Photography 3/4
Digital Imagery Pathway Capstone Course
West Hills High School

Natalie Howard | |

Studio A3 Expectations
  • If you try, you will succeed!
  • Push yourself creatively and technically.
  • Respect Studio A3, yourself, your work station, the class resources, and everyone around you.

Course Outline
During semester one, you will
  1. learn the ins and outs of a DSLR
  2. review advanced photo shooting techniques
  3. explore photography and digital arts as an art form
  4. develop a professional learning network of people and resources

During semester two, you will
  1. select an area of emphasis within the photography or digital arts world
  2. create an AP 2D design-style portfolio, including a 12 image area of emphasis
  3. continue to develop your professional learning network
  4. continue to build your shooting, Lightroom, Photoshop, and Illustrator skills

Throughout the course, there will be a series of required assignments that you will complete to demonstrate that you know specific content and have certain skills. However, beyond this there is an expectation that when you NOT work on one of the required assignments, you will work on one of the challenges that extend your knowledge and skills beyond the basic requirements. For this you will have choices and options that will expand as the year progresses. Additionally, you will have the option find and propose your own assignments.

Tracking Student Progress
This class will be less structured and more self-guided than any other class you have taken at West Hills. So, in order to track your progress and ensure that you are maximizing your class time, you will complete what I call a Progress Tracker in Google Docs at the beginning and end of each week.

This will help you plan your week and ensure that you have time to complete the required elements of the class and any challenges you choose to complete. It will also let me see more clearly, where you are at any given time. Don’t worry if something changes mid-week, just report what changed and what you did instead on Friday.  You might even spend some time stewing over an idea, that’s OK too!

This Progress Tracker will be the ONLY way I know that you have completed an assignment. It will be monitored throughout the semester and graded at the end of each Progress Report.

2nd Semester Grading
For the remainder of the year grades will be broken up into four categories.  Each category will have its own weight.  

Assignments-100 points each (50% of grade)
Projects-25 points each (12.5% of grade)
Photo Challenges-25 points each (12.5% of grade)
Effort-10 points per week (25% of grade)

Assignments, Projects and Challenges (75%)
Images exceed expectations, show thought in planning, clear intent, strong visual impact through artistic principles, and outstanding technical skills.
Images show strong understanding of project expectations, demonstrate good craftsmanship, may be lacking in originality.
Images generally meeting project expectations, demonstrates some understanding of technique, lacks originality, some elements need more refinement.
Images generally demonstrate poor technique, lack artistic focus, and/or do not fully address the challenge.
Not submitted or worthy of high school student photography

Effort (25%)
You gave it your all.
Great, but you could have done more.
Limited effort. You could have done so much more.
Are you kidding?
And you are?
*The World’s Simplest Rubric by Mike Skocko of Valhalla High School.

*Points will be deducted from weekly effort grades when students are off task or have unexcused absences.

We will be using digital and film cameras for this class. If you have either type of camera available for use, speak to Mrs. Howard to make sure it will work for the specific assignments. The school has film SLR cameras, point-and-shoot digital cameras, iPods, and digital SLRs available for checkout during class time AND overnight.

ALL students and parents must sign the attached “Camera Contract” before any class materials/cameras may be used or checked out during class or overnight to use for photo assignments. Students and parents accept full responsibility for repair or replacement of any cameras or supplies in the event of damage, loss, or theft.

When a school camera is checked out overnight, it must be returned on the specified due date or the student may be denied further checkout privileges. There are approximately 160 photo students sharing a limited supply of cameras.

Internet Use
This class relies heavily on the Internet. Students will post all digital photo assignments on their Google Picasa Web Albums through the Grossmont Union High School District Google Apps Network. They have the option of making their albums public OR private.

A set of class online albums will include student work for other students to review. Students are expected to post only items related to class in these albums AND images that do not violate any school policies. Often students take images of each other for various assignments that will be posted to the class albums. It is the policy of the class to not directly identify students in the images.

A class website is available with links to assignments and student work (

Behavior and Safety
Inappropriate or disruptive behavior is unacceptable in this class. Problems will first be discussed with the student. On second offense, a referral will be written and the student will be sent to the principal’s office for further disciplinary action. At the teacher’s discretion, a referral will be sent to the principal’s office immediately without a first warning if deemed necessary.

Additionally, this class utilizes a variety of tools, supplies, and techniques that require students to exhibit maturity and responsibility. Misuse - accidental, negligent, or purposeful - could cause injury or damage to class equipment. Any actions that might cause injury to you or any other student or misuse of supplies and equipment will not be tolerated and will be grounds for referral and possible permanent dismissal from class. Also, any negative behavior involving the computers, the server, network, or cameras will face a similar consequence.

All countertops are to be damp washed and dried. Any chemical spills will be cleaned and all papers and film scraps on the floor or counters will be thrown away. All equipment is to be returned to its regular place. Paper cutters and counter areas are to be cleaned off, trash picked up off of the floor, and personal supplies must be put away. Photo paper, film, and negatives are the responsibility of the student. Supplies left in the labs after you have gone for the day may not be there when you return to class.

Photography 3/4
West Hills High School

Natalie Howard | |

(Please check off each item and sign the bottom)

_____ I have read the syllabus document.*

_____ I have completed the online form at

_____ I have read, signed, and attached the
camera contract.

Student Name: _____________________________________
Parent Name: ______________________________________
Parent Signature: __________________________________
Date: ______________________

* Please email Mrs. Howard with any questions at

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