ART 265

Spring 2019
CRN 20820 
TR 2pm to 4:55pm

BEC 156

In this class, we will explore many concepts and techniques related to the creative use of your digital camera and image editing software.

We will be using the textbook Complete Digital Photography by Ben Long as a companion resource to the class and readings will be assigned from the text. You will also be required to own or have at your disposal for the duration of the class, a digital camera, memory card and the accessories necessary for you to transfer your images to a computer. You will also need time: practice of the concepts we'll cover will be absolutely necessary for you to learn them.

We will also learn a great deal about the editing of digital images on a computer.We will be using Adobe Photoshop Elements for this work and I highly recommend that you consider purchasing Adobe Photoshop Elements ($80) for your own computer, even though you can use it on the school computers.

Some of the things you will learn in this class include (outcomes):

  1. Students will use a digital camera creatively to capture successful landscape images, portrait images, night-time or long exposure images, fill-flash images, panoramic images and other "montage" techniques, and a photographic series designed to present a broad concept, story, progression or other idea through the presentation of ten or more images.
  2. Students will learn about how shutter speeds, aperture settings, ISO settings, White balance settings, zoom settings all affect your images. 
  3. Students will use the Adobe Photoshop Elements organizer to import and organize all of your digital images.Also, we will use this program to create slideshow presentations, search images based on tags and categories, use Adobe Photomerge, Process multiple files, and more.
  4. Students will use Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor to crop, rotate, enhance, colorize, sharpen, and optimize your images. We will also discuss more advanced techniques of using tools to selectively adjust images such as the clone stamp,dodge,burn,sponge,healing brush, and more.
  5. Students will make selections within digital images with a variety of different tools in Adobe Photoshop elements so that images can be selectively blurred, sharpened, colorized.
  6. Students will use layers to combine multiple different images to create composite images from different sources.We will also master a special technique for creating shadows and reflections to make these composites realistic.
  7. Students will gain a brief understanding of working with digital video and Adobe Premier Elements

Grades will be based on completed projects that will be discussed within class and due at a specified time. This discussion will be a presentation called a "critique". During each critique, every student will present their work and help the rest of the class understand what it is intended to express.

Each project will be graded at the time of the critique and incomplete projects will receive an appropriate grade.  Grades can be made up within two weeks of the project for extenuating circumstances, but not after.  Part of the grade for each image will be based on what you have to say about the image, as an artist statement.  This will include elaborating on what the image is trying to express.  Explain your motivations for your work. Photographs without artist statements will not receive a full grade.

During the first crique we will outline the protocol for discussing images during the critique.  All students are encouraged to participate. Grades will be based on participation in the critique, technical expectations of the project, and the artist statement.

ADA statement: students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations:those who have emergency medical information of which the instructor shouldbe aware; those who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation; orthose who may require specific instructional accommodations should notify meas soon as possible, or contact the Disability Services office in the BoyleEducation Center.

COCC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution..

Daily Breakdown:

Day1: Introduction to the class, the textbook, and recommended equipment.Also, basic introduction to digital cameras and accessories.

Day2: Introduction to lenses, focal length, auto focus, camera modes, proper exposure, exposure compensation, difficult lighting situations, and white balance, flash, macro features.First homework project assigned

Day3: Review of camera operation and exposure considerations. Discussion about uploading images to your computer and organizing them with Picassa. Bring your USB cable or memory card to class.

Day4: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop Elements.Browsing for images, checking the size of images. Discussion of pixels and resolution. Introduction to Quick Fix feature. Assign project 2: America.

Day5: More techniques for adjusting images with Photoshop Elements.Begin using various tools in Photoshop Elements to make adjustments.

Day 6: Discussion about white balance, image quality levels, camera filters, including polarizer, and split neutral density filters, and tripods for long exposures. Discussion about composition, lighting, and the landscape. Seek out interesting landscapes online and critique them. Assign Landscape project.

Day 7: Explore techniques to improve your landscape images such as, Overlay layers, color correction, sharpening, and more. Discuss how to make white skies blue skies, how to selectively increase saturation and how to use adjustment layers to selectively darken or lighten ares of your image.

