Photography for Artists & Designers

Art & Design 265

Week 1

Course Home Page | Image Drop Boxes | Semester Schedule |

Week: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Week 1:


Assignments this week:
Google Photo Favs        (completed by Class2)
Shoot from the Hip         (drafts by Class3; completed by Class4)


Photography for Artists & Designers. Why?

This course assumes no prior experience with a digital SLR, and so basic skills, concepts and practices are introduced. Our study is not directed toward production photography, journalism or portraiture, per se. Our content and experiences overlap those practices, but we are aiming to develop imagery of a more expressive and, often, a more creative nature. Thus, will may not include extensive experiences or instruction in those areas, despite the use of similar tools, concepts and, in some cases, practices.

We'll explore the image as canvas, rather than as documentary evidence.

We're focused on the aesthetics, form and concepts of imagery. Photography is our medium, but our goal is to impact the viewer beyond what a mere representational likeness can do.

We aim to discover and then extend the boundaries of the medium, and to explore how other artists have done so. Artists, as a rule, explore how a particular medium can do more than it was ever intended or conceived to do. Photos can be many things. Photos need not be 2-dimensional. Images need not be static.

So what can photography do? What can an image be...other than a record of an event, an object or a likeness?

This Course — policies, structure, assignments


First Day Quiz



First Assignments:
Online Canvas self-intro sheet — tell us about you and what kind of photography you've done.

Google Photo Favs — get your G+ account & circle set up. Find and upload some images. Comment on them. Comment on classmates' images.

You will participate in at least two exhibits of class work during the semester -- usually one before Spring Break and one near the end of the semester.


We'll be presenting many of our class assignments on Google+. ("G+" in most subsequent notes)
If you've not used Google+, think "Facebook...but different".
In particular, in Google+ you can create "circles" of friends and aquaintances so that not everyone you've added ("friended" in Facebook-speak) can see everything. Each circle of folks can only see what you allow that circle to see. Thus, for this course, you'll be creating a "Photography Art 265" circle, and then you'll add all of us to that circle. Then, you'll upload assignments to that circle, and we'll be able to see your photos, read your comments and add comments of our own. We'll use Google+ as our main forum for posting and critiquing most of your photos — until we start printing and mounting images.

If you've not used G+, no worries. You already are half way there since your Harding email account is GoogleMail.

Google+ Setup Notes

Add all of us to your Photography_Art265 circle.
You'll have to wait until each person has opened their G+ account.
Then you add them to your G+ friends.
Then you can drag them onto your Photography_Art265 circle.


Taylor Howard:
Greg Clayton:
John Keller:

For Class 2 complete the Google Photo Favs assignment.

Let us know if you run into problems. Free free to contact us via the emails, above. Video Courses

This course does not use a textbook, per se. We'll be useing a set of video courses throughout the semester to cover our core technical information on the craft of photography.


Review Camera Equipment


Getting Restarted: Photoshop/Bridge Refreshers

Refresh your Photoshop Basic Skills: 

What should I be able to do with Photoshop at the beginning? 

Art220 Intro to Computer Graphics is a prereq for this course, so we expect that you are familiar with the basic tools and methods in Photoshop. We recognize that Photoshop is huge, deep and complex and that Art 220 does not cover it all. No way. However, you should be able to open files, move between images, zoom, paint, create basic layers for compositing and use the most common editing tools and commands in Photoshop. If you don't recall Layers, Adjustment Layers and global image-editing commands such as Image: Adjustments: Brightness-Contrast, :Curves and :Levels, you might want to refresh yourself.

Adobe TV — Photoshop CS6 video Tutorials — the best freely available online tutorials on Photoshop's current tools, commands and concepts. The links, below,may be good starting points within Adobe's PS CS6 collection.

Layers 101 | Bridge 101 | Levels 101 | Adjustment Layers | Starting Camera RAW | Selection 101 |
________________________________________________________________________ — all sorts of tutorials on various topics. You may have to hunt to find what you want.


If you’re not fresh on these skills, how can you get up-to-speed on these core skills?
Review these online video tutorials.
(note: these are freely available online videos. The presenter is quite good...though he speaks with a very distinct German (?) accent. Enjoy!)

The First Rendezvous With Photoshop
This video will refresh you on the user interface, and the customization of keyboard shortcuts and workspace. 10min.
Topics Include: Magnification/Zoom; working with multiple documents; multi-layer images; tool palette and sub-palettes; tool options in control bar; panel area; floating panels; docked panels; panel groups; icon panels; performance preferences; custom keyboard shortcuts; save your workspace; (the presenter spends too much time on his personal workspace preferences...feel free to scrub forward.)

Pixels, Image Size and Resolution  
This video explains the theory behind how pixel images work. It will also explain a bit about the crop tool, image size and resolution.
Topics include: Pixel-based imagery (vs. vectors and 3D form); one-color-per-pixel; image as mosaic; the more pixels, the more size and/or detail; PPI Pixels per inch; commercial printing 300ppi; web 72-96ppi;  Image Size dialog & adjustments; aim for final image to have no visible pixels (aliasing) at normal viewing distance; cropping; rule-of-thirds guidelines; expanding the canvas, etc.



Be sure to refresh yourself on Adobe Bridge. We'll be going over Bridge next week in some depth.
Bridge is Adobe's basic "keep track of all my photos" application. It offers many of iPhoto's image organizing tools — and far more. Though there are other applications that similar the same capabilities, Bridge is what comes with Photoshop and integrates well with Photoshop. And Bridge is what is installed in our labs. So we'll get familiar with it.
View the video introduction to Bridge:

"Bridge is Going to be Your Best Friend"    
Intro to Adobe Bridge; 10min
Topics: Star ratings; loup/magnifier; add notes; filtering; keywords;



Artist's Statements

Google+ Setup


Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge is your friend.
Yes it is.

Bridge is a sort of super-charged iPhoto for organizing and finding those masses of images that any serious photographer shoots. Note that Lightroom & Aperture also offer image-organizing tools. However, Bridge is what ships with all Adobe CS products -- so we all have access to it.

Folder Organization
Drag-Drop to Photoshop


Levels and Value/Color Correction

These tools will solve the vast majority of poorly exposed images if you shot your images in RAW. Really -- exposure or value-range problems are the most common photographic problem you will encounter. Both Photoshop and Camera Raw software can often save the day.

Camera RAW

Photoshop: Levels, Auto Levels, White Point, Black Point, etc.


Online Photography Resource Link : Web sitesthat present historical and contemporary photography. HULibrary eBooks

Standards of Successful Photographic Imagery : what technical and aesthetic traits tend to be present in strong images?



Course Home Page


Greg Clayton
2D Design
Color Theory


Photography Course
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Course Schedule
Independent Study