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 (

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DMA Digital Photography and Photoshop Courses Jump Starts a Photography Business


Copyright Heather Reid Kwok Photography

Images Copyright Heather Reid Kwok Photography

In July of 2006 I spent two weeks at the Digital Media Academy immersing myself in the world of digital photography and Photoshop. Since Photoshop was not the most intuitive software to me, I was glad for the hands on training to get a handle on the basic and more advanced editing tools that it provides.  The instructor knew his stuff!  He was able to show us how to achieve the same result using at least three different methods and explain which method he thought was best which helped me grasp just how much Photoshop had to offer.  It felt like drinking from a fire hose at times!  However by the end of the week, everything would start to come together and it was amazing to see how much I had learned in such a short time.

The courses were a great combination of out in the field shooting and in the classroom learning Photoshop.  I learned some valuable photography skills that helped me take better photos from the start and in the end saves me tons of time since getting the shot right the first time takes less time then trying to correct problems in Photoshop.  The small class size made it easy to get personal time with the instructor to ask my questions and learn what I was specifically looking to learn in these courses.

After two weeks I had gone from never using Photoshop to using Photoshop to edit all of my photos.  DMA’s courses allowed me to gain the skills and confidence to launch my photography business shortly thereafter.  Without the DMA course I never would have gotten my business off the ground and running so quickly.  Since the summer of 2006 my photography business has taken off thanks to DMA!    It’s the best investment of time and money that I’ve put into my business and I recommend these courses for any aspiring photography who is looking to lauch or take their photography business to the next level.

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Reflections on CUE Palm Springs

CUE 2009On Saturday evening, we wrapped up CUE 2009, where the Digital Media Academy provided hour long hands-on sessions that were attended by over 350 teachers, educators and administrators. Course topics included iLife Bootcamp Featuring iMovie & iDVD, Video Editing with Final Cut Pro, Web Production with Dreamweaver and Flash CS4 and Photoshop CS4 for Photographers. Attendees were taught by DMA’s professional instructors, including Tom Wolsky, Beth Corwin, Sandy Novak and Tom Tuttle, all regarded as gurus in their respective areas of expertise.

The following is one attendee’s reflections on her experience attending three DMA hands-on sessions. Linda Muhlhauser is the Digital Media & Computer Concepts Teacher and Webmaster for Murrieta Mesa High School in Murrieta, California on the southwestern edge of Riverside County.

Attending the CUE conference is like being immersed in a swarm of technology bees. The rush of energy and enthusiasm is contagious and exciting! After four years of attending the CUE conference, I have learned to come with streamlined goals of what I and my students would benefit from when I return on Monday. This year, ideas for the infusion of my new interactive writing pad into my curriculum were foremost. Using Wiki’s as a collaborative project will benefit my students in many ways; learning Internet etiquette, researching and reporting from primary resources and collaborating on a website project will be new for most of them. At CUE, the opportunity to learn about many technology tools is available but where is the training and support for all of this beyond CUE? The only one that I saw in the exhibit hall was Digital Media Academy.

Looking towards the future, as Department Chair of Technology at a new 21st Century high school with new monies to spend, I will be choosing hardware and software for our Digital Media programs. CS4 is on the list (the latest version I have is CS no number!), and my anxiety level toward learning the new suite of tools was definitely on the rise. The CUE schedule showed that Digital Media Academy (DMA) was providing mini workshops on Flash, Dreamweaver, CS4 and more. Dedicated to standing in line to get my admission ticket early, I was able to attend three of DMA’s workshops. Through clear step-by-step instructions given by the teachers in these workshops, my fears toward CS4 have been lessened. Obvious to me by the third DMA session, DMA’s CS4 “boot camp” training available in the summer would be exactly what I needed to be an effective teacher in the fall. DMA has caught my eye at past CUE conferences and this summer it will finally become a reality. Thank you DMA for the opportunity to learn!

Linda Muhlhauser
Digital Media & Computer Concepts Teacher/Webmaster
Murrieta Mesa High School (new HS opening in August, 2009)

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