Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Reading Assignment Blogpost - Chapter 1 - If Is this is Art (due 9/26)

In the comment section below write a 200 word minimum response to Chapter 1 that  includes the following topics in some order.  

Which essay from the assigned chapter spoke to your own experience the most?  Summarize the main points of the essay and give a personal anecdote that elaborates on why this article spoke to you. Which essay made you think about photography in a new way, or spoke to experiences you may not have been as familiar with?  Did any of the work completely confuse you?  Which photographer(s) highlighted are you the most interested in?  Again, summarize the article and explain why this essay has reshaped your ideas about photography.

Megan and Tristan will be leading the classroom discussion on Tuesday 9/26

Project 3 Narrative - Extended Version

You are to create a series of photos based off your narrative exercise done prior.  Each work must still be a self contained narrative, but now you will have a series of at least 5 photos.  Bring your 5 works to class on Thursday 10/5, and we will review them in class.

You must use at least one directional light source in your images.
Your narrative must be consistent across all images.
Your images must show understanding of strong compisition and contain no distracting elements
Each image must be high quality, lighting, compisition, story telling.
Consider the symbols you use in the image.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Semester Long Reading - The Photograph as Contemporary Art

Over the courses of Arts 3361 we will be reading the essays from The Photograph as Contemporary Art.  I will put a post on the website for each chapter that you are required to write a 200 word minimum response to that includes the following topics in some order.  

Which essay from the assigned chapter spoke to your own experience the most?  Summarize the main points of the essay and give a personal anecdote that elaborates on why this article spoke to you the most. Which essay made you think about photography in a new way, or spoke to experiences you may not have been as familiar with?  Which photographer(s) highlighted are you the most interested in?  Again, summarize the article and explain why this essay has reshaped your ideas about photography.  

For an assigned date each semester, you will be required to present your topics to the class for a 10 minute presentation.  You may elaborate on the themes you discussed in your essay and include pictures to be shown to the class.  You must however present on essays included in the chapter that you are listed under.

(times subject to change)

Chapter 1 - If This is Art (read by 9/26)

9/26 Megan and Tristan

Chapter 2 - Once Upon a Time (read by 10/03)

10/3 Alex, Kaitlin

Chapter 3 - Deadpan (read by 10/17)

10/17 Case, Jacob

Chapter 4 - Something and Nothing (read by 10/24)

10/24 Shelby, Sarah, Nikki

Chapter 5 - Intimate Life (read by 11/2)

11/2 Katie and Rachel

Chapter 6 - Moments in History (read by 11/9)

11/9 Nicole, Olya

Chapter 7 - Revived and Remade (read by 11/16)

11/16 Jessica, Zach

Chapter 8 - Physical and Material (read 12/5)

12/5 Taylor, Julia

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Questionnaire due next Tuesday

do you honestly feel like your work is “finished”?  or do you feel like it would benefit from more time?  

was there a part of this process where you felt a sense of risk?  How did you react to it?  

what could you do next time to embrace a risk or challenge and use it to your advantage?  

do you feel ownership of this work, or does it just feel like something your instructor made you do and you don’t feel too strongly about it?  explain one way or another.  

info for submission email


Phone Number (optional)

and image....saved under 2.5 mb and as last name_firstinitial_student_01.jpg

Monday, September 11, 2017

Iphone Photography Apps


  • Comprehensive set of editing tools to adjust exposure, color and sharpness
  • Customizable filters to quickly change the look and feel of your image
  • Ability to edit selected areas of an image

Beautiful photo filter presets that mimic the look of classic film
Integrated adjustment tools for exposure, color and other enhancements
Built-in camera with manual controls
Ability to share your images with the VSCO photography community

Precise control over manual camera functions, including ISO, shutter speed, white balance and focus
30-second timer option (3 times longer than the usual 10-second timer)
Full set of editing tools for improving exposure, color and clarity
Free filter sets, plus the ability to purchase additional filters

popularly known as Cortex Cam, seems a little bit like magic because it allows you to shoot low light photos without the need for a tripod.This app is perfect for shooting at night, or in very low light situations, because of a special process it uses to minimize digital noise (grain).

