Intro to Digital Photography: Learning Through Vision


Photo Phenomenons: Juniors Katherine Mcwhirter and Zoey Glickman take photos for their new class

Historically there are two different facets of mind. Conventional wisdom says the left side is more analytical and methodical, while the right side of the brain is more creative and artistic. Deryll Johnson’s Intro to Digital Photography course is the perfect blend of both artistry and methodical training for teenagers who are looking to expand their transcripts and their artistic capabilities through the medium of visual arts. 

The Introduction to Digital Photography course, otherwise known as IDP, is a brand new course to North Atlanta’s curriculum. Beginning this year, the class is a follow-up to the Graphic Design course for individuals who want to expand their knowledge on digital design and potentially hone in on their future career choice. The class consists of photo assignments like self-portraits, landscapes, and there’s also an accompanying focus on developing technology skills within Photoshop. 

The overarching goal is for students to create a personal website along with developing a personal brand that they will carry forward beyond high school.   

How did the class begin? Johnson says it was a spur-of-the-moment choice following a curriculum mistake. “I was stuck teaching a computer programming class when I suggested to Mr. Douglass that we make a class based on my specialty in photography,” he said. “Next thing I knew, Ms. Kaltman called me up and told me I was going to be able to teach my passion to my students.” 

Johnson believes that visual art is the key to unlocking students potential. He said he wants those in his class to start as students and then expand on that through their creativity. “If I told you that once upon a time I was making money from my passion at night and working as a teacher during the day, would you believe me?” he said.  

Additionally, Johnson wants to harness the abilities of individuals who work better outside of the ‘regular’ courses. “Math, Science and History are all courses that are concrete in the curriculum,” he said. “I want to give students who are like me, unique learners, a skill set in order to make money doing something they love.”

The ongoing objective at the school is to build a curriculum that fosters academic and creative channels for expression. The introduction of digital photography is a big step forward for students who wish to learn artistically. or, in other words: Learning through vision.