Intro to Photography and Digital Image Editing (GIMP)

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Teacher: John
Customers Who Have Viewed This Course: 1222

Section: Digital Photography Basics: Simple Editing, Photographic Composition

1 Introduction 03:01

Picture of Introduction

This instructional video provides general information about the Photography and Digital Image Editing course including a brief overview of units and sample assignments.

2 Course Overview 12:05

The content includes a discussion of the learning objectives, examples of projects  and learning objectives of the course.

3 Photographic Composition 17:30

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In this first exercise, "The Principles of Composition", students are encouraged to create a library of personal images for use in later digital image editing assignments. Students may use smart phone or digital cameras and are encouraged to photograph a variety of subjects including landscapes, architecture, human interest,  still life or portraiture applying the principles of composition as applicable. 

A PDF file is included that summarizes the content of the video and may be printed for a hard copy reference.

4 Materials and Supplies 08:55

This short video illustrates required and recommended materials to complete all assignments of the course. A PDF file accompanies the presentation with links to vendors as suggested.

5 Image Size and Resolution 12:46

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Procedures for downlaoding GIMP will be discussed.

Using 10 provided images, students will practice resizing dimensions and resolutions.

Students will learn to save (export) images in a jpg format. 

6 Digital Templates in Image Editing 19:00

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Templates may be used for filing images similar to the contact proof sheet in analog film photography.  Digital images may be stored in high resolution allowing images to be extracted from the template for with minimal or no loss to image quality. 

This unit will introduce students to the use of the Fuzzy Select  tool and templates in GIMP.

7 Self-Assessment Rubrics and Practice Quiz 09:46

Students will learn to honestly critique and self-evaluate their work throughout the course using project rubrics. 

8 Cropping and the Crop Tool 10:47

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Cropping a photo may be useful for improving compositions, but oftern results in a loss of resolution. In this unit, students  students will practice cropping techniques on 10 practice images.

9 Cropping to Standard Proportions 15:01

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Students are introduced to procedures for using templates  as an alternate method for cropping and sizing. A PDF document accompanies the instructional video. Example images and templates are provided for future use and practice.

10 Formats and Saving 06:57

This video will explore commonly used lossy and lossless formats used to save raster images or digital photos.  

11 Color Correction 28:09

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In this unit, students are introduced to color theory as applied to light and learn to edit layers and channels in GIMP. Sample images are provided for practice.

Section: Outdoor Portraiture, Advanced Image Editing: Layers, Channels, Selection Tools

12 Review and Additional Practice 07:35

This video includes a review of previous content and additional color correction practice images using a gray card reference.

13 Outdoor Portraits Cropped to Standard Proportions 05:54

Picture of Outdoor Portraits Cropped to Standard Proportions

Accompnying this instructional video is a set of PDF instructions that will reinforce the procedures for printing in the standard mat frame sizes. These include commonly used dimensions of 4" x 6", 5" x 7" and 8" x 10".

14 Outdoor Portrait Photography 17:45

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Students will be introduced to key concepts for effective outdoor portrait photography and complete a photo session with an individual, couple or small group.

Discussion includes the key concepts of:

1. Background/ Environment

2. Lighting

3. Posing

4. Personality

15 Outdoor Portrait Collage: Simple Templates 10:58

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Students will learn procedures for scaling images and layers in GIMP. Using templates and PDF instructions provided, students will create a collage using a simple symmetrical template.

16 Outdoor Portrait Collage: Advanced Templates 15:03

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Building on previous learning experiences of scaling images or layers within the templates, students will now learn to rotate images within selections using the asymmetrical templates.

PDF instructions and templates are provided.

17 Layers and Layer Opacity 13:21

Picture of Layers and Layer Opacity

Students will learn to

1. Creat a background canvas to specific resolutions and dimensions

2. Convert Floating Selections to Layers

3. Scale layers to fit the canvas

4. Blend layers using Layer Opacity control

PDF instructions and practice images are provided to accompany instructional video.

18 Layer Mask Exercise 19:09

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Using PDF instructions and images (provided) students will learn to create a composite image using layers and masks. This unit is an introduction to the upcomind collage assignment.

19 Layers and Masks Collage 21:41

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Students create a thematic collage using 4 to 6 personal images. A PDF resource and sample images images are provided for practice.

20 Selection Tools 14:41

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Using images and examples, Students are introduced to the functions and options of the Rectangle and Ellipse Select tools and learn practical applications using sample images provided. 

21 Rectangle and Ellipse Selection Exercise 16:24

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Students will learn to make and edit rectangular and elliptical selections selections using various modes. Topics include adding,subtracting, intersecting and feathering selections. Students will also be introduced to color mixing and the Fill and Bucket tools. 

PDF instructions supplement the instructional video.

22 Rectangle and Ellipse Selection Tool Options 15:39

Students will review previous techniques using the Rectangle and Ellipse Select tools and be introduced to more advanced selection tool options.

