Exposing Digital Photography

Computer Science E-7

Harvard Extension School
Dan Armendariz, Instructor
danallan@mit.edu
http://danallan.net/
Photography has exploded in recent years as digital cameras have become affordable and easier to use. There are many courses that teach students the artistic aspect of "how to become a better photographer" or "how to improve your eye," but this is not one of them. Instead, students—from one-time users to professionals—become better photographers through an understanding of the technical aspects and terms of a digital camera. Learn why photos look blurry at night, why color management is important, what the difference between sports mode and portrait mode on the camera's dial is, and how to manipulate the camera without the need of these modes in the first place. Topics include exposure and metering, flash, dynamic range, CMOS and CCD sensors, color filter arrays, RAW versus JPEG formats, color spaces and profiles, editing photos with Photoshop, and optical and computational artifacts. Through lectures and hands-on assignments, students understand the jargon and compromises of digital photography that ultimately expose the workings of digital cameras. You are not required to own a digital camera, but if you do, one with a manual mode and an option for RAW is recommended.

This is OpenCourseWare.

Computer Science E-7 is a course at Harvard Extension School. The course strives to offer students a more thorough understanding of digital photography through an exploration of technical, rather than strictly artistic, details. With a better understanding of the limitations and compromises behind digital photography, students will be better prepared for unexpected and dynamic photographic situations.

Even if you are not a student at Harvard, you are welcome to "take" this course via tv.cse7.org by following along via the Internet. Available at left are videos of lectures along with PDFs of assignments. Sample solutions to the latter are not available, but if you have questions or would like to discuss the material with others, do join the course's Google Group.

If you're a teacher, you are welcome to adopt or adapt these materials for your own course, per the license.

Special thanks to Chris Thayer for the course's videos.

Dan

Creative Commons License

Copyright © 2010 – 2014, Dan Armendariz of Harvard University

This course's content is licensed by Dan Armendariz of Harvard University under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License, which means that you are not only welcome to "take" this course,

you are free:

  • to Share — to copy, distribute, and transmit this content
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under the following conditions:
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  • Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
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  • Notice — For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/.

So that folks (like you!) have a place to turn with questions, we've created a Google Group called cse7-discuss, which is like a message board and mailing list rolled into one.

Once you've joined, you'll be able to email the group at cse7-discuss@googlegroups.com and browse past discussions at https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/cse7-discuss.