CA241 Photography I

for FA 2004

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Photography I : CA 241/AR241; Four Credit Hours

11:35-12:50 Tuesday and Thursday


Fall 2004


PHONE: 741‑2000, EXT. 6327

OFFICE: 2 South -- Copley Hall

OFFICE HOURS: (As posted)


                Best way to contact me: I will respond within 24 hours



Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.




         Photography I is the first course in photography for Communication Arts majors.  It is also the first course in photography for art majors. Photography I starts from scratch and builds to competence in composition, exposure, and black & white lab procedures. It also provides an introduction to computer printing. Importantly, the course serves as a venue for student self-expression.


                Communication Arts students should save their best work for the portfolio. Photojournalism students should save everything.

TEXT:    The Ansel Adams Guide by John Schaefer

                Kodak Black&White Data Guide

GOAL: To familiarize you with fundamental methods and techniques of black and white photography.


·         You will operate cameras manually to make quality images.

·         You will evaluate light accurately to produce negatives that are easy to print.

·         You will make your own clean negatives with sufficient exposure to print easily

·         You will makes effective prints from your negatives.

·         You will make fine prints from your negatives.

·         You will dry-mount your own prints.

·         You will experiment with alternative techniques.

·         You will find an outlet for expression in photography, after exploring the possibilities of the medium. You will also possess sufficient understanding to critique your own work and develop your own criteria of excellence


                The course is designed around a problem solving scheme and set in a workshop environment.

Students will be given photographic problems to solve across the semester. Class sessions will include some direct input from the instructor and much sharing and informal critique.


·         You will be given about 10 photographic problems to solve across the semester. They will be sequentially more difficult as time passes, so you are encouraged not to fall behind, nor to work ahead. Each solution will be given an individual grade on a scale of one to 10, for a total of 100 points. No more than three may be printed using the computer.

·         You will be given assignments for a mid-term project and a final project. Each will be worth 100 points. The final project will be due at the final (no final exam will be given) and the your presentation of it will be part of the grade. Both projects must be wet printed.

·         A 10-point quiz over the material safety data sheets will be given at the beginning of the third week.


                I will grade projects using letter grades with pluses and minuses. To compute the final grade I will assign values to those grades, then average the values.


A             = 11 points

A-           = 10 points

B+           = 9 points

B             = 8 points

B-            = 7 points

C+           = 6 points

C             = 5 points

C-            = 4 points

D+           = 3 points

D             = 2 points

D-            = 1 point



                The key to learning in photography is to profit from successes and mistakes, and this is not possible without awareness. Each students should keep a small notebook handy to record data about every image. The instructor will ask for this information when photographs are critiqued in class. Without it, the instructor can offer little help and the student will find progress slow.  Sketchy presentation of the data for the photograph or the project will result in a lower grade.


                The lab fee for this course will provide necessities in the darkroom: negative developer, print developer, fixers, etc. Students will provide their own film and printing paper. If you are buying or borrowing a camera for this course, my suggestion is to choose the most manual camera you can find as long as it has a working light meter. A working light meter is critical.

                This semester we will be using T-Max developer for film. My preference is for Tri-X film (400 ASA), but I also like T-Max film (100 ASA - 3200 ASA). If you buy film in rolls, opt for the shortest rolls you can find (12 exposures if possible). I like the Ilford MultiGrade IV RC printing papers, but prefer a graded paper (Grade 3) for my own work. My preference is for fiber-based paper, but students generally are happier with a resin-coated (RC) paper. Be warned: You will use a lot of film and a lot of paper. I know of no substitute for practice in learning photography.

                So, my suggestion is to purchase Kodak T-max 400 film in rolls and Ilford MultiGrade IV RC printing paper, glossy surface. Do not buy Kodak black and white film with the C/N designation! You cannot develop it in our lab -- it is for C-41 processing.


Here are the skills we will aim to learn:

·         Loading, focusing, holding the camera

·         Judging exposure accurately, then creatively

·         Composing in the camera

·         Composing in the enlarger

·         Making quality negatives -- understanding the relationship of film speed, contrast and grain

·         Printing accurately, then creatively; dodging, burning, use of contrast filters, Saran Wrap, et al.

·         Basic computer printing

·         Photographing people, nature, moving targets, subjects in challenging light, using depth of field and shutter speed for effect

·         Story-telling by bringing all these skills to the table



Special note: If you are pregnant, or think you might be, at any time during the semester, please see me. I will ask you to check with your doctor before continuing to use the darkroom. You will be allowed to finish your assignments utilizing the computer for printing or to work in the lab with your doctor’s approval. Thank you.



       The Park University education is designed to nurture literate, articulate, creative thinkers who appreciate the arts, are open-minded, and possess a strong lifelong commitment to doing good in their professions and their communities.

       A graduate in photo-journalism exhibits excellence of craft and is a versatile journalist, capable of reporting, editing and design, in addition to photography.

      Photography I is primarily a skills course, designed to develop the photographic craft  through self-expression starting with the nature of the camera and progressing through the photo essay.