Photographer Career Prep

250 Hours / 12 months / Self-Paced

Course Overview:

In this course, you will find information about both conventional film photography and digital capture.  You will develop a step by step understanding of both photographing and developing with digital tools as well as conventional photography and darkroom techniques.  We will discuss general photographic techniques, visual awareness, and a variety of troubleshooting issues, as well as a basic understanding of the photography business.

Students Will:

  • Identify the parts of a camera and their functions
  • Describe various lenses and their uses
  • Practice the use of the camera and lenses
  • Explain the fundamentals of exposure, meter, light, and sensors
  • Practice appropriate film selection
  • Explain and practice the development of negatives
  • Explain and practice black and white printing
  • Define density, contrast, and a variety of effects
  • Explain and practice darkroom printing
  • Demonstrate an understanding of color in photography
  • Explain and practice the process of making a color print
  • Identify the features of a digital darkroom
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and proficiency in basic editing
  • Practice digital printing
  • Practice print finishing
  • Demonstrate an understanding of lighting
  • Demonstrate an understanding of extending the image
  • Describe and practice the use of a view camera
  • Describe the zone system
  • Explain and practice basic choices, basic design, and the description of photographs
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history of photography

About ProTrain:

ProTrain is committed to offering world class interactive online courses that provide training and learning support for the student in a number of ways during their experience. The ProTrain course structure has been developed to provide activities to guide students throughout the entire process of learning. Learning activities include hands-on assignments that allow students to use what they are learning to allow better transferable skills within their work environments; and collaborative assignments, like wikis and discussion groups that allow them to share what they have learned with others in the same course.

While a student learns, they are not alone. Each student will receive guidance and support from his or her assigned Training Assessment Manager (TAM) and Student Services Specialist (SSS) representative. In addition, we will offer live monthly webinars and feedback sessions for various subject categories. Throughout the entire course, students are monitored by the SSS representative using progress reporting from the ProTrain Registration System (PRS).

ProTrain will provide Students who successfully complete their online certification programs and pass their industry level certification exams the access to the new ProTrain Education-2-Employment Career Tracker system. The Career Tracker will allow our students who pass exams to load their own resumes at no additional cost, and letting industry employers find their talent through the same database.

Curriculum Developer Biography:

Willow Nolland is an expert in education and eLearning, with more than ten years of experience in curriculum development and instructional design. She has worked in higher education for over twelve years, and has developed numerous courses and has been involved in curriculum development across disciplines. She has experience with academic program development and coordination, curriculum development, student learning outcomes, educational partnerships, and student development. In addition, she has developed and administered professional development programs for various groups, including teachers, counselors, healthcare workers and members of private industry. She is a certified Quality Matters Reviewer and has taken graduate courses in online course development. She designs and teaches online courses at the college level and is proficient in a variety of course management systems. She has helped educators redesign their courses to transition them from a face-to-face format to an online format, and has provided course editing assistance to others. As a freelance instructional designer and curriculum developer, her projects have included course editing and redesign of online continuing education courses for nurses, CEU curriculum development for healthcare workers and teachers, and course review and editing for various colleges and universities.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1: Getting Started with Photography

In this lesson, we will introduce the camera, discuss the preparation of your camera, learn to focus and set the exposure, and become familiar with basic guidelines for photographing people and places.  This introductory lesson will be similar to a basic checklist that will assist you in becoming familiar with your camera.

Lesson 2: The Camera

In this lesson, we will discuss and develop a working knowledge of the camera, its controls, the shutter, the aperture, and their use. In addition, we will discuss things to keep in mind when choosing a camera, how to keep the camera steady, and the use of the camera manual.

Lesson 3: The Lens

In this lesson, we will discuss topics relevant to the camera lens, the function of the lens, and lens options, including lens focal length (normal, long, short, and zoom), special purpose lenses, focusing the lens, focus and depth of field, and perspective.  In addition, we will discuss considerations for buying a lens, effectively using the lens, and getting the most from your lens.

Lesson 4: Exposure, Sensors, and Film

In this lesson, we will discuss exposure basics, including equivalent exposures, how exposure meters work, in-camera exposure meters, and automatic exposure.  In addition, we will learn how to meter, including reading a scene, using different types of meters, metering high-contrast scenes, exposing for specific tones, and dealing with hard to meter scenes.  Finally, we will explore tasks such as responding to light, selecting and using film, exposure latitude and range, sensor speed, filters, and using exposure.

Lesson 5: Light and Color

This lesson begins with a discussion of color theory for the photographer. Additive and subtractive methods of color mixing are then covered. This chapter explains how color films work and provides information on selecting suitable films for different conditions. The color temperatures of different kinds of natural and artificial light and what affect these differences will have on color images are presented. Color balance including natural light conditions and color casts are covered.

