N.C.A.D. Diploma in Art & Design

Photography - Class Outline



See below for outline and research for this class/project


See HERE for photography project

During this module we studied subjects such as photographic history, digital cameras & camera skills, digital image editing and photo retouching.  See below for some more information on these topics studied:


Photographic History




We first looked to Photographic History in order to gain an appreciation and understanding of trends and developments in photography throughout the years.  We discussed techniques such as camera obscura (which was an optical device that led to the photographic camera) and we viewed work from inspirational photographers - some of whom are listed below:


E.J. Bellocq

August Sander

Tina Modotti

Bill Brandt

Harry Callahan

Nan Goldin

Cindy Sherman

Andreas Gursky





Following our studies on the history of photography we then investigated some of the important factors to composition, such as, clear focus on your subject, isolating your subject, the use of diagonal lines, simplifying the background, considering if your position relative to the subject may change the meaning, the rule-of-thirds, telling a story through your photograph, considering shapes, geometry, lines of force, paths, reflections and repetitions.  You should manipulate your camera’s manual controls and get comfortable with Aperture, Shutter-speed and Film-speed (ISO). 


Some other important factors that affect your image quality are:


(1) Reciprocity: This is the relationship between shutter speed and aperture.  Both the duration of exposure to light and the intensity of the light have a relationship which determines the effective exposure of images.

(2) Mega Pixels: The density of pixels in an image gives it its fine quality.

(3) File Types: Typically digital cameras store an image on your cameras memory card as an image file type (e.g. JPEG).  Most of these file types are compressed in some format, however, Camera RAW is an uncompressed data stream which some cameras use to preserve the highest possible quality.

(4) Shutter SpeedFilm Speed: ISO/ASA/DIN: You will need to consider the speed in relation to the type of photograph that you wish to take e.g. ISO 100-400 for still-life and ISO 1600 for fast-movement. 

(5) Depth of Field and Aperture: You will need to consider the depth that you require in relation to the type of photograph that you wish to take e.g. if you want a deep focus or a shallow focus.  An example of this would be if you wanted to focus on a particular word or section within a frame.  You would then need to set your aperture (which is measured using a scale of f-stops) in order to achieve this.  The larger the aperture, the shallower your depth of field will be.  The smaller the F setting, the larger the aperture and thus a shallower depth of field.





We then looked at some of the various methods used in photography - see below for information on 4 of these methods:




Tilt Shift

You need to consider the characteristics of the various types of cameras in order to facilitate some of these methods, such as, if the camera is Compact, Bridge, DSLR, phone camera etc.


Digital Image Editing & Photo Retouching


Online Tools



We again looked at some of the websites that were previously referenced during the photography module for the Certificate in Drawing & Visual Investigation.  These websites are in regards to the various online tools that can be used for digital image editing / retouching.   Click here to review these websites.  


After studying the above topics, we then had a practical class (held outdoors) in order to shoot some images to work with thereafter.  Following this, we attended a class where we learnt some techniques in relation to editing photographs through the use of both photoshop and picasa (picasa is now obsolete but is currently being updated to Google Photos).


As Picasa was free to download, whereas you pay for Photoshop software, we therefore completed the majority of our project work through the use of Picasa.  Some of the functions/topics that we covered are listed below:

  • The interface

  • Cropping & straightening

  • Retouching images

  • colour-correction

  • adding effects / filters

  • batch processing effects (Effects applied to one image can be copy & pasted onto another – or many – images)

  • batch export for web


We also received handout documents in relation to using Photoshop and we were encouraged to try out the free trial that is available of it.

Preparing Digital Images for Print & Web

My Project



We discussed some basic image preparation functions, such as, cleaning and color correction / resizing and optimizing images for the web / batch automating tasks / creating actions (such as an action to batch & to apply an action to a folder of images) / screen capturing images (such as snipping tool for PC, Ctrl-shift-4 on Mac.).


See here for my photography project work