Digital Photography

The Digital Photography Certificate Program provides a structured photographic curriculum. In order to earn this certificate, four required courses and six additional courses (minimum of 84 hours) must be completed. Students who wish to gain practical, hands-on knowledge in the field will be able to develop new skills and build on existing skills in a relatively short time. Our program allows students, whether hobbyists, dedicated amateurs or aspiring professionals, to focus on the right techniques for their own personal success. A certificate may be general or awarded with a specialty in Portrait, Digital Imaging or Fine Art. Free information sessions are available for this program.

“After being laid off during the recent housing down turn I decided to pursue more aggressively the art of digital photography, earning a Digital Photography Certificate with Columbus State University, Continuing Education in January of 2011. I now work professionally as a portrait photographer. On my own time I have gravitated towards fine art photography because of the challenge that it presents to create a style that is unique to the artist.”
–Ricky D. Kammenga


  • Digital Photography I
  • Digital Photography II
  • Photoshop I
  • Lightroom I


  • Bill Adams

  • Donald Tipton

  • J. Richard Dennard

  • Joe Dallas

  • Julie Wynn

  • Patrick Albright

  • Shawn Fowler

  • Tania Calderon

  • Kenny Gray

  • John Helms

Course Descriptions

Digital Photography 1


Learn terms like F-Stop, focal length, perspective, depth of field, shutter speed and ISO; practice them with your instructor and your photography will be transformed forever. You will have four classroom sessions and a half day hands-on photo shoot. Bring your SLR or mirrorless camera and lenses to the first class. Class will break one hour for lunch on Saturday.

Prerequisite: Camera Clinic. This class is required for anyone wishing to participate in the Digital Photography Certificate Program.

Digital Photography 2


You will learn more about topics taught in Digital Photography I and be introduced to new topics, including white balance techniques, creating in-camera pictures styles, shooting and processing RAW files, intro to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and more. Class will break one hour for lunch on Saturday.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I. This class is required for anyone wishing to participate in the Digital Photography Certificate Program.

Photoshop 1


Adobe Photoshop CS6 offers editing options unavailable in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. You will learn how to use layers, remove objects from your photos, add text, and more. The Photoshop workflow you learn will be useful for any version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Computers and software provided.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I.

Suggested prerequisite: Lightroom I. This class is required for anyone wishing to participate in the Digital Photography Certificate Program.

Photoshop 2


Go beyond the fundamentals, with more advanced selection, masking, retouching and layer techniques. Also learn to use the history panel, history brush and much more, while working on your own image files. Computers and software provided.

Prerequisite: Photoshop I.

Lightroom 1


Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC is a powerful workflow solution for serious, prolific digital photographers. Now you can quickly import, process, edit, organize and showcase your images like never before. Computers and software are provided.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I. This class is required for anyone wishing to participate in the Digital Photography Certificate Program.

Lightroom 2


This class expands on the fundamentals and teaches new techniques as you work on your own photographs. Learn RAW file editing techniques, portrait enhancements, exporting to Facebook and Flickr, and techniques for showcasing your work in slideshows, print layouts and html or Flash web galleries. Computers and software provided.

Prerequisite: Lightroom I.

Polishing the Portrait with Photoshop


You will learn various techniques for enhancing portraits, and each student will have at least one hour of instruction on their own work. Topics include: cropping, selective contrast and color, retouching, and much more. Computers and software are provided. One-hour break for lunch.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I, Photoshop I and II.

Studio Photography 1


Learn to use flash units, flash meters, light modifiers and backgrounds in a studio setting. You will have the opportunity photograph live models in the Rankin Art Photography Center’s working studio. After completing this course successfully, you will be eligible to rent and use the Rankin Photography Studio on your own.

Note: Minimum equipment is an SLR camera (film or digital).

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I.

Studio Photography 2


In this lively, hands-on workshop, students will learn multi-light techniques during weekly sessions with live models. This follow-up to Studio Photography I features professional tips for posing and working with babies, children, adults and families.

Note: Minimum equipment is an SLR camera (film or digital).

Prerequisite: Studio Photography I.

Studio Photography 3


Use the techniques learned in Studio I and II to take your studio skills to the next level. In the Rankin Arts Photography Center’s studio, use multiple lighting scenarios to photograph live models. This class will be fast moving and hands-on.

Prerequisites: Studio Photography 1 and II, or consent of the instructor.

Portraits in Uptown


In this fun, hands-on class, you will learn a classic, low-cost, low-tech approach to creating beautiful portraits with any camera, virtually anywhere. Photographers of all skill levels will enjoy this fun class, which features a short classroom session followed by an Uptown Columbus photo shoot. You will learn to find beautiful light in a variety of locations. Bring your camera, fresh batteries, a clean memory card and wear comfortable clothing. One-hour break for lunch.

