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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Raymond Jay Flaming
ARCHY 369
Seattle Campus

Special Problems in Archaeology

Delineation and analysis of a specific problem or related problems in archaeology focusing on developing research and scholarly communication skills.

Class description

Photography is uniquely both an intensely visual art and a highly trusted technical documentary tool. This course is designed for students to gain knowledge and experience in using cameras as scientific instruments. This is an essential tool to be an effective researcher. It may even help you be a better communicator and write better publications and papers. This course will focus on the archaeological application of imaging, and examples and assignments have a general focus on archaeological applications. However, students from other disciplines will find the course accessible, and there is no expectation that you understand the specifics of archaeological methods or theory. You may, with permission of the instructor, substitute lab assignments with subjects specific to your field of study.

Student learning goals

the basics of composing photographs, including lighting, focus, and framing

the basics of editing photographs, the ethics of editing photographs

displaying images: resolution, printing methods, etc,

images as data: 3D modeling from photos, the camera as a measurement device, analytics

images as evidence and support to an argument, how to critique the use/misuse of argument-by-image

General method of instruction

Lecture/Lab

Recommended preparation

This course will require you to take a large number of photographs using an adjustable digital camera. Given that many scientific projects are carried out using point-and-shoot digital cameras, an SLR camera will not be required. However, you will need a camera that can manually adjust exposure levels, has a macro setting, and a zoom lens. It should also have a flash and a place on the bottom to attach to a tripod. For one assignment, you will need access to a second camera, such as a cell phone. Sharing between class members is encouraged. Cameras can be checked out from UW Classroom Support Services for up to 7 days at a time. The Canon Digital Rebel they offer is perfect for this course.

Class assignments and grading

Lab Assignments (55%) The best way to become a good photographer is to shoot lots of photographs. During the lab portions of this course, you will have a weekly assignment, due Sunday night of the week it is assigned. These will be turned in via posting them on the class GoPost site. Go to the appropriate board for your assignment, and start a new conversation. Paste your images into your post along with any required text. You will be graded on how well your post fulfills the assignment, and the quality of your work. Each lab will be worth 5 points, except for for your final lab submission, which is worth ten. This equals a total of 55 points for the whole quarter.

Critique (18%) Seeing other students' work will help you evaluate your own and develop a critical eye. Each week, you will critique at least three other images from the last week's lab assignment. Look at the assignments others have turned in, and provide helpful feedback (critical is ok, but not mean). You may not add a second comment to an image until all posts from that week have at least one comment. You will receive full credit (2 pts) for delivering meaningful critique on-time. Points will be reduced for shallow or inappropriate feedback, or not getting your critiques done on time. There will be no critique of the final assignment, so 18 points are possible for the whole quarter.

Quizzes (27%) Each week in lecture section there will be a brief quiz at the end of class to test your comprehension of the lecture materials and reading. Each quiz will be worth 3 points. There will be no quiz on week 1, so quizzes are worth a total of 27 points.

Grades will be posted online in the Catalyst gradebook for this course. It is your responsibility to check your grades and bring up any problems to your instructor.

Scale At the end of the course percentage grades will be converted to the UW 4-point scale following the traditional American scale. This may be adjusted (to the student's advantage) at the instructor's discretion if the course grades do not conform to a Gaussian distribution.


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 Raymond Jay Flaming
Date: 06/06/2011