Photography Course Descriptions

Core: Level One Courses

Refer to Certificate Program Guide for specific semesters offered.

Drawing is an essential means of communicating, and central to every artist’s and designer’s practice. This class is a more rigorous and sustained introduction to the drawing medium. Drawing I students begin learning to define shapes and forms with line: investigating weight, direction and speed through gesture, contour and planar analysis. Then moving on to value, using both additive and reductive ways of working, they learn to utilize the power of light and dark to create a sense of texture, volume and space. Spatial systems, including perspective, are investigated as well as fundamentals of composition to construct dynamic imagery. Measuring and attention to negative space are essential skills used and reinforced throughout the learning process. Transcribing what is seen or imagined into visual form utilizing multiple approaches, from note taking to rendering to diagramming and sketching, is explored. The class is structured around demonstrations, guided exercises, and sustained drawing of varied subject matter including still-life, landscape, architecture and the human form.

Design is the discipline underlying all forms of visual expression, and an understanding of design principles is the basis for all art forms. This course introduces students to the formal elements of design: line, shape, pattern, value, texture, color and space. Working through a variety of challenging exercises, students use these elements to engage with problems of visual organization. Deliberate and considered placement of visual elements into an organized whole is the basis of composition, and skills acquired in this course have direct applications to anyone working in art and design, from painters and artists to art directors, illustrators, interior designers and interactive designers.

Color is one of the most powerful, and complex, tools at the artist’s disposal. Bridging the divide between color theory and color practice, this studio course distills the essentials of color mechanics into workable studies and projects. Students explore color through creative exercises using collage and paint to understand color and how to use it effectively. Explorations of the role of light, the psychological impact of color, and how such factors as hue, value and intensity affect design are integral to the learning. Slide-illustrated presentations address the historical background of the use of color. Through the process of experiencing the interface of color theory and color application, guidelines toward developing a personal palette are discussed. Mastery of color is essential in the work of artists, illustrators, craftspeople and designers, making this course an ideal starting point.

This course for new and amateur photographers introduces ways of seeing through the lens and makes plain the underlying two-dimensional design issues and visual concepts hidden within the photographic image. Through weekly assignments and critiques, students explore ways to use photography and photographic conventions for their unique personal expression. Lessons include the technical operations like focus, shutter speed and aperture common to all cameras, and how they influence artistic choices. Whether you are interested in traditional or digital photography, this course provides a strong foundation for any subsequent photographic pursuit.

Explore the interdisciplinary relationship between imaging, coding, text, animation and video that come together as the designer’s toolkit. This fast-paced digital media course is ideal for the novice or even the intermediate user desiring a better understanding of computer-based workflow. A single unified Web design project, built over 12 sessions, is broken down into manageable lessons that include bitmap editing, vector graphics, page layout, image capture, preservation and manipulation. The terminology, protocols and connections between products are made clear as you become familiar with the techniques necessary for anyone who designs digitally.

Varies by semester. Electives may be taken at any point in the program, provided prerequisites have been met.

Concentration: Level Two Courses

Refer to Certificate Program Guide for specific semesters offered.
Note: Successful completion of the Core curriculum (above) is crucial prior to starting the Concentration level.

Unleashing the power of bitmap editing involves working with non-linear and non-destructive methods as much as possible. This course presents that workflow using Adobe Photoshop. Lesson topics include layer masks and effects, smart objects, adjustment layers, clipping masks and reverse editing methods to create the most subtle and professional edits to files – a necessity in the fields of photography, graphic design, illustration and Web design. Complete color modification, damage repair, digital make-up techniques, and complex graphic compositing are among the exercises that come together in a final project that demonstrates your competency with Adobe Photoshop.

Beyond the basics of the Photoshop tool kit lies a sea of possibilities for image adjustment and manipulation. Intended as a followup to Adobe Photoshop, this in-depth course pays particular attention to advanced image controls for color correction, exposure with contrast adjustment and overall image refinement. We revisit selection tools and explore their advanced uses for creating masks, layer masks and paths. Lectures and demonstrations are supported by in-class and homework assignments, where students have the opportunity to investigate new techniques and apply them to their own photographs. Emphasis is given to developing an image workflow, and we cover the particulars of file formats and organization, as well as color management and calibration. We also begin to explore the finer points of digital printing.

Learn to make better and more thoughtful photographs using the digital single-lens reflex camera. Through lecture, demonstration, classroom exercises and individual assignments, you can expect to become more confident as you make technical and conceptual decisions. Each session incorporates lessons in DSLR operation, processes and terminology. Topics include camera RAW workflow, histograms in-camera and in Adobe Photoshop, lenses, light control and metering. Studio lighting equipment and printing options are previewed so that you gain familiarity with the associated gear and output. Whether your interest is in photography for exhibition, documentation or personal growth, this course provides a solid foundation for further exploration.

Experience “light” as an expressive material in this course that combines technical and aesthetic lessons for the intermediate-level photographer. The classroom is a lighting studio where you’ll be instructed in the proper use of continuous, strobe and flash light sources, their modification tools (grids, flags, soft boxes) and the supports, grips and stands that provide structure. Build confidence with the gear as you participate in group exercises, as well as individual assignments. Throughout the term the instructor offers a historical context by presenting the work of photographers who understand the creative potential of studio lighting.

Students in this course continue their exploration of the creative potential of the digital camera. Strong emphasis is placed on critique throughout the class, as students develop their editorial abilities and take greater responsibility for their artistic choices. Early assignments focus on developing a strong sense of composition while exploring historical approaches, and build to a multi-week final project for which students are encouraged to experiment with new approaches to image-making and presentation formats. Note: This course was previously titled Advanced Digital Photography Studio.

Your family photos on the mantel are evidence of the deep tradition of the photograph as an object of great importance. The photographic print as an object of beauty and value underlies this course, which examines the generation, presentation and preservation of the digital photographic image. In this age of pixels and camera RAW files, image longevity requires a complete understanding of archival inks and the image’s digital profile. Students in this course build upon their existing knowledge of Photoshop as they learn to properly balance the variables that create a stunning image on paper. Throughout the experience, participants become more familiar with the digital workflow as they gain a new understanding of this final step in the digital photographic printmaking process.

The goal of this course is to create a body of work that can serve as a central portfolio piece. As we follow the development of this work through its evolution from concept to finished piece, we discuss factors relating to the photographer’s workplace. We deal with preparing work for digital, slide and print portfolios; marketing work for the Web, galleries and other clients; and preparing work for exhibition and presentation. Storage concerns such as archiving and preserving digital prints are discussed, as is the digital photography marketplace in relation to event, wedding, portrait, commercial and fine art photography. Certificate students: Your instructor will schedule a final portfolio review date, independent of the scheduled class dates.

Varies by semester. Electives may be taken at any point in the program, provided prerequisites have been met.