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Photography: Images and Techniques

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About the Photography: Images and Techniques Program

UC San Diego Extension remains committed to helping you achieve your educational goals. In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have transitioned many of our courses to an online or live online format. Live Online classes are fully online with live virtual class meetings each week using our Zoom conferencing system. Online classes will have pre-recorded lectures each week and guided assignments from the instructor. We will resume in-person classes when it is deemed safe to do so.

Develop a Comprehensive Photography Portfolio as you Enhance your Creative and Technical Photographic Skills

 

The Professional Certificate in Photography will offer you a concentrated study in the photographic arts. The curriculum is designed to help you successively develop solid skills, including an understanding of the aesthetic and technical processes essential to the field of photography. This certificate program focuses on enhancing your creativity and technical abilities, as well as the final product—a portfolio of finished photographs. You may choose from a variety of photography courses with an emphasis on digital processes while improving your abilities to observe, find innovative solutions, and express individual creativity. The program is purposefully flexible; you may also choose an area of concentration and enroll in electives that fulfill your personal interests and goals.

Questions about our classes or certificates? Contact our department at 858-534-5760 or unex-digital@ucsd.edu.

  • Develop basic photographic skills.
  • Techniques to pursue creative ideas.
  • Broaden artistic vision.
  • Sharpen perceptual skills.
  • Work with fellow photography enthusiasts.
  • Study with professional photographers.
  • Our program is designed for adults with little or no photography background.
  • For those with a burgeoning career in photography, the program offers specialization and concentration in an area of focus to help guide your career advancement.
Format: In-Person, Online

Estimated Cost: $3,290

Early enrollment discounts can reduce cost. Textbooks/materials separate.

Duration: 15 - 27 months

Varies by courses taken per quarter.

Contact
Department
Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts
Phone
858-534-5760
Email
ahl@ucsd.edu

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid
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Information Session

Photography Program Information SessionINFO-70162

Units: 0.00

TBD

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth ten thousand words.” Having a solid background in the art and craft of photography is critical for anyone seeking to pursue their passion for generating compell...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

REQUIRED COURSES

All five are required

Photo I: Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISOART-40629

Units: 3.00

$325

Photo I: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO 9 Weeks | $325 | Online In-ClassCapturing a memorable photograph takes more than just pressing a button! Being a form of visual art, photography is often d...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Digital Photography WorkflowART-40705

Units: 3.00

$325

Digital Photography Workflow 9 Weeks | $325 | Online Effectively managing the hundreds of digital photos you ve taken can be unnecessarily challenging and time consuming if you do not develop an ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

A Short History of PhotographyART-40412

Units: 2.00

$195

A Short History of Photography 6 Weeks | $195 | OnlineExamine major photographic movements and the individuals who have shaped the history of the medium in A Short History of Photography. Beginning w...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Photo II: Technique & StyleART-40631

Units: 3.00

$325

Photo II: Technique Style 9 Weeks | $325 | In-classDesigned to inspire intermediate photographers who are comfortable with the basics of photographic camera work (aperture, shutter speed, ISO), Pho...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Photo III: PortfolioART-40632

Units: 3.00

TBD

Photo III: Portfolio 9 Weeks | $325 | HybridThe key to success as a photographer is distinguishing yourself from your contemporaries through process, practice and vision. This advanced course helps s...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

PHOTOGRAPHIC ELECTIVES

14 units total

Artistic

Courses focus on aesthetic development.

Architectural PhotographyART-40607

Units: 2.00

TBD

Architectural Photography 4 Weeks | $285 | In-ClassArchitecture, new and old makes for amazing photographic subject matter! Build the skills necessary to photograph structures both exterior and inter...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Photographic Portraiture IART-40689

Units: 3.00

TBD

Photographic Portraiture I 9 weeks | $350 | In-ClassDevelop competence and confidence as a portrait photographer while learning the photographic techniques associated with portraiture proper apertu...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Environmental PortraitureART-40494

Units: 3.00

$295

Environmental Portraiture 9 weeks | $295 | OnlineIn environmental portraiture, the surrounding background is used to convey crucial information about a subject s personality, interests, and lifestyle...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Family PicturesART-40229

