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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Rebecca Cummins
ART 140
Seattle Campus

Basic Photography

Introduces theory, techniques, and processes of still photography in an artistic context. Emphasizes photography's creative potential.

Class description

This is a studio art course concentrating on the methods, approaches and techniques related to photography's potential for artistic expression (this is not a course focusing solely on how to use your digital camera). See the "recommended preparation" for camera and memory cards necessary for the course. The textbook, "A Short Course in Digital Photography" London and Stone is now available in the U Bookstore. A clicker "ResponseCard RF LCD" is also required and can be picked up at the University Bookstore.

NO prerequisites required

Student learning goals

To achieve competence in basic digital photographic techniques

To develop creative responses to assignments, i.e., to "think outside the box"

To successfully initiate, develop and express unique personal aesthetic solutions

To understand the importance of process and experimental approaches to discovery and learning

To think critically and objectively about your work and that of your peers.

To develop an awareness of meaning in visual art and contemporary photographic artwork.

General method of instruction

Content will be delivered through slide lectures on photographic artists and techniques, field trips to local exhibition venues and location sites, demonstrations, workshops, discussion, readings, reviews and consultations. Activities will be comprised of camera operation, concept development, digital image processing, lighting, photograms in the B/W darkroom and on-line presentation.

The required textbook, Barbara London’s: Short Course in Digital Photography is now available at the University Bookstore.

Recommended preparation

A digital camera with manual controls over aperture, shutter speeds and focus is required - a cell phone camera is not sufficient; an SLR digital camera will offer infinitely more control and flexibility and is highly encouraged. A 1 GB memory card is also required. You will spend approximately $60 on printing your images; commercial printing facilities will be utilized.

Digital cameras are available for check-out from CSC in Kane Hall, but having access to a camera for the entire quarter is highly advantageous.

Class assignments and grading

Each student will complete photographic projects (both on-line and in print form) and participate in group reviews, lab work and discussions. Each assignment is designed to stimulate consideration of a specific conceptual approach and to encourage unique aesthetic solutions but may be realized with a range of creative solutions.

Assessment is ongoing throughout the quarter. Regular group reviews of your photographic assignments are a valuable and essential component of this class. Evaluation will be based upon the conceptual development / adventurousness of your ideas and technical progress.

In addition to the merit of your photographic work, assessment will also be based upon your level of contribution to discussion, your written review and your on-line contributions as reflections of engagement and critical thinking.

Also, refer to the School of Art guidelines for assessment criteria, which will be handed out in class.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Rebecca Cummins
Date: 03/21/2014