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Manual DSLR Photography 101+201+301 for Teens: 20 Week Curriculum

Katherine Causbie - Photography
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(1,063)
Through a series of in-depth photography projects, explore using shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to make creative choices and use photography artistically to express or communicate ideas, feelings, and information.

Class experience

US Grade 9 - 12
Beginner - Intermediate Level
4 units//20 lessons//20 Weeks
Unit 1Manual DSLR Photography 101
3 lessons3 Weeks
Manual DSLR Photography 101
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Introduction to the Camera's Manual Mode (Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO) ✏️
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Troubleshooting and Feedback 📑
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Composition ✏️ 📑
Unit 2Manual DSLR Photography 201
4 lessons4 Weeks
Manual DSLR Photography 201
 Week 4
Lesson 4
Night Photography✏️ 📑
Tech Skill: Varied Ranges of Light / Camera Setting Skill: Metering Modes
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Portrait Photography✏️ 📑
Tech Skill: Quality of Light / Camera Setting Skill: White Balance
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Street Photography✏️ 📑
Tech Skill: Observation & Timing
 Week 7
Lesson 7
Black and White Photography ✏️ 📑
Tech Skill: Tonal Range + Previsualizing Tone / Camera Setting Skill: Working in Monochrome
Unit 3Midterm Projects
3 lessons3 Weeks
Midterm Projects
 Week 8
Lesson 8
Midterm Project Overview and Planning ✏️
Setting visual intention
 Week 9
Lesson 9
Preliminary Images Feedback
 Week 10
Lesson 10
Midterm Project Presentation
Unit 4Manual DSLR Photography 301
10 lessons10 Weeks
Manual DSLR Photography 301
 Week 11
Lesson 11
Writing with Light/Photograms + Journaling and Artists Statements
 Week 12
Lesson 12
Is Photography Art?
 Week 13
Lesson 13
Advanced Composition Theory - A Closer Look at Form
 Week 14
Lesson 14
Photography as Story Telling - The Visual Life
 Week 15
Lesson 15
Seeing in Color & Commercial Photography
 Week 16
Lesson 16
Portraits and "Punctum"
 Week 17
Lesson 17
Visual Communication & A Closer Look at Concept
 Week 18
Lesson 18
Why Photography? Introduction to the Philosophy of Photography + Creative Voice
 Week 19
Lesson 19
Final Project Proposals
 Week 20
Lesson 20
Final Project Presentations
- Students will learn how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO work together to create a photograph. Students will also learn how to use these settings to create photographs.

- Students will be able to apply and describe the principles of effective photograph composition.

- Students will learn to speak about their work with pride, and share it with the group.

- Students will practice the vocabulary and concepts covered in class through positive and technical discussion of everyone's photos each week.  

- Students will explore specific four 200-series topics in photography in order to refine their ability to use manual settings in challenging light, and expand their understandings of additional technical settings: Portraits, Night Photography, Street Photography, Black & White Photography

- Students will expand their knowledge of the possibilities of photography, through learning about a the work of historic and contemporary photographers.

- Students will explore photography's emersion and evolution as an art form, fostering an understanding of fine art photography and moving towards their own creative voice and goals.

- Students will develop a sense of their own artistic style and "creative voice."

- Students will create self-directed final projects that relate to their goals and interests.
I hold a BA in Studio Art/Photography and Psychology, and am trained both as a photographer and as a Montessori assistant teacher. As an educator I have experience teaching children pre-K through high school. 
Homework Offered
Photography projects will be assigned each week. Projects are set up to encourage discovery, experimentation, and exploration, and help facilitate the photography learning process of applying what is covered in the lesson. The following class, each student will turn in their work to share and discuss their experience and any questions around the assignment. They will also share positive feedback with each other as a way to practice the language around the new terms and concepts. Small class sizes ensure plenty of 1:1 support and discussion of each student's work.
2 - 4 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
Assessment is informal and growth-centered. Learner progress is evaluated through review and discussion of their images using manual photography technique and the terms/ideas from class. Material is cumulative, so assessment is always done for the purpose of clarification and refinement moving forward (rather than memorization or correction).
Grades Offered
The focus of this class is on exploration and discovery through experimenting with the various skills and techniques. Class is not usually graded, but I can offer a grade if needed for your schooling system based on effort and participation upon request, simply message me before the end of class.
🖇️ Prerequisite: None.
#1 A DSLR or mirrorless camera + lens. If you are unsure if your camera has a manual exposure mode, you can check the camera instruction manual, or feel free to message me! A film SLR camera could also be used, but the photos must be scanned to digital files, and with developing time learners would have less time to complete the projects each week.

Many introductory DSLR cameras are available for relatively low cost used or new.

- Nikon D3400 or D3500
- Nikon D5500 or D5600
- Nikon D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500 
- Canon Rebel T8i / 350D
- Canon Rebel T7 / 2000D 
- Canon Rebel T6 / 1300D
- Canon Rebel SL3 / 250D
- Canon Rebel T100v/ 4000D (Canon camera with lowest recommended retail price)

A few old edition options that are still great to get started with learning manual mode on a budget: 
- Nikon D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300 (old versions of D3500)
- Nikon D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300 (old versions of D5600)
- Nikon D70s, D70, D80, D90 (old versions of D7000)
- Nikon D40, D40x, D50, D60 (old versions of D3000 and D5000 series) 
- any older Canon Rebel

#2 A memory card + battery/charger.

#3 The means to upload the photos to a computer, tablet, or cellphone with an internet connection and web browser. For example, with a cable for the camera or a memory card reader. Please make sure your learner can upload photos to the device prior to class, so they are ready to complete your projects and focus on learning how to use their camera. 

- Cyanotype paper is optional for week #1 
- Post-processing software such as Adobe Lightroom is welcome for students to use in completing their projects, but is not required/will not be taught.
- A journal for weekly journal prompts (can also be done in a word processor on the computer)
Some photographers and/or photo theorists who we learn about may have photography work or analysis that involves nudity and themes of sexuality, much like you might encounter in an exhibit at an art museum or in fashion photography. We will not explore these in class, but there is the possibility that students come upon them during further research. 

External Resources Details:
Padlet is used to submit work and for resource collecting and sharing, no sign in is required.
Wordwall is used for concept practice, no sign in is required.
Google Drive, Google Slides, Google Docs are used for projects, no sign in is required.
Pinterest is used for project inspiration and examples, no sign in is required. 
Youtube is used for resource sharing, no sign in is required.
The New York Times Photojournalism, LIFE Magazine Archive, New York Public Library Archive, US National Archives, Magnum Photos, and International Center for Photography are used for resource sharing, no sign in is required.
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(1,063)
Hello! I am a teacher on Outschool who loves to share artistic photography and human-animal psychology classes! My goal is to offer high-quality learning experiences that support curiosity, inspiration, and understanding. All classes are held... 
Group Class


for 20 classes
1x per week, 20 weeks
70 min

Live video meetings
Ages: 13-18
5-10 learners per class

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