Art 287 - Black and White Photography
Spring 2015
Tuesday and Thursday 10:50 to 1:20 pm
sections 5/6
Instructor: Denise Johnson
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30 to 2 pm






Course Description

This course will cover the basic principles, tools, materials and techniques of black and white, analog photography. Students will be introduced to 35mm camera functions, light metering, film development, darkroom printing, retouching, and presentation strategies. While developing technical aptitude, students will also begin to consider contemporary philosophies of photography as an expressive medium.

Lecture 2 hours, activity 4 hours.

Course Objectives
The purpose of this course is to provide a technical and conceptual background upon which to build a viable and engaging photographic process within an artistic context. This course will introduce you to a basic set of procedures and theoretical considerations that are central to an artistic practice utilizing photography. These ideas will be presented via lectures, readings, critiques, thematic assignments, and a field trip. Upon successful completion of this course (grade C or better) students will have developed a basic understanding of shooting and printing methods using black and white 35mm film and an analog camera, as well as the ability to discuss photographic works within a fine arts context.






Course Materials
Recommended Text
London, Barbara and Jim Stone. A Short Course in Photography: An Introduction to Photographic Technique. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ: Any edition.






Instructional Websites

This course will be taught from the instructional website: Lecture presentations, assignments, and other course materials will be available to students at this site, and you will need to access it regularly.  Please let the instructor know if you do not have internet access.






Photographic Supplies
Freestyle Photographic Supplies
5124 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90027
323 660-3460

Samy’s Los Angeles
431 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036 323-938-2420

1135 North Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
323 466-1238
Samy's Culver City
4411 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
Samy's Pasadena
41 E. Walnut St
Pasadena, CA 91103






Camera Repair
International Camera Repair
1186 E Walnut St
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 440-0699

Mel Pierce Camera
5645 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Steves Camera Service Center
(310) 397-0072
4355 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230







Places to See Fine Art Photography
The Getty Museum
LA County Museum of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art
Norton Simon Museum
UCLA Hammer Museum
UCR / CA Museum of Photography






There are 500 points possible in this course, which will be earned through three graded components.
Projects - 350 points

Each project will be introduced with a lecture that offers an explanation of a theme with related artistic concepts, and various examples of works by artists considering those ideas. Students will be given specific directions for various shots to take, and will be expected to spend considerable time outside of class using their camera. Multiple class days will be scheduled to allow students time to develop their film and print their photographs. However, it is very likely that you will need to spend additional time in the lab (during open lab hours) to complete assignments.

Photos will be submitted in a manila envelope (labeled with name) and a “Project Summary” that will ask students to explain their intended goals for the project and describe their exploration. Students may earn up to 50 points on the first project, and 100 points on the following three projects.

Critique Preparation and Participation - 100 points

Critiques are valuable conversations that provide necessary, and sometimes surprising, feedback to the artist, and offer the viewer an opportunity to develop their visual analysis skills. Because of their importance, “Critique Days” must be viewed as mandatory, whether or not your work is being considered. As well, each student will be expected to fully and actively engage in the entire conversation. Arriving late to class, refusing to offer insights on a work, and passing judgement with the intention of causing harm, disrupt the process of providing constructive feedback and will not be tolerated.

Students will be evaluated on their willingness to talk about works (both their own, as well as the works of other artists) in a manner relevant to our studies - participation. As well, you will earn points based on your ability to incorporate visual terminology and analysis techniques into your responses. By preparing ahead of time for a critique of your own work, and fully engaging in the discussion of your classmate’s works, you can earn up to 25 points per critique. Four critique days will be scheduled this quarter.

Exhibition Response - 50 points
Students will be asked to attend a professional exhibition including photographic works this semester and choose two works seen in person to analyze using the methodologies learned in class. A class field trip will likely be scheduled to assist in the completion of this assignment. Students may earn up to 50 points on the Exhibition Response.







Points will be earned through committed participation in class activities and assignments, a demonstration of learned skills, and evidence of critical thinking. In addition to the requirements for all coursework, Projects will earn points based on conceptual rigor and technical aptitude.

(100 to 90%)
Work demonstrates excellence in both form and content. The work leaves little or no room for improvement. The structure is technically and conceptually complete. The intentions and content are clear, substantial, and well executed.
(89 to 80%)
Work demonstrates a clear focus in form and an above average consideration of content. The structure is complete, but there is room for improvement in form, content, or technique. The work exhibits potential for excellence.
(79 to 70%)
Areas of form and content need to be more fully realized or examined. Most of the material is understood, but the focus is not entirely clear, and intention is not strong.
(69 to 60%)
Lowest possible grade for a complete Project submitted on time. Work demonstrates little understanding or connection with the material and is flawed in content and form. Does not provide evidence of critical thinking.
> 59%
Work fails to meet any requirements satisfactorily.



Work has begun, but is incomplete but shows potential. Student is offered one additional week to revise and re-submit the assignment.