Units: 3.00

$295

Family Pictures 9 weeks | $295 | In-ClassVenture beyond the snapshot! Learn to use any camera to take artistic, descriptive photographs of family friends. Photographers of all levels are welcome. I...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Variations on Photographic PortraitureART-40659

Units: 3.00

$295

Variations on Photographic Portraiture 9 weeks | $295 | In-ClassA portrait photograph can offer itself to a multitude of implications and interpretations, serving as a realistic representation of a p...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Nature Photography: From Vision to PrintART-40081

Units: 3.00

TBD

Nature Photography: From Vision to Print 9 weeks | $295 | In-ClassLearn how to take beautiful nature photographs and examine different methods to produce and display them. This practical, hands-on co...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring

Beyond Image: Using Photography with Other MediaART-40422

Units: 3.00

TBD

Beyond Image: Using Photography with Other Media 9 weeks | $295 | In-Class Broaden your scope of photographic expression by using your camera in concert with other art forms. This course invites stu...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring

Postcards from the City: Exploration with Artistic PhotographyART-40165

Units: 3.00

TBD

Postcards from the City: Exploration with Artistic Photography 9 Weeks | $295 | OnlineLearn to take photographs of urban scenes and display your work in a form that is almost as old as photography it...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Reading Photographs: The Art of SeeingART-40413

Units: 3.00

TBD

Reading Photographs: The Art of Seeing 9 weeks | $295 | In-ClassExpand your ability to appreciate and create an array of photographic images by a variety of diverse artists as well as interpret and d...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Visual Poetry: Ways of SeeingART-40416

Units: 3.00

$295

Visual Poetry: Ways of Seeing 9 Weeks | $295 | In-ClassPush your creative threshold and propel your work to new heights! This class seeks to explore the intersection between poetry and photography. T...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Adobe PhotoshopART-40311

Units: 3.00

$595

Adobe Photoshop I: Introduction 9 Weeks | $595 | Online In-ClassAn introduction to Adobe Photoshop, the imaging software application used by professional graphic artists to create and modify images...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Technical

Courses focus on technical skill sets.

Digital Printing & Workflow

Introduction to Digital PrintingART-40445

Units: 2.00

TBD

Introduction to Digital Printing 6 weeks | $325 | In-Class Learn techniques essential for generating high quality digital prints by exploring the relationship between image processing software like ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Intermediate Digital PrintingART-40565

Units: 2.00

TBD

Intermediate Digital Printing 6 weeks | $325 | In-Class Improve your digital printing techniques so your color or black and white images look their best. This course focuses on the aesthetics of pri...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring

Color Management for PhotographersART-40402

Units: 2.00

TBD

Color Management for Photographers 6 weeks | $325 | In-ClassDo you wonder why the photos you print don t match how they appear on screen? Learn how to color manage your system from capture to print i...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Photo Silkscreen IART-40464

Units: 2.00

TBD

Photo Silkscreen I 7 Weeks | $195 | In-ClassDiscover the printmaking process that made Andy Warhol a superstar in the art world! In this hands-on class, you will learn how to transform your photograp...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Lighting

Understanding Photographic Light: Studio & LocationART-40398

Units: 2.00

$350

Understanding Photographic Light: Studio Location 6 Weeks | $350 | OnlineLighting is an essential part of every photographic genre. This fundamental lighting class will introduce students to light ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Strobe Workshop: Lighting with Speed LightsART-40511

Units: 2.00

TBD

Strobe Workshop: Lighting with Speed Lights 4 Weeks | $295 | In-ClassLearn how to light your photographs without the use of heavy or expensive gear. This intensive workshop teaches the art of strobe ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Introduction to Concert and Low-Light PhotographyART-40655

Units: 2.00

TBD

Introduction to Concert and Low-Light Photography 5 Weeks | $325 | OnlineGetting great shots in low-light situations can seem quite the challenge. Getting great shots without a flash or other lightin...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Special Topics

Destination PhotographyART-40575

Units: 2.00

$285

Destination Photography 6 Weeks | $285 | OnlineAre you planning the trip of a lifetime or even a local excursion and you want to capture better images? Designed for photographers with sound experienc...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Documentary PhotographyART-40507

Units: 3.00

$295

Documentary Photography 9 weeks | $295 | In-ClassDocumentary photography is a powerful tool for telling a story, making a point or giving voice to people who have none. In this course, you will learn...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Introduction to Photo JournalismART-40693

