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CCOG for ART 243 Spring 2024

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Course Number:
ART 243
Course Title:
The Photographic Portfolio
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Develops a strong artistic vision as related to photography through building a body of work presented as a portfolio. Develops the creative problem-solving and critical skills necessary to expand perceptual, visual and cultural awareness through critiques, discussions, reading, research and presentations of personal photographic works. Explores the ideas related to the development of a professional photographic practice. Emphasizes collaboration, professional standards, creative problem solving and service learning. Requires access to a camera. Recommended: ART 240A Photo II: Digital Photography, ART 244 Photography I: B&W Photography. Audit available. Prerequisites: ART 140A.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Find and develop creative ways to solve artistic and conceptual problems with an increased understanding of the medium using a variety of photographic strategies that demonstrate a sophisticated command of processes, techniques and materials.
  • Participate in critical dialog about ideas and issues in photography using appropriate terminology and apply and adjust as ideas evolve.
  • Interpret and critically evaluate prints from many cultures to initiate a life-long process of studying the diverse perspectives of the human experience.
  • Express connections to personal experience through photography with the 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 studio work during and out of class time to critically engage with the practical studio application of skills, techniques and concepts in addition to lectures and presentations, demonstrations, critiques, group discussions and activities.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Actively engage in studio work and complete all projects and homework assignments on time.
  • Develop personal photographic artwork, that are aesthetically and formally challenging and demonstrate an understanding of photographic ideas and the processes, materials, and techniques.
  • Demonstrate sound photographic technique and safe and efficient studio habits and practices in a shared studio environment with respect to open communication, mentoring and collaboration.
  • Participate in discussion 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 photographs through comprehensive responses, critique, self reflection, written assignments and peer review.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Visual communication
  • Photographic image as a tool for expression
  • Developing methodologies for composing and producing photographs.
  • Explore new directions in photography as well as connections between popular and fine art use of the photographic image and new directions in conceptual use of the medium.


  • Formal and aesthetic considerations
  • Content and meaning
  • Consideration of materials, technique and process
  • Professional best practices; funding, marketing, academic and career planning
  • Introduction to collaboration, mentoring, community and service through Photography.


  • Building independence and autonomy in students critical thinking and problem solving skills relative to photographic practices
  • Better understanding of photography as an art practice, the specific possibilities and challenges inherent to the medium and the reasons for their exploration
  • Manifest autonomous expression through photography with awareness of the standards and definitions established by both contemporary and historical artists from different cultures.
  • Introduction to business practices for working artists: Issues of funding, development, community work and introduction to non profit structures of support
  • Better understand the unique position photography has played in history and visual culture; the specific possibilities and considerations related to the making of the photograph in multiple fields and subjects


Advanced methods and strategies for developing and completing photographic images

  • Create personal photographic artwork that demonstrates a high level of proficiency in the processes and techniques associated with photography
  • Exploration of digital medium as a tool for creativity
  • Strategies for generating and evolving ideas

Technical strategies

  • Advanced Manipulation of camera controls over focus, exposure and image capture technologies
  • Technical evaluation of images, darkroom and digital means of editing and altering photographs
  • Printing techniques, choosing appropriate paper, contrast, evaluating tone, archival methods, safety and protocol/work flow.
  • Principles of lighting; modifying and working with natural and artificial light as well as flash and studio lighting issues and techniques.

Professional practices

  • Artist statements, biographies, curriculum vitae, resumes for college and job applications using best practices as determined by current standards and guidelines
  • Finishing the print, presentation and standard gallery hanging techniques and strategies for installation and exhibition as well as preservation.

Critique and self-reflection strategies

  • Evaluating prints and images with consideration as a part of a portfolio
  • Development of a portfolio of work over the term from idea to final product

Studio Safety

  • Best practices for autonomy and safety in a collaborative, shared lab and studio space.