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Digital Photography

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Why You Should Participate in the Digital Photography Certificate:

  • You want to explore fine art photography, portraiture, documentary, commercial and other genres of photography as a hobby or future career.
  • You want to possess the technical skills to shoot, manipulate and print photographs using digital technology.
  • You want to participate in courses that emphasize camera techniques, lighting methods and use of computer software for modifying and printing digital files.
  • You want to exhibit your work as part of your Capstone Project. 

Click to view the SLR Camera Recommendations PDF

Ready to apply? Complete the online form or apply online today!

Please join the Continuing Education mailing list to get updates on this program, and for information on the application deadline to join the next cohort. If you would like to schedule an advising session to discuss your options with Continuing Education staff, please email 

Required Courses

  • Digital Photography I
Must be taken as the first course

Explore the fundamental principles, techniques and application of digital camera-based image making. Learn to capture images by selecting your exposure settings for aperture and shutter while simultaneously learning about manual metering, color balance and strong composition. This course employs a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, assignments, field trips and critiques. You must have your own digital camera with adjustable exposure and focus and the ability to capture in raw. Print output is the student's responsibility; the University's Imaging Lab is available for output. A FreedomPay card is required for use of Imaging Lab services.

  • Digital Photography II

If you have completed Digital Photography I or are comfortable with the use of a digital SLR camera (in manual mode), this course will allow you to expand your photographic competency and aesthetic sensibility while learning techniques to improve your work and build a greater understanding of advanced functions of the digital camera. The course stresses the development of a cohesive body of work, with the final goal a series of project-based photographs. Prerequisite: Digital Photography I or equivalent experience.

  • Digital Media for Photographers - Lightroom

This course provides an overview of Adobe Lightroom, a complete end-to-end software solution for both amateur and professional photographers. Providing a critical set of tools for digital imaging tasks, Lightroom helps photographers work faster and more efficiently with one image, a set of images or a large image library. Lightroom allows you to organize images and quickly make adjustments. In this course, learn how to productively work with Lightroom, import images and sort them for organization and efficiency. Also spend time with advanced developing techniques to adjust exposure, contrast and color of images. You'll learn to edit photos and discover advanced features to enhance workflow.

  • Creative Digital Editing for Photographers - Photoshop

Learn how to optimize the full possibilities of Adobe Photoshop for image editing. In this course, harness the power of this incredible software program and understand its use, specifically as it relates to photographers. Step-by-step instruction will hone your skills. Additionally, learn the right way to scan film, prints and negatives for editing in Photoshop. Print output is the student's responsibility; the University's Imaging Lab is available for output. Prerequisite: Digital Photography I and Digital Media for Photographers - Lightroom or equivalent experience.

  • Studio Photography

Emphasizing creative solutions to complex photographic problems, this course is designed for those interested in discovering the versatility and creative potential of the studio environment. Learn how controlled studio lighting, both electronic flash and tungsten sources, enhances a photograph. The course incorporates lectures, demonstrations and a series of assignments in still life, portraiture, fashion and product setups. Course accommodates digital cameras of 35mm and medium format. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II or equivalent experience.

Select 6 elective credits; photo electives may include:

  • Advanced Camera Techniques

This course provides a more advanced study of the complex technical and practical techniques of photography in relation to camera formats, photographic techniques and advanced image manipulation. As students develop these higher-level camera skills and apply them to their work, consideration is given to such topics as advanced exposure, low-light situations, off-camera flash, camera raw capture and raw file editing techniques. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II, Digital Media for Photographers - Lightroom or equivalent experience.

  • Advanced Digital Editing - Photoshop

This course provides an in-depth exploration of using Abode Photoshop to pursue more advanced photo-editing techniques, specifically for photographers to create more complex works. print output is the student's responsibility; the University's Imaging Lab is available for output. Prerequisite: Digital Photography I and Digital Media for Photographers Photoshop or equivalent experience.

