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PHOTO-155 - Photography 1 - Amy Tierney

Course:Photography 1
Professor:Amy Tierney
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Photograph of Photographer Amy Tierney holding a camera

Greetings!  I am Amy Tierney, an adjunct Photography Instructor and working professional photographer.  I welcome you to get to know more about my work and the skills I will bring to you by visiting my website  

I am teaching this class because I want you to be a skilled photographer, able to express your vision to others (both technically in exposure control and software tools, and aesthetically via composition knowledge). 

I am so glad that you are interested in learning and practicing more in order to set yourself up for success.

Course Description

This 16 week course is entirely Online LIVE and introduces the fundamental concepts, terminology, and techniques of photography with DSLR and mirrorless cameras and camera RAW files, including the theory and basic principles of image correction and print technologies via lecture and lab.  It is required that students use a digital SLR or mirrorless camera capable of manual exposure and adjustment (these can be checked out from the Photo Department), and Photoshop Lightroom Classic via Adobe Creative Cloud to manage and process your photographs (memberships available free with your COC email account).

The course will require reading course materials, photography assignments, Adobe software assignments, participating in online discussion assignments, quizzes, and a final project. 

The course is designed to teach two learning outcomes: your ability to apply and demonstrate the techniques of basic photography (which include camera control and appropriate software tools to manage and develop photographs), and a development of basic knowledge, theory, composition and critique concepts in photography.

You will find this Photography 155 Class useful if you: 

  • Want to sharpen your use of ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture effectively so you get exactly the photographs you want
  • Want to learn Adobe Lightroom Classic to manage and develop RAW Files
  • Want to dig into composition principles and sharpen your use of them
  • Want to hone your photography practice via group aesthetic critique
  • Want to learn the steps of how to create a photography project from beginning to end

What to Expect in this Course

Who Is This Class For?

Photo 155 is a gateway course for Photo majors. Many elective courses for the AA degree in Photography and required courses for the Certificate of Achievement in Commercial Photography build upon the skills you will learn in this course.

If you are not a Photo major, you are welcome in the course too!  Please know that this is an academic experience; reading, writing, critique and fulfillment of weekly assignments and quizzes is required.  If you just want to learn how to use your camera, consider COC’s non-credit courses in photography.  

More to Decide if Photo 155 is Right for You:

AA Photography: This course satisfies a requirement. The same requirement can also be met by completing Photo 160 Black & White Photography (darkroom). You may not use both for your AA. This course is also a prerequisite for other elective courses. Resource: Photography AA Program Mapper.

Commercial Photography Certificate:  This is both a required course and the prerequisite for other required courses in the certificate program. Resource: Certificate Program Mapper.

General Education Requirement:  This course requires significantly more time and work than Photo 150 Cameras & Composition, which also fulfills general education requirements.

Community Learner: this is an academic experience; reading, writing, critique and fulfillment of weekly assignments and quizzes is required.  If you just want to learn how to use your camera, consider COC’s non-credit courses in photography.  

Course Length:

This is a sixteen (16) week class that meets Online LIVE Tuesdays, and Thursdays via Zoom.  8am – 10:20am, with a break at 8:50 for 10 minutes.  It starts Tuesday, Feb 6, 2024 and ends Thursday, May 30th, 2024.

The course requires an average of 10 hours per week; 4 for learning and reviewing during class time per week and 6 for accomplishing assignments and quizzes per week.  You will need to calendar yourself successfully to read course materials, participate in discussions (group critique), complete assignments, complete quizzes and create your final project. 

What to Expect in the Course:

Technology required:

  1. Digital SLR or mirrorless camera, lenses, batteries, battery charger and camera cards (these can be checked out from the College)
  2. Computer
  3. Working WIFI
  4. Adobe Lightroom Classic. COC provides free access to Lightroom Classic on the computers in the photography digital lab (Mentry 145, our classroom).
  5. CANVAS application –  working knowledge to see and deliver assignments
  6. Word processing application – e.g. Microsoft Word

Types of Assessments

The final grade will be derived from the following assessments:

1. Discussion and Critique:  Students will be required to show their own work and effectively comment on the work of others.  For critiques you will be asked to review peers' work with at least 1 pro, 1 con, and 1 alternative approach about the work being presented.  These are graded.

2. Assignments and Exercises: Students will have photo and software editing assignments that will be graded on how well specific problems are solved. Each assignment (or exercise), unless otherwise noted, will be given a numerical grade.

3. Quizzes: Students will be given several quizzes relating to the presentations and demonstrations.  Some will be in person.  Some will be online.

4. Final Exam: Students will be required to complete a final online exam

5. Final Project:  Students will be required to complete a final photography project

Textbook Information

Textbook - you can check out the digital version from the COC Library:

Stone, Jim; London, Barbara: A Short Course in Photography: Digital

4th Edition ISBN: 9780134525815


This Photo 155 course will also have required reading located as links within your Canvas assignments.

Other Relevant Course Information

Canvas Course Software

The course is accessed via Canvas one week before the first day of the course. Follow the login instructions at the bottom of the Canvas log in screen.

Additional Notes

More information about the course will be detailed in the class syllabus, which you will find when you log into the course shell the week before the course begins. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the course, please do not hesitate to contact me: I look forward to starting this class with you very soon!

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 12/19/2023 Sub#: 1686