Apex Academy Courses

Visual Arts (Photography), Grade 11


Visual Arts (Photography), Grade 11

This course enables students to further develop their knowledge and skills in visual arts focusing on photography. Students will use the creative process to explore a wide range of themes through the practice of the craft of digital photography: why make photographs (the purposes of photography); how photographers compose images (the elements of design/principles of composition); making photographs (learning how a camera records the world -how cameras work); reviewing their images with a critical eye (becoming visually literate by using the critical analysis process when evaluating their own work and the work of others); and, learning about the legal parameters of taking photographs in the public sphere.

Prerequisite: Visual Arts, Grade 9 or 10 Open

Course Outline

Module 1 Overview: Camera Basics and the Legal Rights of Photographers

Guiding Question:
What are the basic components and operations of a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera and what are our legal rights when taking photographs in public?

In this module, you will learn about setting up your camera so that you can begin making photographs immediately and to begin to establish a regular habit of taking photographs.

As you begin to learn how to take quality photographs, it is essential that in doing so you adhere and respect the privacy and property rights of others; and, know what your legal rights as a photographer are. In addition you will also learn how to protect the ownership of your creative output by looking at the laws and regulations pertaining to artistic copyright.

Module 2 Overview: the Elements of Design and the Principles of Composition

Guiding Question:
How do I use elements of design and principles of compositions to create striking photographs that engage the viewer?

Good photographers are able to recognize photographs that were shot with design elements and the principles of composition in mind.  Knowing in advance why some compositions or certain combinations of the essential elements of design, (line, shape, form, colour, texture, space, pattern, and value/tone), work better than others, better equips any photographer. Before we get started, view the following videos for a quick introduction to the terms and concepts we will investigate more closely in this module.

Module 3 Overview: Manual Camera Settings

Guiding Question:
What factors affect your camera’s ability to correctly focus? How do you capture correct exposure? How do you use aperture to control light and depth of field? What is shutter speed and how is it used to capture blur movement and action shots?

Having started to take photographs with our cameras set on automatic, and having considered the essential elements of design and the principles of composition in Module 2, it is time to switch the camera off auto and learn how to the operate the manual settings/features of our 35mm digital cameras so as to more fully control the creation of our images: of communicating effectively through the medium of digital photography. In short, learning the technical (manual) skills that will allow your images to be sharp and well exposed.

The technical (manual) skills of a photographer revolve around what settings you choose to take the photo. Most importantly, knowing how to use the camera’s focus features to get a sharp image; and, getting a good exposure by learning how to control the exposure triangle: the aperture, the shutter speed, and the ISO.

 In this module you will learn about manually setting your camera.

Module 4 Overview: Critical Analysis and Critiquing Photographs

Guiding Question:
Who are some key photographers who made an impact on the art and craft of photography? What lessons can we learn from them?

Since its invention in the early 1800s, photography has fascinated us. Photographs have changed the way we see ourselves — and the world. Whether a creative expression, a captured moment, or a deliberate document of a time, place, or event, images give us a way to see things we may otherwise not see — especially if we take the time to look closely. Take historical or microscopic photographs, underwater photos, or pictures from space. In all cases, they allow for individual interpretation and discovery. Photographs also contribute to our memory of the past, because we often remember them visually. By taking time to look more closely at a photograph and analyze all of its features and attributes, the opportunity for deeper engagement and understanding exists.

In this module, you will learn how to look at and analyze photographs, and the photographers who influenced the medium.

Assessment Breakdown

Course Work, Assignments, and Proctored Tests: 70%
Culminating Independent Study Project: 20%
Final Exam: 10%