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Digital Photography (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

The course will explore digital camera creative controls, as well as digital image enhancements, adjustments and processing for photography. Students will be introduced to the elements of a photographic visual language and how concepts, ideas, and mood, can be communicated through photography. The course will include both a range of creative photography project work and computer-based work, using PhotoShop. After introductory photography assignments, students will research, photograph, print, edit and present a personal digitally-based photography project. The course will also enable students to consider the work of a range of contemporary photographers, artists and designers working with photography.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous experience required.

Special Infomation

Essential materials you will need to bring to the first class:
  • Digital Camera with memory card,(Entry level Digital SLR, Digital Hybrid ‘Bridge’ camera, or good Digital Compact Camera with some manual settings, are all suitable)
  • USB cable for your camera and/or a card reader for downloading images
  • Memory stick or portable drive for backing up your digital photographs
  • Notebook and pen for notes and developing project ideas
  • Optional: Digital camera manual if you have one - recommended if you are using a new camera

Materials and equipment provided for students as part of the course and included in course fee:

  • Access to PC or Apple Computers with recent versions of Adobe Photoshop installed
  • Access to basic monochrome and colour printers.

Essentials Materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves:
(Estimated cost: £100 - £300 depending on usage)

  • Digital Camera with memory card
    (Entry level Digital SLR, Digital Hybrid ‘Bridge’ camera, or Digital Compact Camera, all suitable)

Content of Course

The course teaching is delivered over weekly class sessions totalling 27.5 hours. Depending on the specific timetable of the occurrence of the course, this will either be delivered over ten weeks of 2.75 hour class sessions, eleven weeks of 2.5 hour class sessions or five weeks of 5.5 hour class sessions. Over the class sessions the course will cover:

  • Introduction to Camera Handling and Creative Manual Controls.
  • Assignment 1: Photographic Seeing and Abstract Photography
  • Introduction to Digital Darkroom with Bridge and Photoshop Downloading and working with images, Further Camera Handling
  • Working with Bridge and Photoshop, Organising & Editing
  • Image Adjustments and Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  • Assignment 2: Still Life Photography
  • Digital Darkroom: digital tools and retouching techniques
  • Assignment 3: Portraits and Photographing People
  • Night Photography Urban Landscape photography session
  • Digital Darkroom work with Photoshop
  • Assignment 4: Landscape and Urban Landscape
  • Introduction to developing a personal photography project
  • Working with a visual journal for photography
  • Photography Project work – editing, sequencing in Adobe Bridge
  • Making digital contact sheets and work-prints
  • Photography Project work – adjusting final images in Photoshop
  • Colour, Tone and Contrast Adjustments, Selective adjustments
  • Photography Project work – preparing images for digital output
  • Student Personal Project work with tutor support
  • Introduction to Mounting and Presentation for Photography
  • Student Personal Project work with tutor support
  • Mounting and Presentation of finished photography work
  • Informal Crit and Group discussion of student work.

Teaching method(s)

This course will be based and delivered in specialist art studios and digital workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration.
Each week, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor who will negotiate and agree a ‘directed study plan’ for work to be undertaken out with the class hours each week. This will include researching a range of suggested artists or designers and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness of the discipline being taught as well as how to annotate and evidence this within a sketchbook and practical outcomes.
Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, through attending classes and engaging in directed and independent study, students should be able to:

Research and explore a range of photographic vocabularies such as light, shadow, tone, surface, composition, colour, contrast, focus and crop as a means to communicate creative ideas.

Use a range of digital camera manual and automated creative controls, and use digital imaging software as a digital darkroom, to achieve photographic goals.

Demonstrate the ability to edit, print, and present a personal digitally-based photography project.


Core Readings

Lipkin, J., 2005. Photography Re-born: Image Making in the Digital Era. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
Wells, L., 2004. Photography: A Critical Introduction. New York: Routledge
Wolf, S. and Henry Art Gallery, 2010. The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age. New York: Prestel
Shore, S., 2010. Nature of Photographs: a Primer. New York: Phaidon Press.
Alexis Cassel, A. and Schneider, N., 1996. Photography After Photography: Memory and Representation in the Digital Ages. USA: DAP distributed Arts.
Bucher, C., 2011. Black and White Digital Photography: Photoworkshop, USA: John Wiley.

Web Sources

Specific Web resources will be determined by course tutors.

Class Handouts

Course information will be provided on enrolment and handouts provided during the course.


All practice-based art and design 10 credit courses are assessed by the submission of a portfolio of visual art and/or design works within the discipline studied. This will include a selection of resolved art and/or design works, preparatory studies, visual research and evidence of a contextual awareness through a completed sketchbook and/or visual journal. The work must be presented in a clear and professional manner appropriate to the discipline. The submission should include work undertaken within the class as well as directed and independent study out with the class. Typically, this will comprise:

  • Class Contact hours: 27.5 (work you do during the class)
  • Directed hours: 27.5 (work your tutor has set for you to do each week in your own time)
  • Independent Study Hours: 45 (work you set yourself to do, relevant to the discipline studied)

The combined submission will be assessed against the three learning outcomes for this course. These are equally weighted and each will be given a percentage grade. To pass, you must achieve a minimum of 30% in each learning outcome and an overall combined mark of 40% minimum.

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.

Student support

Please contact Art and Design Studies on 0131 650 4400 if you think you have any specific study requirements that may need to be put in place to enable you to study an Art and Design Studies course. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.