Photography Certificate of Completion

Learn to use your new digital SLR camera, or come to refresh your skills.  Our courses will give you the confidence and expertise to express your creativity and practice your photography skills hands-on.  Our expert instructors will help you to feel confident in your photography skills and with your digital SLR camera.

Digital photo editing is a key element of photography which you will learn hands-on in our computer lab.  Beginners can choose Digital Darkroom Basics using Adobe Lightroom and if you have some experience with editing, you can take Advanced Digital Darkroom using Adobe Photoshop. 

Choose two or more optional courses to complete this certificate and to focus your skills on our variety of electives which include, Close-Up Photography, Black & White Photography, Sports Photography, and Portrait Photography.

Some courses include field trips to provide you with hands-on practice with our instructors. See below for more information.

  • Take your amateur photography skills to the next level
  • Develop your creativity, technique and eye for composition
  • Explore the possibilities offered by digital photography
  • Prepare to work in a professional photography setting

Some courses require a textbook: visit the Cougars Campus Store and search by Term and Department (XAFT).

  • Freelance photographer
  • Portrait and or Sports photographer
  • Photojournalist
  • Photography studio employee
  • Complete the 3 required courses plus 2 optional courses (75 hours minimum)
  • Can be completed within 2 semesters up to a maximum of 2 years
  • You can choose to take individual courses of interest (prerequisites still apply) OR earn your Certificate of Completion. You must complete assignments and meet attendance requirements if completing the certificate.

Required Courses

Foundations of Photography, Level 1
Master basic camera techniques so you can operate your digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera more effectively and creatively. Learn about camera controls, light meters, lenses, depth of field and lighting.
Note: Camera must have fully manual capabilities. There are several hands-on photo submissions to facilitate your learning. If you have no experience using a digital SLR, we recommend taking Introduction to Digital SLR Cameras before beginning this course. 

Subject code: XAFT 1000220 Hours. Fee: $299
CRN 30006 8 classes Jan. 28 - Feb. 25
Feb. 1 - 22
*No class: Feb. 15
7 - 9:30 p.m.
9:30 a.m. - noon
CRN 30099 8 classes March 18 - April 15
March 28 - April 18
*No classes: March 21 & April 11
7 - 9:30 p.m.
9:30 a.m. - noon

Note: You have the choice of either Digital Darkroom Basics OR Advanced Digital Darkroom as part of your Certificate. If you already have some editing experience, take Advanced Digital Darkroom. Beginners should take Digital Darkroom Basics.

Digital Darkroom Basics
Taking a well-exposed and well-composed photograph is a good foundation, but digital editing can enhance any image. Learn about importing, colour correction, cropping and more.
Note: Adobe Lightroom CC is used to teach digital darkroom basics.

Subject code: XAFT 10020 15 Hours. Fee: $279  
CRN 30566
5 classesJan. 27 - March 2
*No class: Feb. 17
6:30 - 9:30 p.m.Mon.


Advanced Digital Darkroom
Learn the techniques used by professional photographers to enhance and manipulate images. Practice retouching and building composite images. Explore your creativity using filters and HDR compositing.
Prerequisite: Foundations of Photography, Level 1
Notes: If you are already familiar with digital photo editing, choose this course instead of Digital Darkroom Basics. The course is taught using Adobe Photoshop and requires previous computer and image editing experience.

Subject code: XAFT 10032 15 Hours. Fee: $279
CRN 304285 classesFeb. 5 - 196:30 - 9:30 p.m.Wed., Fri.

Foundations of Photography, Level 2
Further your photographic vision by continuing to explore light, exposure and composition. This class will be split between classroom lectures and field trips where you will practice the techniques discussed in class.
Prerequisite: Foundations of Photography, Level 1
Note: This course includes field trips. You are responsible for your own transportation. Admission fees may apply. You may be required to sign a waiver form.

Subject code: XAFT 10026 20 Hours. Fee: $299  
CRN 301178 classesMarch 3 - 24
March 7 - 28
6 - 8:30 p.m.
9:30 a.m. - noon

Optional Courses for Certificate

Choose a minimum of 2.

