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“Digital Image Retouching: Evaluation Assignment” was developed in the context of a 2017-18 CTL sponsored mini-grant where the course HUA 231 Digital Photography II, which was formerly an elective, was redesigned as a required course in the Photography program. As part of the mini grant work, program’s curriculum map was also adjusted to reflect the changes. The students in HUA 231 are usually in their second to last semester as this is an advanced digital class. They have taken the pre-requisite HUA 131 (Digital Photography I) in earlier semesters. The assignment will be implemented for the first time in Fall I 2018.

Digital retouching has become a staple of the commercial photography industry. This exercise shows the students the level of quality that will be expected of them after graduation, along with helping them to become market ready. Although I do this assignment with beauty images, it can be done with any type of photographs (landscape, architectural, street, etc.) as the emphasis is on the application of the newly acquired skills and workflow of the students. The evaluation of the newly acquired knowledge and the students’ progress is done by comparing the before and after images. The difference is clear and immediate and does not require any photography training to assess. Making the students work on real world commercial assignments allows them to be more engaged in the learning process as they see a clear learning outcome to those exercises. This assignment allows the students a more sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of the digital process as a whole. All the steps involved in the processing of an image coalesce into a more organic and logical knowledge structure. The students’ expanded understanding of the context and new arsenal of tools at their disposal, allow them to better assess the needs of an image and then implement the necessary steps. It is aligned with the Integrative Learning Core Competency and Digital Communication Ability rubrics, and will count for 20% of the student’s final grade. The first part of the exercise allows for the faculty to establish a baseline of the students’ digital knowledge and understanding of what a professionally finished image should look like. Assigning this early in the semester also allows the faculty to have a good sense of the class’ general knowledge; it also provides the opportunity for early syllabi adjustments if necessary. The students are able to self-assess their progress and have a true representation of their newly acquired skills. This often helps them realize how much they have progressed and is very beneficial to their self-motivation.

LaGuardia’s Core Competencies and Communication Abilities


This resource is part of the Learning Matters Assignment Library.

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