VAFA151 Introduction to Photography

Department of The Arts: Photography

I. Course Number and Title
VAFA151 Introduction to Photography
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
4050
IV. Prerequisites
None
Corequisites
None
V. Other Pertinent Information
It 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.
VI. Catalog Course Description
Students 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.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Students will:
      1. apply skills in the use of black and white photography;
      2. demonstrate competency in the exposure, development, and printing of negatives in black and white photography;
      3. develop an appreciation of the historical development of photography;
      4. develop their creative, expressive, and aesthetic skills through the production of photographic imagery;
      5. apply the vocabulary of the arts as they develop rhetorical skills regarding their own work and that of others in the class; and
      6. analyze projects through critiques, oral presentations, and discussions.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Category I:
      Creative Expression
      Students will:
      1. create a unique, personal, finished product appropriate to the medium.
      2. perform a critical examination and assessment of their work, as well as the work of others.
      3. demonstrate an understanding of the language, formal qualities, structure, and interpretive methodologies relative to the medium.
      4. articulate how they got from the initial concept to the final product.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    1. operations of an SLR camera (including loading film, focusing, rewinding, releasing the shutter, etc.)
    2. characteristics and differences of the various formats (35mm, medium format, large format)
    3. principles of light and exposure
    4. elements of shutter speed and aperture
    5. meter readings from a grey card
    6. contemporary B&W films and successful control of the subsequent development/processing of those films
    7. basic darkroom procedures, including making proof-prints, contact sheets, test-strips, and enlargements
    8. control contrast of photo through the use of contrast filters
    9. work for presentation (including spotting final prints and other presentation/portfolio concerns)
    10. language and terminology of photography
    11. student and group critiques that examine the technical and aesthetic proficiency of photographs created in the course
    12. history of photography and some of the significant contributions made by major photographers
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Student assessment is based on tests/quizzes, together with the successful completion of assigned projects, the presentation of projects, and critiques.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. 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.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    1. 35 mm camera with manual control ability (student will be required to have)
    2. film and photographic paper
    3. handouts are often given
    4. a reference book is often required
    5. darkroom equipment and chemistry
    6. see course format
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Section 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