Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 141
Course Title:
Introduction to Photography
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores photography from film to digital as it relates to creative arts, history, media and culture in both a historical and contemporary context. Introduces photographic processes, principles and technology in preparation for continuing fine art and media based work. Develops the use of self-reflection and peer critique in photographic practice. Requires access to a camera; filmbased SLR (single-lens- reflex or DSLR (digital single-lens-reflex) cameras are preferred but not required. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This 3 credit class is a lecture class. During the term students will get a comprehensive introduction to 35mm photography, including both aesthetics and technique. Most class periods consist of a technical talk/demonstration, a slide talk/video, and a discussion of student work. Class-time is regularly allotted for student questions and there are three in-class shoots: a depth of field/ shutter speed shoot, a lighting shoot, and a night photography field trip.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:
- Understand, interpret and enjoy photography from past to present within a local as well as global context.
- Ask meaningful questions, identify ideas and issues, and develop and use a basic vocabulary when participating in critical dialogue about photography with others.
- Find and develop creative ways to solve aesthetic and conceptual problems using a variety of photographic strategies.
- Create photographic work that is personally significant & fulfilling, understanding how any photographs are contextualized in contemporary and historical photographic issues, genres and concerns.
- Navigate challenges & opportunities of working in a community-based photographic environment.
- Integrate the understanding that any photographic image is created and interpreted through the lens of both the artist and the viewer€™s own personal, social and cultural filters.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Proficiency is measured in the completion of regular photographic assignments and in-class photo shoots. Students are expected to complete the following assignments: a depth of field/ shutter speed shoot, an overlapping panoramic, dream pictures, self-portraits, portraits, an advertising still-life, night photography shoot, landscapes, photo stories and an oral presentation in order to pass the class.
Grades are based upon class participation, and the technical mastery and creativity displayed in their assignments.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

This is a lecture class. Most class sessions are broken into three parts 1) a talk about technique: camera mechanics, exposure, lighting, flash, lenses, filters, film, and other photographic tips. 2) a discussion of composition and photographic genres and technique through critiques of student work and 3) an introduction to a photographic genre or an aspect of photographic history through slide talks and videos.
There are three in-class photographic sessions: a depth of field/ shutter speed shoot, a basic lighting demonstration which examines the direction and quality of light and the use of reflectors and diffusers, and a night photography field trip.
By the end of the course students should have gained a basic understanding of and proficiency with a 35mm camera.
They should be armed with the knowledge of the kinds of tools and techniques they might explore to further their photographic growth.
They will have expanded their photographic horizons and their understanding of composition through their hands-on photographic assignments, through in-class discussions of all student work and through exposure to a wide array of contemporary and historic photographers.