CCOG for ART 141 Spring 2024

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

Course Description

Covers photography, broadly exploring its history, science, and techniques as well as social and cultural impacts and influences in a historical and contemporary context. Develops the critical skills necessary to examine aesthetic and formal solutions. Must have access to own camera: see course details page for more information. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Find and develop creative ways to solve aesthetic and conceptual problems using a variety of photographic strategies.
  • Participate in a critical dialog about ideas and issues in digital photography using industry vocabulary and self critiquing skills.
  • Interpret and critically evaluate photographic images by 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.
  • Express connections to personal experience through a digital photographs with awareness of the standards and practices established by both contemporary and historical artists.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

The study of Visual Arts is essential to the development of the individual and one’s meaningful participation in society. At the heart of artistic practice is the ability to organize experience and recognize its meaning. The creation of artwork and appreciation of aesthetics is a source of great pleasure and also a valuable means to effective visual communication. Participating in Visual Arts is an important way for individuals to connect to the past and respond to the present with a stronger sense of engagement with culture and society.

Course Activities and Design

Students will engage in practical application of skills, concepts and themes as well as participate in lectures, presentations, demonstrations, critiques and group discussion and collaboration during and outside of class time.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Engage in developing a personal photographic practice during and outside of class time
  • Develop photographic images and projects that are aesthetically and formally challenging and demonstrate the student’s evolution through beginning level ideas.
  • Display their competence related to the course’s intended outcomes.
  • Participate in discussions and critiques. Take an active role and make contributions applying concepts and terms used in the discipline.
  • Evaluate both technical approaches and conceptual directions in Photography through introductory level research, presentations, written responses and self reflection exercises.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Visual Communication
  • Contextual Awareness


  • Formal and aesthetic considerations
  • Connections between content and meaning
  • Consideration of processes, presentation materials and technique


  • Better understanding of Photography, the specific possibilities and challenges inherent to particular techniques and genres of photography and the reasons for their exploration
  • Historical knowledge of photography with special consideration to including under-represented artists, histories, stories and cultures
  • Awareness and exploration of the wide spectrum of photography’s influence and impact on daily life and how historical works effect and led to contemporary artists, issues and techniques.


  • Ask introductory level questions, identify ideas and issues, and develop and use a basic vocabulary when participating in critical dialogue about photography with others.
  • Create personal photographic artwork which demonstrates a basic understanding of the camera and exposure.
  • Develop introductory level of ability to engage with and critically assess Photography technically and aesthetically.
  • Use multiple strategies to investigate, learn and critically engage independently with readings, images and other sources of information about photography that supports continuous learning and sophistication in contemporary visual culture.
  • Critique and self-reflection strategies for evaluating Photographs
  • Environmental, health and safety considerations for different photographic processes