Christopher W. Weeks

SAMPLE PHOTO I SYLLABUS:


 

PHOTOGRAPHY I
PGY 2401C
SPRING 2008

INSTRUCTOR:  Christopher W. Weeks  E-MAIL:  cweeks@hccfl.edu
TIME:  Wednesdays, 6:00 – 10:10pm               PLACE: VAB 220
OFFICE HOURS:  YVAB 220,Wed 4:30–6:00pm
                                                         

REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS:    PHOTOGRAPHY (9th edition) by Barbara London and John Upton
                                                     PHOTOGRAPHY STUDENT HANDBOOK (available in the book store)

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides a basic understanding of the technical aspects of black and white photography involving camera operation, exposure control, film processing, print enlarging and finishing. The students will become familiar with photographic materials, as well as artistic composition and design.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  The objective of this photography course is to provide a basic understanding of the visual and technical skills necessary to pursue and appreciate photography as a Fine  Art.  This course will cover all aspects of black and white photography involving camera operation, exposure control, film processing, enlarging, print finishing and presentation of the final image.  In addition, the class will introduce a variety of historical and contemporary photographers as well as issues and theories within photography.  The student will strive to bring technical control into accord with artistic vision.  It should be noted that this photography course is an ART COURSE:  it does not address itself to vocational skills and results.  Students will be evaluated upon achievement of the technical and aesthetic excellence rather than personal improvement, strength of effort, or excessive quantity.  Individual creativity, visual problem solving and precise craftsmanship will be stressed.

 

COURSE OUTCOMES:  Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:  Understand the basic technical aspects of black and white photography involving camera operation, and exposure control/selecting appropriate f-stops and shutter speeds for different picture taking problems/interpret in-camera reflected light meter readings/arrive at appropriate exposures in a variety of lighting situations/bracket exposures/utilize a tripod/demonstrate competent and safe practices in the photographic facility while developing black and white film/define the functions of and properly utilize the following chemicals for processing and printing in the black and white darkroom:  film developers, stop bath, fix, paper developers, hypo-clearing bath and photo-flo/operate in the black and white darkroom with RC paper and the appropriate chemistry/select from a test strip the appropriate density for an initial print/identify and make correction in the areas which need burning or dodging and use the proper contrast filters when necessary/prepare final exhibition quality images for critique/ spot and drymount images for presentation/critique the form and content of photographs in a class peer setting/state significant historical contributions and technical innovations pertinent to the development of photography/use photography as a medium of personal expression/demonstrate the creative process through class discourse.

COURSE CONTENT/PHILOSOPHY:  Although this is an introductory course, it is about more than just taking pictures; it is about moving beyond snapshots and learning to efficiently articulate visually using the photographic medium.  It is about learning to see photography as a fine art form and to create visually compelling and exciting images.  It is about learning to see and think differently and freeing up your perceptions of photography which will allow you to maximize your artistic expression using this medium.  If you were thinking that this course would be a hobby class or an easy “A”, THINK AGAIN.

All prints handed in for critiques and final portfolio will be mounted or matted.  Mounts should be no less than 11x14” mounts for 8x10 prints.  Please do not submit work on boards smaller than 8x10”  -- use of standard sizes is encouraged.

All work will be original, done for this course by the student at the direction of the instructor.  Negatives shot prior to the class should not be used for current assignments.  All work is due at the specific dates scheduled and failure to turn work in on time will result in a lowering of the project grade (unless permissions is granted prior to the class).

 

INSTRUCTIONAL METHODOLOGY:  This course will be presented in traditional instructional methodology, utilizing lectures derived from the required text, slide presentations, demonstrations of photographic processes in the lab and darkroom to engage the students in the learning process.  Projects/assignments will be required to accomplish the required photographic tasks mandatory for completion of the class expectations.

 

CLASSROOM CONDUCT:  Any disruptive behavior during class time will not be permitted.  The use of cellular phones and beepers during class time is not allowed.  If disruptive behavior becomes a consistent problem, you may be asked to leave the class.

 

ATTENDANCE:  Your attendance is not requested, it is required.  If you miss any of the lectures, demonstrations, lab days or any of the other class activities you are not fulfilling the requirements of the course.   You are expected to fully participate on all lab days.  This means you will have work to do while in the lab on these days.  If you do not have work on lab days, extra work may be given to you.  Failure to attend a critique will result in a failure of that assignment.    If you accrue more than three absences, you will not pass this class.

 

REQUEST FOR ACCOMODATIONS:  If, to participate in this course, you require an accommodation due to  a physical or learning impairment, you must contact the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities.  The office is located in the FAC building.  You may also reach the office by telephone at (813)253-7757.

