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Digital Photography Projects (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 17th January 2024 (Code PG004-205) Wednesdays from
17th January 2024 6:30pm - 9:30pm • (10 classes)
2.13 Evolution House, ECA • Tutor: Scott Hunter
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

This course enables students with some basic digital photography experience to develop their knowledge and skills exploring how concepts, ideas and mood can be communicated through photography. Engaging in a practice-led photographic research project, students will be encouraged to focus upon exploring and developing a personal theme or subject to create a series of photographic works for an exhibition, themed photo-book project or a professional photography portfolio.

Please be aware that all of our digital courses that employ the use of computers and Adobe software are delivered on Apple Mac computers.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

It is recommended that students have taken the course Introduction to Digital Photography or have some experience in Digital Photography and Adobe Photoshop. 

What type of camera do I need for this course?

Please do not purchase a new camera just for this course, but ideally you should have a digital SLR (DSLR) camera, which gives you full manual control for focusing, shutter speeds, aperture and ISO settings. A standard 50mm lens is all you require, or a zoom lens that includes a 50mm focal length. You may have other lenses too; these will give you a greater range of possibilities, but they are not necessary to take or complete the course successfully. You can still take the course and gain a range of knowledge without a fully manual DSLR camera with these features such as a Digital Hybrid ‘Bridge’ camera, or Digital Compact Camera, however you will not be able to put into practice everything that is being taught and get the most from the course.

Special Information

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicative tools, materials and equipment:

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

  • USB cable for the camera and/or a card reader for downloading images

  • Optional: Digital camera manual - particularly recommended if using a new camera

  • Notebook and pen for notes and developing project ideas

  • One or more of the following for backing up work: CDs or DVDs (DVD–R) USB pen drive

  • Optional: External or portable drive (compatible with, or formatted for use with Apple Macs and or PCs)

  • Optional, but desirable: a light tripod, or ‘gorillapod’ type bendy camera support

  • Optional: objects chosen by student, or props from store

  • 1 -3 sheets of mounting Card or mounting board

  • Additional prints via the college repro shop or at external printers

Content of Course

Over the class sessions the course will cover:

  • Refresher activities in digital camera handling and photographic creative manual controls.
  • Digital darkroom work with Photoshop, personal creative photography project and logbook work.
  • Introduction to developing a personal photography project. 
  • Developing a personal project with tutor support and class discussion.
  • Developing a photography project towards a book, exhibition or portfolio outcome.
  • Contextual references to Photography Portfolios.
  • Working with a visual journal for photography.
  • Preparing and planning presentation formats for a digital photography project
  • Informal critique and group discussion of work.

Teaching method(s)

The teaching will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or 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. Over the course, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor.  Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

For work required to be undertaken after the class hours are complete, the course tutor will set students a ‘directed study plan’ which can be undertaken without the need for specialist workshops or access to models.

Directed study will include research into a range of suggested artists and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness. Students are expected to demonstrate how their research has informed their work through annotated sketchbooks, a visual digital journal and practical outcomes. 

The Directed Study Plan will include preparing evidence of research and practical work to form an appropriate presentation for assessment.

Learning outcomes

 On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an enquiring use of visual research skills to support a photographic project, demonstrating reflective and contextual awareness through the production of a photography logbook.

  • Show a confidence in the planning to realise a personal photography project, demonstrating appropriate digital camera creative control skills and an appropriate knowledge and application for using digital imaging software.

  • Evidence an appropriate judgement to document, select, edit and sequence works based on a personal digital photography project.


Core Readings


  • DEMOS, T. J., 2009, Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography, London: Phaidon Press Ltd.

  • FOX, A. and Caruana, N., 2012 Basics Creative Photography 03: Behind the Image: Research in Photography, AVA Publishing.

  • COTTON, C., 2009, The Photograph as Contemporary Art (World of Art), Thames & Hudson.

  • BRIGHT, S., 2006, Art Photography Now, London: Thames & Hudson.

  • BARTHES, R. (1993a) Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Vintage Classics), London: Vintage Classics.

Web Sources




Class Handouts





Details of the Art and Design assessment requirements can be found on the short course website. Please click on the following link for more information: Submission and Assessment Information

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.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.