Short Course

Introduction to Digital Photography Night Class

Learn the basics of digital photography! Great for beginners that are looking to get control
of the technical aspects of their camera.


12 February 24 –
08 November 24


Dunedin School of Art, P Block
19 Riego Street North Dunedin , Otago 9016,
New Zealand

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About the course

Everyone has a camera, but do you know how to use all of its capabilities?

Learn the basics of digital photography! This course is great for people who have recently bought a camera and want some help discovering what it can do. It will help you get to grips with controlling your shutter speed and aperture as well as an understanding of how ISO, white balance and RAW shooting impact your images.

Alongside learning how to use your digital camera, we will look at basic editing in Adobe Photoshop (black and white editing, RAW processing), sorting and filing digital images and post-production options for your photos. This class is suitable for beginners.

2024 dates

This course is delivered on Tuesday evenings (6pm-8pm) for eight weeks. 

We offer one intake per term:

Term Dates
Term one 12 February - 12 April
Term two 29 April – 21 June
Term three 15 July - 6 September
Term four 16 September - 8 November

It is only possible to enrol for one term at a time. There will be no classes on public holidays. 

Enrolments for the following term will open on the Wednesday before the current term starts, i.e. approximately 9 weeks before the start date of the next term you wish to enrol for.  

What if I want to attend the same course next term?

If you want to repeat this course, you will need to apply and pay for each term separately, via our Eventbrite platform (by clicking the link above).  

Course fees

$240 per term 

You will study

  • Exposure (aperture, shutter speed, ISO)
  • Camera settings (white balance, focus)
  • Adobe Bridge basics
  • Photoshop basics (black and white, RAW processing)

Please note: This course does include some small homework tasks for some weeks.


This class will be run by Harry Simperingham.  

Harry studied photography at Yale University, before going on to graduate in psychology instead. His photographic interests include interrogation of the union right between narrative and non-narrative photography and the irresistible human urge to tell a story about the image. Harry also enjoys using photography and the frozen image as a tool to present the everyday world as it goes unseen by the human eye. 

Equipment required

  • A digital camera with manual settings.
  • A portable storage device (portable hard drive or a USB thumb drive)
  • A USB card reader
  • Notebook and pen (optional)
  • Your camera’s manual, printed or electronic (optional).

Learners under 16

  • We welcome learners under 16 but they do need parental consent to take this night class. 
  • If you are a learner under 16, please do the following:
    • ask your parent or guardian if it's okay for you to do this night class 
    • apply online and tick the box during the application process that says that you are under 16 
    • ask your parent or guardian to send an email to (Art Night Class Administration) letting us know that they're happy for you to take the night class.

Refund information

For our 2024 enrolments you may be issued a full (except for Eventbrite fees) automatic refund up to 7 days before your event starts by requesting a refund through Eventbrite.

Refund requests after this date can be made by contacting (Art Night Class Administration). These will be accepted on a case-by-case basis when exceptional circumstances are present. No refunds will be accepted after the start date of the class.

Please note, classes are offered on the basis that enrolment is for the full course.


All classes are held in the Photography Studio at the Dunedin School of Art. Go to the main entrance of the Dunedin School of Art at 19 Riego St (off the Anzac Avenue end of Albany St). The Photography Studio is on the first floor, halfway along the main corridor.


Is my camera suitable for the course?

The types of camera that are suitable for this course are:

  • DIGITAL SINGLE-LENS REFLEX (DSLR) are digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. They combine the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film
  • MIRRORLESS INTERCHANGEABLE LENS CAMERA (MILC) are digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. It is called mirrorless since it does not have a mirror in the optical path and instead uses the image sensor to provide the rear image display and/or the image electronic viewfinder.

Do I need to buy anything for the class?

Throughout the class, there will be items recommended for you to buy. These items are optional. However, you will need to buy a USB card reader for class (where you can buy this item is covered in the first week of class).

Will there be any additional costs during the course?

Yes, there will be a couple of extra costs. However, these will change from student to student and will be explained during the first week of class. 

What do I need to bring for the first week?

  • Your camera with a fully charged battery (and its manual if you have it)
  • Notebook and pen
  • Yourself!

Do I need to be a whiz on the computer?

It will definitely help if you have used a computer before as you will be using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop as part of the course (you don’t need previous experience with these programmes). If you have never used a computer and are nervous about the computer component of the course, you may wish to complete a computer course beforehand.

I am purchasing a camera for the class, what would you recommend?

If you can, a good option to begin with might be borrowing a camera from a friend to test it out first. Otherwise, to benefit you in the long run, perhaps look at getting a DSLR or MILC camera (Removable Lens).

If you go into Jonathan’s Photo Warehouse on George Street in Dunedin, ask them for recommendations for the type of things you want in a camera and your budget. They should be able to point you in the right direction. You can also look up reviews and specs online which might help with your decision from the recommendations given.

As for the lens, get a single lens kit (better for learning as you won’t need to swap lenses) with an 18mm-105mm lens, or something similar.

Any other questions?

For enquiries, please email

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.