Commercial Digital Photography

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 226

       Course Name: Commercial Digital Photography

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 219 and ART 220

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers aspects of digital photography as required in field of commercial photography. Content includes efficient in use of high-end input and output digital devices, color consistency from camera to scanner to computer monitor to print, and skills needed in modern digital photography commercial environment. *See note.

*Note: Students are expected to buy their own film and paper. Total cost of these items is approximately $100 in addition to the regular lab fee. The students who does not own a camera, tripod or light meter may borrow these items from the College by paying a refundable deposit fee. Deposits will be retained when equipment is damaged or not returned on the specific due date.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To identify and differentiate complex processes and innovations in today’s digital photography studio.
  2. To demonstrate use of up-to-date capture, color management, and output software.
  3. To use state-of-the-art equipment such as: digital camera back, drum scanner and high-end photo-quality printer.
  4. To fully integrate all of the required skills into job-specific assignments.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Input:
    1. Hardware:
      1. digital camera back
      2. digital 35mm SLR
      3. drum scanner
    2. Software:
      1. capture
      2. color correction
      3. curves
      4. histograms
    3. Workplace upkeep
    4. File size
  2. Computer interface:
    1. Mac
    2. Photoshop
    3. Color management systems
      1. hardware
      2. software
    4. File management and storage
    5. Backup of data
  3. Output:
    1. Epson inkjet printer
    2. Bulk feed systems
    3. Piezography
    4. Dye-sub printers
    5. Lambda printer
    6. Portable photo printers
    7. Negative recording hardware
    8. Choice of print medium
  4. Studio setup:
    1. Equipment cost
    2. Equipment rental
    3. Technical efficiency
    4. Keeping up with technology advancements
    5. Portability
    6. Security
    7. Insurance
    8. Brand loyalty (manufacturing a camera v. manufacturing a computer)
  5. Practical needs:
    1. Working style
    2. Job requirements
    3. Costs
    4. Health issues
    5. Environmental issues
    6. Artistic relevance
    7. Hands-on v. digital

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Slide presentations and discussions of relevant work.
  2. Demonstrations of shooting, scanning and printing techniques.
  3. Critiques of student work, both in progress and at the end, to develop standards and evaluative criteria.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Active participation in all critiques.
  2. Produce a final project of at least 10 original pieces ready for display.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. CAMERA: Digital 35mm format or larger.

  2. LIGHT METER: A hand-held light meter is required.

  3. TRIPOD: Large enough to hold your camera steady.

  4. PAPER: High quality inkjet media in variety of finishes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade will be based upon the following elements and their weights:

  1. Photographic assignments: 80%
  2. Final project: 20%

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. It is essential to be on time; lectures and slide presentations take place at the beginning of class and will not be repeated. Attendance is expected for all classes and review sessions.
  2. All assignments and projects are to be on time and demonstrate proficiency.
  3. Instructor will specify in their syllabus the approximate cost of materials over and above the lab fee.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at