Manual camera editor for smartphones, use your own aperture, iso, shutterspeed

Manual - another manual exposure camera app

Thursday, September 7, 2017

100 plus Creative ideas to ponder if stuck

Project 3 Narrative

Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison

Basic Summary

You are to create (at least) 1 image (up to 3) that implies a narrative.  You will bring your images to class for critique on Thursday, September 14th.  You will be entering your work to be exhibited at the SPESC Student Photo Exhibit at the Art Center of Waco in October, where your work will be seen by lots of cool people, including class textbook author Charlotte Cotton and the artist above, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.  

What do I want you to turn in an how?  

Bring at least 1 but up to 3 images to class next Thursday September 14th.  We will discuss how to prepare them for the exhibition after critique.  

Suggestions and ideas to get started

Use any approach to imaging; image acquisition, digital painting, digital collage, digital photo, scanning, vector imaging, mixed media, or a combination. The method you choose should align with the artistic goals you set.

By imply a narrative, I mean you can choose how literal or open ended you want the narrative to be. Images can only explain so much in terms of storytelling, but remember this is a powerful limitation. Generally the more obvious your narrative is, the less interesting it is. You must consider ever part of your image to offer clues as to the what the setting, conflict, and possible resolution of your narrative is.    I do suggest you pick a narrative that you find has a parallel with a personal narrative you have in your own life.  Your narrative must be original, it may be inspired by past works but not slavishly reproducing them.  

You have 1 image to work with.  Compose it with the greatest amount of intent possible.  Consider you lighting, and placement.  What do we see in the frame, what is hidden?  use a tripod if possible.  Compose your scene like a still life.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Camera Exposure review

Exposure Cheat Sheet

You can find more online

Photocaddy app for android
or for Iphone

Project 2 - Exposure Checklist

Take a series of photos.... Make sure to follow the steps below. For the content, I want you to consider documenting your "home" or something like the 100 yard radius around your current home base.  Choose carefully and think creatively, as you have to stick to some rules here.

1. Everything in the picture in focus (deep depth of field)
2. Sharp focus on the subject, but everything else out of focus (shallow depth of field)
3. Bokeh - In at least one photo, nothing at all should be in focus. It's hard to take a good looking photo where nothing is in focus - be creative!
4. Stop action (fast shutter speed) The main subject should be frozen in time, be creative in finding a solution.  
5. Blurred motion (slow shutter speed) The main subject of at least one photograph should be motion-blurred, either due to movement of the subject or movement of the camera.
6. Long exposure (more than one second, maybe low light)
7. Backlit subject (silhouette)
8.  At least one photo must be poorly exposed. That is, most of the image should be either very close to black (underexposed) or close to flat white due to oversaturation (overexposed)

at least 8 images due Thursday September 7th, beginning of class

Web Applet for Exposure Basics

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

No class Thursday

I will be out of town Thursday, so get your Project 1 finished.  You can email me if you have any questions.  See you next week.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Project 1 - 1,000 Photos in a Day

Sunsets from Flickr, by Penelope Umbrico

Part 1 - Assignment

This assignment is purposefully created to act as a way to get your shutter finger loose and warmed up for the semester.  You are to take 1,000 photos in one day, as the title suggest.  Here are the rules:

Take a 1,000 photos
All within one day (I'll check the metadata)
Bring the photos to class on Tuesday, Sept. 5th

This assignment can be completed any way you like as long you follow the rules.  If you want to space the photos out to cover a whole day, great.  if you want to take 1,000 photos of one event or scene, great.  You can creatively solve this assignment as long as you take 1,000 photos in a day.  Keep your camera SD card ready.

Part 2 - Quiz (also due Tuesday)

Quiz - fill out the following and send to my email (ireland@tarleton.edu)

1. Name you prefer to be called
2. Email you prefer to use.
3. Camera (s) you will use during the semester
4. What are ten things you like to photograph, or see in photographs
5. What are ten things you don't like to photograph, or see in photographs
6. Go to lensculture find one photographic series that inspires you, and send me the link.  be prepared to discuss it in class.

