Computer and Software

Laptops and Computers

Penland School’s photography labs have a few Macintosh computers available for students, but many times they are dedicated for a specific duty: printing, scanning, mixing, display, etc.  Students in this course need to bring their own laptop (desktop computer).

Either a Mac or a Windows laptop is fine, but the instructor and studio assistants are the most versed in Macs.  Make sure that your laptop is up to date and running recent versions of the operating systems.  Bringing a laptop to this course that isn’t working properly is not a good idea.  Also, make sure you have plenty of free disk space available for all the videos and images you will be creating.  You will easily fill up 100 gigs.

Bring a mouse!  Using a track-pad for PhotoShop can be annoying and after a few hours can be painful.  Bring a mouse!

You will be creating massive amounts of image files.  These should be back upped regularly and you may need additional storage space. Consider bringing some CDs or DVDs that you can burn files to.  Additional flash drives, camera disks, and external drives would be the best.


Photoshop and Premiere will be the workhorses of this course.  They are available for a 30 day free trial period for both Macs and Windows.  Students can download these the first day of the course and will have access to the software for the entire time.  DO NOT Download these in advance unless you are prepared to purchase them.  The software CAN ONLY be downloaded and launched ONCE on a specific computer.  Once the 30 days are up, you have to purchase it.

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