Online Artph 305 Materials FAQ

I get lots of questions before the class has even read the syllabus about what you need. Perfectly understandable and kudos for wanting to be prepared…but if I answered every individual email I’d be typing away all day!  :)  So instead I made this post for you.  If you have any more questions about it, please wait til class meets, as all teachers are in an insane amount of meetings the week before school begins, and I won’t have time to respond.

First, this list is for Professor Worsfold’s digital class Artph 305. If you are on the waitlist, I would either wait to buy this or I’d make sure you don’t open it and keep receipts in case you don’t get into the class.


First and foremost, the camera. And not just ANY camera…a smartphone isn’t enough to complete this class; you need a digital camera with manual controls…meaning a digital slr (or mirrorless) with full set of apertures and manual controls. They usually look like this:

Canon t6i

The most important thing to look at is the aperture setting for a full range of apertures. If you’ve got that then most likely all the other features will be there. How do you know what apertures are there? Well, here’s what you do: change the setting on top of the camera or in your menu to Av (or A. Either way, it stands for Aperture).

camera dial

Then move the dial on the camera and watch the numbers change. On just about any camera, you’ll see numbers 2 through 8. To be a fully manual camera, you need those numbers to go up to at least 16 (some go up to 22 or 32, which great.)

Yeah, but what camera do I buy? You’ve got two major brands I’d suggest: Nikon or Canon. My personal preference? Canon. Nikons are just as pretty and have nice lenses, but the dials are difficult to use and the manual can be hard to read. If you’ve already got a Nikon, no worries. Just bring the camera and the manual to class. If you are buying, I’d suggest getting a Canon T2i, T3, T3i or T4i , T5i , T6i or T7,  plus newer T8i’s, or the entry level SL3‘s etc. If you’re used to film cameras, I personally love the Fuji X100series and XE3, but mirrorless has pricier lenses, and many people prefer the Sony A7…and neither are cheap, so I say start off with Canon until you know what you like to shoot, then upgrade after a few years. I’m linking to amazon stores (check reviews folks), but you can get really good deals on used stuff at, a used store that I trust. (There’s also more expensive models like the 7D or Mark IV, but that’s a lot for a beginner to handle.)

Yeah, but I have camera blah blah blah, does it work? Read the first two paragraphs of the post and test it yourself.

If you read this, ignored it and try to rattle off your camera model on the first day of class in an email or in zoom…I’m going to make you take it out and I’ll give you these same instructions to try in front of me, lol.  We want you to be the master of your camera, and you gotta start somewhere, right?  

Software: This is the other biggie, and will become especially important after the third week. You will need access to Adobe Bride (it’s a free download) and Photoshop CC.  Photoshop CC is a subscription service that you buy thru, but you only need to buy the smallest photographer’s package, which you can find at:  (You can go to the LRC and use Adobe CC there, or connect remotely, but you need to plan for time to do that every week if you do that)

Other stuff you need:

Memory card for your camera. Get one that is only for your homework, no family stuff! I suggest  8 Gb cards. If you get a huge one like 16 or 32 Gb, you will have a hard time loading it thru Photoshop because you’ll have too many pictures on your card.

Depending on your camera type, you will buy a different memory card format; CF and SD are the two most common.

File Storage: You’ll need a place to save your edited files. Even if you have them on your computer, you’ll want a cloud backup just in case. Google drive is free through the school and it can handle jpegs, but you may want to have a flash drive or dropbox account for raw files if you’re a prolific shooter. I use dropbox, myself.

Tripod: It’s not required, but it is helpful.  And it doesn’t have to be fancy.  I have a cheapo that I bought at walmart years ago I still take out when doing street photography.  You do want to make sure it’s made for dslr cameras, not iphones or point-and-shoot cameras.

Random Stuff:

  •  A photo grey card:  A real one, not some random piece of grey construction paper.
  • Time to Shoot and Practice Techniques: Besides the time you spend at your computer watching the tutorials and readings, you’ll need to set aside a couple of hours every week to shoot your homework.
  • Portfolio: Normally we’d have a printed portfolio, but as we’re online, no printing requirements, other than turning in the files correctly.
  • Usb cord: you *may* need this. You should get one in the box with your camera, but if you’ve lost it, let’s wait and see if you actually need it before you buy another. Some of you will be able to transfer via wifi, but I still do it the old way because the files are so big when shooting raw.

Where do I buy all this stuff? Well, the camera can be bought at Best Buy,  Costco, online at for safe used equipment…you want it to come in a kit with the lens, battery, charger, and usb cord, so look for those deals. You can also might find them at Action Camera, PhotoSource, or Mike’s Camera, but I would call first. You never know if some other student bought it already and they’re out of stock.

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