23 Free and Scissors Select Tools 12:32

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Using various techniques with the Free and Scissor select tools, students will make an intial selection, edit the selection and perform corrective editing actions.

24 Foreground Select Tool 16:02

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This lesson illustrates methods of cutting or removing areas of a digital photograph for editing in other environments. The Foreground Select tool is one of the most effective tools in GIMP. Students practice using images provided. The PDF supports the procedures illustrated in the video.

25 Review and Fuzzy Select Watercolor Exercise 18:24

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Students will use personal images to create a collage using the Fuzzy Seect tool and provided template. Content includes tolerance, feathering and other selection editing methods. PDF instructions and a watercolor pallete image is provided. 

26 Select by Color Tool 17:01

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Students will learn to make and edit selections using the Select by Color tool in combination with the other selection tools covered in previous lessons. Practice images accompany the instructional video and PDF file reference.

Section; Advanced Image Editing: Restorations, Text Methods, Soft Focus

27 Clone Tool Intro 17:22

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Using the PDF resource and image provided, students will learn to use the Clone tool and options to restore or remove elements of an image through adjusting brush size opacity, size and hardness. The before and after template will provide additional practice using the Fuzzy Select tool.

28 Photo Restoration 23:51

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Building on previous skills, studets will remove blemishes and tears from a nearly 100 year old portrait in a non-destructive mode. Students are introduced to the Healing tool and combine various tools and techniques. The image and PDF instructions are provided.

29 Introduction to the Text Tool 11:41

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Students apply text over a photo or image and learn to edit the size, color, font, spacing and alignment using the tool options and shortcuts.

30 Introduction to the Text Tool pt 2: Creating the 2x2 original 08:16

Picture of Introduction to the Text Tool pt 2: Creating the 2x2 original

Students select a photo and scale to a 2inch x 2 inch template. Procedures for exporting as jpeg reviewed. Tool options illustrated include font size, color, alignment and style. This image will be used a a starting refereence in the upcoming "9 Text Methods" unit.

31 Text Methods 1-3 10:33

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Using layer editing, students learn to incorporate text in their photos using contrasting values and colors to enhance their images. Techniques include using lighter text over a dark background, darker text over a light background, and text warping. 

32 Text Methods 4-6 10:46

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Students incorporate prior learning using selection tools in combination with the text tool options to add text using text over a hard edged selection, text over a soft edge selection and gradients over letters on a selection. 

33 Text Methods 7-9 and Template 14:40

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This video illustrates the final 3 methods of text transparency, text rotation, the long shadow and drop shadow under the text. Procedures for inserting into the template are reviewed.

PDF instructions are included.

34 Poetry Illustration Assignment 15:36

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Using any of the text methods covered previously, students create an illustration using their own original photography. Examples are demonstrated in this instructional video.

35 Soft Focus Portrait 17:37

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This video illustrates procedures for creating a soft focus effect using multiple layers, masking and the Guassian Blur filter in GIMP.

PDF instructions are included.

Section: Creative filters, Digital Negatives, Cyanotype

36 Depth of Field Simulation 24:39

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Building on the previous unit, this video illustrates the process of simulating shallow or minimal depth of field using layers, masks, filters and selection tools.

37 Advanced Text Method 17:48

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Building on previous learning, this instructional video illustrates the use of multiple layers, layer and selection editing, the Bevel filter and Bucket fill tool to create an advanced text image.

PDF instructions are included.

38 Creative Filters 13:07

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Using a base image and copy layer, various filters are demonstrated including lighting effects, blur, decor and artisitic filters.

Layer opacity and filter options are also demonstrated for additional control of the effects.

39 The Cyanotype: History and Materials 12:57

Students will be introduced to the History of Photography, the invention of the Cyanotype process and materials required to complete this assignment.

40 Cyanotype: Mixing and Coating Emulsions 12:52

Methods of tearing/ cutting of paper are demonstrated. Students learn to mix the Cyanotype A and B solutions and techniques for application on the watercolor paper are demonstrated.

41 The Cyanotype and Digital Negative 12:20

Students select images and use various image editing tools to create digital negatives that simulate contrast and density ranges of traditional photographic films for the Cyanotype process.

42 Cyanotype, Exposure, Development and Assessment 16:43

Picture of Cyanotype, Exposure, Development and Assessment

This instructional video illustrates the final steps for making a Cyanotype including exposure testing, troubleshooting and processing using water and a Hydrogen Peroxide bath. Self-assessment is modelled using a rubric.

Photography and Digital Image Editing (GIMP)

Course Overview

This course will introduce students to the principles of photography and digital image editing. We will focus on the use of GIMP, a free open source image editing program as we progress through over 40 units of study.

GIMP is a vast program and can seem daunting at first. It is widely used and a great free alternative to Photoshop. We begin with basic exercises and vocabulary and progress to more advanced and challenging techniques. This is an introductory course that will empower students to independently pursue this program in greater depth and use their learning long after they have completed the course.

