • Choose an appropriate workflow and image editing software
  • Describe and use three different types of photo metadata
  • Experiment with post-processing tools like white balance, tone, and color settings
  • Set up a photo gallery on a photo-sharing website that can function as a digital portfolio

Unit 4: Words and Pictures: Composing Meaning

  • Analyze the visual elements in a photograph or other work of art
  • Apply the principles of design to the creation of photographs or analysis of composition
  • Compare and contrast ways of thinking about visual perception in photography
  • Implement an open-ended creative process in photography

Unit 5: Don’t Listen to the Haters: Productive Critique

  • Define the term critique and differentiate it from criticism
  • Critique photos and photo series with multiple tools
  • Utilize constructive criticism to improve photographic artistry
  • Interpret the meaning of photographs through multiple perspectives

Unit 6: Finding Your Peeps: Photography and Community

  • Discuss the importance of photography clubs, today and throughout photographic history
  • Connect the changes in photography to the technological changes that have happened in the medium
  • Distinguish between collaboration, cooperation, and teamwork and integrate the collaborative process into group projects
  • Engage community members in photography projects
  • Assess the artistic voice and style of famous photographers and peers

Unit 7: Digital Video: Production and Post-Production

  • Analyze and organize your process for choosing portfolio photos
  • Tailor your portfolio to the intended audience, whether it is art school, a gallery show, or a client
  • Apply soft skills like adaptability, interpersonal communication, and time management to support a photography career
  • Develop a plan to continue to learn technical skills, business skills, and to grow as a creative photographer, whether amateur, student, or professional

Unit 8: Presenting Your Portfolio

  • Connect your photographic work to that of famous photographers of yesterday and today
  • Analyze your progress and creatively write and revise your artist’s statement
  • Sequence your portfolio in an aesthetically pleasing way
  • Research, identify, and pursue job or avocational opportunities in photography



Experiences allow students to demonstrate mastery of competencies through various real-world or hands-on learning opportunities, such as travel, service learning, independent study, internships or entrepreneurship. During an experience, students elect to meet all or some of the competencies in a particular competency group (ie. English 1, Economics, Biology, …), as an alternative to taking the course. Each experience is customized to the student’s opportunity. The student works with a VLACS instructor to determine deliverables that demonstrate mastery of the competencies and secures an outside expert to enrich the experience.

In Experiences students will:

  1. Meet weekly with their instructor.
  2. Secure an outside expert.
  3. Plan the experience prior to completing it. Credit is not awarded for experiences completed prior to enrollment and completion of the planning process.
  4. For many experiences, spend time at a business or other location.

Types of Experiences:

Independent Study

By signing up for an independent study, you will be able to direct your own learning, identifying what you want to learn and how you will demonstrate that you have mastered your learning objectives.


Internships allow you to gain professional experience, make connections, and become familiar with a career while working on site with mentors and professionals in a career of your interest.


While travel can be a great experience for learning life lessons, it is also an excellent way to acquire the knowledge and skills that allow you to demonstrate mastery in a variety of competencies. The world is a classroom and travel experiences will connect your real-world experiences to the learning that you seek.

Service Learning

In-Service Learning, you collaborate with members of your community to address issues to improve your community. You will connect your service with discipline-specific content so that learning can take place through problem solving and collaboration.


Starting your own business is a great way to learn. This type of experience allows you to engage in an entrepreneurial experience and receive credit for competencies you master through this experience.

Credits .5

Competency Group Overview

Meets art and ICT graduation requirement


  • Style and Genre
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of style and genre in photography by comparing and contrasting stylistic characteristics of different genres of photography.
  • Workflow
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the workflow used by professional photographers by examining methods photographers use for organizing, post-processing, and publishing images.
  • Composition
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of composition by applying and analyzing the impact of visual elements and principles of design in original compositions and by critiquing the photos of others.
  • Communities and Collaboration
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the role that communities and collaboration play in their growth as a photographer by identifying opportunities to network with other photographers and explaining how these opportunities can help them develop as a photographer.
  • Professional Portfolio
    Students will gain an understanding of how to create a professional portfolio by developing an artist's statement, selecting photographs and organizing photographs to create a final portfolio of their work.


Digital Photography 1a

Attend an 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.