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

Travis Chandler

Fall 2021-2022
Class number: 4349
Section number: 710
OLASY NCH00 Online Campus

Download syllabus


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.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completing DC 125, Students will be able to-

- Create well lit, well composed photographs.

- Analyze a photograph and make recommendations for improvement.

- Explain, in well-written prose, what a work of art is about and how it was produced

(i.e. you should be able to articulate and explain the “content” of that work and its

methodology of production).

- Comment on the relationship between form and content in a work.

- Assess the formal aspects of their subject and put those qualities into words, using, when

appropriate, specialized vocabulary employed in class and readings.

This course course carries Arts & Literature Domain Credit; as such, a minimum of 5-7 pages

of well-written prose must be written as part of this course. Each student will meet these

requirements by writing a 2 page "process" paper as part of each of the 3 major assignments

for the course. We will discuss these papers in the lectures, but in brief, in each paper you will

describe your thought process and methodology while completing each major project.

Prerequisites: None

Course Management System:

Assignments, feedback and grading will be given weekly online using the D2L system. Students must check the information provided online each week.

All images must be Jpegs, and should not exceed 2 MB. All assignments must be turned in to

D2L, not emailed. Late assignments will have points deducted. Project 3 cannot be submitted


Last day to drop this course with no penalty is Tuesday September 21.

Equipment use:

Every student will need to have access to some kind of digital still camera. Yes, you can use

your phone.

If you have access to a better camera, great. Use that. Otherwise use what you have. You don't

need something fancy for this course.

You can check out very good still cameras from DePaul’s equipment center for free (if they are


If you choose to buy a camera, any “point and shoot” with decent (better than 10x) optical zoom

will work well for our class. Don’t feel pressured to buy an expensive camera: This is an

introductory course.

Additional Required Supplies:

This class requires the use of Adobe Photoshop. Here is a link to where you can get it:


Week-By-Week Schedule:

This is tentative and likely to change!

Most classes will also include a go-and-shoot participation project, so always have your camera.

Class 1:

Introductions. Discussion of syllabus. Overview. Assignments:

1) Find your camera manual.

2) Bring in cameras and way to connect them next week

3) Read Light and Lens Chapter 1

Class 2:

Image file formats (JPEG, RAW, ETC.)

- Setting up image import

- High / Low project. Compositing.

Setting up projects, "save for web", basic tools, resolution, image size, canvas, layers

Class 3:

Video screening (TBA). Midterm terms introduced

Project #1 Assigned

Class 4:

Project #1 due, view and discuss. Review for Midterm

Shooting around the school.

Class 5:

Midterm exam

Composition, balance, rule of thirds, line, perspective.

Shooting around the school.

Photoshop: Image adjustments, color, levels, saturation, white balance.

Class 6:

Go over midterm

Guest Speaker

Street photography

Project #2 Assigned

Class 7:

Project # 2 due before noon, View and discuss in class. Photo Critique.

Begin project 3 proposal.

Class 8:

Assignment #3 discussion (not due yet) Watch video: TBA

Class 9:

Final project proposal due. Discuss.

Photoshop: Clone Stamp tool, image removal, masks. Assignment: Have materials to work on in

class next week.

Class 10:

Rough draft of final project due. Use feedback to improve your project before the finals period.

Finals Period:

Final Project Due November 17th before 12pm (noon).

Review final projects during class.







OPTIONAL Textbook:

Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age by Robert Hirsch ISBN-10 024081827X |

ISBN-13 978-0240818276

I’m not picky about what edition you get. Mostly, this book is great for inspiring you if you are

struggling to come up with an idea for an assignment.


Grading Policy:

20% Project 1

20% Project 2

30% Project 3

20% Midterm exam

10% Participation

(Roughly one participation assignment will be assigned each class, worth 1 point each)

-The Final Project (Project 3) is due November 17th before 12pm (noon).

Late assignments:

-No late final projects will be accepted. A minimum of 1 point off per day late will be deducted

from all other projects.



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.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

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