Adv. Digital Photography


Instructor Details:
Matthew Laurence
Office : H100
Studio: H100G
6363 3404 ext 6528

Studio Open
After school Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays
Free Blocks, Lunch and Flex Period Wednesdays

Course Description:
Advanced Digital Photography
ID: 46519 Grade: 10-12   Length: Semester  Credit: Visual/Performing Arts    Homework: Light

Advanced Digital Photography is designed as a continuation of the current semester long Digital Photography course. The purpose of this second course is to provide motivated students with the opportunity to expand on the knowledge and skills they acquired in Digital Photography. This is a project-based course, which seeks to challenge the student’s creative and technical skills through the creation of both “straight” and manipulated digital images. Topics to be covered will include advanced digital camera skills using a DSLR camera, advanced Photoshop skills as well as the use of several other digital image and multimedia software. Students will be expected to design creative projects in a direction and area of their interest. Throughout the course, students will be required to submit prints for exhibition as well as prepare and present a multimedia final portfolio of their work at the end of the semester.


Units/Projects: Each Unit/Project will run for approximately 1-3 weeks.

Camera fundamentals and settings:

  • Shutter speed & Aperture
  • ISO, Selective Light Metering/Focus, Image Capture size

Composition of a photograph:

  • Structure- how the image is held together
  • Balance- equal relationship between two or more things
  • Dynamics- movement between the main subject and secondary subjects

Digital Workflow:

  • Organization and filing using Adobe Bridge
  • Image editing using Adobe Camera RAW/ Photoshop
  • Save for Web and Printed form

Mobile Device Photography:

  • Throughout the semester we will be using our camera phones to capture images and share the results using the application Instagram

Islander Yearbook Project:

  • This assignment provides you the opportunity to capture the school community (student life/school events) for the yearbook

Personal Projects:

  • This course is structured to be project based and driven by you. The following four categories are provided for you to follow your interests. You are expected to complete 6 independent projects over the semester (2 weeks for each project). It is expected that you provide images of inspiration, a plan of action, and a completed series of images for each project. The four categories are:
  1. Design
  2. Places & Things
  3. People & Animals
  4. After Effects

Formative vs. Summative:

Formative Assessments takes place in a variety of forms throughout the semester via instructor and peer critique. There is also a digital Journal to be completed as students investigate the concepts of compositional devices, image reference/inspiration, and critical analysis of professional artwork throughout the semester. This digital journaling work will not comprise of more than 10% of the total grade and will be in the form of blog postings.

Summative Assessments are the final projects/ works for each unit. These will be assessed using the High School Visual Arts rubric listed below.  These can be found on Powerschool under the Studio work category and will contribute to 75% of the final grade.

At the completion of the semester course work, students will present and showcase a digital portfolio of all of their work through their school blog. This portfolio of work is counted as their final exam for the semester and will contribute to 15% of the final grade. 

Required Course Materials:

Access to a personal digital camera is strongly suggested, but not mandatory for this course. The Art department has a range of digital cameras for students to borrow, but options are limited and are loaned on a first come first serve basis. Digital cameras that provide options for shutter /aperture control and with a .RAW image capture option is advisable.

Access to the Adobe Suite software programs to include: Photoshop, Camera RAW, and Adobe Bridge (version CS4 or higher) is required use for this class.

General Course Policies:

Students are required to adhere to the SAS Core Values which include respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness and compassion.  It is imperative that students feel safe to be innovative and take risks in an environment that remains organized, user friendly and positive.

You are expected to :

  • Be prompt, come prepared to work and to share ideas
  • Respect others, the room, and it’s contents
  • Manage the cleanup of your space and help others do the same
  • Be alert, focused, and use your time wisely

Tech Integration:

Google Docs

  • All documents will be shared via Google Docs

Teacher Website

  • In addition to Google Docs access, additional support material, student examples, and links to art resources can be found on my teacher website:

Google Calendar

  • Studio projects for each unit (Summative Assessments) and Journal assignments (Formative Assessments) will be listed on the class Google calendar the school day that it is assigned. You will also see them posted on Powerschool.  This calendar will be used to help you stay organized and to help me communicate with you regarding deadlines and reminders.


  • FInal exam portfolio presentation via Blogger.

Mobile Device

  • Camera phones to capture and post images through the application Instagram

Semester Grade Breakdown:

The Semester Grade will be weighted as follows:

  • 50% Studio Projects
  • 35% Digital Journal Assignments
  • 15% Final Portfolio presentation of all studio work

Absences/ Submission of Late Summative Work:

  • Late work will automatically drop half a letter grade for each day late up to two days. A work that is submitted two days late will result in the drop of a full letter grade. If you are on campus you are responsible for submitting work.
  • Pending assignments due to absence are due upon returning to school.
  • Assignments should be submitted upon arrival to school if class is missed due to late arrival or early dismissal.
  • Please note that this is by day and not by class.
  • Please see or contact me for prolonged absences.
  • If late work is not submitted before exam review days, a NC ( no credit ) will be given and will calculate as a zero on a nine point scale.

Alternative Credit or Mastery Policy:

  • Redos or reworking a studio project will not change the initial grade given; however, reworking or redoing a studio project for the betterment of your portfolio is encouraged and will enhance final grade as part of the final exam.

Academic Dishonesty:

  • The High School Visual Arts Department will strictly adhere to the Academic Dishonesty policies laid out in the Student Handbook. This includes but is not limited to reference material.  All images used for reference to a Studio project must be an original image.  Images from sites such as Creative Commons, Google can not be used.


The High School Visual Arts Department assesses work in the following five areas:

  • Creative and Analytical Thinking
  • Manipulation of Material
  • Problem Solving through the Elements and Principles of Art
  • Presentation and Quality
  • Time Management, Process and Work Ethic

These five areas will be assessed in this class in equal parts using the High School grading scale listed below:

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Advanced Digital Photography students are required to choose their own work and to assist with the Art Exhibition before, during or after the show.