Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 140A
Course Title:
Digital Photography I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces basic digital photography as it relates to creative arts, history, media and culture in both a historical and contemporary context. Includes critiques, discussions, and presentations to establish the basic skills necessary to evaluate prints and images, explore artistic intent, examine aesthetic and structural solutions and expand perceptual awareness. Requires access to a camera with manual exposure controls, DSLR (digital single-lens-reflex) cameras are preferred. This is the first course in a three-course sequence. Recommended: Basic computer skills & ART 141 or ART 142A. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This is a 3-credit class that meets for 2 lecture and 4 lab hours each week. The course will provide a hands-on experience that approaches digital photography from an artistic, historic, and craft-oriented perspective. All aspects of digital photography will be considered, from exposure of images in the camera, to the presentation the finished image. Special attention will be paid to self-expression, based on an understanding of aesthetic principles and graphic design. Historical approaches and contemporary issues concerning the art of photography will be discussed. Students€™ abilities will be developed through regular photographic assignments and critical evaluations.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students will be able to:Ask introductory level questions, identify ideas and issues, and develop and use a basicvocabulary when participating in critical dialogue about photography with others.Begin to find and develop creative ways to solve artistic & conceptual problems using a varietyof photographic strategies.Create personal photographic artwork which demonstrates an introductory level of theprocesses, materials, and techniques associated with making digital photographs.Acclimate to the challenges & opportunities of working in a community photographic studio.Begin to understand that any photographic image is created and interpreted through the lens ofboth the artist and the viewer€™s own personal, social and cultural filters.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Through completion of regular photographic assignments, students will display their competence related to the course€™s intended outcomes. Understanding of the camera functions, exposure controls, use of basic digital image software, and image rendering techniques will be progressively monitored. Appropriateness of depth-of-field and shutter-speed decisions, and student€™s judgment concerning their use of light, graphic, and compositional effects will be reviewed during scheduled group critiques. Instructors may also choose to evaluate students' critical and interpretive abilities by requiring written assignments, or oral presentations, regarding photographic work. Student assessment will culminate with the presentation of a final portfolio at the end of the term.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

The course will include, but not be limited to, the following:•Knowledge of the camera: image storage systems, light metering and balancing systems, and the exposure controls (manual and automatic): shutter speed, which controls motion, and aperture, which controls the depth-of-field.•Knowledge of the use of basic digital image software: digital image processing, evaluating digital image exposures for lighting, contrast and color balance; further image manipulation such as dodging, burning and cropping, and use of contrast filters may be discussed.•>Finishing/presenting the digital photograph: rendering for web or print; retouching the final image; dry mounting and over-matting; other options, including books, screens, and mixed media may be discussed.•Additional content (optional): multiple printing; double exposure; sabattier effect/solarizing; adding of text, multiple images; sequencing.•Aesthetic issues: use of graphic techniques, through control of contrast and density; effective use of focus, depth-of-field, and stopping/blurring motion; use of the rectangle, the edge, and cropping; line, form, shape, texture, rhythm, and space.•Attributes of digital and chemical photographic history and practitioners: presentation, through slides, lectures, and videos, of periods, artists, and technology, issues in the history of photography. In particular, photographic genres, including landscape and nature, documentary, reportage, abstraction, portrait, self-portrait, and candid photography, will be discussed. Emphasis will be on how historical concerns effect, and led to, contemporary issues, artists, and techniques.