Lesson 6: Developing a Film Negative

In this lesson, we will discuss the processing of black and white roll film, including the equipment and supplies needed, the safe use of chemicals, and the step by step processing directions.  We will also discuss how processing affects the picture, along with underdevelopment, normal development, and overdevelopment.

Lesson 7: Printing in a Darkroom

In this Lesson, we will discuss printing in a darkroom, the supplies and equipment that are required, directions for making a black and white print, and processing a black and white print.  We will also discuss the evaluation of density and contrast in a print, cropping, permanence, and effects.

Lesson 8: Basics of Digital Pictures

This lesson details the principles of a digital darkroom. Hardware and software options are presented, as are the comparative differences of various types of capture devices. Different scanners used for importing both print and film images are introduced as are storage devices for image files. The composition of digital images is discussed in terms of image quality and file size; file formats, resolution, and bit depth are explained. Discussions on histograms and color management are also included. The steps to establishing an efficient work flow are presented.

Lesson 9: Image Editing

In this lesson we will discuss the processes used to digitally edit images. The use of basic image-editing tools and commands used for cropping, converting color images to black and white, controlling color and value, adjusting all or part of an image, and correcting flaws in images are demonstrated. Special techniques for creative ends, such as high dynamic range, combining multiple images into one, and filters are also introduced. The chapter ends with a step by step detailing of the image-editing work flow.

Lesson 10: Digital Printing

In this lesson, we will discuss printers and printing, including choosing printers, drivers and RIPs, Profiles and Soft Proofing, and papers and ink.  In addition, we will discuss printing options, including panoramic photographs and printing in black and white.  We will also discuss the display of work in a gallery or on the internet.  Finally, we will discuss ethics in printing and displaying work.

Lesson 11: Organizing, Storing, and Presenting Work

This lesson details the equipment and processes used to store digital images. Software, including browsers, cataloging applications, and workflow applications are discussed. Suggestions are made for metadata and naming of files. The chapter ends with an overview of concerns specific to archiving film and prints.

Lesson 12: Lighting

Lesson 12 is a guide to arranging and controlling lighting to achieve a variety of affects. The quality of light is discussed in terms of the degree of diffusion - hard to soft; and the importance of contemplating the direction of light is explained. Considerations for shooting with available light both indoors and outdoors are offered. Artificial lighting devices, different kinds of reflectors, diffusers, filters, and supports for lights are covered and their uses explained. Basic flash techniques, different types of flash units, and metering for flash is detailed. Calculating exposure when using a flash is demonstrated. The chapter covers traditional methods of lighting for portraiture, capturing textures, and shooting reflective objects.

Lesson 13: Extending the Image

In lesson 13, we will discuss arranging and controlling lighting to achieve a variety of affects. The quality of light is discussed in terms of the degree of diffusion - hard to soft; and the importance of contemplating the direction of light is explained. Considerations for shooting with available light both indoors and outdoors are offered. Artificial lighting devices, different kinds of reflectors, diffusers, filters, and supports for lights are covered and their uses explained. Basic flash techniques, different types of flash units, and metering for flash is detailed. Calculating exposure when using a flash is demonstrated. The chapter covers traditional methods of lighting for portraiture, capturing textures, and shooting reflective objects.

Lesson 14: View Camera

Chapter 14 is a comprehensive study of view cameras that includes discussions of their components, operations, and accessories. The relative merits of view-camera use as compared with that of SLRs is presented, and methods for exploiting the full potential for camera movement that the view camera offers the photographer is detailed. The chapter covers issues such as control of the plane of focus and perspective as these are particularly significant with view camera use. There are step-by-step instructions for making an exposure with a view camera, as well as instructions for loading and processing sheet film.

Lesson 15: Seeing Photographs

This lesson is an introduction to the basic elements of composition and design. Suggestions for framing, cropping, and dealing with backgrounds are offered. The fundamental design elements are identified and discussed in terms of the ways in which the eye reads them and they are interpreted. Recommendations for composition in landscape photography and portraiture are presented. Issues of concern for the photographer, such as managing motion, balance, and tension are broached. An index refers the reader to pages in the text that may be useful in contending with design problems. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of ways in which to approach agencies and galleries with your work and speaking about photographs.

Lesson 16: History of Photography

This lesson traces the history of photography from the earliest photographic images produced in the 19th century to contemporary work. The major discoveries, experiments with different chemistries and materials, and technological advances in the field are cited; and the impact of these developments, such as the creation of roll film and color processing, is discussed. The important work of independent photographers as well as that of those working for governmental agencies is covered. Various trends in photography, such as photojournalism and art photography, are introduced and explained. The chapter concludes with a gallery of contemporary photographic images.

All necessary materials are included.


System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.


**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**