The focus is on the development of practical skills through project-based assignments. The lessons were planned and sequenced to facilitate learning in a creative and fun context.

This course includes

  • Over 40 instructional videos with step by step procedures demonstrated
  • Over 100 pages of printable pdf instructions with accompanying illustrations and images
  • 15 lessons include multiple images that correlate to the instructional video and pdf instructions for student practice
  • 20 rubrics for self-assessment and reflection
  • 11 multiple choice quizzes with answer keys

Course Goals

Upon completion of the course, students will take more effective photos and confidently edit images for a variety of purposes.  Students will develop lifelong skills and be empowered to pursue this subject independently.

Target Audience

This video-course is designed for high school level students in grades 9-12. Students that have an interest in integrating technology with the arts may especially benefit from the curriculum. 

Course Requirements

The following materials and supplies will be required to complete all assignments.

  • a computer with the GIMP download (as detailed in the resources and instructional video). Operating system of Windows 7 or higher (PC) or MAC OSX. Gimp will run on 128mb RAM, however, 256mb RAM is recommended. A link to the free GIMP software is also provided once the course is purchased.

*Please note, the videos and instructional resources were created on a PC with Windows 10. There are some minimal differences on MAC platforms. These include mainy keyboard shortcuts and commands.

  • a smartphone or digital camera to complete picture taking assignments
  • a printer or printer access. It is recommended that students print the PDF instructions to use as a hard copy reference while completing assignments. Additionally, students may wish to print selected completed assignments.
  • "The final Cyanotype" assignment will require the printing of at least one digital negative on standard office paper or transparency film.
  • watercolor paper: 1-2 sheets
  • Cyanotype kit. More detailed information on the cost and vendors is provided in the instructional video. This will cost about $25.00.

Minimal household supplies such as measuring cups and foam brush will be required as described in the video lesson.

Unit 1: Digital Photography Basics


  •          The Principles of Photographic Composition and a picture taking assignment
  •          Image size and resolution (quiz, rubric)
  •          Digital templates in image editing
  •          Cropping and the crop tool (quiz, rubric)
  •          Lossy or lossless formats
  •          Cropping to standard proportions
  •          Self-Assessment model
  •          Color Correction: levels, curves and channels (quiz, rubric)


Unit 2: Outdoor Portraiture, Advanced Image Editing


  •          Outdoor portrait photography
  •          Outdoor portraits: Cropped to standard proportions
  •          Outdoor portrait collage: Simple templates
  •          Outdoor portrait collage: Advanced templates (quiz, rubric)
  •          Layers and layer opacity (rubric)
  •          Layer mask exercise
  •          Layers and masks collage (quiz, rubric)
  •          Rectangle and Ellipse Select tool intro
  •          Rectangle and Ellipse Select tool exercise (rubric)
  •          Free and Scissors Select tool
  •          Foreground Select tool (rubric)
  •          Fuzzy select and Watercolor exercise (quiz, rubric)
  •          Select by Color tool


Unit 3: Advanced Imaging: Restorations, text methods and filters

  •          Clone tool (quiz, rubric)
  •          Photo Restoration (quiz, rubric)
  •          9 Text Methods and Template: presented in 3 lessons of 3 techniques each (rubric)
  •          Poetry illustration assignment (quiz, rubric)
  •          Soft focus portrait


Unit 4: Creative filters, digital negatives and the Cyanotype

  •          Depth of field simulation (rubric)
  •          Advanced Text Method (rubric)
  •          Creative filters (quiz)
  •          The Cyanotype process: history and materials
  •          Cyanotype: mixing and coating emulsions
  •          Cyanotype: making a digital negative in GIMP
  •          Cyanotype: exposure, development and assessment (quiz, rubric)

  • Teacher: John
  • Areas of expertise: Digital and Traditional Photography Digital Image Editing
  • Education: BA Rutgers College, Rutgers University MA Educational Technology: Lesley University
  • Interests: Photography Kayaking
  • Skills: Traditional and alternative processes of photography.
  • Associations: National Education Association (NJEA and SCEA) K-12 Teacher Certification in Art (New Jersey) K-12 Teacher Certification in Art (South Carolina)
  • Issues I care about: I care about the safety, health and well being of students. I work to provide challenging and vigorous opportunities for learning.

I have recently retired as a High school Photography/Art teacher after 33 years experience in New Jersey and South Carolina. Over the course of my career I have have adapted to unprecedented changes in technology in this field. In response to recent demand and need for distance learning, I have worked diligently to create a curriculum that would support at home learning with minimal expense in the area of digital photography and image editing.

Test Preparation Document

Test Preparation Document

Digital Quizzes and Tests Answer Keys Document

Digital Quizzes and Tests Answer Keys Document

Self- Assessment Rubrics

Self-assessment rubrics are provided for both formative and summative assignments.

Quiz keys

One document includes all multiple choie quiz keys.


Materials and equipment are and listeddesribed as illustrated in the course description and orientaion video.

Links to vendor resources included

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