Photography at DVSA

Photography classes at Dundas Valley School of Art emphasize photography as art practice, encouraging you to explore the various avenues of expression available through the use of this flexible medium. Introductory courses are designed to help you gain control of your camera as a tool. As you progress, the focus shifts to helping you develop a unique vision and voice – from learning how the camera sees, to considering the aesthetics of image and translating subject into photographic visual language.

“I take photos differently now than I did before. I think about light, shadows, background, angles. I now understand what makes a photograph interesting.” – DVSA photography student


Our digital photography courses for the Hamilton and Burlington region are structured to build progressively and deliver a solid photography foundation. Introductory courses place an emphasis on understanding and gaining control of the camera and increasing your confidence in using the exposure modes to improve results.

Photography concepts explored include camera functions and modes, ISO, shutter speed, f/stop, histograms, focusing, lenses, composition and lighting techniques as well as a basic introduction to digital image processing. Feedback from instructors and fellow classmates will help develop your “eye” and personal style. Class sizes are small (maximum 12 students), providing a good student/teacher ratio. Lessons are designed to be hands-on with your camera and paced accordingly to allow absorption of the material.

We have a 12 station media lab that features Mac computers, an LCD projector for displaying images and a professional quality colour printer. You will need to bring a camera to class, but we recommend holding off on camera purchases; consult first with your instructor for guidance.


In the Intermediate to Advanced photography classes, you’ll be exposed to new techniques and concepts and a variety of approaches that introduce an increasing level of complexity and challenge. Project examples include a consideration of the aesthetics and inspiration of the photo masters, greater in-depth instruction on photo editing software and the development of digital image management skills.

As you progress, the focus becomes less on the technical aspects of using your camera and more on broadening your vision and exploring the possibilities of the photographic frame. Field work, assignments based around photographic concepts and critiques of your images that invite positive group feedback offer opportunities for hands-on and engaged learning. Our instructors, all of whom are working artists and photographers, offer mentorship and creative guidance in DVSA’s welcoming and supportive environment.


For those looking to further their skills, a variety of shorter workshops are provided throughout the year offering specialized instruction in landscape, still life, portrait and macro photography, lighting techniques, digital image editing/organization software and more.

Featured Photography Courses