  • These courses may be taken on their own if you are not working toward your Photography Certificate of Completion. You will be using Adobe Lightroom for photo editing during courses that have a scheduled lab time.
  • We strongly recommend completion of Foundations of Photography, Level 1 prior to registering in any optional courses.
  • For off-campus locations, you are responsible for your own transportation. Admission fees may apply. You may be required to sign a waiver form.
  • You will need a digital SLR camera with fully manual capabilities for the following optional courses; Close-Up Photography, Sports Photography and Portrait Photography (Level 1 & 2). A compact camera with manual settings or a mirrorless camera with manual settings are not recommended for these courses.

Close-Up Photography
A whole other world of photography exists all around us in life’s smallest things. Explore the fun and surprising possibilities with macro photography. Look at the gear and techniques for taking compelling photos of flowers, small animals and anything else that you may find interesting.
Note: This course includes field trips. You are responsible for your own transportation. Admission fees may apply. You may be required to sign a waiver form.

Subject code: XAFT 10027 10 Hours. Fee: $279 Not offered this semester

Black and White Photography Workshop
Explore the creative potential of black and white photography. Use compositional elements – other than colour – to create a visually strong photo. Enjoy a photo shoot followed by a digital lab session where you will edit and convert your photos into black and white.
Note: This course includes field trips. You are responsible for your own transportation. Admission fees may apply. You may be required to sign a waiver form.

Subject code: XAFT 10022 10 Hours. Fee: $279  
CRN 303224 classesApril 3
April 4
April 7
April 9
7 - 9 p.m.
1 - 4 p.m.
6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
7 - 9 p.m.

Portrait Photography
Photographing people can be one of the hardest types of photography to do well. Through photographing live models, learn the basics of portraiture: subject, posing, backgrounds and, most importantly, lighting. Shoot some portraits and head into the lab for a critical analysis.
Note for Portrait Photography Level 1 & 2: The studio equipment in this course is compatible with Nikon and Canon cameras. If you attend this course with another brand of camera, please be advised that you may not get the same quality of photos and may not be able to use all of the equipment.

Subject code: XAFT 1002510 Hours. Fee: $279Not offered this semester

Portrait Photography, Level 2
This more in-depth portrait course give you more photo shoot sessions to practice your portraiture skills. Learn about lighting, equipment and poses. Practice your editing skills in our computer lab. This course has a limited number of spots to allow maximum studio time for students.
Note: This course includes field trips. You are responsible for your own transportation. Admission fees may apply. You may be required to sign a waiver form.

Subject code: XAFT 10033 20 Hours. Fee: $479 Not offered this semester

Wildlife Photography
Provide students with an understanding of the camera equipment, safety and ethical considerations and challenges when photographing wildlife. For the purpose of this course, wildlife includes anything that moves/is alive (except people).
Notes:  A zoom lens of at least 200mm or more is recommended.
             Two local field trips will be included as part of this course. Students will provide their own transportation to and from locations.
Note: This course includes field trips. You are responsible for your own transportation. Admission fees may apply. You may be required to sign a waiver form.

Subject code: XAFT 10035 15 Hours. Fee: $239 Not offered this semester

Sports Photography
Explore the exciting challenges of sports photography. Learn the importance of exposure, composition and timing when shooting in a fast-paced setting. Take pictures at sporting events and bring them to their full potential in a digital lab. Includes opportunities to display and critique images.
Note: This course includes field trips. You are responsible for your own transportation. Admission fees may apply. You may be required to sign a waiver form.

Subject code: XAFT 10023 16 Hours. Fee: $289  
CRN 305677 classesApril 15
April 17
April 18
April 20
April 25
April 27
April 30
7 - 9 p.m.
6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
7 - 9 p.m.

Mountain Photography Workshop
Ever dreamed of taking your photography one step further? Explore the majesty of mountain views in Kananaskis Country through your camera lens over a weekend. Capture landscape imagery in the field focusing on night and early morning photography, long exposures, wildflowers, wildlife, the use of filters and composition. Accommodation and transportation are the responsibility of the participant.
Note: We strongly recommend completion of Foundations of Photography, Level 1 prior to registering in this course. You are responsible for your own transportation and accommodation. You must sign a waiver form. Details provided upon registration.

Subject code: XAFT 1001716 Hours. Fee: $399Not offered this semester


Introduction to Digital SLR Cameras
Do you have a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera with so many functions you don’t know where to start? Join our instructors as they guide you through this primer for digital SLRs and learn to use your camera on settings other than automatic.
Note: If you have no experience with your digital camera, we recommend that you take this course prior to registering in Foundations of Photography, Level 1. Camera must have manual capabilities. Bring your camera and manual to class.