Units: 2.00

$285

Introduction to Photo Journalism 6 weeks | $285 | In-ClassPhotographs can change the world and how we see it. In this course, students will be introduced to the history of photojournalism, exploring ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

History of Photographic PortraitureART-40692

Units: 2.00

$195

History of Photographic Portraiture 6 weeks | $195 | OnlineEnhance understanding of the relevancy of the photographic portrait in our world history by discussing the origins and evolution of photogra...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Color Theory for PhotographersART-40687

Units: 2.00

$300

Color Theory for Photographers 6 weeks | $300 | In-Class This course will cover the basics of color science and color theory, including the language of color, color primaries, the color wheel, and c...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Street Photography WorkshopART-40717

Units: 1.00

TBD

Street Photography Workshop 1 week | $185 | In-ClassLearn the basics of street and candid photography in this hands-on workshop. Students will attend two field trips to capture chance encounters and ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Conditions for Admission

Please see the application for specific admission requirements for this program.

Although a college degree or professional experience in the field are not required, applicants with such experience may receive preference for admission when program capacity is limited.

Current UCSD students may be considered for admission depending on their academic and career focus and educational performance.

Certificate Guidelines

To fulfill the certificate program, students must complete at least 28 quarter units in Photography. Student may enroll in the certificate program during any quarter of the year. Most students should be able to complete the program within 15 - 27 months but have up to five years to complete the program. The series of courses with both artistic and technical emphasis are organized into levels of increasing difficulty ensures that students develop and refine their skills over time. Students work at their own pace and choose from a wide variety of electives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All

Who is this certificate for?

Our program is designed for adults with little or no photography background. The curriculum helps students progressively develop sound skills including an understanding of the aesthetic and technical processes essential to the field of photography. The certificate program focuses on creativity and technical abilities, as well as developing a body of work.
Students choose from a variety of photography courses while improving their abilities to observe, capture compelling images, and express individual creativity. The program is purposefully flexible, with a wide range of elective courses; students may choose an area of concentration and enroll in electives that fulfill their personal interests.

Do you provide job or internship placement?

No, we do not currently offer job placement assistance, internships, or career services assistance.

What are the expected Learning Outcomes?

Students can expect to:

  • Develop basic photographic skills
  • Pursue creative ideas
  • Broaden artistic vision
  • Sharpen perceptual skills
  • Work with fellow photography enthusiasts
  • Study with professional photographers

Will I get any hands-on experience in the program?

Most courses combine theory with hands-on exercises. Our courses are taught by professionals who work in the field they teach, and will bring real-life projects and examples to your course.

How many classes are there in the Photography: Images and Techniques Certificate Program?

This program requires a total of 28 units.

There are 5 required courses, making up 14 units:

  • Digital photography Workflow
  • A Short History of Photography
  • Photo I: Aperture, Shutter Speed, & ISO
  • Photo II: Technique and Style
  • Photo III: Portfolio


The remaining 14 units are electives, in topics such as:

  • Artistic
  • Technical
  • Digital Printing & Workflow
  • Lighting
  • Special Topics

Can this program be completed entirely online?

This program can be completed partially online and partially in-class.  For online classes, all assignments, discussion posts, and tests can be completed online and submitted through Canvas, our online learning platform. 
 

If I work full-time, will I still be able to complete this program?

Yes. Our programs are designed to be working-student friendly and most of our students are working professionals. The courses vary between two and three units, which amount to approximately 18-20 hours of class time for a two unit course and 27-30 hours of class time for a three unit course.

How long does it take to complete this certificate?

You officially have five years to complete all requirements for the certificate, although students can usually complete the entire program in15-27 months by taking 1-2 courses per quarter.      

How much does this program cost?

Most required courses cost $195-325 each. The estimated cost of the certificate program, including certificate fee, and enrollment fees is $3,290. With the DSLR and 2 years of that Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, the overall certificate cost is $6,300. 

Your mileage may vary depending on what electives you choose. How students pace their coursework may affect the program cost since many courses require software subscriptions, which are charged by month.

Students pay as they go when they register for classes, not in one lump sum.

Is the program accredited?

