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Course Syllabus: Digital Photography with the iPhone

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Course Description

Having a good phone right in your pocket doesn't make you a photographer anymore than having a cat makes you a zookeeper. The iPhone has one of the best smartphone cameras on the market with a bright lens and a wide range of photo apps--but a great camera doesn't guarantee great photos every time.

While the iPhone is one of the most widely used cameras, getting the best results takes a bit of practice, patience and the right techniques. Simply pulling your phone out of your pocket for a quick snapshot isn't going to stand out from among the millions of other photos taken with the iPhone every day.

It doesn't matter if you simply want to take better pictures of your kids or if you want to use the iPhone camera professionally--if you want to take better pictures with the iPhone, this class is for you. Over the course of 15 lessons, we'll discuss how to take pictures with the iPhone, how to troubleshoot the most common issues, and the best photo apps available.

But simply learning how to operate a camera doesn't make you a photographer--besides learning how to use the iPhone camera and apps, you'll learn techniques that can be used to create amazing images no matter what device you use. You'll learn the art of composition, how to find great lighting, advanced techniques like long exposure and more.

Ready to take great photos with the camera that's inside your pocket? Good, now let's get snapping.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required. 

Course Topics

Digital Photography With the iPhone


1.Introduction to iPhone Photography

1.Why the iPhone? (Advantages)

2.Understanding the iPhone's shortcomings and how to overcome them

3.Accessing the camera (including two shortcuts)

4.iPhone versions

1.Hardware vs. software

2.Key overview of updates on last three models

2.Controlling the iPhone camera

1.Screen overview

2.Touch controls

3.Physical controls

4.Camera settings


1.Adjusting the exposure compensation

2.What is shutter speed?

3.What is ISO?

4.Aperture and the iPhone's f2.8 lens

5.Using manual modes


1.Compositional rules

2.How to turn the composition grid on and off

3.Aspect ratios

4.Lines and patterns


1.How to focus the iPhone

2.Locking focus

3.Focus troubleshooting


1.Hard vs. soft light

2.Light direction

3.Shooting in sunlight

4.Locating great light

5.Using the flash


1.What is HDR?

2.When to use HDR

3.When to avoid HDR

4.Manual HDR


1.How to shoot a panorama on the iPhone

2.Tips for getting the best panoramas

3.Troubleshooting perspective errors

4.Getting creative with the panorama mode

9.Time Lapse

1.What is a time lapse?

2.Identifying great time lapse subjects

3.Troubleshooting focus, exposure, etc. for time lapse


1.iPhone video controls


3.Focus and exposure

4.Slow-Mo videos

5.Editing videos

11.Advanced iPhone Photography by Genre

1.Taking great portraits

2.Taking pictures of kids

3.Taking great landscapes

4.Taking great action

12.Troubleshooting tricky shots

1.Low light photography

2.Lens flare

3.Shooting in harsh sunlight

4.Moving subjects

13.iPhone accessories





1.Using the built-in editing features

1.Cropping and straightening

2.Adjusting brightness, color and black and white


2.Best editing apps

1.Photoshop Express


15.Managing Photos & Videos

1.How to view your photos

2.Organizing photos with albums

3.Using iCloud

4.Sharing photos and videos

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz. An assignment will be included in several of the lessons. Students will successfully complete this course with an overall average of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Exam 110
Exam 210
Exam 310
Lesson 4 Assignment1
Exam 410
Lesson 5 Assignment2
Exam 510
Lesson 6 Assignment2
Exam 610
Lesson 7 Assignment2
Exam 710
Lesson 8 Assignment2
Exam 810
Lesson 9 Assignment2
Exam 910
Lesson 10 Assignment2
Exam 1010
Lesson 11 Assignment2
Exam 1110
Exam 1210
Lesson 13 Assignment2
Exam 1310
Exam 1410
Final Assignment2
Exam 1510
The Final Exam75
Total Points:244
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