  • Experimental Photography

This course introduces students to a variety of historic and contemporary photographic processes, including cyanotype, Vandyke brown, encaustic medium over photographs and printing digital images on alternative surfaces. Experiment with images through digital manipulation, altering the surfaces of printed images and printing in antiquarian processes. In addition to mastering the technical side of these mostly unconventional processes, work on projects that extend beyond the traditional means of presenting your photography, including printing imagery on materials such as fabric, metal and wood. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II or equivalent experience.

  • Night + Low Light Photography

This course provides the technical background necessary for versatile shooting in lowlight environments. For both beginner and advanced photographers, the objective is to develop your understanding of how to properly determine exposures and create visually compelling photographs under various degrees of available light. Working in exterior and interior locations with both natural and artificial light sources, you will create a body of nocturnal images. The course consists of approximately 20 percent lecture and presentations, 60 percent shooting on location and 20 percent critique. Students must work in digital format. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II or equivalent experience.

  • Photographic Trends

This courses provides an overview of significant photographers and their work in the history of the medium, including technical developments and their impact. In addition, you will shoot images in a range of styles and subject areas based on trends discussed in class. You will gain an understanding of major visual and aesthetic trends in the development of photography and the larger context in which photography has developed. This course provides a broad context to the impact of this medium and allows for related studio work to better understand the changes that have informed photography today. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II or equivalent experience.

  • Photojournalism/Documentary Photography

Learn the basics of artistic photographic practice and apply them to documentary photojournalistic content. Using digital photography and a documentary approach, utilize content-driven visual storytelling to investigate subjects in the landscape or community. Class time includes critique, lectures, discussion and studio time. Lectures and readings will cover the work of photographers using the documentary style, and you will create a final portfolio of images. Students must provide their own DSLR cameras with manual control of shutter speed and aperture. Prerequisite: Digital Photography I, Digital Media for Photographers, after Digital Photography II or equivalent experience.

  • Portrait Photography

This unique course introduces a range of techniques including studio and lifestyle portraiture. Through studio and location shoots, you will begin to understand the creative approaches necessary for taking great portraits. Direct and photograph models while exploring portrait composition, posing techniques and lighting set-ups. You are welcome to bring your own subjects to class to photograph. Additionally, each class session will include an examination and discussion of the masters in the field of portrait photography, as well as critiques of student work. Examine equipment and its use in capturing great shots and discuss the commercial and professional aspects of the business. Complete the course with new skills and enthusiasm for photographic portraiture. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II or equivalent experience.

  • Street Photography

Street photography is a type of candid, documentary photography practiced by such luminaries as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand, Roy DeCarava, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, William Klein, Helen Levitt, Lisette Model, Weegee and others. These photographers documented the drama, turbulence, exoticism and humanity of the great American metropolis as they pushed the constraints of composition, rarely relying on pre-visualization. A skilled street photographer is able to anticipate action, interaction and that attosecond when the ordinary street scene becomes an extraordinary photograph. Students study the work of many of the noted photographers above, examine contemporary street photography and immerse themselves in the whirl of street life in Philadelphia as they understand what it takes to capture successful street photographs. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II or equivalent experience.

  • Travel Photography

This course is ideal for those who like to travel with a camera, and who like to think of travel as a time primarily to photograph. Course examines the work of some of the great travel photographers and how to take great photos on location under any shooting situation. Class time is mostly spent out in the field, photographing Philadelphia locations.

   Required Courses:

  • Business of Photography

This course serves as an introduction to the business and marketing practices common to photography and emphasizes developing professional objectives based upon careful consideration of the financial, legal, organizational, promotional, interpersonal and ethical practices of photography. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II or equivalent experience. This course is required for Digital Photography students preparing to enter the Capstone.

  • Capstone Project: Digital Photography
Final Course

This course is designed to provide you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have learned in the Digital Photography Certificate program. Explore and analyze topics within the discipline of photography to meet your individually defined goals in coordination with and approved by the instructor. Assemble and present your body of work in a portfolio of images appropriate to your professional, educational or personal goals. The course concludes with an exhibition. Prerequisite: For Digital Photography Certificate enrollees only; successful completion of all prerequisite classes is mandatory.

Total Required                                                                                 25.0             9 courses

Digital Photography certificate students are required to own a digital SLR camera for use during the program.