Macro Photography: The Close-Up


This Saturday class features a live macro photo shoot with the instructor, after which your work will be reviewed in the classroom. You will learn different applications for macro and micro photography as well as how to choose the best equipment and accessories.

Recommended prerequisite: Digital Photography I.

Creative Flash Photography


Digital flash photography can be frustrating for even experienced photographers. Learn strategies for getting more consistent exposures and techniques for using your flash on- and off-camera flash as a main, fill and bounce light source. Class will break one hour for lunch on Saturday.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I.

Fine Art Photography: Light and Subject


Your personal photographic style is determined by how you use light and how you approach your subject. In this four-week class students will pursue a deeper understanding of light and subject by analyzing the work of great master photographers through weekly assignments, discussions and media presentation. For intermediate and advanced photographers.

Prerequisite: Fine Art Photography Overview.

Portfolio Workshop


A well-designed portfolio makes a statement about you as a photographer, your skill level, and reveals your visual vocabulary. Review the various types of portfolios and the diverse functions they serve. You will practice the process of critical editing by reviewing and discussing each student’s best work. Each class will include lecture, discussion and media presentation.

The Newborn by Windowlight


Our Master Photographer will teach you to create a soft, warm environment that bathes a newborn in natural light and produce portraits that capture that mood. Spend the morning and early afternoon making portraits, then share your work with the class and receive constructive critique from the instructor.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I and II. Optional equipment: tripod.

Photoshop: Advanced Black & White


Adobe Photoshop offers a number of methods for converting full-color RGB images to black and white. This limited enrollment class teaches several of the best methods for converting to black and white and combining different versions of the same file using multiple adjustment layers and layer masks. Printing options are also discussed.

Prerequisite: Adobe Photoshop II

Photoshop: Creative Lab


Bring your own images and ideas to our digital imaging lab. This is an opportunity to practice the skills learned in our Photoshop classes. Although you will learn new advanced techniques, the emphasis in this class is as much why and when as how.

Prerequisites: Adobe Photoshop I and II

Creative Compositions


Once you have a clear understanding of your equipment and key techniques, you still need the experience necessary to recognize and create good photos. In this course, our master photographer will illustrate various strategies for creating good compositions. Later, you’ll have the opportunity to practice capturing those shots and receive constructive feedback from your instructor and classmates.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I

Fine Art Photography Overview


If you want to go beyond casual picture taking and seriously pursue the art of photography, this class is for you. The instructor’s photographs have been widely exhibited and are included in museum collections. In this four week class, participate in discussions and complete assignments in four important areas: light, subject, perspective and presentation. Each participant will receive a museum quality pigment ink enlargement of their best image, printed by the instructor.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I and II or comparable experience.

Your Camera Bag


Our instructor has traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Mexico and other places on assignment, and his gear has traveled with him. If you find yourself asking what camera, lenses or accessories you need, this fun informative class by one of our most popular instructors is perfect for you.

Turning Pro: The Real Business of Photography


Photographers who want to turn their passion into profit usually have lots of questions: What are the legal and financial issues involved? Is my photography good enough to sell? If so, how do I price my work? What are the most effective methods for marketing my work? What exactly does the word “branding” mean? Our instructor has the answers gleaned from decades of success as a professional. He is currently the co-owner of one of Columbus’ most successful studios.

Introduction to Sports Photography


Our award-winning instructor takes a break from photographing SEC sports to lead this hands-on class. Spend a Monday evening in the classroom, where she will show her work and discuss equipment and strategies for capturing the best action shots. On Saturday, practice your new skills, with the instructor, at a local youth sports venue. Then bring your work back to the classroom the next Monday to share. Your instructor will offer suggestions and gentle critiques.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography I, or instructor approval.

Live Shoot: Studio Kids


Do not miss this opportunity to observe an experienced and successful portrait photographer in action as he photographs his subjects in the studio. After observing, you’ll have the opportunity to see the results, get insights into a portrait photographer’s workflow, learn retouching and imaging strategies and ask questions one-on-one.

Prerequisite: Studio Photography I

Outdoor Portraits


Join a Master Photographer for this two-part workshop. On Thursday evening, you get an illustrated overview of location portrait strategies and photography techniques. On Saturday morning, travel to a scenic spot for a portrait session with a live model. After a break for lunch, meet at another location for more posing and photography. Everyone will have an opportunity to pose and photograph the model. Bring your camera, flash, memory card and comfortable clothing.

Prerequisites: Digital Photography I and II.

Private Photography Lessons


We custom design private lessons for individuals or small groups in the following topics: Digital Photography, Adobe Photoshop, Studio Photography, Location Portraiture, Event Photography, Wedding Photography, Digital Printing, Black and White Fine Art and more. Lessons are a great way to get even more out of our offered photography classes. Contact Kacie Stanelle at 706.507.8054 for more information.