Photo 109 Course Equipment and Supply Requirements

The Photography Department at Santa Barbara City College would like to welcome you and tell you a few things you will need to know before you begin. This will be a 16-week class dedicated to teaching you a great deal about the art and science of Photography. We will hit the ground running and this list will help you get prepared. Below is a list of what you will need. Because it is Department Policy that online students are permitted to use our facilities, please note that some of these items are only required for online students who choose not to use our facilities.


In this course, you will need a USB 3-compatible external hard drive of at least 1TB (Terabyte). This device connects to the computers in our lab and is necessary to store and transport your images. Images should not be stored permanently on College computers as they are not secure. This piece of equipment is extremely important for successful completion of this course.

SanDisk Drives are recommended and can be purchased on Amazon or for between $100 and $200


It is recommended that students use a Digital SLR or Mirrorless camera for this class; however, you may also use mobile devices such as phones or tablets at the beginning of the semester, though these will become somewhat limiting as the semester progressesSBCC has a limited number of cameras for students to use on a day-to-day, as needed basis.

Recommended: DSLR Camera

The Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera is the Industry standard for high quality photographs. An entry level Digital SLR such as the Canon Rebel series or Nikon D40 will more than suffice, though there are many cameras (Olympus, Pentax, Fuji, Sony) that will work as well.

You can expect to spend between $400 – $1000 for a good entry level DSLR camera and lens. If you have the resources, I would highly recommend a camera that can also shoot High Definition Video such as the Canon Rebel T3i, 7D, 5D Mark II or 5D Mark III. Or the Nikon D3100 or D5100. These are just suggestions… there are MANY more cameras to choose from.

Your camera should look similar to this:

Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera

Another Option: Mirrorless Camera

A mirrorless camera is a cross between a DSLR and Point and shoot camera. Consider it a point and shoot camera with extended, more professional features, and slightly less versatile than DSLR cameras, though also much smaller and portable. These cameras lack the optical viewfinder of DSLR cameras and may operate slightly slower. Still, image quality is excellent with these cameras.

A Mirrorless camera looks similar to this:

Mirrorless cameras
Mirrorless Cameras

In either case, these cameras have the following:

    • At least 10 Megapixels (MP)
    • Completely Manual Adjustments (Shutter, Aperture, Focus and ISO)
    • Removable lens
    • 5 stop aperture range

Beware. There are some cameras that look like DSLR and even mirrorless, but are not. Double check the specifications or contact your course instructor for clarification. A quick test for your digital camera is: if the lens can be removed and you can attach different lenses, it is more versatile.

There are also cameras you can borrow overnight with a student ID while taking this class in OE 184Links to an external site. starting Week 3. The cameras are fully manual, 35mm digital SLRs. Please be sure to read ALL of  (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) BEFORE you go to check out equipment with your student ID. Also note the hours posted for check out and return. These hours are held strictly by the staff and will be supported by instructors.


This course uses Adobe Lightroom Classic CC (Links to an external site.)… NOT LIGHTROOM CC.
There is a significant difference in the two versions.

Students may purchase Lightroom through the Adobe Creative Cloud (Links to an external site.) a subscription based service, which gives you access to the Adobe products of your choice for a low monthly fee. 

There are other programs available such as Photoshop (Links to an external site.) or Photoshop Elements (Links to an external site.) or Affinity (Links to an external site.) or any that will allow you to change your file size, rotate images, crop, color adjust, and sharpen images at the very least.

There is also free software that you may be interested in if you are on a budget. Go to (Links to an external site.) to read about it and then click on Downloads. 

Note: Lightroom and Photoshop are currently the industry standard. All lessons using software will be done using either of these programs. You are free to choose another program to work with, but I may not be able to help you with how to run it.

If you are in Santa Barbara, you have access to the Digital Arts Center (DAC) on campus, in the Administration building, free of charge as long as you are currently enrolled in a Photo class and bring your current SBCC ID with you or you cannot get in. The hours of the DAC change each semester.  You will want to call the campus and ask for the DAC Lab to confirm when they are open, the phone number is 805 965-0581 x2925.

A second place on campus to use computer and printer is in our photo equipment to complete assignments during this time!


Photo 1: An Introduction To The Art Of Photography  (Links to an external site.)
By Katie Stern
ISBN #9781111036416
This book is OPTIONAL.

It’s comes in handy as a reference, but is not required for the class. Although you can purchase this at any online retailer. It is recommended you purchase the eBook version of this text. The paper version is now very expensive, appears to be out of print, and a little difficult to find.



A USB compatible memory card reader to download images from your camera to your computer. On campus, our iMac computers have built –in card readers for SD memory cards (the small ones). You may also choose to download images directly from your camera. However, a card reader is always a good thing to have.


Again, because our program is fully digital, you will need to know the basics of desktop computers. If your only experience is with a phone or tablet, you may face a more challenging road as phones and tablets lack many of the more advanced functions we will use. Specifically, you should know how to find, open, copy, move, and delete files. When working with your digital files, you need to know your way around a computer. 

Our labs and classrooms feature Apple iMac computers. All instruction occurs with the Mac interface.


High Speed Internet Connection

A reliable DSL or Cable Broadband Internet connection for transferring large image files. If in doubt, check with your local Internet Provider to see if your connection is fast enough.


This final requirement is by far the most important. Come ready to learn, work, and put in the time to learn your craft! You will not be disappointed! If you have any questions regarding cameras or software or any other matter, please feel free to contact your instructor prior to the beginning of the semester.