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CTE/Skilled & Technical Sciences Education Curriculum Basic Digital Photography
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Core Standards of the Course

Standard 1
Students will develop an awareness of career opportunities in digital photography and an overview of the history of photography.

Objective 1
Develop career awareness related to working in the photography industry.

Objective 2
History of Photography.

Objective 3
History of Digital Photography.

Objective 4
Introduction to Digital Photography.


Standard 2
Students will be able to understand and apply the multi-step process of “workflow”.

Objective 1
Identify the multi-step process of workflow in Image capture.

  1. Check Settings (Mode, Memory card, battery, etc.)
  2. Holding the camera (Steady, shoot, and format)
  3. Compose for desired effect
  4. Focus (auto or manual)
  5. Exposure (auto or manual - aperture and shutter priority)
  6. Flash (On or Off)
  7. Taking the picture
  8. Checking your results

Objective 2
Identify the multi-step process of workflow as it relates to Image editing.

  1. Image Transfer (downloading files to a computer)
  2. Image Management (organizing files, photo selection and managing folders)
  3. Image Editing (Straighten, rotate, limited crop, adjust tonal range, contrast, and color correction)

Objective 3
Identify the multi-step process of workflow as it relates to Image output.

  1. Size/Resolution for intended purpose. (web, presentation or print)

Objective 4
Apply and modify this multi-step process or steps to develop and apply your own digital workflow.


Standard 3
Students will be able to identify different types of digital cameras, the location of their basic components, and the benefits and drawbacks of each type.

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Objective 1
Camera Phones and PDA Cameras

Objective 2
Digital Point and Shoot cameras.

Objective 3
Digital Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras.

Objective 4
Digital Professional/Studio cameras.


Standard 4
Students will demonstrate the appropriate use of the camera controls on a digital camera.

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Objective 1
Focusing and memory buffer delay

Objective 2
Exposure Modes (Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Programmed Exposure, Manual, and Continuous).


Standard 5
Students will be able to use and identify memory devices and file types associated with digital cameras and scanners.

Objective 1
Demonstrate an understanding of how pixels are used in digital photography.

Objective 2
Demonstrate an understanding of digital file formats as they pertain to image capture (i.e. RAW, TIFF, JPEG).

Objective 3
Demonstrate an understanding of compression in digital file sizes as they pertain to image capture (i.e. Extra Fine, Fine, Basic, and Normal)

Objective 4
Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between High and Low Resolution and how they are linked to Pixelization

Objective 5
Identify common memory cards and camera compatibilities. (i.e. Compact Flash, Secure Digital, Sony Memory Stick, Compact Disk, and internal storage)

Objective 6
Identify necessary equipment used for downloading images (i.e. cables, card readers, or drives)

Objective 7
Properly download files from the camera or scanner to a computer


Standard 6
Students will be able to understand and perform camera work.

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Objective 1
Identify basic digital camera parts and their functions (i.e. viewfinder or LCD monitor, lens, mode dial, shutter button, etc.).

Objective 2
Understand focal length and identify appropriate lens for specific needs (i.e. wide angle, normal, telephoto, and optical verses digital zoom).

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Objective 3
Use of a tripod or other steady shoot method when it is appropriate.

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Objective 4
Identify the need and appropriate use for a flash.

Objective 5
Identify the difference between Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority.

Objective 6
Identify some of the basic differences between digital Point and Shoot and digital SLR cameras (i.e. size, weight, and lens options)


Standard 7
Students will be able to adjust size and set resolution of downloaded images.

Objective 1
Demonstrate how to use Photoshop to set size and resolution for images based on the intended use of the image.


Standard 8
Students will be able to demonstrate basic proficiency in the use of Adobe Photoshop.

Objective 1
Create a contact sheet or index print using Photoshop.

Objective 2
Demonstrate tonal adjustments (i.e. histogram, Brightness and Contrast, Shadow/Highlight correction, Levels, Dodge and Burn Tool).

