Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vis/Pro Syllabus


ART 052/01. Tues & Thur : 9-00am to 11-45 pm. PHOTO LAB


Email : pipo @oberlin.edu

Office Hours: Tue & Thur 4-30 to 5-30 pm

One day, quite some time ago, I happened on a photograph of Napoleon's youngest brother, Jerome, taken in 1852. And I realized then, with an amazement I have not been able to lessen since: "I am looking at eyes that looked at the Emperor." Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

I was told once that more photographs exist than bricks...........Photographs, like bricks, are everywhere. Can there be anyone left who has not seen a photograph? Peter Turner, History of Photography

" And this led me to reflect, on the inimitable beauty of the pictures of nature's painting with the glass lens of the Camera throws upon the paper in its focus- fairy pictures, creatures of a moment, and destined as rapidly to fade away." William Henry Fox Talbot

I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed. Garry Winnogrand


When you are the camera and the camera is you - advertisement (1976)

This class is designed for students with very little or no photographic background. This is an Art Studio Class dealing with Photography as a medium of the visual language. The emphasis of the course is the history of the medium and its relationships to contemporary culture and to the other art media .


During the first half of the semester we will explore the basic techniques of silver based process and during the second half of the course, students will be introduced to the Digital Darkroom. We will learn to understand the camera, to create the good working negative, and make the fine print.. Good technical skills and a strong foundation on photographic design will help students creating visually seductive and arresting photographic images.

Good technical skills and formal strength, however, are not the only goals of this class. Students will be introduced to photographic theories and issues as well. Students will be encouraged to apply their critical skills in order to discuss the photograph in both form and content, and to be able to contextualize what they learn in the classroom and what they create to the history of photography, to other art media, and to the real world.


We will accomplish our goals through class demonstrations, studio projects and critiques lectures, reading and writing assignments, attending visiting artist lectures…….


Assignments are designed to introduce students to critical photographic topics and it is organized along the timeline of the medium’s history. On the first half of the semester assignments are focused on the medium formal and technical elements. In the second half, assignments are more content oriented, and their focus will be the transgression of the medium's boundaries. Finally, students will design their own final project after having familiarized themselves with the technical and conceptual possibilities within the medium.

#1: Sites and Locations: A Mapping Project

#2: Emulation

#3: Personae and the Fabricated Identity

#4: Utopia


Each week, students are asked to collect at least 20 images for future reference. In addition to the weekly images, there will be assignments designed specifically to be included in the source book. Students will be asked to share their source books with the class and in the end the source books will be considered a part of their final grades.


= Your timely attendance is required

2 unexcused absents will constitute a drop, 15 minutes late is considered an absent

= Completion of all projects by the required dates. Late projects will not be considered for critique

= One technical quiz

= Class participation

= Flawless etiquette in the lab ( see house rules.)

= A Digital Portfolio to be submitted at the end of the semester


The working area and the darkroom must be kept free of personal materials at all times.

Equipments cannot be taken outside of the area.

Only students enrolled in class or students with instructor’s permission can work in the lab

Students must pay the appropriate lab fee

Students must sign in each time he/she uses the lab

Students must abide to the lab's posted hours

Students, if needed, will contribute their time to the maintenance of the facilities.

If any student, after 2 warnings, continues violate lab rules he/she will loose access to the darkroom


All reading materials with the exceptions of handouts are kept in the reserved or the open-reserved sections of the art library. There are many books set aside for students in the open-reserved area for their independent research.

Upton & Upton. Photography( open reserved). Also available at the Photo Lab


Contact Sheet


Aperture Magazine



Barret, Terry. Criticizing the Photograph

Ansel Adams. The Camera, The Negative, The Print

Vicki Goldberg ed. Photography in Print

Beaumont Newhall,ed. Photography: Essays & Images


This is a labor intensive class. If you are signed up for this course, be aware of the intensity of the class, and schedule your classes accordingly.


This class could be prohibitive also because of its costs. Students will spend approximately $300 to $600 per semester on materials.


Appropriate clothing, shoes are required at all time. And precautions must be taken when working with extremely hazardous materials such as toners. Beyond your personal safety, you must be sensitive to our environment, you have to make sure of knowing how to dispose of chemicals appropriate and to conserve water whenever you can.


The Photo Co-Op

Loomis Camera, Elyria www.loomiscamera.com

413 Broad St,Elyria, OH 44035.(440) 322-3325

Dodd's Photo, Cleveland www.doddcamera.com

Phone: (216) 361-6800Toll free: (800) 507-1676

2077 East 30th Street. Cleveland, OH 44115

The Framing Workshop (matting and framing), Oberlin

B & H, NY. 1-800-947-7785. www.bhphotovideo.com

Freestyles Sales Co., LA.1-800-292-6137. www.freestylesalesco.com











Manual Camera


Negative Storage Container

Can Air

Photo paper( RC and Fiber. Multigrade, Variable Contrast)

Photographic Grey Card

Hand towel *

Lens tissues and cleaner

Scissors & Can Opener*

Spotting brush


Cable release*

Matt boards

Lock for lockers*

Bulk film and reusable film canisters


2/09 Intro. Handing out materials

2/11 Bring camera and film to photograph

Lecture: Camera, Film and Exposure

Demo: Film Developing Making Contact Sheet


Read: Upton & Upton. Chapter 1,2 &3.

Source Book: 10 Photographers-Names and examples

A paragraph on the most important photograph in your life

2/16 Lecture: Project #1

Demo: Making Contact Sheet ,The Print

Read: Chapter 4&5. **memorize chart on pg 99 ( B&W zones ).

Recommend : Chapter 16, History o f Photography.

Exerciset#1: read The Vocabulary of Form. William Henry Fox Talbot, " Some Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing"

2/18 Printing

2/23 Critique Exercise #1

Lecture: A Short History

Source: Photo of 3 people that you know, 3 people that you would like to know, and 3


Recommend: Peter Turner. History o f Photography Chapter 5: Brave New World. The Rise of Modernism.


3/02 Critique #1

3/04 Critique



3/16 Demo: Toning and Matting

3/18 Workday

3/23 Critique # 2

3/25 Critique # 2

Spring Break

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