DMA Central


Digital Photography and Photoshop For Teens in San Diego

(c) 2010

Kyle Knox, San Diego County. Photo courtesy Chris Owen. (c) 2010

I once spent some time with a very accomplished professional photographer who was in Ansel Adam’s photography home group back in the day. He told me something very shocking about Ansel’s philosophy of getting the “magic shot.” Just shoot, shoot, shoot.  It will come. I couldn’t believe it.  This is coming from not just one of the worlds most respected photographers, but the one who invented what we know as  THE ZONE SYSTEM. Most universities teach Ansel’s system religiously as a standard of where to start in the world of photography.

With the influx and availability of digital camera’s and media, the problem certainly hasn’t been one of shoot, shoot, shoot, but one of edit, edit, edit.  And honestly, in the digital world, it’s our biggest enemy. Overshooting that is.  At some point, we all approach a threshold where we long again for the art and simplicity of photography.   The balance remains in the approach.  Knowing when to let the shutter loose to sing, and when to move on and find inspiration elsewhere.

This Summer the pre-teens at UCSD will be jumping in the mix to learn about digital photography from a technical, yet highly artistic perspective.  All the basics of camera functionality will be covered, along with incorporating lighting, exposure and aperture to create both fun and professional images.

The photographic experience only starts while looking through the lens.  As the photographers of old used to say, the darkroom is 80% of an image.  Well, in this world, the digital darkroom (photoshop) is about 95% of making great imagery.  We will learn all of the foundational principles in Photoshop  that into creating great images.  Subjects covered will be using layers, adjusting levels for exposure compensation, and yes — removing all the little annoyances such as blemishes and red eye.

There’s plenty to cover, and the kids will have a blast while exploring their creativity and leveraging all the technical tools available to make images into the “magic shot” that all photographers, in every generation dream of.

by Chris Owen (

[Bloglines] [] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Adventures: Kids Learn Web Design and Flash

I’m Ben Jaffe, one of the instructors for Digital Media Academy’s Adventures Program. I teach Game Design and Web Design.

I love teaching Web Design to 9-13 year olds. One of the best parts about DMA’s Adventures Web Course is the software we use. We teach the kids how to use Adobe Photoshop, Flash and Dreamweaver. We use Photoshop to create and modify graphics, and we take some of these graphics into Adobe Flash to add movement to them. Finally, we use Dreamweaver to build a full website and upload it so they can share it with friends and family.

We see Flash files everywhere on the web. YouTube uses a flash player, and most web banners and online games are created with Flash. Dreamweaver is used to build and manage websites of almost any scale. Photoshop is used for image modification and preparation. Virtually every image in every print publication has been modified with Photoshop. It is even used to prepare graphics for videos!

Our students learn how to use the same tools that the pros use. Photoshop, Flash, and Dreamweaver are the industry standards for graphics, animation, and site design. After taking our course, many students continue using the software to create websites and media. Middle schools and high schools often have a few licenses of the software. Knowing these applications gives anyone a distinct advantage in the job market.

When I first learned about Photoshop, I was in 9th grade. I took a multimedia class, and we covered Photoshop in moderate detail. There suddenly were so many possibilities open to me, and so many fun projects to work on. I impressed my family by creating realistic-looking photo compositions, and eventually made my way into video. Now, I do graphics, animation, video and audio work as a profession. It only took that brief introduction to pique my interest. The seed was planted. But the job I enjoy most is teaching, because in every class, there is a chance that one kid might latch onto what I teach them, and blossom.

I hope to see you this summer at DMA!

[Bloglines] [] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments