Digital Photography 1

Instructor – Troy Wayrynen

Class Overview

Welcome to the exciting and creative world of photography! Students in digital photography 1 will have the terrific opportunity to explore the many facets of the art of photography. Students will create and develop a cohesive concentration of imagery, while exploring and developing their unique and singular vision through the art of photography.


By exploring the tools of the craft, students will be able to develop a personal body of work that demonstrates a range of photographic and visual problem solving and ideation, develop versatile skills as an artist, and learn how to use industry standard photographic tools and techniques.  The overreaching goal is to help each student discover and build his or her own visual vocabulary with the intention of developing a personal photographic vision, or style of their own.

By exposure to an abundance of personal growth opportunities, students will begin to see the world differently then they did before this class, and above all, have fun as they learn.

Objectives – Photo Explorations

Students will thoughtfully and consistently use a sketchbook to journal, plan, reflect, and document their artistic growth and the direction of their photographic experiences. And above all students will have an abundance of personal growth opportunities to see the world differently then they did before and have fun as they learn.

Students will be introduced to new photographers, artists, and sophisticated techniques that will enhance your understanding of photography, which in turn will allow you to better reflect on your personal spirit and vision.

Photo Explorations are weekly assignments with different themes. This is a great time to learn and grow as a visual artist and practice using pre-visualization and other techniques. Students will photograph a variety of images for each exploration. Some of the best images from each student will be gathered and published to an online web gallery.  Students will have the opportunity to see and critique each other’s work.

Students will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite images. To qualify for the contest, students must meet the deadline of the assignment. Students who miss the deadline will still be given credit for the assignment.

Weekly Photo Explorations (Assignments)

Students will have an opportunity to grow visually through weekly photo explorations. Here are some explorations you may encounter this semester:

  • The Art of the Self Portrait
  • Action Photography!
  • Discover Our Small World – Macro Photography
  • Abstract Photography
  • Portraits using Flash
  • Storyteller
  • Water Droplets
  • Depth of Field
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Framing
  • Color
  • Emotion

More expansive projects may include:

  • Photojournalism/Personal Essay Project
  • Smartphone Art
  • Sound & Vision
  • Final Project: Blog Portfolio Project
  • Master Photographer examination

Photo Plagiarism

Challenge yourself to be creative and contribute work you created. Using someone else’s images off the internet and calling it your own is plagiarism. I want to see your vision of the world and help you discover your artistic inner voice. Don’t be tempted to turn in work that is not your own. You will receive a zero grade for work you turn in that is not your own.


Weekly Photo Explorations (50% of your grade)

Weekly critiques and comments (20% of your grade)

Project work (20% of your grade)

Tutorial assignments (10% of your grade)

grading rubric

Grading your weekly assignments is based on a rubric developed to help best assess how well you met the criteria for your photographic exercise.

Here is an example of the rubric:

photo exercise rubric

Technical Considerations

Is your picture properly exposed?

Correct white balance

Pictures are focused


How well do you consider the compositional relationship of elements in your photograph? Are you thinking about your photograph before, during and after you make it?

Post Production

There are many steps involved during the creation of a photograph. Post production is the final stage where you use editing software to decide which pictures exhibit your vision as you take them to industry standard imaging and production tools like Photoshop.

Comments and Critiques

There is a language behind critiquing your work and others. I will help you understand some of the terms used to describe and articulate how you feel, or what you see in a photograph. As the class progresses you will become more confident and fluent in how you see your work and others. Also remember to be constructive with your critiques. Be cautious of putting other photographer’s work down. Remember we are all learning and the best way to learn is to have a good conversation about the photographs you make which will help make you better.

How I Grade Tutorial Comments

Here is the rubric I will be using to grade your comments:

Late Work

It is important that students get off to a good start in class by meeting assignment dead lines. I do expect students to be diligent about assignment deadlines, but I recognize there may be valid reasons students might miss an assignment deadline. I will accept late work up until the end of the official grading period. It is the student’s responsibility to notify me when turning in late work.

Checking Out Cameras

We have a limited number DSLR cameras, lenses and tripods available to check out during class and to take home.

1-2 students can check out a camera with a hall pass.

There will be a sign out sheet available in class where you will provide student names, camera ID number, tripod number and time.

A pass will be available during the check out procedure.

It is the responsibility of the student to keep track their time and return as scheduled. Failure to report back before the time on the pass will result in one warning. Multiple infractions will result in loss of photo pass privileges for one week.


Our classroom is a community based on mutual respect. In order to grow as artists, scholars and citizens we will work together to create a safe space for everyone to explore and present their ideas and feelings.

Disruptive behavior creates a barrier to learning and achievement for yourself and others.

If you demonstrate you are responsible by respecting others, make good use of class time, have excellent attendance, you may check out camera equipment by recording your name, date, and camera number in the check out binder. You will need to return equipment in the same condition you received it before second period of the following day. Failure to follow these requirements will result in a loss of camera privileges.


In order to achieve students will need to be active participants in their learning. Students will have the opportunity to bring equipment home and are highly encouraged to do so as the more photos you take the better photographer you will become.


Our classroom is designed to be a place of learning and a reflection of the professional working standards you will eventually come to know. Being on time everyday is important to your success and your classmates. Please be in class on time and ready to learn. If you are running behind please try to take your seat quickly and quietly. You are welcome to check the daily blog posts or talk with me after class if you need help catching up.

Classroom Seating

You are welcome to choose your own seat. Be aware you may lose your seat selection if you become disruptive in class. If this happens I will reassign a new seat for you. Additionally, I may from time to time rearrange the seating in the classroom.

Classroom Etiquette

Food is not allowed in class. Drinks are acceptable, as long as they are securely capped and away from computers.

Pranks, unplugging, or turning off computers will result in detentions, referrals and loss of computer pass privileges.

Please don’t line up at the door before the bell rings. There is always work to be done even if you finish your project by the end of class. Consider alternatives that will keep you productive instead of standing at a doorway waiting.

You may listen to music while working at a computer using your own headphones.

Derogatory or inflammatory language is not tolerated at anytime.

Treat school property and equipment with respect and care. If something is not working properly please let me know.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones are to be used for digital photography assignment and projects only (downloading images needed for projects and assignments, photo app discussion opportunities, calendar scheduling needs). If you are unclear about any part of the cell phone policy please talk to me. Thanks.

Fun Policy

This is my favorite policy and hopefully yours too. I am excited to have you as a student and I want you to be excited about my class. Photography is an amazing communications medium. Photography will help open doors and opportunities for you personally and professionally if you decide to make it a profession. There is joy in the the process of capturing and creating images. It’s fun to share our creations with family, friends and our community. Have fun and enjoy learning about the fascinating world of photography!

If you agree to these these rules, please respond to the comments section of this post.



3_Troy_Wayrynen (period_firstname_lastname)

I (state your name) agree to the terms stated on Mr. Wayrynen’s online syllabus.

Failure to follow any of these rules will result in disciplinary action.




65 thoughts on “Syllabus

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