Photography Class

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Magnum Opus


In this class we approach photography as an expressive art form. The class includes black and white silver photography and digital photography. Technical skills, an eye for composition, original insight and experience of great photographic works enable us to express ourselves through photography, and make exceptional photographs. These are some of the things you will learn:

Technical skills and knowledge:

  • Basic operation of the camera including loading and unloading film, control of exposure, focus and framing the shot.
  • Film processing including loading film tanks, processing chemistry, drying and care of negatives.
  • Printing pictures including contact printing negatives, operating the enlarger, using test strips to determine exposure and making the work print, dodging and burning and, contrast filters.
  • Displaying the print including mounting and creating a photo montage.
  • Capturing and uploading digital pictures.
  • Montaging and manipulating digital images in Photoshop.
  • Creating digital presentations, layouts and web pages (optional)


  • Framing the shot including point of view, horizontal and vertical composition, foreground background, spatial relationships, rule of thirds.
  • Control of exposure and light.
  • Attention to texture and pattern.
  • Create rhythm, balance, contrast and motion in composition.

Original Expression:

  • Choice of subject matter and thoughtful reflection on ways of portraying it.
  • Creation of a focal point, a center of interest.
  • Expression or presentation of an idea or feeling including drama, humor and irony.

Critical experience of photographic works:

  • Analyze the technical, compositional and expressive aspects of photographs.
  • Understand and discuss great historical and contemporary photographic examples.

Things you need to do:

Have adequate equipment and material:

  • An operating 35 Millimeter camera with fresh batteries. (no APS cameras).
  • Photographic paper ($10.00 for a package of 17  8X10 sheets).

Shoot assignments carefully and on time:

  • Plan ahead.
  • Arrange time and place.
  • Arrange for subjects.
  • Allow for variables like time of day and weather.
  • Meet deadlines.

Make good use of lab facilities:

  • Be present and working the whole class.
  • Take care of photographic lab and computer equipment.
  • Clean up.

Critically respond to photographic art:

  • Discussions.
  • Self critiques.
  • On-line responses.



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