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PHOTO 07 — The Basics of Digital Photography

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Feb 9—Mar 16
Time: 7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 11
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $365
Instructor(s): Joel Simon, John Lambert
Limit: 40
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Feb 9—Mar 16
6 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 11
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Joel Simon, John Lambert
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Today’s digital cameras open up a world of creative opportunities, but only if you know how to use them. This course will first discuss the three fundamental aspects of compelling images: story, composition, and light. We will then demystify the relevant technical features of your camera (knobs, dials, lenses, and menu options). With these techniques and tools in hand, you will be better equipped to make powerful digital photographs. The course will cover how the camera portrays motion (shutter speeds), depth of field (apertures), white balance, file types, metering modes, autofocus modes, shooting modes, and when to use the camera’s built-in automated features. You will be introduced to important workflow components of digital photography: downloading and resizing images, file organization, digital enhancement, and sharing your photos. Lecture content will be reinforced with hands-on practice sessions with your camera. This course is designed as a live online learning experience with interactive Zoom sessions and online resources. Weekly homework assignments inviting students to post and share their imagery will enhance our shared learning.

This course is designed for those with little or no experience in photography. Students should have access to a digital camera. While cameras with individual controls are preferred, mobile device cameras are also welcome.

Documentary and Fine Art Photographer

Joel Simon studied with Leo Holub and has worked as an editorial and fine art photographer for four decades. He has lectured on more than 65 trips with Stanford’s Travel/Study program. His work has been published in Vanity Fair, Time, GEO, Condé Nast Traveler, STANFORD magazine, and Sunset. His work can be viewed at joelsimonimages.com.


John Lambert has been photographing for over 50 years. He has a background in engineering and has embraced both digital capture and editing from its earliest beginnings, developing digital workflows since the late 1990s. Lambert has received numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious Yosemite Renaissance competition. His work can be viewed on Instagram @brightonjel and at lambertphotographic.com.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.