UC San Diego is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). UC San Diego Extension — like all other UC San Diego schools, colleges, and departments — is accredited by WASC through the University. All courses and certificate programs offered by UC San Diego Extension have been developed and are administered in accordance with Extension policy and the regulations of the Academic Senate of the University of California.

How do I get my certificate once I have completed the requirements?

When you have paid your certificate fee and successfully completed all program requirements, you will need to request an audit by Student Services. To request an audit: In your My Extension account, click on “My Courses.” On the right side of the page under “My Certificates,” click on the name of the certificate. On the right side of the page under “Tools,” click on “Request Certificate Audit.” Complete and submit the form that appears. Once you have formally submitted your audit request, your certificate will be mailed to the address we have on file for you within ten business days.

Is financial assistance available?

UC San Diego Extension facilitates private education loans through UC Approved Lenders for students officially enrolled in a certificate. More informaiton can be found on our Financial Resources page or by contacting unex-finasst@ucsd.edu. State-Funded Training is available through EDD (Employment Development Dept.); more information can be found on their website: www.edd.ca.gov

Is this certificate open to non-California residents and international students?

The program is open to non-California residents, including non-US residents. The tuition is the same for all students. However, this program cannot be completed fully online, and does not qualify for student visas. Students are welcome to take individual courses a la carte. 

 

In what order should I take these courses?

Students may take courses in the order they prefer, keeping in mind that some courses do have prerequisite requirements. 

Students may enroll concurrently in more than one course, as their schedule permits. 

Certificate students should begin the program with Photo I: Aperture, Shutter Speed, & ISO.
.

How do I apply to the certificate program?

STEP 1: If you have a My Extension student account, skip to Step 2.  If you do not have a My Extension account, go to myextension.ucsd.edu, click “Create an account” on the right side of the page, and follow the instructions to create an account. Once you have a My Extension account, continue to Step 2.

STEP 2: Click on the “Apply Now” button on the certificate page. Complete the required fields on the application. Then click the “Save” button. Once you have saved the application, the “Submit” button will appear. Click the “Submit” button to submit your application for review and consideration. Once submitted, your application cannot be changed.  You can track the progress of your application at My Extension.

Is there an application fee for the certificate program?

Current application or certificate enrollment fees, if any, are listed under the “Apply Now” button on the certificate page on our website.

Can I register for the certificate program at any time?

Yes, you may enroll in the program at any time. However, it is recommended that you enroll as soon as possible. The program curriculum may be updated at any time; if certificate requirements change, you must adhere to the curriculum at the time of your enrollment into the certificate. Enrolling in the certificate also gives you access to quarterly, personalized enrollment reminders from the program manager.

Can I take a course without registering for the certificate?

Yes, you may take any course in this program except for the final capstone portfolio course without registering for the certificate, provided you have fulfilled any and all prerequisites for the course.

When should I enroll in my class(es)?

We recommend enrolling as soon as possible. Many of our core certificate courses will fill up before the course start date. 

Each quarter we also offer an early enrollment discount of $25 on select courses if you enroll by the discount deadline. 

How do I enroll in a class?

To enroll in a class, click on the class link in the course matrix above and that will take you to the specific class page. On the class page you can find additional details about the course such as start date, time, classroom number, instructor and textbook info.  To enroll click on “Add to Cart” which will lead you to complete the registration/payment process. You can also register over the phone with Student Services at 858-534-3400.

Why was my enrollment in a course blocked?

Enrollment in a class may be blocked in the following situations: The class is closed (see FAQ on when enrollment closes). OR The class is at capacity. If the class is at capacity you will only be able to join the waitlist. Students on the waitlist are contacted in the order they joined the waitlist. OR The class is cancelled due to low enrollments. OR The class has prerequisites that the student has not completed yet. If you feel that you have fulfilled the prerequisites, please contact unex-digital@ucsd.edu

What are the grading options?

When students enroll in a class they are given three grading options: Letter grade, Pass/No Pass, or Not for Credit. Students taking a class as part of a certificate need to complete their classes for credit (i.e. Pass/No Pass or Letter grade) and receive a C-/Pass or higher grade.

Grades below a C-, No Pass, and Not for Credit do not count towards certificate requirements.

When is the refund deadline?

The refund deadline is typically six (6) days after the first class meeting. This allows students to attend the first class meeting to determine if the class is a good fit for them. The exact refund deadline for each section is listed in the section notes.    

