Photography: Initial Resources

Materials, texts and equipment required to complete this unit
Photography: An Introduction is organized around four modules. Each of the modules has a series of activities. The requirements for the activities are explained in the assessment section. What you need to complete this unit.

A. Unit Materials

This guide provides the basic materials for Photography: An Introduction There is also a series of recommended readings – details of which are given below.

B. Texts

(No textbook will be required for this unit.)

All the information will be supplied with this unit. You may wish to supplement your unit material with a suggested reading list below.

Selected Recommended Reading

Butkowski, J &
Van Kempen, A. (1998) Using Digital Cameras.Amphoto Books, New York.
Gersheim, H. (1986). A Concise History of Photography, Dover, New York.
Hedgecoe, J. (1998). The Art of Colour Photography M.Beazley Publ. London.
Hirsch, R. (1991). Exploring Color Photography. Brown & Benchmark Publ.Wisconsin.
Patterson, F. 1985. Photography and the Art of Seeing. Key Porter Books.Toronto
Smith, B. (1985). Designing a Photography Amphoto Publ. New York.
Weschler, L. (1984). Cameraworks: David Hockney, Thames & Hudson. London
Zakia, R. (1997). Perception and Imaging. Focal Press, Boston.

Photography Magazines

Black and White
Pro Photo
Photo Review
Australian Digital Camera
Better Photography

Online resources

C. Equipment and photographic materials


This unit is more concerned with developing your capacity to see and capture good image-making opportunities than it is with developing your technical capability, hence we are not concerned about the type of camera that you use for your photographic activities. You can use either a conventional ‘analogue’ film camera or a digital camera.

If you aim to develop a serious interest in photography, then you will want a good camera — and that will probably mean a single lens reflex camera. You can either a 35mm Analogue version or (DSLR) Digital camera. Most professional photographers choose Nikon because of its robustness and quality. There are a number of cameras in the Canon & Nikon range. However, for a person who is not practicing photography as a profession, one of the models at the lower end of the range is likely to be most appropriate. Most amateur photographers feel that they cannot afford a camera as expensive as a Canon & Nikon. If you want to buy a good quality camera, but feel you cannot afford the cost of a Canon & Nikon then there are a number of other brands, which are also well regarded by experienced photographers. The most respected of these would be Olympus, Pentax and Minolta.

The most important component of a camera is the lens. The quality of the lens affects the sharpness and distortion of the images that can be produced. Single-lens reflex cameras generally offer interchangeable lenses. The cost of the lens of a single-lens reflex camera may account for up to half the cost of the camera.

If you want to buy a camera but cannot afford a single lens reflex, then you will no doubt be looking amongst the Point-and-Shoot cameras. In this range there is wide choice. Again, you would be well advised to stay with the more respected brands, which are likely to give you more years of trouble-free service.

If you are in the market for a camera and are on a tight budget, you should not overlook the secondhand market. An older top quality camera may produce sharper images than a new camera costing several times as much. Of course the older camera will not have the sophistication of the modern camera. However, remember that the factor that matters most in a camera is the quality of the lens and the reliability and accuracy of the shutter mechanism. Also with the advent of the Digital Revolution this has made way for great bargains to buy high end medium format – Hasselblad, Bronica SLRs and large format Plaubel and Sinar cameras.

Remember that a good camera is a piece of precision equipment. If you look after it well, it will last you a lifetime.

For reasons of practicality and because this is an introductory unit, we have specified that the images you produce should be low resolution sufficient to view them on a computer screen and easily manipulated to be upload onto the Learning Hub.

D. Digital Imaging Equipment

To share or submit images online, you will need a way to digitise and resize them. This can be done in one of many ways:

* With a scanner.
* Scanners come in many forms and range in price from under two hundred dollars to tens of thousands. Most scanners will fall into one of two categories:
* Flatbed scanners can be used to scan prints and other flat objects;
* Film scanners will scan film (slide or negative) and give better results than flatbed scanners, although they are higher in price.
Both types of scanner usually come with software that allows you to specify the size of the image you scan. I would recommend the Epson Photo range scanners.
* With a digital camera. Taking your images with a digital camera will obviously digitise them directly.


7 thoughts on “Photography: Initial Resources

  1. Looks like an interesting unit! I will take a unit like this at some stage during my course, there was one I was looking at I think it was a Griffith VIS unit where you take photos and learn how to use all the features of photoshop. Photoshop has always confounded me when I’ve tried to work it out myself!

    • Hi Jamie 😀 It does look interesting! I can’t wait to start! This unit is through RMIT, and they have a range of really interesting units, including MMC140: Digital Imaging with Photoshop and MMV110: Photographic Digital Imaging. This unit is VIS15 and so far it just looks amazingly thorough! 😀

  2. Oh yes MMV110 was the one I was looking at.. it seems difficult to pick as some of these units look like they’d overlap a bit, so I think I’ll get some advice first. Enjoy the unit anyway! 🙂

  3. Hey Dec, are you liking this Unit? I’m thinking of doing it next year. And its good to remember that there’s no such thing as the “perfect camera” (it hasn’t been invented yet) – but the BEST camera is the one you have in your hands!

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