VAFA151 Introduction to Photography
Department of The Arts: Photography
Course Number and TitleVAFA151 Introduction to Photography
Number of Credits3 credits
Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester4050
Other Pertinent InformationIt is required that students have a 35mm SLR camera (capable of manual control/operation). There is a studio supply cost for this course listed in the catalog. Additional lab hours are required.
Catalog Course DescriptionStudents learn the basic photographic processes, from making an exposure to making a final print. Students use the camera and darkroom techniques in black and white still photography to explore the visual world. The course is designed to treat photography as a medium of personal expression.
Required Course Content and Direction
- Course Students will:
- apply skills in the use of black and white photography;
- demonstrate competency in the exposure, development, and printing of negatives in black and white photography;
- develop an appreciation of the historical development of photography;
- develop their creative, expressive, and aesthetic skills through the production of photographic imagery;
- apply the vocabulary of the arts as they develop rhetorical skills regarding their own work and that of others in the class; and
- analyze projects through critiques, oral presentations, and discussions.
- Core (if applicable) Category I:
- create a unique, personal, finished product appropriate to the medium.
- perform a critical examination and assessment of their work, as well as the work of others.
- demonstrate an understanding of the language, formal qualities, structure, and interpretive methodologies relative to the medium.
- articulate how they got from the initial concept to the final product.
Creative ExpressionStudents will:
Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:
- operations of an SLR camera (including loading film, focusing, rewinding, releasing the shutter, etc.)
- characteristics and differences of the various formats (35mm, medium format, large format)
- principles of light and exposure
- elements of shutter speed and aperture
- meter readings from a grey card
- contemporary B&W films and successful control of the subsequent development/processing of those films
- basic darkroom procedures, including making proof-prints, contact sheets, test-strips, and enlargements
- control contrast of photo through the use of contrast filters
- work for presentation (including spotting final prints and other presentation/portfolio concerns)
- language and terminology of photography
- student and group critiques that examine the technical and aesthetic proficiency of photographs created in the course
- history of photography and some of the significant contributions made by major photographers
Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:
- Course Student assessment is based on tests/quizzes, together with the successful completion of assigned projects, the presentation of projects, and critiques.
- Core (if applicable) The core learning goal of creative expression is assessed on the basis of a final project/portfolio accompanied by a written statement that addresses the overall concept of the project and its development using appropriate technical and aesthetic vocabulary.
Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:
- 35 mm camera with manual control ability (student will be required to have)
- film and photographic paper
- handouts are often given
- a reference book is often required
- darkroom equipment and chemistry
- see course format
Teaching Methods EmployedSection VIII is no longer being used in new and revised syllabi as of 12/10/08.
Review/Approval Date - 12/04; Revised 3/2010; Revised 4/2012