PHOTO 100 is a great class to take at Penn State Greater Allegheny if you want to learn more about photography, art, or just want to take great photos. It also counts as a general art class, so you can fulfill that art requirement without being good at art. There are a few components to this class you may not have thought about, so here is everything you need to know about PHOTO 100:

1. Invest in a Camera

Obviously, you will need a camera for a photography class. You can bring your own camera, or you can borrow one from a trusting friend or family member. If you plan on continuing with photography as a hobby or career, invest in a good camera. Good cameras can get expensive, but they will last long and take great pictures. You can use your phone as a camera for the first few classes, but the teacher will expect a real camera after a while.

2. Learn How to Use a Camera

The teacher will teach you how to use cameras and what their settings mean. If you get confused, you can always ask the teacher what specific settings mean on your camera. The teacher is very educated and knows how to use all the different types of cameras. Make sure you pay attention to the different terms, like iso, aperture, shutter speed, etc. You will be tested on knowing how to use a camera.

3. Going Outside

You will probably spend a lot of class time taking pictures outside. This is your chance to explore different parts of campus and discover new things. You might see flowers you’ve never noticed, or get a new perspective on building structures. Go somewhere that no one else in the class is going to. The teacher likes when you find something different than everyone else.

4. Projects

The class is graded mostly on photography projects. There may be a quiz or two about camera settings, but the majority of the grade is based on projects. Be prepared to come up with ideas for themes, like telling a story with a series of photos, or a color scheme for all your photos. Get creative; think outside the box with your assignments. For example, if the project includes you taking a portrait, it doesn’t mean you have to take a picture of a persons face.

5. Photoshop

You will need Photoshop for a portion of the class, and you will need to learn how to use it. You can use Photoshop on the computers provided in class, or you can download it on your computer to use on your own time. Penn State has a deal with Adobe, so students can use Adobe Creative Cloud for free. This means you can download Photoshop for free to use for your projects. The teacher only grades your Photoshop skills based on what you go over in class, but having prior experience is definitely a plus.

6. Final Project

You get a couple choices for what you want to do as your final project, which will be due during finals week. You can choose to take about 10 photos and Photoshop them to be one cohesive image, or tell a story with 10 photos. Have fun with this, and take the time to think about what exactly you want to do. This also means that there is no exam, so there’s nothing to really stress about.

PHOTO 100 is a fun general arts class to take at Penn State Greater Allegheny. The best way to maximize your photography options is to carry your camera with you all the time. Take pictures whenever you see something interesting. You might just come up with a super creative idea from taking pictures at your leisure. Live in the moment, and have fun!


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Tess Fukuyama


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