Objective 3
Demonstrate color correction (i.e. variations, color balance, hue /saturation, and levels).

Objective 4
Demonstrate cropping (i.e. cropping, print sizing, straightening, and perspective).

Objective 5
Demonstrate techniques for improving images (i.e. Healing Brushes, Patch Tool, Clone Stamp and Sharpening Filter).

Objective 6
Demonstrate and use the Layers pallet (i.e. active layer, layer order, creating and deleting layers, and Opacity).

Objective 7
Demonstrate the black and white conversion process (i.e. Hue/Saturation, and Grayscale mode).

Objective 8
Demonstrate effective use of the Undo and Redo (i.e. history pallet, step forward or backward).

Objective 9
Demonstrate the use of the Transform tool (i.e. scale, rotate, skew, flip, and distort).

Objective 10
Demonstrate the use of selection tools (i.e. Marquee, Lasso, Magic Wand, adding and subtracting to or from the selection).


Standard 9
Students will be able to understand and demonstrate the elements of composition

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Objective 1
Demonstrate Simplicity/Emphasis as an element of composition.

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Objective 2
Demonstrate Rule of Thirds as an element of composition.

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Objective 3
Demonstrate Point of View as an element of composition.

Objective 4
Demonstrate Leading Lines as an element of composition.

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Standard 10
Students will be able to display digital images in printed and electronic output.

Objective 1
Prepare an image for output (i.e. image size, canvas size and resolution) – printed to page or electronic publication.

Objective 2
Evaluate/critique photographic work.


Standard 11
Students will be able to understand and practice copyright laws, ethics and legal issues dealing with photography as identified in United States Code Title 17 Chapter 1 Section 101.

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Objective 1
Define copyright.

Objective 2
Other definitions.

  1. Audiovisual works.
  2. Computer program.
  3. Copies.
  4. Copyright owner.
  5. Digital transmission.
  6. Financial gain.
  7. Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.
  8. Work of visual art.

Objective 3
Students will practice ethics and rules governing photojournalism (i.e. Editorial content must not be changed)

Objective 4
Students will practice correct usage of copyright laws (i.e. the right to reproduce, manipulate, distribute, plagiarize or exhibit another photographer’s work outside of fair use provisions)

  1. Time limitations.
  2. Portion limitations.
  3. Text material.
  4. Illustrations and photographs.
  5. Copying and distribution limitations.

Objective 5
Students will demonstrate understanding of ethics related to social and legal issues in subject choice (i.e. model releases, image appropriateness, and cultural sensitivity)


Standard 12
Students will gain an understanding of Commercial Photography as a profession and will develop professional skills for the workplace.

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Objective 1
As a participating member of the SkillsUSA student organization complete the SkillsUSA Level 1 Professional Development Program.

  1. Complete a self-assessment inventory and identify individual learning styles.
  2. Discover self-motivation techniques and establish short-term goals.
  3. Determine individual time-management skills.
  4. Define future occupations.
  5. Define awareness of cultural diversity and equity issues.
  6. Recognize the benefits of conducting a community service project.
  7. Demonstrate effective communication skills with others.
  8. Participate in a shadowing activity.
  9. Identify components of an employment portfolio.
  10. Explore what is ethical in the workplace or school.
  11. Demonstrate proficiency in program competencies.
  12. Explore what is ethical in the workplace or school.
    • State the SkillsUSA motto
    • State the SkillsUSA creed.
    • Learn the SkillsUSA colors.
    • Describe the official SkillsUSA dress
    • Describe the procedure for becoming a SkillsUSA officer.

Objective 2
Understand the use of drawings in architectural design and how those drawings relate to career opportunities.

Objective 3
Display a professional attitude toward the instructor and peers.



UEN logo http://www.uen.org - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - A Bodell and see the CTE/Skilled & Technical Sciences Education website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - THALEA LONGHURST .  
Email:  thalea.longhurst@schools.utah.gov

These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.