I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 36.0
Credit Value: 2.5
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Winter 2019
Prerequisites: VDES70029
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Digital Photography
Program Coordinator(s): N/A
Course Leader or Contact: N/A
Version: 20190107_01
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: This course is offered on-campus. The sessions may include a variety of interactive and engaging activities including discussions, workshops, group activities, role plays, case studies and presentations. Readings, video, and podcasts may be provided online, on Sheridan's Learning and Teaching Environment (SLATE), to support class activities and reinforce material covered during class sessions. Assignment details will be provided in class and on SLATE. Students will need reliable access to the internet.

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Discover the digital realm of portrait photography by learning how to identify the inner characteristics of your subject. Learn how studio lighting, composition techniques and the principles of design will enhance the abilities of advanced amateur photographers or part-time professionals. Although ideal for students who want to broaden their understanding of photographing people in a studio environment, outdoor and natural light photography are also covered. You must have your own digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. Access to on-camera flash units is an asset. A tripod and a designated cable release for your camera are required. Please bring samples of portrait work that you like.

Program Context

Digital Photography Program Coordinator(s): N/A

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the ability to produce lighting and posing problems that can and will occur under different situations.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Produce portraits with different techniques.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 In-Class Assignments15.0%
 Assignment #115.0%
 Assignment #220.0%
 Assignment #315.0%
 Assignment #415.0%
 Assignment #520.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
TEST AND ASSIGNMENT PROTOCOL The following protocol applies to every course offered by Continuing and Professional Studies. 1. Students are responsible for staying abreast of test dates and times, as well as due dates and any special instructions for submitting assignments and projects as supplied to the class by the instructor. 2. Students must write all tests at the specified date and time. Missed tests, in-class/online activities, assignments and presentations are awarded a mark of zero. The penalty for late submission of written assignments is a loss of 10% per day for up to five business days (excluding Sundays and statutory holidays), after which, a grade of zero is assigned. Business days include any day that the college is open for business, whether the student has scheduled classes that day or not. An extension or make-up opportunity may be approved by the instructor at his or her discretion.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Information Management
  • Interpersonal

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Portfolio
  • Other

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: N/A
OptionalOtherStudents must have their own DSLR camera with lenses. Students will bring ample memory cards and a card reader, if available. File processing may be completed off campus and remains the responsibility of the student. Because of current industry standards, digital images and files will be used.

Applicable student group(s): Continuing Education students
Course Details:

Module 1 - Introduction

  • Introduction of instructor and students, discuss backgrounds and experiences 
  • Discuss course content and assignments, necessary materials, and equipment
  • Discussion of historical references on portraiture 
  • Discuss different types of portraiture (studio, location, environmental, wedding, fashion, etc)
  • View student samples and discuss methodology, use of light, composition, etc
  • Question and Answer period 

Module 2 - Lighting Ratios

  • Discuss various types of equipment used in studio lighting and types of light (hard vs. soft; tungsten vs. flash; softbox vs. umbrella vs. reflector; etc) 
  • Establishment of light ratios and relation to f-stops 
  • Use of light meters 
  • Demonstration of various affects of ratios, light placement, metering, etc

Module 3 - Light Patterns

  • Review lighting ratios
  • Discuss various types of lighting patterns
    • Rembrant Lighting
    • Butterfly Lighting
    • Loop Lighting
    • Split Lighting
    • Broad Lighting
    • Short Lighting
  • Appropriate use of lighting patterns and their affects 
  • How ratios are used with various light patterns 
  • How to achieve each lighting pattern
  • High key vs. low key lighting

Module 4 - Using Electronic Flash

  • Using electronic flash vs. natural light
  • Watt seconds and synchronizing shutter speeds 
  • How common, how efficient, improvements in technology, versatility - how they work, the benefits, and more 
  • Studio and location designs lighting 
  • Using light modifiers (i.e. snoots, umbrellas, softboxes, grids, etc)
  • Synch chords, modeling lights, slave units, and their issues 
  • Standard types of light patterns and high key and low key lighting 
  • 3 point light set up 

Module 5 - Posing

  • Rapport, rapport, rapport!
    • Discuss the difficult to learn but absolutely necessary skill
    • Tips on establishing it and keeping it going 
  • Posing suggestions for different types of people (men vs. women vs. children vs. individuals vs. couples)
  • Language and learning how to give direction 
  • Angles for composition - what works and what doesn't 
  • Posing for portraits vs. business / corporate vs. weddings 
  • The awkward hand syndrome and how to fix 
  • How wardrobe and props can effect subject's comfort, pose, and final image 

Module 6 - Outdoors and Location Portraits

  • Pre-visualization, have a plan, scouting locations and more
  • What equipment is needed on location
  • The importance of lens choice (lens compression), depth of field, and background 
  • Getting separation and balance 
  • Balancing light using flash or bounce fill, use of open shade
  • Using window light - an easy and beautiful choice

Module 7 - Finding Inspiration

  • Importance of finding inspiration through the works of others 
  • Discuss some modern and classic portrait photographers and styles 
  • Different shooting syles in combination with editing styles to create a signature look
  • What are the differences between emtoions and feelings and how do we interpret our subject correctly?
  • What is the overall message or purpose of portraiture? 

Module 8 - Review, Select, Process

  • Review environmental portraits, difficulties of shooting environmental vs. in-studio
  • Natural light vs. flash 
  • The purpose of the darkroom
  • Overivew of processing digital files, reviewing, and selecting 
  • Photoshop / Lightroom discussion and use of enhancement techniques 
  • Trying to avoid the "photoshop" or overprocessed look
  • Selecting the best images to represent your work

Module 9 - Reading An Image and Photo Critiques 

  • How to read an image / portrait - how this helps students in creating more effective images with meaning
  • Image critiques and why they are important 
  • Look closely at a portrait using visual analysis to verbally describe details using portrait and photography vocabulary
  • Why you want to have your images reviewed and how to give a proper critique
  • Critiquing with the intention of helping - a negative or positive analysis of what works and what doesn't 

Module 10 - Group Posing

  • Small group posing and lighting 
  • Use of available background and props to build interesting images 
  • Lighting and posing a large group - avoiding the "line up" whenever possible 

Module 11 - Outdoors and Location II

  • Environmental vs. simply outdoors - what's the difference?
  • Balancing ambient light with flash
  • Working with different colour temperatures, using colour gels
  • Creating natural and dramatic effects with flash outside
  • Learn how to effect response through environmental settings 
  • What are some issues when photographing in public spaces? 

Module 12 - Conclusion

  • Review of all concepts
  • Introduction to the business of portraiture photography
  • Where to showcase your work, what to show, social media usage, and more

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

[ Printable Version ]

Copyright © Sheridan College. All rights reserved.