 

EVALUATION OF GRADES:
This class is both expensive and time consuming.  Film and Photo paper are costly and are not supplied through the lab fee.  You will need to spend time outside of class in order to complete the required assignments and projects.  You can plan on spending a minimum of 12-15 hours a week outside of class time in order to complete the requirements for this class.  All work is due at the specific dates scheduled.  NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED!  Any exceptions to this rule would need to be discussed with the professor.

Each of the first three assigned projects will receive two letter grades, one dependent upon technical skills and image presentation, and the other on conceptual ideas and image content.

(4.00)  A (90-100)                   Outstanding work.  Work meets all class requirements and demonstrates an
                                                exceptional degree of quality and
                                                effort in assignments. 

(3.00) B (80-89)                     Above average work.  Work meets all class requirements and demonstrates
                                                a high degree of quality and effort in assignments. 

(2.00) C (70-79)                     Average work.  Work meets all the minimum class requirements and
                                                demonstrates an acceptable degree of quality and effort      in assignments.

(1.00) D (60-69)                       Poor work.  Work meets some but not all the class requirements but may be
                                                missing elements and/or lacks quality and/or effort in assignments.

 (0.00) F (59 and below)         Failure.  Meets few of any of the class requirements, Inadequate and/or
                                                incomplete assignments, quality and effort in assignments.


                                               
GRADING BREAKDOWN:       

PROJECTS I, II & III will receive two letter grades: on one
dependent upon technical skills and image presentation, and another based upon conceptual ideas and image content.

THE FINAL PORTFOLIO will be double weighted, resulting in the technical and conceptual grades being entered twice.

THE MID-TERM EXAM will be 10% of your final grade

PARTICIPATION and attendance on all critique days is mandatory
Failure to attend a critique will result in a failure of that assignment.

 

OVERALL BREAKDOWN:                               VISUAL ASSIGNMENTS:              60%
                                                                                 MID-TERM EXAM                        10%
                                                                                 WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS:         10%
                                                                                  CLASS PARTICIPATION:            20%

Accepting this syllabus is the equivalent to accepting a binding contract.  You, as the student, will be held to the standards and requirements outlined in this document.  Make sure that you read it carefully and understand all it’s guidelines.

 

THE LAST DAY TO CHANGE YOUR GRADE STATUS TO AN AUDIT IS JANUARY 11 2008.
THE LAST DAY TO DROP THIS COURSE WITH A “W” MARCH 13, 2008.
**(You must fill out a drop slip --  simply no longer showing up to class will get you an “F” not a “W”)

 

 

EQUIPMENT (also see materials list in student handbook):

            The Art Department Photo Lab will supply all of the chemistry you will need for the class.  You will be responsible for your own photo paper, mounting materials, film and developing eqiupment.  You will need to purchase the following items during the course of the semester.  You will be using the same equipment for Photo II and the same textbook if you plan to take the sequence of photography courses offered.

 

CAMERA:       Students must provide a 35mm or 120 equipped with manual controls (manual
override on automatic settings necessary) shutter, aperture, ASA settings, focusing controls, in-camera light meter, normal 50mm lens

FILM DEVELOPING SUPPLIES:

FILM:  (black and white only) Kodak Tri-X 400.  Do not use  Ilford XP-2 or Kodak CN400 (these need to be processed in a color lab)
FILM DEVELOPING TANK & REEL:  for 35mm or 120 size film, depending on the camera format being used by the student.  Plastic tanks and reels are what I would suggest, stainless steel tanks and reels also available
TOWELS AND APRON:  cloth towels are mandatory for working in all wet areas of the photography facility to keep dry areas dry (a hand towel is mandatory, you must have one with you whenever you work in the labs)
PHOTOGRAHIC THERMOMETER:  Dial or stainless steel recommended, not glass without protective case
NEGATIVE SHEETS: Plastic pages for storage and protection of your negatives.  You will probably want a three-ring binder to store your negatives and contact sheets as well.
SCISSORS & BOTTLE OPENER:  For opening film canisters  and cutting film

 

PRINTING SUPPLIES:

PHOTO PAPER:  RC (resin coated) photo paper is recommended for beginning students.  Ilford Multigrade (8x10, pearl or glossy surface) is preferred.  Oriental Seagull Variable Contrast or Forte Polygrade Variable Contrast papers in glossy or semi-matt are also acceptable.
MULTI-GRADE FILTERS: Ilford MultiGrade or Kodak Polycontrast #s 0 thru 5
MANILA ENVELOPE:  For turning in your projects – MANDATORY – must be large enough to accommodate your prints and mounting boards, a small artist portfolio is fine also
GRAIN FOCUSER:  Important for making sure that your prints/images are sharp

