Courses can be found at various colleges through degree and certificate programs; they can also be taken in non-credit standalone formats through university extension or continuing education departments. Most photography, photojournalism and art degree programs require one or more courses in digital camera operation. Typically, students are required to develop a portfolio with the help of course-long critique and analysis. Common concepts explored include:
- Lens selection and flash techniques
- Creative lighting
- Photo editing
- Landscape and travel photography
- Sports photography
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- Film and Cinema Studies
Popular Digital Camera Operation Classes
Digital Point-and-Shoot Camera Operation Class
Digital point-and-shoot camera operation classes teach amateur photographers how to get high quality photographs from a basic compact camera. Though most point-and-shoot cameras automatically select the best camera settings for a particular environment or subject, the course will cover minor adjustments to white balance, light sensitivity and flash settings that can greatly enhance photographs. Course instructors may cover basic composition and digital output as well. Point-and-shoot cameras are rarely used by professionals, and most of these classes are offered to the general public by art centers or other community organizations.
Digital SLR Camera Operation Class
Digital SLR camera courses teach students to use advanced single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras to achieve optimal quality images and create different photographic effects. Instructors demonstrate how to adjust aperture, shutter speed, light sensitivity, white balance and flash settings, as well as which settings are most appropriate in different environments. Lens selection, tripod use and equipment maintenance are also discussed. Digital SLR is the equipment of choice for professional photographers and artists. Courses using this medium may be taught at community centers, college-level art programs and professional schools.
History of Photography Class
Starting with the beginning of the 19th century, this course surveys the technology, artistry and development of the photographic medium. The course is designed to help photographers understand the process of image-making, in addition to understanding the development of photographic equipment and technique. Though analog photography will be studied, the technical and artistic aspects discussed will be relevant to digital photographers.
Action Photography Class
This class may focus on sports as a foundation for discussing the technical aspects of photographing a moving subject. Proper camera handling and operation, including focusing, safety and extreme shooting conditions are discussed. Marketing techniques for completed work may also be covered.
Underwater Photography Class
Diving skills and an additional excursion fee may be necessary for this course. Students learn the basics of successful underwater photography. Topics covered may include use of natural light and close-up photography, both of which can be taught through hands-on experience in a pool. Proper handling, maintenance and use of equipment in marine and underwater environments are covered in classroom sessions.