Have you ever wondered how photographers take such great pictures? Have you tried to capture those rare, awe-inspiring moments in life and wondered why your photos didn’t measure up that well? In Digital Photography, students get the opportunity to refine their understanding and practice of taking photos. In addition to surveying the history of the trade, students learn the basics of aperture, shutter speed, lighting, and composition. Along the way, they are encouraged to begin thinking about photography in a distinctively Christian way (e.g., using the art form to promote a biblical worldview, pursuing it with moral and vocational excellence in imitation of God). Finally, students will use basic camera functions and techniques of composition to build a portfolio of images, including images of people, landscapes, close-ups, and action photographs.
9th – 12th Grade recommended
- University of California (UC)
Course Types Available:
- Full course (0.5 credit, 6 weeks minimum / 6 months maximum)
Biblical Integration Information:
- Creation: Created uniquely in the image of God, human beings are designed not only to reflect God’s character and creativity but also to steward and care for creation on his behalf—both for his glory and for the benefit of others (cf. Genesis 1:26–28; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:10). Far from being a distraction, photography is among the many fine arts that can contribute to just that mandate. It allows us, for example, to capture and express the beauty of God’s creation, which in turn reveals important qualities about God—his glory, eternal power, divine nature, etc. (Psalm 19:1–6; Romans 1:20). In turn, God has given photographers all the innate tools they need for their craft: time, light, and vision to see; unique and imaginative minds to search for beauty, meaning, and truth; bewildering variety and incredible detail in plants, animals, landscapes, peoples, and cultures (see, e.g., Genesis 1–2; Psalm 139:13–18). As Genesis 1 repeatedly reminds us, all of this is good—even really good—from God’s perspective (vv. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).
- Fall: As a result of Adam’s original disobedience, however, creation and especially human nature are thoroughly and universally marred by sin (Genesis 3; Romans 1:18—3:20, 23; 8:20–23). Subsequently, ours is a world filled with death, hatred, murder, factions, exploitation, homelessness, pollution, crime, and war. In addition to showcasing God’s good creation, then, photography can also highlight creation’s brokenness and need for redemption.
- Redemption: The visual world of photography not only provides interesting metaphors for the Christian life (e.g., focusing on God and reflecting his image; viewing the world through the lens of Scripture; morality as black, white, and gray, etc.); like the visual arts in general, photography can be used in constructive ways for the sake of God’s mission in the world. A photographer’s work can, for instance, communicate a sense of the divine, promote the gospel, aid spiritual devotion, raise awareness about social problems, and inspire viewers to pursue justice and creation care. It can also advance the trade in artistic or technological ways. Such work is entirely in line with biblical stewardship: resourcefully using what you’re entrusted with and improving it for those who follow in your steps (cf., e.g., Matthew 25:14–30). However the art is used, Christian photographers are called to imitate God and so should be known for their moral and vocational excellence (Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 5:1). This includes, among other things, creativity, intentionality, precision, responsibility, and diligence.
To see how these truths are specifically explored in this course, visit the course information page in the course and click on “Guiding Principles.”
Required Purchased Materials:
Film, DSLR, or Cellphone Camera.
Photo Editing Software, free software can be found on the internet.