Photo 101 - Introduction to Photography
Robert Frank, Indianapolis, 1955
Fall 2015
Monday and Wednesday 9 to 12:10 pm
Instructor: Denise Johnson
Office Hours: Happy to meet with you by appointment


click here for a printable syllabus



Course Description

This course will teach students to expose and develop traditional film from which they will produce black and white enlargements in the darkroom.

1 hour lecture and 2 hours lab per class.
3 Units

Course SLOs

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:

• be able to define depth of field;

• utilize photographic terminology to discuss photographic processes and dark room techniques;

• have developed a basic understanding of shooting and printing methods using black and white 35mm film and an analog camera.



Recommended Textbook

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

A Short Coursee in Photography



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.
Required Supplies

• 35mm SLR camera with a lens (must have all manual controls)
• 35mm black & white film, ISO 400 (expect to shoot at least 10 rolls)
• Ilford RC multigrade paper (expect to use at least 100 sheets)
• Negative sleeves for 35mm film
• Manila envelope
• Mount board and tissue

Otptional Supplies

• Can of “Dustoff”
• Anti-static cloth
• Rags, apron, gloves
• Grease pencil or Sharpie
• Small notebook
• Supply bag or box



Photographic Supplies
Fullerton Cameras
809 N Harbor Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92832

Samy’s Camera, Santa Ana
3309 S Bristol St
Santa Ana, CA 92704

Calumet Photographic
1430 Village Way
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Samy’s Camera, Pasadena
41 E. Walnut St
Pasadena, CA 91103
Monte’s Camera Shop
6533 Greenleaf Ave,
Whittier, CA 91746
Freestyle Photographic Supplies
5124 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90027
323 660-3460
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




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 your name) and a “Project Summary” that will ask you to explain your intended goals for the project and describe your exploration. Students may earn up to 50 points on the first project, and 100 points on the following three projects.

Critique and Preparation - 100 points (25 points each)

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 Review - 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 may 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 leaving 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%)
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. Student is offered one additional week to revise and re-submit work because it shows potential.



Important Dates
Late Registration

Monday, February 15 is the last day to add this class.

Drop Deadline
Students wishing to drop the course, must do so by Monday, February 15 without record, or by Monday, May 1.
Final Exam
The final exam for this course is Wednesday, May 25. Attendance during this final meeting is mandatory and may not be “made up” nor rescheduled.
Grades should be available on myGateway by Friday, June 15.



Class Schedule and Required Reading
This schedule is tentative and subject to change with the needs of the class Updates will be announced in class, on lecture presentations, and modified on the Syllabus page of The Slide Projector.
Discussion Topic
Assignment & Reading Due
February 1
February 3
The Camera: History and Functions
February 8
Project 1 - Getting to Know Your Camera

Bring camera and film to class

February 10
Film Developing
Bring roll of exposed film to class
February 15
Washington's Birthday - No Class
February 17
Printing Contact Sheets and Photos
February 22
Dodging and Burning
February 24
Lab Day
February 29
Critique Day
Project 1
March 2
Project 2 - Lighting and Composition
March 7
Lab Day
March 9
Lab Day
Chapter 5
March 14
Lab Day
March 16
Lab Day
March 21
Spring Recess
March 23
March 28
Lab Day
March 30
Lab Day
April 4
Lab Day
April 6
Lab Day
April 11
Critique Day
Project 2
April 13
Project 3 - The Landscape Speaks
April 18
Lab Day
April 20
Lab Day
April 25
Lab Day
April 27
Lab Day
May 2
Lab Day
May 4
Critique Day & Project 4 - Taking Risks
Project 3
May 9
Exhibition Review Due
May 11
Lab Day
May 16
Photo Mounting
May 18
Lab Day
May 23
Lab Day
May 24
Last day to work in the lab (no class)
May 25
Critique Day
Project 4



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

Students are expected to abide by ethical standards in preparing and presenting material which demonstrates their level of knowledge and which is used to determine grades. Such standards are founded on basic concepts of integrity and honesty.

Students shall not plagiarize, which is defined as:stealing or passing off as one's own the ideas or words of another;using a creative production without crediting the source.

The following cases constitute plagiarism:
paraphrasing published material without acknowledging the source;making significant use of an idea or a particular arrangement of ideas e.g., outlines;writing a paper after consultation with persons who provide suitable ideas and incorporating these ideas into the paper without acknowledgment;submitting under one's own name term papers or other reports which have been prepared by others.

Students shall not cheat, which is defined as:
using notes, aids, or the help of other students on tests or exams in ways other than those expressly permitted by the teacher;misreporting or altering the data in laboratory or research projects involving the collection of data;furnishing materials or information in order to enable another student to plagiarize or cheat.

Teachers may deal with academic dishonesty in one or more of the following ways:assign an appropriate academic penalty such as an oral reprimand (as in cases where there is reasonable doubt that the student knew that the action violated the standards of honesty);assign an 'F' on all or part of a particular paper, project, or exam (for example where it was felt that it was a one-time occurrence); or assign an 'F' in the course (as in cases where the dishonesty was serious, premeditated, or part of an ongoing scheme); report to the appropriate administrators, with notification of same to the student(s), for disciplinary action by the College. Such a report will be accompanied by supporting evidence and documentation.



Commitment to the Conversation
Conversation and debate will be central to the learning experience in this class. 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 (Vices)
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.