Matt Cauthron
Digiatal Arts / CTE Instructor

Digital Photography: A Project Based Approach

Curriculum Published 8/19/12 Last updated on 3/1/20
Digital Photography is the foundation of the DATA Digital Imaging program where students exercise the elements of photography and digital manipulation. Hands-on projects are designed to guide the students through the possibilities of fine art, compositing, commercial photography, and imagery for the web. In addition to the use of lighting, scanners and digital cameras, software tools such as Adobe Photoshop are emphasized for their professional application.

Quarter 1, Semester I

Photoshop CS5 Extended Test
  • Students are tested on labeling a screen shot of Adobe Photoshop
DA1 Float / Fly / Fall
  • An introduction to Photoshop
DA2 Textured Face
  • Combining portrait lighting with full frame textures
DA3 Composition
  • Shoot THREE EXAMPLES for each compositional category
  • Work on ONE CATEGORY at a time
DA4 Photo Efx_1
  • Using 5 different images from Composition
DA5 Photo Efx_2
  • Using 5 different images from Composition
DA6 Perspective
  • Shoot THREE EXAMPLES for each Camera Angle
  • Complete the THREE Black & White tutorials
Quarter 2, Semester I

DA7 Butterfly Effect
  • Duplicate layers and change the Canvas Size in Photoshop
  • Create 10 images
DA8 Twins
  • Create a set of THREE images using creative expression
DA9 Little People
  • Create a set of THREE images based on scale
DA10 Unusual Floating Objects
  • Create a set of THREE images using creative expression
Digital Imaging Vocabulary
  • Collectively create a digital 'word wall' with content specific vocabulary
DA11 Tilt Shift
  • Create 3: 1 person, 1 place, 1 'object' practicing Quick Masks in Photoshop
DA12 Tiny Christos
  • Create THREE images in the style of the artist Christo
Di Vocabulary Test
  • 'Testing' your understanding of content specific vocabulary
  • Just to make things fun :)
  • Complete Who Am I?
    • Combining personality portraits with text
    • Create 3: 1 BLACK background, 1 WHITE background, 1 OUTDOOR
Quarter 3, Semester II

DA13 Famous Photographer Video
  • Write, record, edit, and publish a video on a 'famous photographer'
  • Steps...
    1. View the current examples and 'The List'
    2. Select your photographer
    3. Research and write a script for your narration
    4. Record your narration
    5. Edit your audio in GarageBand
    6. Collect images that support your script
    7. Assemble your images and audio in iMovie
    8. Export and turn it in on the server to share with the world!
DA14 Random Association
  • Adding text to positive and negative space
  • Create 3: 1 Random, 1 connected, 1 free choice

Quarter 4, Semester II

DA15 Master Artist Remakes
  • Create 3: 1 Maggie Taylor, 1 Jerry Uelsmann, and 1 Free Choice
DA16 Photo Retro
  • Replicate 3 different styles of old school photography using 3 of your best images
  • Okay to shoot new work!
DA17 Brush Hunt
  • Create THREE images using three separate brush sets
DA18 Under Cover
  • Create ONE solid image using Photoshop based on a story you have read
*DA = Digital Assignment
  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Photoshop Elements

    Organize, edit, create, and share your photos.

Age Levels
Content Standards
Custom Standards
ISTE Standards
Students: Innovative Designer, Students: Computational Trainer, Students: Knowledge Constructor

Adobe Design Premium, digital cameras, scanners, studio lighting, SD card readers


DATA Di, Behind the Computer from Jonathan Serna on Vimeo.

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Comments (7)

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Mallory Covert-Ross

Posted on 1/7/20 3:55:38 PM Permalink

​The links aren't working. I'd love to see your resources!

Shafiq Rehman

Posted on 9/6/19 1:12:44 AM Permalink

Thanks for pitting up your valuable efforts so helpful thanks for sharing​

Trista Nabors

Posted on 9/29/14 12:11:15 AM Permalink

Thank you so much for posting this. I have had to "on the fly" go from teaching film photography to digital over a period of a summer and I have been completely overwhelmed. You have helped me tremendously and you have great lessons and plans.

Matt Cauthron

Posted on 9/29/14 11:08:39 PM Permalink

Glad this is helpful! Would love to see what your students come up with.

I've got 4 years that is always ebbing and flowing. You can check in here periodically to see how the year progresses.

Eli Infante

Posted on 12/20/12 3:06:31 AM Permalink

Thanks for posting Matt! This is an excellent post. smiley

Judy Durkin

Posted on 11/13/12 12:24:53 AM Permalink

Actually, I can't download it because it's on a Wiki! Incredible stuff! Maybe I should move to a wiki.

Judy Durkin

Posted on 11/12/12 11:51:16 PM Permalink

Matt- this blows me away. An entire 3 quarters of curriculum!! You are amazing. Thank you.

I am downloading every bit of it.