Individual distance learning courses in digital photography can be found through college continuing education departments, often as non-credit courses. Many art academies and colleges also offer Associate in Digital Photography degrees online. More broadly, online degree programs in digital media communications are available as entirely online degrees at the associate's and bachelor's levels. The actual program title may vary by college, based on the particular focus of the program.
Since Mac computers are often used by digital media professionals, some programs recommend that students use a Mac throughout their course of study. Also, since students will be working from their home computers, they may have to purchase industry-standard software packages such as Adobe Photoshop, a 3-button mouse and an external hard drive for additional storage.
Students typically work at their own pace, edit their work using specialized software and upload it to online course management systems for feedback from classmates and the professor. Schools may also encourage collaborative projects with student teams that interact online. At the end of a program, students may be expected to turn in final projects.
Degree seeking students may need to purchase industry equipment such as a digital camera with lenses, flash and lighting accessories as well as computer software. They will also need a printer designed for photo printing.
Common Photography Courses
These programs typically include classes in:
- Working with Light
- Printing Techniques
- Color Work
Graphic designers contribute to advertising campaigns, websites and many other commercial digital media outlets. Many schools offer online associate's and bachelor's degrees in graphic design that operate similarly to online photography programs.
Common Graphic Design Courses
Courses in a graphic design degree program typically include the following:
- Digital Illustration
- Digital Editing
- Digital Typography
Sound design and engineering is an important aspect of digital communication. Students interested in audio courses can find several diploma and degree programs offered online that cover everything from recording engineering to sound production.
Common Sound Engineering Courses
Students will be trained to use the following:
- Software synthesizers
- Specialized programs
- Pro Tools
Film and Video Production
Online film and video production courses prepare students to work with editing software and digital cameras to create short or full-length features.
Common Film and Video Production Courses
Students enrolled in online associate's or bachelor's degree programs in digital video and film production will study:
- Basics of Composition
- Light Techniques
- Digital Editing
- Post-Production Work
Associate's and bachelor's programs are available online for those pursuing a degree in digital media communications. Students can focus on a range of areas, such as digital photography and sound engineering. Degree-seeking students should consider the additional equipment and software necessary to complete their degrees online in this area.