Class Schedule and Required Reading
Please complete and be prepared to discuss the assigned readings before the date they will be presented in class. This schedule is tentative and subject to change with the needs of the class. Updates to the schedule will be announced in class and can be found on The Slide Projector.
Discussion Topic
Assignment Due
March 31
Cesar Chavez Holiday - No Class
April 2
Introduction and tour of lab
April 7

The Camera: History and Functions

April 9
Film Developing
Please bring camera and film to class
April 14
Printing Contact Sheets
Bring developed negatives to class
April 16
Using the Enlarger
April 21
Lab Day - Dodging and Burning
April 23
Critique Day
Project 1 Due
April 28
Project 2 - The Body & Self
The Photographer's Eye
April 30
Lab Day - Rules of Composition
May 5
Lab Day
May 7
Lab Day
May 12
Critique Day
Project 2 Due
May 14
Lab Day - The Zone System
May 19
Lab Day
May 21
Lab Day
May 26
Critique Day
Project 3 Due
May 28
Project 4 - Taking Risks
June 2
Lab Day
Exhibition Response Due
June 4
Lab Day
Project 4 Due
June 9
Final Critique Day 10:45 to 1:15pm






To ensure that our learning community functions well and that everyone is treated with the respect that they deserve, we must all agree to the following courtesies and policies:

Because the content of this course will center on class discussions, lectures, and hands-on in-class activities, regular attendance and participation are crucial. You are expected to attend all classes, arrive on time, and contribute to the class on a daily basis.

Three unexcused absences will result in the lowering of your final grade by one full letter grade. EACH unexcused absence after the third unexcused absence will further lower your final grade one letter.

Only absences occurring due to extenuating circumstances (such as severe illness, death, or unavoidable transportation problems) will be excused. Written documentation (such as a doctor’s notice, towing invoice, etc.) must be provided to validate extenuating circumstances. Absences occurring due to work scheduling, assignments in other classes, extracurricular activities, family functions, or general illness will not be excused.

  Late Assignments

You may turn one assignment in late this quarter. The late assignment may be late by no more than two class meetings after its due date, and will be reduced one letter grade. Any assignments turned in more than one week late, or in addition to the one accepted late assignment, will NOT receive credit.

  Assignments Must Be Complete When Class Begins

Assignments need to be turned in at the start of class. Students will not be allowed to work in the lab during critiques, lectures, or in-class demonstrations. Partially completed assignments may earn some points, so it is always best to submit something rather than nothing.

Check the lab schedule for “open lab hours” in which to complete Projects outside of class.

  Extra Credit

Opportunities to earn extra credit may be announced during class. However, students are limited to earning a maximum of 25 extra credit points (five percent) during the semester. Any points earned above 5% of the total course grade will NOT be applied to the final grade.

  Academic Honesty

The University in its quest for truth and knowledge embraces honesty and integrity. These fundamental values must not be compromised. The trust and respect among professors, students, and the society need to be vigilantly protected. Cheating and plagiarism can neither be justified nor condoned as this would destroy the ideals and purposes of higher education. Students enter the University to gain the knowledge and tools necessary for participation in a society. Academic integrity is one foundation for a society based on trust and honesty. Therefore, the University takes seriously its responsibility for academic honesty.

Please consult the college catalog for additional academic integrity concerns and penalties.






Commitment to the Conversation
Conversation and debate will be central to the learning experience this semester. Participation does not simply mean showing up to every class, and turning in all assignments on time. That is the minimum expected of you. Instead, consider yourself a member of a learning community in which your full and complete engagement with the material and class activities are absolutely necessary for the conversation to proceed constructively.
  Take a Break from Your Devices

Please DO NOT text message, email, complete assignments for other courses, or utilize social media during class demonstrations, lectures, and critiques. If you need to attend to an important message, please leave the classroom and return when you can fully commit your attention to the class discussion.

Respect is Key
We will often consider provocative and challenging subject matter in this class and must therefore agree to respect each other’s views and identities. Our diverse backgrounds and opinions are assets. No student shall be made to feel inferior or uncomfortable because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or physical/ intellectual abilities.
Students with Disabilities
Reasonable accommodation will be provided to any student who is registered with the Office of Students with Disabilities and requests needed accommodation.







Important Dates
Late Registration
March 30 to April 14 is the late registration and program adjustment period for this semester. Tuesday, April 14 is the last day to add this class with a $25 late fee applied to registration fees.
Drop Deadline
Students wishing to drop the course, must do so via GET by Tuesday, April 7 without record, or by Tuesday, or by Thursday, May 14 with a W grade (requires instructor and department chair signatures on Drop Request form – submit to Admin. 146 to drop).
Final Exam
The final exam for this course is TBA. Attendance during this final meeting is mandatory and may not be “made up” nor rescheduled.
Grades will be available on GET Friday, June 19.