Subject code: XAFT 10018 6 Hours. Fee: $129+GST Choose 1 of the CRNs below
CRN 300841 classJan. 199 a.m. - 4 p.m.Sun.
CRN 300851 classMarch 149 a.m. - 4 p.m.Sat.

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has become "the" software for photographers who want a powerful and efficient photo editing tool. Gain an overview of this complex software, from importing images to printing and presenting your photos. Note: Adobe Photoshop Lighroom CC is used in this course.

Subject code: XAFT 10030 6 Hours. Fee: $129+GST  
CRN 304252 classesFeb. 6 - 136:30 - 9:30 p.m.Thurs.

The Business of Photography: Starting Out
Learn about the photography business from the pros. Understand copyright, protecting images, business start-up, portfolio development, model release forms, commercial photography and pricing your work.

Subject code: XAFT 10013 8 Hours. Fee: $139+GST  
CRN 306263 classesMarch 9
March 15
March 16
6 - 8 p.m.
10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
6 - 8 p.m.

Creative Lighting: Speedlite
Gain practical experience using the Canon Speedlite flash system, explore various settings of this versatile external flash and take your photos to their fullest potential.
Prerequisite: Foundations of Photography, Level 1
Note: This course is for users of Canon cameras and flashes only. An external flash is required for this class.

Subject code: XAFT 100296 Hours. Fee: $199+GST 
CRN 905521 classNov. 309 a.m. - 4 p.m.Sat.


Instructor Spotlight: Tracy Elliot
Tracy Elliott has been taking photographs all his life. He grew up documenting the people, places and activities around him. This passion for photography has now turned into a profession. Tracy is a part-time event, wedding, landscape and adventure photographer. He also has a passion for the outdoors, whether it’s a hike to photograph some flowers, or to get out and have some fun biking, snowboarding or canoeing. Though there has been less time for this since his 10-month-old daughter has arrived.
Tracy graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Arts in photography, drawing and painting. He has furthered his photographic knowledge by completing the New York Institute of Photography’s professional photography program. His photos have been published in a number of local publications.
His landscape photography is represented by The Gallery on Main in Lacombe, Alberta. You can view his work here:
As an outdoor educator, Richard developed a passion for photography and began documenting his outdoor adventures. Focusing mainly on outdoor adventure sports and landscapes, his work has won awards and been featured in a variety of Canadian and international product catalogues and climbing publication.
Colleen De Nevessadata_ce_colleen_deneve
Colleen De Neve is a long time, award-winning Photojournalist who has spent more than two decades working for publications across Western Canada including 16 years at the Calgary Herald.

Her passion for photography has opened doors allowing her to capture everything from world leaders to professional sports playoffs.  Colleen is now an freelance Editorial Photographer based in Calgary. She loves traveling the world with her family and photographing the sites and sounds of their adventures.

Colleen brings her wealth of street photography knowledge and experience to Mount Royal’s Continuing Education Photography program. You can view her work here:
Jasmine Burtonssadata_ce_jasmine_burton

Jasmine Noëlla Burton has been a photographer since her early 20's. Assisting still life and editorial portrait photographers in Montréal during her photography studies, she quickly realized that photoshop manipulation; fine art printing and scanning of film was her niche.  Once she decided to change paths from her studies in Fine Arts, she decided to complete a Photography Degree at Dawson College to deepen her understanding of digital manipulations and studio technology. After a few years of shooting events and weddings in Montréal, Jasper and Calgary, she decided to pursue teaching photography and freelance in art/travel/portraiture, which is definitely where she finds herself best. 

Her photography work consists of taking the simple elements of our world, and letting them be. They present themselves, they smile, they frown or they look in curiosity. They are objects that lay on the ground, float or fly in the wind. Positive film, black & white, high quality archival printing, minimal photoshopping. Rolleiflex is her weapon of choice and also Nikon for a digital format cameras. You can view her work here:

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Contact us

For information about the certificate program and individual courses:
403.440.6867 or 1.888.392.3655
Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary AB   T3E 6K6

Customize this program for your organization through our Corporate Training department.

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