What are the attendance and participation requirements?

Students are expected to attend all class meetings, participate in class, and complete all homework assignments. Attendance is factored as a part of students’ final grades, and varies by instructor. Typically students can miss one class meeting without it impacting their final grade as long as they still complete their homework. Students who miss a class meeting should always reach out to their instructor regarding late work and homework.

When will I have access to my online information session or course?

You will have access to the online Canvas course on the official start date of the class/exam/info session.  Access will be available at 12:01am Pacific Time.

Enrollment to online classes can take up to 24 hours to process and sync up to our online platform, Canvas. For example, if a class started on Tuesday and that is the day a student enrolled, they will likely not have full access to the class until 24 hours later on Wednesday.

How many hours can I expect to spend studying outside of class time?

Each student has their own learning style so this can vary greatly. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend an average of two hours studying for every hour you spend in-class. For online courses, students should plan to spend approximately 8-10 hours per week viewing lectures and completing coursework.

How are online classes formatted?

Online courses will be asynchronous. Students do not need to meet at a specific time online, but will need to log in each week to view the lessons, participate in course discussion, and complete and submit coursework.

What are the instructors’ credentials?

The program courses are taught by seasoned professionals and overseen by an advisory board of leaders in the field. You can view the advisor list under the “Advisors” section on the certificate page. You can find information about a course instructor, including a biography and credentials, on the course page.

How do I communicate with a course instructor if I have a question during the course?

Each instructor has his/her own preferred method of communication and response policy, which will be detailed on the course syllabus. However, most instructors utilize email or the discussion board and will respond within 24-48 hours.

How long is each course?

Three unit courses run for approximately 9 weeks; four unit courses run for approximately 10 weeks. For exact course dates of upcoming sections, visit the webpage of the course you are interested in taking on our website.

Where are the classes held?

All of our in-class courses are held at our La Jolla Extension complex or at our University City Center location. For directions, visit https://extension.ucsd.edu/maps 

Do I need to pay for parking?

If your class is located at our La Jolla campus and takes place on a weeknight, you will need to pay for parking. No parking permit is required at our University City Center (UCC) location.

We recommend purchasing a quarterly night parking permit (~$43). If you are taking a 9-10 week class it is more affordable to buy this permit rather than use the hourly permit machines ($3 per hour). Quarterly night permits can be purchased online at: http://ow.ly/DnTP302mth0. Parking on weekends is free.

What class materials are used in my course?

Materials and software requirements vary by course. For details, check the course page.

Can I transfer in any courses?

Students can transfer in up to two courses that match the content of our required courses. Please email unex-digital@ucsd.edu for more information about the transferability of previously completed courses.

Are these classes transferable?

UC San Diego Extension is not a degree granting institution, however many UC San Diego Extension courses can be transferred to other colleges or universities.

The transferability of credit is determined solely by the receiving institution. Students should discuss how your individual courses will transfer with the Office of the Registrar at the receiving institution prior to enrolling.

Quarter to Semester Unit Conversion

If the receiving institution operates on a semester system, credits will be converted to semester hours during their evaluation. As a general rule, quarter credits are converted to semester credits by dividing the number of quarter credits by 1.5. For example, if the student completed a course worth 4 quarter credits at UC San Diego Extension, the course would be worth 4 ÷ 1.5 = 2.66 semester credits.

I am in high school. Can I take any of these courses?

If you are interested in taking courses at UC San Diego Extension, you will need to obtain written approval from your school principal or counselor. The approval must be signed and printed on school letterhead, and must be included with your registration. If you are homeschooled, your approval needs to be signed by your contact in your local school district. More instructions are on our Registration Policies and Procedures page, or you can contact Student Services at unex-reg@ucsd.edu or 858-534-3400.

Additional questions?

For questions regarding our classes and certificates, please contact us at unex-digital@ucsd.edu or 858-534-5760.

Advisory Board

Don Bartletti, 2003 Pulitzer Prize

Photojournalist,

Los Angeles Times

Becky Cohen

Photographer

Brian Cross

Associate Professor, Visual Arts

UCSD

Carol McCusker

(Former) Curator of Photography

Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA)

Lea Rudee

Founding Dean, Engineering

UCSD

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.