Advanced Digital Photography

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 220

       Course Name: Advanced Digital Photography

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 117 or equivalent

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course expands basic principles and tools of digital photography used in Art 117 and deals with the manipulative and experimental nature of the medium. Focus is on creation of original work utilizing the digital camera, study of development of manipulative photography. Studio work outside of regular class time is required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Produce images demonstrating advanced digital photographic principles and concepts.
  2. Make images that could not otherwise be seen with the naked eye through methods discovered in class.
  3. Demonstrate understanding post-visualization by making images that happen by chance.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of transformation by creating forms from reality.
  5. Use techniques of manipulation to create different types of images.
  6. Produce digital photographs that are well crafted and finished.

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. The Digital Camera: Advanced Operation
    1. Focusing modes
    2. Movie recording and playback
    3. Metering options
    4. Advanced shooting menus
      1. White balance
      2. Metering
      3. Continuous mode
      4. Image adjustments
      5. Saturation control
      6. Exposure options
      7. Sharpening
      8. Auto bracketing
      9. Noise reduction
    5. Flash
  2. Forms of Manipulation
    1. Putting objects in front of the lens: mirrors, mylar, prisms, reflections, projections, lenses, etc.
    2. Manipulation of the lens
      1. Movement, multiple imagery, movement of F- stop and focus
      2. Multiple exposure and transformations
      3. Movement with strobe effect
      4. Exchange of cameras – post-visualization
      5. Movement of F-stops during exposure
      6. Movement of focusing during exposure
    3. Post-visualization: exchange of cameras
    4. Serial imagery
      1. Creation of different forms
      2. Time depiction and distortion
    5. Tonal distortion
      1. High-contrast imagery
      2. Posterization
    6. Digital Darkroom Manipulation
      1. Filters
      2. Scanner manipulation
      3. Multiple printing
      4. Colorization
      5. Transform-distortion
      6. Drawing/painting on prints
      7. Experimentation with different papers
      8. Transfers

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Media presentations of work in manipulation by the great photographers, as well as previous student work in areas being studied.
  2. Demonstrations of image-making techniques, such as multiple exposure and movement.
  3. Critiques of student work, both in progress and at the end, to develop standards and evaluative criteria.
  4. Studio assignments requiring the student to solve visual problems.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attend all classes.
  2. Complete assignments and projects.
  3. Attend and participate in critiques.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in the techniques explored.

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

Suggested sourcebook: "An Introduction to Digital Imaging" by Philip Krejcarek.

The student must purchase the following materials:
  1. CD-R media, flash drive, or portable hard drive for saving work.  
  2. Proofing paper and final print paper
  3. Museum-grade boards and backing boards for presentation of work.
Digital cameras can be borrowed from the college, or students may use their own. The college provides students with a graphics lab, which includes scanners, printers, and computers, as well as a facility which includes studio equipment and a darkroom with enlargers and chemicals.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Work produced for this course will be evaluated on these criteria:
  1. Technical quality, fullest possible range of tones
  2. Craftsmanship – neatness
  3. Visual simplicity – strength of organization of images
  4. Color correction
Grade components:
  1. Quizzes = 25%
  2. Critiques = 25%
  3. Final Critique = 25%
  4. Final Examination = 25%
The final exam will be based upon knowledge of the operation of the digital camera, as well as color and black-and-white photographic manipulation.

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

Open lab hours will be posted each semester.

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

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.