Day 8: Assign Portrait Project.Discuss use of side lighting in creating a perfect portrait.Also use of wide aperture setting for blurrly background, tripod for long exposures, and refectors or reflected light for controlling contrast on the face. Also, we will discuss using fill flash in backlighting situations for amazing effects.

Day9: Using selective adjustment tools for changing specific areas of your image, such as to improve facial imperfections, blur backgrounds, increase saturation, reduce saturation etc. We will also discuss alternative techniques for blurring backgrounds or darkening backgrounds that are less likely to have an effect on your edges of your person.

Day 10: Discuss shooting images at night. Using your tripod, self timer, white balance, long shutter speeds, exposure compensation, time lapse concepts, and more.We will experiment with a special super-imposition technique whereby two images shot at different times with different lighting are combined with the computer for special effects. Assign night project.

Day 11: Demo on creating panoramic images using the Adobe Photomerge application.Discussion of various recommendations and techniques for successful panoramic images.Also discuss alternative "joiner" techniqe of photomontage first pioneered by David Hockney.

Day 12: Demo on editing your panoramic images layer by layer for better "stitching", or various techniques for special effects when combining layers to create a "joiner" composition.

Day13: Demo on various advanced techniques involving layers and photo composites with Adobe Photoshop Editor.Demo on the special "advanced shadow" technique for making composited images look more realistic. Demo on the creation of reflections for making composited images look more realistic.

Day 14: Assign final project of a photographic series.Ten images will be due along with a one page single spaced artist statement.


Project 1: Scavenger Hunt This project will challenge you to try out the things we've discussed. I'll want everyone to shoot 10 images:-Wide Angle (landscape)-Telephoto (distant object)-Telephoto (portrait)-Backlight shot without exposure compensation-Backlight shot with exposure compensation-Same shot wtih flash (no exposure compensation)-Fill flash used with outside portrait-Slow flash used with low lighting-Close-up macro shot that makes us guess

Project 2: A day in the life of AmericaLike the famous book from the 80s, we'll be creating our own series of images that attempt to capture the spirit ofeveryday life in our country. My best friend's wife moved to America from France over 20 years ago, but has aGrandmother who will never visit her distant home. Lets help her portray what life is like here.

Project 3: The Landscape ImageLandscape subjects continue to inspire and intrigue photographers and viewers alike and I feel it will be fun to analyzeand emulate some favorite landscape images to help us capture the world around us in a way that is powerful as animage.

Project 4: Night PhotographyNight photographs can be fun because of what can happen during a long exposure that you hadn't intended. Also,shooting at night can be a strange and interesting experience because it is an altered reality from what we normallyexperience. Furthermore, we'll learn about a blending technique that allows you to combine different exposures forwonderful mixed lighting effects.

  1. One night landscape or interior shot that involves the use of the multiple exposure techinique we've talked about.
  2. One night or interior shot that either is a standard one long exposure shot, or perhaps uses a different specialtechnique such as the addition of an artificial light source...i.e. (laser pen, flash light, headlights, sparklers, glow stick,tail lights, etc.).

Project 5: Portrait IdeasPortraits continue to be the majority of the images we take and see, but how are they done. We'll experiment with acouple of techniques, as well as hone our understanding of lighting, focus, depth of field, composition, and more.

Project 6: Composite imagesComposite images are images that are composed of more than one image. A good example of this is the creationof a "panoramic" image that is actually composed of multiple images taken from slightly different angles and thencombined to form a large seamless image. Another method for creating composite images is through the specialDavid Hockney "joiner" method we'll discuss.

Project 7: Visual IronyFascinating surreal images can be created by combining separate images that don't normally belong together. Thiscan result in interesting meanings and even dreamscapes or other "fantastic" images.

This project will challenge you to combine two or more images that emphasize the idea of surrealism, or of thingsnot belonging together. One way to do this is through incorrect proportions of image (simply by scaling them), anotherway to do this is conceptually.

Finally, we'll then add words to this composite in the manner of an advertisement.

Project 8: Photographic SeriesThis project will challenge students to create a series of 10 images that express a progression, story, concept, explorevariety or similarity, etc.This project can be presented in many different ways.

We'll turn in the photographic series as a slideshow and present it for our final class.