Clicking with Digital Photography

North Shore workshops, new short classes and beyond

The revolution is over. Digital cameras, with their armies of pixels, huge onboard memories and RGB color spaces, have captured the foreseeable future of photography.

According to InfoTrends, 40 million digital cameras will be sold in the United States in 2008. As early as 2005, PC Magazine reported that digital cameras made up 82 percent of all cameras sold—with film camera sales dropping at a stunning rate of 20 percent per year.

Digital photography has created a whole generation of passionate photographers who have responded to the advantages digital has over traditional film photography. A few of those advantages include:

  • Photos can be viewed immediately; no waiting for film development
  • Hundreds of photos can be taken for purely digital use at a nominal cost
  • Photos can be viewed on a computer without scanning
  • Photos can be stored permanently on a home PC or Mac
  • Photos can be copied between digital media without degradation
  • Photos can be printed at home using a computer and consumer-grade printer
  • Hundreds of photos can be captured and stored on a digital camera; film cameras typically require film roll changing every 24 or 36 exposures
  • Anti-shake function permits sharper handheld pictures without a tripod
  • ISO speed settings can be easily adjusted; film cameras require switching rolls for faster or slower film
  • Adobe Photoshop permits endless conversions of the same photo; photographers can perform simple changes such as switching from color to black & white, or more complex changes using filter, tool and imaging effects

Darrell Tangen, an instructor in the Photography and Photographic Imaging Technology programs at DCTC, is working to enhance learning opportunities for digital shooters with widely varying levels of experience.

“Our North Shore Workshop is one of the most fun and informative ways for digital photographers to learn about their cameras and build their skills,” Darrell said. “The workshop focuses on nature photography, which is one of the most competitive niches in the entire field. As most Minnesotans know, the North Shore represents nature at its finest.”

This year 12 students attended the three-day, photo workshop, which took place on the shores of Lake Superior about 80 miles northeast of Duluth in the Schroeder-Tofte area with Temperance River State Park nestled between the two tiny townships.

“We booked the location for the fall colors more than six months in advance—and this year our timing was perfect,” said Darrell. “We nailed the colors just right and came up with some really great photos.”

The students split their time between classroom discussions and shooting in the field. On Sunday, the last day of the workshop, they met as a group so that each student could show off their 10 best shots and get some valuable feedback from their peers and instructor.

“The critique portion of the workshop gives everyone a chance to show what they can do,” Darrell said. “We’ve found that our North Shore workshops, which alternately visitSplit Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls at different times of the year, take our digital students to the next level. The workshops generate so much interest and excitement that many of our students return again and again.”

Darrell pointed out that the college’s North Shore adventures are not entry-level workshops. “They are designed for digital photographers who are ready to get serious about their photography,” he said. “For people new to photography, we recommend taking our Introduction to Photography class, which is a three-credit course offered at the DCTC Rosemount campus.”

North Shore workshops in the planning stage for 2009 include a winter trip in mid to late February, a summer trip in mid June and a fall trip in September. The workshops are limited to 15 people. Darrell encourages digital shooters with some experience and a love of nature to register for the workshops as soon as possible. The general public is welcome.

Students can register through DCTC to take the workshop as a one-credit photography course. Typical cost is approximately $180 plus personal lodging, food and transportation expenses.

Special Topic Digital Photography Courses

Darrell recommends these cornerstone courses for digital photographers looking to substantially boost their shooting and image editing skills. One or two prerequisites are needed to get the most out of these courses. 

  • Digital Photography
    Gives students the chance to learn everything they can about their own digital cameras so that they can become more confident, competent and creative photographers. This course teaches the skills to produce professional-quality digital photographs.
  • Digital Studio Workflow 2
    Gives students the chance to augment and refine their image editing and manipulation skills by working on their digital photos in the latest version ofAdobe Photoshop. Simply put, this course is “Advanced Photoshop for photographers.”
  • Intro to Digital Imaging
    Gives students an introduction to the technology needed to capture, manipulate and output a digital image. Projects include the operation of digital cameras, photo CDs, flatbed and slide scanners, Mac computers, b/w and color printers, and film recorders.

Visit Photography or Photographic Imaging Technology for more information. Or contact Darrell Tangen at 651-423-8584.

New Short Classes

Darrell recommends these credit and noncredit classes, which are delivered in one or two short sessions, for people who want to broaden their skill set, but are pressed for time. Short classes in the works for the coming year include:

  • Matting and Framing
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
  • Wedding Photography
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 7
  • Panoramic Photography
  • Crime Scene Photography
  • Outdoor Lighting
  • On-Location Lighting
  • Outdoor Portraits

Visit Continuing Education Short Classes for more information. Or contact Darrell Tangen at 651-423-8584.