Short course to explore art of digital photography

Around Campus

Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Remember that new digital camera you got last Christmas, the one with all the bells and whistles and fancy features that just seemed too good to be true? Did you ever figure out how to use the thing? If you're like most people, you read the manual to figure out how to use the automatic setting, and that's the depth of your understanding about the beautiful little camera. The "other" features remain a mystery.

All that can change very shortly. KPC will offer a new course titled, "Introduction to the Art of Digital Photography." The course has been developed by KPC's photography and art assistant professor Jayne Jones. The two-credit course will be delivered in a short course format beginning Oct. 29 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Skyview High School. The class will run through Dec. 17. There is room for 20 people in the class, and registration is available now either online or in person at the KPC Bookstore. There is a $20 "technology" fee.

The course will introduce digital tools and technology for the creation of photographic art. Students will learn how to generate images, download images and develop beginning skills using Adobe Photoshop tools that are equivalent to traditional darkroom manipulations. They also will learn about other digital input devices, such as film scanners, flat-bed scanners and drum scanners. The curriculum also covers digital output devices such as laser printers, inkjet printers and alternatives to these traditional devices. Professor Jones will emphasize artistic values such as composition, use of visual elements and the critique process.

Who will benefit from this class? According to Jones, anybody who has a digital camera and wants a class to help them get motivated to use more features on their camera will enjoy the experience. She adds that students who know the basics about their camera but want to be more creative when taking photographs also will benefit.

Because the class will involve both the taking of digital images and the handling of the images on the computer, some who have little computer experience may wonder if they would fit in the class. According to Jones, "If you have never worked on a computer or been in any kind of image manipulating program such as Photoshop before, it might be a little intimidating at first. It reminds me of the first time I drove a car. It was a totally new environment, but the more time I spent behind the wheel practicing, the more I enjoyed driving!"

The suggested text book for the course is by Carla Rose and is titled, "Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop 6 in 24 Hours," published by Sams Publishing in Indianapolis. The book is available at most bookstores and online, but is not required for the first or even the second class. Jones said that if students are not able to get the book, she will work around it.

If this class has piqued your interest, you'll be thrilled to learn that Jones is in the process of developing a new two-year degree program in the digital arts. She is developing a curriculum that, when completed, will give students an associate of applied science degree in digital arts. The degree will require completing 60 credits and many of the classes will be art classes. Although the short course that will be offered this semester is not considered a requirement for the digital arts AAS degree, it can be used as a general elective and is excellent preparation for the first digital photography class in the degree program. Jones hopes to kick off the new degree program at KPC as early as next fall.

KPC Writer's Night

The public is invited to attend and participate in the KPC Writers' Night at 7 p.m. Saturday at River City Books at the "Y" in Soldotna.

KPC Showcase

Don't miss the opportunity to partake of artist Susan Share's "Books and Beyond," a lecture and performance that will coincide with her opening in the Gary L. Freeburg Gallery. The event will begin at 3 p.m. in the Brockel Building at KPC, and a reception will follow. This program is partially funded through the Anna Fossett Goodrich Humanities Program of the Damon Memorial Fund.

This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.

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