Introduction to the Digital Photography 

This element of the class is essential for those who are brand new to photography or have been taking pictures for a while with a point & shoot or using full auto mode and are ready to find out more.

Here at EASTERN we believe knowing more of the technical details empowers us to be more creative. In the studio we will explain all the basics of proper exposure, the differences between point & shoot cameras and DSLRs, how your camera works, the basics of JPEG/RAW files, and so much more.

Be prepared to ask a lot of questions and soak up a lot of information. Everything in this class is about general photography and pretty much universal to all camera brands and models. Bring your camera and manual so we can work with your specific camera’s menus and settings.
Specific topics for the next several rotations include but are not limited to:


  • - The Elements of Exposure: ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed
    – Understanding Your Camera’s Light Meter & How it Thinks
    - Point & Shoot vs. Interchangeable Lenses & DSLRs
    - The Myth of Intelligent Auto Exposure
    - Full Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority
    - Understanding Your Camera’s Auto Exposure Modes & How to Out-Smart the Computer
    - “P” for Professional and Exposure Compensation
    - Taking Charge with Full Manual Control
    - White Balance Explained
    - The Power of RAW Files vs JPEG Files

Obviously, there is so much to learn about photography so let's get your feet wet and see when your ready to dive out on your own. All your knowledge is going to start opening the doors to deeper understanding of not only photography, but your designs & illustrations as well.

Vocabulary for Photography

  • Exposure
  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • Light Meter
  • DSLR
  • White Balance
  • RAW Files
  • JPEG Files
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Click Here to Download and Fill Out your MAX Vocab
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Click Here to Download the Project Sheet



~ 1ST PHOTO ASSIGNMENT, CAPTURING THE ELEMENTS & PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN ~


Competency: #801- Operate digital camera and accessories, #802- Compose a photograph through the lens & #803- Demonstrate use of lighting.

Project: Creatively see the world around you to showcase the Elements of Design (*Principles of Design for Advanced Students) while working through getting to know you camera inside & outside the digital studio.

2ndYr students you will later be using some of your imagery in a uniquely designed full color instructional poster. You must shoot each of the 4 Principles, with a contact sheet of your BEST 12 of each. This should total 48 CREATIVE shots - HALF of which you must 'control' in the STUDIO.

Key Points
From Class Lecture & Reading Packet with Vocabulary

  • Exposure
  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • Light Meter
  • DSLR
  • White Balance
  • RAW Files
  • JPEG Files

Principles of Design

The Principles of Design are the set of rules or guidelines of visual art that are to be considered when considering the impact of a piece of artwork. They are combined with the Elements of Design in the production of art. The principles are movement, unity, harmony, variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, proportion, and pattern.
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Movement shows actions, or alternatively, the path the viewer's eye follows throughout an artwork. Movement is caused by using elements under the rules of the principles in picture to give the feeling of action and to guide the viewer's eyes throughout the artwork. In movement your art should flow, because you are controlling the viewers eye. You control what they see and how they see it, much like a path leading across the page to the item you really want to be seen by the viewer.
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Harmony is achieved in a body of work by using similar elements throughout the work, harmony gives an uncomplicated look to a piece of artwork. Color Harmony or Color Theory is also considered a principle through the application of the design elements of color.
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Unity is the wholeness that is achieved through the effective use of the elements and principles of art. The arrangement of the Elements and Principles of Design is to create a feeling of completeness.
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Variety (also known as alternation) is the quality or state of having different forms or types. The differences, which give a design visual and conceptual interest: notably use of contrast, emphasis, difference in size and color.
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Contrast is created by using elements that conflict with one another. Often, contrast is created using complementary colors or extremely light and dark values. Contrast creates interest in a piece and often draws the eye to certain areas. It is used to make a painting look interesting.
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Balance is arranging elements so that no one part of a work overpowers, or seems heavier than any other part. The three different kinds of balance are symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial. Symmetrical (or formal) balance is when both sides of an artwork, if split down the middle, appear to be the same. The human body is an example of symmetrical balance. The asymmetrical balance is the balance that does not weigh equally on both sides. Radial balance is equal in length from the middle. An example is the sun.
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Proportion is a measurement of the size and quantity of elements within a composition. In ancient arts, proportions of forms were enlarged to show importance. This is why Egyptian gods and political figures appear so much larger than common people. The ancient Greeks found fame with their accurately-proportioned sculptures of the human form. Beginning with the Renaissance, artists recognized the connection between proportion and the illusion of 3-dimensional space.
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Pattern and Rhythm (also known as Repetition) is showing consistency with colors or lines. Putting a red spiral at the bottom left and top right, for example, will cause the eye to move from one spiral, to the other, and everything in between. It is indicating movement by the repetition of elements. Rhythm can make an artwork seem active.
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