 

PRINT FINISHING AND MOUNTING SUPPLIES:

MOUNTING BOARD:  Bright White Rag Mat Board
DRY MOUNTING TISSUE:  Seal Color Mount for RC or Kodak Type II Tissues
SPOTTING BRUSH:  0/7 or smaller round-tipped watercolor brush for touching up dust spots on photographs

OPTIONAL ITEMS:

Film Cleaner
Canned Air
Lens Tissue or Photowipes
Dodging and Burning Tools (collect cardboard and wire coat hangers to make these)
Masking Tape
White Cotton Gloves (for negative handling)
White Sheet of Glossy Poster Board
Water Cup and/or Watercolor Palette
X-Acto Snap-Off Heavy Knife and a T-Square or other straight edge

OTHER ISSUES:

You will be responsible for your equipment and materials.  The Ybor School of Visual & Performing Arts, or your professor will not be responsible for any articles lost or damaged during the class.  Be sure to put your name on your equipment and supplies and do not leave your belongings behind or unattended. 

Please confidentially bring to the attention  of the instructor  any handicapping conditions  requiring  special considerations.

Only currently enrolled photography students are allowed to use the darkroom facility.  The darkroom cannot accommodate friends, neighbors and family members.  Please do not bring visitors to the darkroom facility. 

 

 

ASSIGNMENTS:

 

ASSIGNMENT #1:  EVIDENCE OF MAN:  This assignment limits subject matter to inanimate, man-made objects so that the photographer may concentrate on handling the camera, calculating the best exposure and composing the subject matter creatively.  The main emphasis is on the mechanics of the medium and an introduction to the composition and the  photographer’s relationship to the things around him or her.

REQUIREMENTS:                     Minimum three 36 exp. rolls of film shot and processed
                                                       Contact sheets of all rolls
                                                        Minimum of three 8 x10 prints
                                   

ASSIGNMENT #2:  A PERSONALITY REVEALED:  Create two series of portraits:  one of someone or something other than yourself, and one of self-portraits.  The photographer will concentrate on portraiture in such a way that they will reveal the character behind the subject, the personality.  Take into consideration what it is that actually constitutes a portrait, what are the things that are associated with self-image, and the various ways in which you may be able to convey the essence, personality, and main characteristics which make up your subject across to your audience in a visual medium.

REQUIREMENTS:                         (To be divided evenly amongst your two sets of portraits)
                                                            Minimum four 36 exp. rolls of film shot and processed
                                                            Contact sheets of all rolls
                                                            Minimum of six 8 x10 prints

 

ASSIGNMENT # 3:  WAYS OF SEEING / THE DECISIVE MOMENT.  Shoot images of people, places and things, keeping in mind Cartier-Bresson’s theories on the decisive moment.  Also consider some of the various styles and photographers discussed in class, and think about issues such as how and why things are seen and photographed the way they are.  Pay attention to what you see in your viewfinder.  Continue to develop your eye for composition and image making.

REQUIREMENTS:                          Minimum four 36exp rolls of film shot and processed
                                                            Contact sheets of all rolls
                                                            Minimum of five  8 x 10 prints

 

ASSIGNMENT # 4:   FINAL PORTFOLIO/NARRATIVE/FABRICATED IMAGERY: Create a series of narratives which exist in either diptych, triptych or other sequenced forms.  Be conscious that the light in the photographs plays an important role in the meaning and structure of both the individual images as well as the storylines as a whole.  NO FLASH ALLOWED!  If you want or need to manipulate your lighting, do so with clamp lamps of other light sources.  Pay attention to your sequencing and the way in which your images relate to one another.  Also, think strongly about the presentation of your final work.  The manner of presentation must fit the conceptual idea which the work is based around.

 

REQUIREMENTS:                          Minimum of five 36exp rolls shot and processed
                                                            Contact sheets of all rolls
                                                            Minimum of twelve 8 x 10 prints
                                                            All images must be spotted
                                                            ***All work must be presented in an exhibition ready, finished
                                                            manner -- remember, the manner of presentation must fit the                                                             conceptual idea which the work is based around.

