Course Description

This beginning photography course explores the foundational concepts of light and exposure. Using dSLR cameras, professional lighting equipment and software*, the student develops compositional skills and the ability to control photographic style to create visually engaging photographs.

*if this course is being held online due to an emergency, students will meet learning outcomes using alternate tools and equipment such as a cell phone camera.

Credits, Hours
2 cl hrs, 2 lab hrs, 3 cr

COMD 1340-OL90

Course Site

Online through Blackboard

Class Meetings

Friday, 8-11:20am

Faculty Information

Professor C. Shepard

Online office hours/information:

  • Office hours by appointment, each Friday after class, 11:30am-12:30pm

In-person office hours/location:

  • Not available this semester

Learning Outcomes

Through hands-on technical exercises and creative assignments, class discussions and critiques, students will demonstrate:

  • Accurate use of vocabulary related to photography to describe photographs in written and verbal peer critique
  • Visual literacy to analyze the meaning, the aesthetic value and the technical competency of one’s own work, the work of one’s peers, and the work of professional photographers.
  • Understanding of camera functions
  • Ability to use light, composition and exposure to to convey a point of view in a photograph. 
  • Portfolio

Teaching/Learning Methods

  • Technical exercises
  • Creative exploration of photographic style
  • Peer-to-peer critique
  • View and discuss the work of 20th century and contemporary photographers
  • Readings and video resources by and about photographers

Required Equipment


You will need a camera to complete the coursework. 

You may use a camera phone but you must use the Lightroom Photoshop App to gain control over shutter speed and ISO.

Resource for buying a camera:


You will need lights so that you can control the light for some assignments. You can use:


  • White and black cards or poster board, or sheets, to reflect and block light.
  • A translucent shower curtain

Recommended Equipment


Required Software

This course will give instruction in how to use Lightroom Classic and the Lightroom Photoshop App. You may use Lightroom instead just note that the interface will look a bit different and you will need an iCloud subscription.

If you will be using a camera to do your coursework, you will need access to Adobe Lightroom Classic and Photoshop.

If you are using a cameraphone, you will need the Lightroom Photo Editor App, sometimes called Adobe Lightroom Photoshop.

Lightroom Versions

Lightroom Classic works with photos on your hard drive. Best for professional photographers who are managing hundreds of thousands of photos.

Lightroom is a cloud-based application so you can edit your photos on any device.

Lightroom Photo Editor/ Lightroom Photoshop App allow you to shoot and edit photos on your mobile device.

Access to the internet is critical to completing this class.

As CUNY students you have a Dropbox account with lots of free storage! You will need to have a cloud account to use the Virtual Computer Lab. Please sign up here: Dropbox.

Academic Integrity Standards 

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.


Attendance is taken and is important to success in this class. Both absences and arrival more than 15 minutes after the start of class will be marked. If excessive, the instructor will alert the student that they may be in danger of not meeting the course objectives and participation expectations, which could lead to a lower or failing grade.

Office Hours are mandatory. You must meet with me TWICE in the semester. This will be reflected in your final grade.


Students final grades will reflect how much you have or haven’t participated in class discussions. 5 overall points will be added, or subtracted.

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