FILM 165 Digital Still Photography for Non-Majors (Formerly DC 125)

Travis Chandler

Office: Meets in Classroom
Spring 2020-2021
Class number: 30158
Section number: 910
OLASY NCHOP Online Campus

Download syllabus


Course Description:

This course is an introduction to the aesthetics of still photography. Students will learn the fundamental concepts necessary to shoot, edit & manipulate photographs and critically evaluate the images. Throughout the course you will work on defining your individual aesthetic utilizing established composition and design elements. You will be introduced to best practices in workflow, visual data management and Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop will be used in two stages, first as a post-production tool in a standard photographic workflow, and then as a creative tool for compositing and collage. Every assignment will utilize a new skill towards a cumulative knowledge of professional standards in imaging. Students will be challenged to think conceptually about their own visual development while acquiring technical skills.

Summary of Course:

In this course we will shoot, edit and critique a series of photography projects. These projects cumulatively provide guidance on the best practices of lighting and composing an image that tells a compelling story. Students will leave this course with a basic understanding of how digital cameras work, as well as how to use them creatively.


OPTIONAL Textbook:
Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age by Robert Hirsch ISBN-10 024081827X | ISBN-13 978-0240818276


Grading Policy: 20% Project 1
20% Project 2
30% Project 3
20% Midterm exam

10% Participation
(one participation assignment will be assigned each week, worth 1 point each)


Prerequisites: None

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296