Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 143A
Course Title:
B&W Photography II (Darkroom)
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers advanced darkroom techniques. Utilizes a broad range of advanced darkroom processes to further develop problem-solving skills and create prints. Includes critiques, discussion and presentations to establish more sophisticated skills to evaluate prints. Requires access to a film, SLR (single-lens-reflex) camera with manual exposure controls. This is the first course of a three-course sequence for second year darkroom photography. Prerequisites: ART 142C or Instructor Approval. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The goal of this class is for students to achieve a high technical and conceptual level of ability, from which they could begin to build an artistic and expressive portfolio of photographs. It will provide a hands-on experience in all aspects of black-and-white photography: advanced techniques involve film development, printing, finishing, and the presentation of photographic imagery. Particular attention will be paid to the creation of a personal photographic language, based on technical knowledge, graphic principles, exposure to the history of the medium, and the development of conceptual abilities through critical evaluation of photographic images.

This is a three (3) credit class that meets for two (2) lecture and four (4) lab hours each week for one full term.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:• Understand, interpret and enjoy black and white photography from past to present at a beginning advancedlevel• Ask beginning-advanced questions about photography informed by complex ideas and issues.• Find and develop ways to solve artistic and conceptual problems using a variety of environmentally sustainable practices.• Create advanced photographic work that is personally significant & fulfilling.• Navigate challenges & opportunities of working in a community photographic studio.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment of students' progress may include (but not be limited to): an evaluation of students° level of involvement and participation in class activities and discussions; completion of a written or oral report reflecting some area of personal interest in photography; completion of regular photographic assignments which are presented to the class for critique; and a final portfolio presentation which represents the students'  highest level of technical skill and aesthetic judgment.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Advanced exposure techniques:
Discussion of how the light meter works, use of a gray card, exposing for the shadows, and of the relationship between exposure, development, and contrast. Difficult metering situations, and their possible solutions, will be presented. The effects of color and polarizing filters on black-and-white film, and on exposure, will be covered. Also discussed will be the use of intensifiers and reducers to adjust negative density and contrast.

Advanced B/W printing methods:
Introduce poly-contrast fiber-base paper, and discuss the differences from resin-coated paper, in processing steps, tone-response, and color range; introduce methods of adjusting overall and local contrast through use of multiple contrast filters, and split-printing; demonstrate the use of bleach as a contrast/density control; demonstrate how color toners (sepia, selenium, blue, etc.), home-made dyes (tea, coffee, or vegetable), and photographic oils add color to black-and-white prints.

Print Finishing and Presentation:
Review the dry-mounting process; discuss selection of appropriate mounting surfaces; present alternatives to mounting on mattboard, and the conceptual ramifications of various forms of presentation, including the sequence, the series, the dyptych/triptych, and the book; familiarize the student with industry-accepted forms of presentation.
Developing Visual Literacy:
Present photography as a visual language, with its own fluid syntax; familiarize students with critical terms and vocabulary; present historical issues and styles of photography; discuss contemporary trends and movements; promote articulation of thoughts and emotional responses to photographs; discuss relevant issues regarding the cross-fertilization of photography to other graphic and artistic media.