Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: PHOT 5 or equivalent; this course is included in the Digital Photography family of activity courses; not open to students with credit in PHOT 65A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will define digital photography terminology and identify basic image editing software features and their proper use.
  • A successful student will create photo-based artwork that demonstrates proficiency in the beginning level digital photography techniques covered in course materials.


Introduction to the tools for expressive communication in digital photography using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Development of skills in image capture, enhancement, printing, and web publishing, for both fine art and commercial applications.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. demonstrate ability to use digital imaging software.
B. demonstrate ability to use current computer hardware.
C. create hard copy photographic images for portfolio presentation and web appropriate images for electronic publishing.
D. discuss and describe expanding visual awareness.
E. demonstrate an awareness of basic photographic principles underlying the new technologies and the ability to apply these interdisciplinary principles in the sciences and fine arts.
F. demonstrate understanding of ethics of the new technologies, including the principles of truthfulness in images, copyright and appropriation.
G. recognize contributors from diverse cultures and backgrounds to contemporary electronic imaging.

Course Content

A. Introduction to digital image technology
1. History of imaging from silver to pixel
2. Terminology of the digital darkroom
3. Future of imaging and directions in technologies
4. Ethics of digital manipulation, copyright issues, appropriation in modern artistic expression and in commercial applications
5. Contribution from diverse cultures and individuals to the advance of electronic technologies
B. Digital imaging hardware
1. The computer
a. Platform choices
b. Memory requirements for working with images
2. Digital cameras (brief overview)
3. Scanners for negatives, prints, objects
4. Printers (input, output and WYSIWYG)
C. Introduction to the software
1. File formats and their uses
2. Digital imaging software menus and tools and their use
a. The brush tools (healing brush, spot healing brush, patch, clone tool/rubber stamp, paint brush, eraser)
b. Selection tools (marque, magic wand, lasso and their modifiers)
c. Editing tools (cut paste, rotate, scale, crop)
d. Basic adjustments (levels, curves, brightness/contrast)
3. Resolution
4. Color controls
5. Selection controls
6. Filters and special effects
7. History panel
8. Layers and blending modes
9. Use of type in Photoshop
10. Automate menu and actions
D. Organizing and archiving images
1. Rating systems and methods
2. Keywords and other metadata
3. File management
E. Using digital imagery to make artwork of meaning and intention
1. Effective communication through digital imaging
2. Truthfulness in digital imaging
3. Formal and alternative presentation of the digital image

Lab Content

A. Assignments and exercises that practice digital imaging techniques.
B. Assignments and exercises that practice the use of digital imaging vocabulary.
C. Assignments and exercises that practice the use of printing and other output methods.
D. Preparation of professionally presented photographs using both matting framing and digital presentation techniques.
E. Visit and review photography exhibitions in museums and galleries.
F. Exercises that have students make revisions or corrections and edit their photographs.
G. Critiques and evaluation of assignments and exercises.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. A lecture room equipped with color LCD overhead projector for displaying projected computer monitor displays; an instructional computer with high resolution monitor, scanner, color printer and software; lighting and wall space suitable for displaying and critiquing hard-copy output. An integrated or separate facility for student computer time.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software, media plug-ins, and relevant computer graphics applications and email software; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Critiques of digital photographs.
B. Instructor's review of student's on-going work.
C. Review of student's participation in discussion and critiques, laboratory performance.
D. Written paper(s) on current issues in digital photography.
E. Quizzes/tests.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lectures on the techniques of digital imaging software and digital photography.
B. Discussion and electronic discussions/chat using the language of digital imaging and photographic/artistic critiques.
C. Demonstrations of digital imaging software and digital photography.
D. Field trips to visit photographic, artistic and technical locations.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Laskevitch, Stephen. Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5: A Photographer's Handbook. Santa Barbara: Rocky Nook, 2014. Print. (This book has not been updated but remains a seminal volume for instruction of this software.)
Evening, Martin. Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers: A professional image editor's guide to the creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh or PC. 1st ed. New York City: Focal Press, 2018. Print.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading of the textbook
B. Review of handouts and relevant reading material
C. Review of tutorial videos
D. Research and planning of individual creative projects
E. Written assignment statement
F. Written portfolio statement
G. Written critiques of student work
H. Written report of attending a photography exhibition or event