 

CALENDAR: 

WEEK 1:

WED., 01/09                        

Outline of course objectives and supplies.
Tour of darkrooms.
Discussion of procedures for usage and access.
Brief intro to photography & photograms
READ:  Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 15 & 16 in the Photography text
             

WEEK 2:

WED., 01/16                        

LECTURE:  THE CAMERA
Examine/Explain camera parts/basic functions
Discuss film exposure -- ASA, f-stops, shutter speeds
READ:  Chapters 4 & 6 in the Photography text
READ:  Handout on Darkroom Procedures
ASSIGNMENT #1:  EVIDENCE OF MAN          

 

WEEK 3:

WED., 01/23                                    

LECTURE/DEMONSTRATION: Introduction to film processing.
***Bring an unexposed practice roll of film as well as at least one exposed roll of film and a processing tank and reel.
READ:  Chapters 7 & 8 in the Photography text

 

WEEK 4:

WED., 01/30                        

DEMONSTRATION: Introduction to printing, contrast control
Bring a processed and sleeved roll of film to class to work with along with
photographic paper
                                                           

WEEK 5:

WED., 02/06                        

LECTURE/DEMONSTRATION:  Burning & Dodging
Discussions of fine-tuning print quality and tonal range control
Bring cardboard and wire to make burning and dodging tools

LECTURE/DEMONSTRATION:  Spotting, Matting & Mounting
Discussion of various aspects of photo finishing
Bring several practice prints to work with
           
REVIEW:  Overview of course material for mid-term exam

 

WEEK 6:

WED., 02/13                        

LECTURE:  THE PORTRAIT AND THE SELF PORTRAIT
ASSIGNMENT #2:  A PERSONALITY REVEALED
VIEW/WRITE:  Go to the library and find a portrait done by  one of the photographers discussed in today’s lecture.  Write a one or two page essay analyzing the image, discussing how it constructs and/or deconstructs the individual portrayed.  Discuss your image in terms of subject matter, formal elements and content.  See the “Art Language”
handout distributed in class for more information. 
ESSAY MUST BE TYPED!!  Include a Xerox of the image.  (DUE: 03/05)

 

WEEK 7:

WED., 02/20                        

MID-TERM EXAM  

Lab Day

 

WEEK 8:

WED., 02/27                        

CRITIQUE #1:  EVIDENCE OF MAN

 

WEEK 9:

WED., 03/05                        

LECTURE:  WAYS OF SEEING/DECISIVE MOMENT
Slide Lecture of various styles in the history of photo revolving around Caritier-Bresson’s ideas of the decisive moment.

ASSIGNMENT #3:  DECISIVE MOMENT

VIEW/WRITE:  Go to the library and look up one of the photographers discussed in today’s class and write a one or two page essay analyzing a single decisive moment image by one of these photographers. This is not to be an artist biography, but rather a critical  analysis  of the image. Discuss your image in terms of subject matter, formal elements, content, symbolism, artist intent and how hit ties into the concept of the Decisive Moment.  See “Art Language” section of the Lab Manual for more information.
ESSAY MUST BE TYPED!!  Include Xerox of image..  (DUE: 03/19)
PORTRAIT ESSAY DUE  

 

WEEK 10:

WED.,03/12                         

CRITIQUE #2:  A PERSONALITY REVEALED (PORTRAITURE)

 

WEEK 11:

WED.,03/19                         

LECTURE:  IMAGE AND NARRATIVE
Slide presentation of photographers working in diptychs, triptychs, sequences, collages and multiple exposures.   Discussion of various types of lighting and its effects on the visual, emotional and technical aspects of images.
ASSIGNMENT #4:  FINAL PORTFOLIO
VIEW/WRITE:  Go to the library and look up an artist   discussed in today’s class, working with narratives  and sequencing. Choose a series of images and write a one or two page essay analyzing them and how they work together. This is not to be an artist biography, but rather  a critical  analysis of the image. Discuss your image in terms of subject matter, formal elements, content, symbolism, and artist intent.  See “Art Language” section of the Lab Manual for more information.
ESSAY MUST BE TYPED!  Include Xerox copy of images. (DUE: 04/09)

DECISIVE MOMENT ESSAY DUE

 

WEEK 12:

WED., 03/26                        

NO CLASS / MID-TERM BREAK
                                                           
                                               
WEEK 13:

WED., 04/02                        

CRITIQUE #3:  DECISIVE MOMENT
                                               

WEEK 14: 

WED., 04/09                        

Lab Day

NARRATIVE/FABRICATED ESSAY DUE

 

WEEK 15:

WED., 04/16                        

Lab Day

 

WEEK 16:

WED., 04/23                        

FINAL CRITIQUE   
                                               

WEEK 17:

WED., 04/30                        

PICK UP FINAL PROJECTS & GRADES

DARKROOM CLEAN-UP (MANDATORY ATTENDANCE)