The Photography Department at Napa Valley College provides instruction in the use of traditional and contemporary photographic techniques. Majoring in photography with emphasis in traditional or digital imaging will provide the student with basic aesthetic principles as well as an extensive range of practical photographic techniques needed for college transfer, entry into the photographic workplace, or for artistic expression.

Course work includes black and white processing and printing, digital imaging, studio lighting, experimental and non-silver processes, zone system techniques, and portfolio preparation. Students are encouraged to develop a personal, expressive style in addition to achieving technical excellence.

The Photography curriculum is designed to build fundamental technical skills in the operation of 35mm, medium and large format cameras, using traditional and digital camera systems. In addition, all classes emphasize the importance of creativity and originality in image-making through a progressive series of conceptual assignments.


Outcomes Assessment

The assessment process provides faculty, staff, and administrators with an opportunity to engage in open, evidence-based dialogue about student learning, to identify areas for improvement in teaching and learning at the course and program levels, and to sustain the conditions that foster student success at the institutional level. The results of learning outcomes assessment are used in concert with other measures of institutional and program effectiveness to guide curriculum development, resource allocation, professional development, and strategic planning. In these ways, outcomes assessment satisfies the goals of engaging in dialogue, identifying effective practices, continuously improving, and communicating the results of assessment and student learning to the campus community.

Program-Level Learning Outcomes for the Photography Department (PLOs)

  • Critically evaluate and understand the aesthetic, cultural, and political development of Photography in historical and contemporary cultures 
  • Create finished images for professional/fine art applications based on principles of effective design and communication 
  • Translate concepts and experiences through images
  • Present finished design products for peer, professional or academic review 
  • Evaluate and critique photographic work and receive criticism from others 
  • Work collaboratively and communicate effectively with others on photographic projects 


For more information about the Photography Department, Please contact:


John Dotta

Program Coordinator



Kelly Dunn

Photography Instructional Assistant IV