Introduction To Photography

Course CodeBPH100
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
This course will take you step by step through the basics of photography. It is a great foundation course for the beginner photographer!

You will be given instructions throughout this subject guide to do various things ... you may be asked to contact an organisation, you may be given something to read, or some information to research.  Various tasks will be given to you to develop your knowledge and abilities in photography care.  Along with these tasks, you will also be given a number of questions to answer at the end of each lesson.  You are required to submit them as an assignment to your tutor.

ACS graduate comment: "I found it to be an excellent course in basic Film Photography. The section on exposure was very clear. I appreciate the diagrams and clear concise directions in developing and enlarging film. The staff were very kind and my tutor was very encouraging and always gave clear feedback. I was very happy with the flexibility of the course. I moved to a different country and was able to continue with the course." Emma Day, USA - Introduction to Photography course.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Origins of Photography
    • Introduction
    • Image Formation
    • Lenses
    • Practical
    • The Principle of Refraction
    • The Digital Revolution
    • Photosensitive Materials
    • The Basics
    • More About Focus
  2. Photo Sensitive Surfaces
    • Understanding Film
    • The Supercoat
    • The Emulsion
    • The Backing Support
    • The Anti-Halation Layer
    • More About the Emulsion
    • Understanding Digital
    • CCDS And CMOS – The Sensors
    • Linear CCDs
    • Learning The Terminology
    • Conventional Terminology
    • Typical SLR Film Camera
    • Typical SLR Digital Cameras
    • Digital Terminology
  3. Photo Equipment: Cameras
    • Camera Stability
    • Stabilisation In Digital Cameras
    • Camera Construction
    • Types Of Film Cameras
    • Digital Cameras
    • Digital Equipment
    • Choosing A Camera
  4. Photo Equipment: Flashes etc.
    • Flash Photography
    • Use of Flash
    • Flash Synchronisation
    • Problems Using Flash
    • Flash and Daylight
    • Equipment And Materials
    • Tripods
    • Lenses
    • Type Of Film
    • Black and White Film
    • Colour Film
    • Filters
    • Digital Equipment
    • Downloading Images
    • Installing Software
    • Data Storage
    • USB Drives/Flash Drives
    • RAID
    • DVD Disks
  5. Processing Images
    • All Photography Needs Proper Processing and Care
    • Processing Digital Images
    • File Formats & Digital Images
    • Scanning
    • Storing And Organising
    • Manipulation
    • Photomontage
    • Black And White Developing Checklist
    • For 35mm Film
    • Chemical Solutions
    • Developing Your Black and White Film
    • Stop Bath
    • Fixing
    • Washing
    • Wetting Agents
    • Drying
    • Processing Film
    • Developing Black & White Film: Step by Step
    • Processing Summary
  6. Enlarging and Photo Manipulation
    • Introduction
    • Enlarging Black & White Film
    • Enlarging Paper Choices
    • The Chemicals Involved
    • The Enlarger
    • Contact Printing
    • Creating Your Contact Prints
    • Enlarging
    • Creating Your Own Enlargements
    • Lens And Aperture
    • Toning And Hand Colouring
    • The Digital Darkroom
    • Application Software
    • Editing Photos Digitally
    • Size and Resolution
    • Digital Photo Printing
  7. Lighting
    • Introduction
    • Measuring Light
    • Types Of Light Meters
    • Difficulties Associated with Camera Light Meters
    • Incident Light Meters
    • Effectively Using Electronic Flash Lighting
    • Fill In Flash
    • Studio Flash Lighting
    • Problems With Backlighting
  8. Fault Finding
    • Introduction
    • General Problems When Capturing Images
    • The Camera
    • Light
    • Faults When Using Film & Enlargers
    • Negatives
    • Enlarging & Printing Faults
    • Faults When Using Digital Processing Techniques
    • Editing Digital Faults
    • Digital Printing Faults
    • Other Terminology
    • Importance Of a Manual


  • Discuss the principles those underpins photography and examine the evolution into digital technologies.
  • Explain how photographic images are able to be captured on film. This lesson will also explain how photographic images are able to be captured by digital cameras.
  • Describe how you can work at improving your capabilities with respect to taking photographs.
  • Develop a framework, upon which you will base your work in future lessons.
  • Determine appropriate application for a range of common items of photographic equipment
  • Develop an understanding of how digital images can be transferred effectively from a digital camera
    • Explain how photographic film is developed.
  • Describe the process by which photographic film may be enlarged.
  • Explain techniques that can be used to process digital photographs within a computer to achieve improved or changed images.
  • Work more effectively with light when taking photographs.
    • To identify and avoid common faults in photographs.


This course can be undertaken successfully without sophisticated camera equipment, however you do need the use of a camera. An SLR camera is best but any camera will do. You can do this course using either a film or digital camera; or both.

If you use film, you will need to purchase a minimum of 5 rolls of film and have them developed. (Inexpensive proof prints are acceptable). All photos and written work submitted will be returned to you.

Tips for Better Photography

In general the same principles apply when taking digital photos or film; and using a mobile phone a camera or any other device.

How to Compose a Photo

  • You should have a focal point  a centre of interest  in the photograph to which the eye is drawn. The other things in the photo should complement that central focus. (eg: a large tree, surrounded by less awesome vegetation, a grand building, surrounded by garden, or by less dominating architecture, a person surrounded by the furniture in a room).
  • The elements which go to make up the picture should not detract from each other.

The RULE OF THIRDS can be a useful procedure. This is applied as follows...

  • Imagine the viewfinder divides the picture into 3 equal sections horizontally and 3 sections vertically. There would be 2 vertical lines and 2 horizontal lines, intersecting each other at 4 points.
  • Locate the centre of interest centering it over one of these 4 intersections. Supporting elements should be arranged at other points. This rule is used mainly in landscape photography.

Give due consideration to the power of objects for instance draw attention more than dull colours. (A red object can appear more prominent and closer than it really is).

If the horizon is placed low on a photo, it creates a feeling of spaciousness. If high in the frame it creates a more confined feeling.

The time of day you take a photo will affect the result dramatically.
Very early morning or late afternoon, are generally (but not always) the best times.
Consider what the shadows might be in the place where you are taking a photograph. Shadows might be more interesting or dramatic at a certain time of day.

Meet some Of our academics

John Mason

John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

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