Distance Education Course in Digital Photography

Develop your ability to produce photographs using digital technology (digital or conventional photography combined with computer software and hardware for processing the photographs). Digital photography is a relatively new and radically different technique to film photography which records images in the form of digital (ie. 2 digit or binary) codes. In simple terms digital codes are similar to Morse code. One number or digit is indicated by a pulse of electricity, a second digit is indicated by no electrical pulse. By combining these pulses and lack of pulses into codes, we can, for example, create representations for letters of the alphabet; allowing us to write language or text on a computer. When we combine these electrical "pulses" and "no pulses" (or 'ones' and 'zeros') in more complex combinations, we can create more complex representations. These can include the colour, and degree of darkness or brightness in a single spot on a picture.

Study Digital Photography

Work in the photo industry; or use photographic skills where you already work

Photography is relevant to many industries -from small businesses that need photos to promote their products and services, to publishing and web development that uses photos routinely in their day to day work.

This course is divided into eleven lessons as follows:

1. Introduction To Digital Technology

  • Capture and Storage of Images
  • Categories of equipment & software
  • Scope of applications

2. Equipment -getting started; deciding what you need

  • CCD's
  • Image Sizes
  • Raster Images
  • Video Cards
  • Colour depth
  • Computer terminology etc.

3. Digital Technology

  • Colour
  • Resolution
  • Sensors (how technology enables digital images to be captured).

4. Digital Cameras

  • Image formation
  • Lenses
  • Camera stability
  • One shot cameras
  • Three shot cameras
  • Terminology (eg.DPI, DVD, Bit, EDO RAM, Plug In etc)

5. Taking Photographs

  • Principles of Photo Composition
  • Creating effects
  • Default Setting
  • Compression of Data
  • Dithering
  • Halftones etc

6. Scanners

  • Techniques which can be used
  • Digitally capturing images from film photographs, or graphics

7. Uploading Images

  • How digital images can be transferred effectively from a camera (or scanner) onto another device
  • Transfering imagesto computer, video monitor, television set, etc.

8. The Digital Darkroom

  • Techniques that can be used to process digital photographs within a computer to achieve improved or changed images

9. Compositing and Imaging

  • Production of Images
  • Manipulation of images
  • How digital photos can be manipulated and changed to produce altered images

10. Special Effects

  • Scope and nature of special effects that can be created with digital photographs

11. Outputs and Applications-

  • Printers
  • The Internet
  • How and where digital photography can effectively be used.


Here are just a few examples of what you may do:

  • Investigate software available for processing digital photographs
  • Obtain literature on Adobe Photoshop and any two other types of software.
  • Compare the different software options which you investigate.
  • Develop a check list of what would be required if you were to purchase a digital camera for professional freelance photographic work (such as studio portraits and wedding photography)
  • Find five photographs you have taken in the past which have not been as successful as you would have liked. Consider what you might have done to improve the way in which the image was taken in each of these. Consider what advantages digital photography might have offered if you had taken these using a digital imaging rather than film.



You will need access to a digital camera and some type of storage or output device during the course.

This is required so that you can take some photographs on a digital camera and submit them as a print or as a digitised file. An inexpensive digital camera and a printer or 3.5 inch floppy disk would be a minimum. If you plant o purchase a digital camera, but have not yet decided what to buy, it is recommended that you delay buying a camera until you have completed Lesson 3 and commenced Lesson 4. It is also suggested that you ask your tutors advice as to which camera would best suit your needs. Access to a suitable computer is also advantageous but not essential.

Why People Use Digital Photography instead of Film

Many people think film photography is totally a thing of the past; but this is not so. Film is still used by certain amateurs and professionals; and may always continue to be used; but digital is certainly more popular with the general public today.

Advantages of Digital

  • Get the final image immediately (no processing)
  • Gain quality control over your pictures. Conventional photos have no input into an image after it leaves the camera. With a digital photo, image-editing software can be used to restore your pictures, if necessary.
  • Send an image to friends, family members, and clients almost instantaneously by attaching it to an e-mail message.
  • Explore your artistic side. Using image editing program you can apply special effects.
  • Easily add pictures of your products and other items on your company’s site or the World Wide Web -on social media, blogs, web sites.

Disadvantages of Digital

  • Print quality. The best photographers will still often argue that the final image is better when taken with film.
  • There is a tendency to take more photos and give less consideration to each one you take. You may have a greater quantity, but for some people, the quality of their best may not be as good.
  • Images from lower priced digital cameras may require touch up work you correct problems with colour balance focus and contrast.