31 mai 2021

Zoom on the Digital Photography Elective

Given the different possibilities offered by the Dual Diploma Academica program, choosing an elective can be difficult. Even more so when your interests are varied! To help you choose, here is a presentation of the « Digital Photography » Elective.

The electives for the High School Diploma allow students to explore the electives in addition to the specialty courses they have chosen for their 11th and 12th grade, in preparation for the Baccalaureate.


Do I need to know anything about photography to take this course? No, at all! The Digital Photography elective is open to everyone, whether you are a beginner or have some knowledge of photography.

How is the Digital Photography program structured?

You should consider this elective as an initiation to photography. This course will give you the basis to understand the principles of photography, so you can realize beautiful pictures.

During the first semester, you will learn about the mechanism and basic functions of a camera, differentiate between types of lenses and their uses, understand the importance of exposure and discover the links between light and color. You will also study the work of various artists and the major trends that have marked the history of photography.

During the second semester, you will learn to sharpen your eye and enter a more « professional » approach. You will learn to explain various compositional techniques and their effects, you will discover the jobs related to digital photography, study the specific terms to this field, how to exploit the available light efficiently. Finally, you will discover the key elements of an art exhibition and learn how to create a statement of intent.

Of course, this is just an overview of the many topics you will see in this

In addition to the lessons offered on the course platform, the content-based live sessions (virtual thematic classes in English and life) are an opportunity to reflect on specific topics in a group.

What are the themes covered during the virtual classes?

How to produce beautiful images, the impact of the greatest photographers in the history of photography… The content-based live sessions are also a time to share your interests and work with other students: present your favorite photo, retouch a photo… Practice and interaction are required!

What type of camera is needed for this elective?

Ideally, a camera that offers an automatic and a manual mode will allow you to do the requested exercises in the best way. However, it is also possible to follow this elective with your smartphone, but the explanations related to camera function may then seem more abstract.

What are the job related to photography?

Photography has its place in a multitude of fields.

You can be a commercial, scientific, aerial, industrial, judicial, military photographer… or photojournalist, photo editor or photography teacher.

As a freelancer, you can also specialize as a portrait, wedding, fashion, event, art, product, food, architecture photographer…

All specializations are possible according to your affinities (travel, advertising, sports, documentary, animals, family, real estate…)!

A word from Virginia Di Michele

Global Teacher of the Dual Diploma Program at Academica International Studies

« Second to Criminology, photography is our most popular elective. Lessons include videos, critical thinking questions and practice taking photos using specific photography skills.

To succeed in this elective : review lessons, complete all assignments, discussions, quizzes, watch videos, hear podcasts, complete labs. »

Testimony of Eglantine A-L. :

« I didn’t really have any particular expectations, but I was hoping to learn more about how cameras work and the different techniques, as well as an opportunity to practice. And that’s exactly what I got. It’s a very complete course because it covers all aspects of photography such as history, techniques, camera operation etc.

What I like in particular is to be able to practice and take pictures with the techniques learned, or with a precise instruction like “reproduce a picture from the 40’s”. For anyone thinking of enrolling and who is very interested in photography, I would advise them to be prepared to take notes as there is a lot of information as well as expect to have as many theoretical projects as practical ones. After a semester following this elective, I was able to grow in my own techniques and it allowed me to deepen my passion for the art. »

Testimony of Mia-Mina P. :

« I really enjoyed the Digital Photography course. I discovered through this course a new and interesting way of seeing photography and I didn’t really have high expectations at the beginning, I didn’t know what to expect at all and I admit I was pleasantly surprised.

I have always loved taking pictures, but I didn’t have any knowledge on the subject. I was kind of an amateur but I wanted to learn more in order to master both my camera and my way of taking pictures.

I was a bit afraid that I would end up learning all the mechanisms in the details of a camera, and that I would get bored with the lessons, which I thought would be very complicated.

I was pleasantly surprised when the lessons started: I immediately found the rythm between the lessons and the practical exercises very well balanced, fun and pleasant to do. The exercises also allowed us to link with our daily and intimate life, the courses we learned, as well as photography, one of my passions. 

This course didn’t even seem to be one, in the sense that it was well constructed and interesting, punctuated by interviews, practice exercises, etc. Every time there was a long lesson to read and learn, I was motivated by the fact that a practice exercise was going to follow, and I was eager to find out what photographic subject we would be asked to shoot!

In conclusion, as you will have understood, the “Digital Photography” course was really very rewarding and interesting for my part. »

Consult the program of all the proposed Electives on our documentation page.

Testimony of Alissa Longo

“My name is Alissa Longo. I live in Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C.. This year marks my 14th year teaching. I have loved this journey. I received my bachelor’s degree from Towson University in Maryland and my master’s degree from Wright State University in Ohio. I am happily married to my high school sweetheart and we have a little boy named Preston and a little girl named Shelby. My goal is to create impactful learning experiences for my students that are unforgettable ( in order to help reach their highest potential.)”

Testimony of Heather Simmons

“Hello! My name is Heather Simmons, and I am excited to be a Global Teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I was born and raised in Greenwood, South Carolina. I moved to DeFuniak Springs, Florida with my husband (Josh) in 2005 and since have had three children (Reagan, Amelia, and Lucas). I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Education from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. I have been teaching for eleven years and have a passion for seeing my students learn, excel, and succeed. Prior to joining the Dual Diploma faculty, I spent seven years as a traditional classroom teacher and three years as a media specialist. It is my belief that education can change the world. By providing my students with an engaging and effective learning environment, I am not just teaching them a skill but helping students become lifelong learners

Testimony of Anna, Dual Diploma student

“Hello! I’m Anna and I’m 15 years old. I have a little brother. I’m French and I live in Paris near Bastille Quarter. I love dancing, playing the guitar, reading, drawing, and spending some time with my friends! At school, I prefer studying Biology and Physics. I also love traveling and discovering new things, news places, new people, and also speaking English! It’s the reason I study with the Dual Diploma Program. With it, I learned that I love taking photographs and learning all the techniques of this art. I’m very happy and so proud to be the student of the month of March !”French Student

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