Dorothea Lange’s famed “Migrant Mother” montage (above) and the final shot (here).

Digital Imaging / Visual Communication

COMS 226 -01
Prof. Kovarik
email : wkovarik at radford dot edu

This course will examine digital imaging concepts, methods, history and aesthetics. Students will capture, edit and publish digital images and work on a variety of projects.  Aesthetic and technical coaching will be shared in an open and constructive spirit.

Quzzes and other resources are on Desire to Learn D2L site.

Class Atmosphere : In this class we will try to maintain an open learning   environment. After introducing the topic of the day, you should feel free to ask questions. When we move on to the exercises for the day, please feel free to consult with other students. Only on quizzes or tests would you be required to keep strictly to yourself and do your own work.

Submitting Projects: All assignments should be backed up and submitted via your external content management systems (wordpress, etc).

Attendance: Dont miss class if you want to understand this material. If you already understand the material and simply need to take the class, your participation in the learning  environment is very helpful to other students and can become part of your project extra credit work. So for this reasons, attendance is required.   Missing more than 10 % of classes will result in a grade reduction of one letter; missing more than 20% of the classes will result in a two letter grade reduction; and missing more than 30 % will result in a three letter grade reduction.

Textbook & Equipment:

Digital camera,  thumb drive for backups. Camera must be available for use during class time.

HARTMAN Edition:3RD 07 Publisher:CENGAGE L ISBN:9781418052591

Grades will be based on

  • Original digital photo assignments – 250 points
  • Photoshop techniques and other in class lessons – 250 points
  • Quizzes — 200 points
  • Attendance — 100 points
  • Final portfolio project — 200 points

Grading criteria for your original digital photo assignments

— Aesthetics:

  • Subject should be appropriate for all ages
  • Human subjects should be very, very close to the camera.
  • Theme is emphasized within the frame
  • Composition is balanced and proportional
  • Eye travel and sequence are considered
  • Rule of thirds is understood
  • Proportions are pleasing and dynamic

— Technical issues:

  • Light and colors are level and balanced
  • Pixel depth is 72 ppi
  • Size is no more than 10 by 12 and no less than 5 by 8
  • File is optimized for web (usually  as a compressed jpg).

Policiesturtle.exposure.corrected 20-22-27

Honor Code — Adherence to the University Honor Code is expected. The RU code reads as follows: By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated.


  • Disabilities policy:   If you are seeking academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act at Radford University, you are required to register with the Disability Resource Office (DRO).   To receive academic accommodations for this class, please submit your documentation to the DRO in the lower level of Tyler Hall Suites 54-69, by fax to 540-831-6525, by email to After submitting documentation to our office, you will set up an interview with a Disability Services Specialist to discuss accommodations. You will be notified via email once your accommodation package is complete and ready to be picked up. Once you have picked up your accommodation package, you will need to meet with each course professor during their office hours to review and discuss your package.  For more information and/or for documentation guidelines, visit or call 540-831-6350.

Other issues — Please be sure to consult with the instructor about any problems you may have. Do it early in the semester. Do not wait for the last minute. Please.

Catalog description of the course — Four hours lecture and laboratory. Instruction in the technology of digital imaging and photo journalism. Practice in the creation, editing and processing of digital images for use in various media with some emphasis on the World Wide Web. Visual communication theories and history of photography are also covered.
3.000 Credit hours