Society for Photographic Education Conference

Considering the Emerging Trends and Vernacular in Photography
Baylor University - Waco, Texas   |   October 13 - October 15, 2017
Sponsored by Tarleton State University and Baylor University
This year's conference will investigate and discuss how the current vernacular of imagery is ever-changing in the 21st century. It is estimated that over 1.8 billion images are uploaded to the internet daily. We are living in a time when family snapshots are no longer consigned to be neglected in family albums but are now publicly shared and disseminated. As cell phone photography grows more sophisticated, and technologically so easily available, so does the curatorial and artistic sensitivities of the public. During this growth, and with technology so easily available, lens-based artists are incorporating new technology and methodologies while finding new ways to embrace and define the traditional foundations of photography. Drones, microscopes, satellites, the internet, and surveillance imagery, are all becoming part of the vernacular in which we experience lens-based images today.
Call for Entries Student Push-Pin Exhibition
Join us for the SPE South Central Student Push-Pin Exhibition. SPESC students are invited to showcase their work at The Arts Center of Waco during the opening reception of the SPESC Chapter Juried Educators' Exhibition. No need to print, matte, mount, or frame—we will do the printing for you. Prints will be mounted to temporary gallery walls with push pins.
How It WorksSubmit up to three digital files via email and we will do the rest! We will print one copy of each digital file submitted (to your specifications--up to 11" x 14"). We will then install your image on temporary walls to be on display at the opening reception at The Art Center of Waco. If you wish to sell your images, be sure to list your phone number on your information submitted. Buyers will know to text/call you during the reception to make the exchange. All prints sold are the responsibility of the artist.
People's Choice AwardThis year everyone will have the chance to vote for their favorite prints, and the top 3 artists and their work will be announced on our website, and on social media.

Class Text: The Photograph As Contemporary Art, by Charlotte Cotton

The Photograph As Contemporary Art (World of Art) - Third Edition, by Charlotte Cotton

Make sure you get the third edition, ISBN-10: 0500204187.  We will start reading assignments and class discussions from the book starting Week 3, September 12th.  

Author Charlotte Cotton will be a visiting artist this semester, and you will be required to attend her lecture on October 14th, as part of the Society for Photographic Education conference in Waco, TX.

Class Syllabus - Fall 2017


This is an advanced studio course in digital photography, with an emphasis on the digital image as a vehicle for expression.  This class will examine the many levels in which digital images can construct and carry meaning.  Students will have the opportunity for deeper investigations into selecting subject matter, developing personal aesthetics, and more cohesive portfolio development.  


  • The class will introduce advanced studio techniques that build on the previous skills acquired in ARTS2356 Photography 1
  • Students will concentrate on the development of a distinctive personal style and will pursue individual interests
  • Students will learn to work with more advanced photographic equipment including professional strobe and hot lights, while refining their natural lighting skills.  
  • Students will continue to critique their work and will engage in an ongoing study of the history of photography.
  • Students will critique and analyze photographers from various fields across the globe.
  • This class will continue to focus on hands-on learning both inside and outside the classroom/lab.
  • Students will continue to develop a portfolio of digital photographic work


All students will be required to purchase the class text: 
The Photograph As Contemporary Art (World of Art) - Third Edition, by Charlotte Cotton

Author Charlotte Cotton will be a visiting artist this semester, and you will be required to attend her lecture on October 14th, as part of the Society for Photographic Education conference in Waco, TX.

You will also be required to attend the conference on Friday, October 13th and Saturday, October 14th.  Registration is 45 dollars, and that includes 2 days of presentations, lectures by Charlotte CottonRobert and Shana ParkeHarrison, a student exhibition at the Waco Art Center, some food and lots of free coffee, portfolio reviews, and extensive networking and research opportunities.  We will register all students by September 15th.


  • A Digital Camera you are familiar with using.  You have to have your own camera, is this is a photography class and well, it is kind of essential.  If you do not have a professional DSLR camera, you might want to consider getting one as you will gain the most from the class with one. 
  • An external harddrive or place to back up your work.  
  • Whatever camera SD or CF cards you need. All the cables or card readers you might need to download your photos.  
  • In class we will be using Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC 2017, you are not required to own these yourself but it is recommended.  
  • Whatever materials or props for assignments you might require.  


    Class time will involve:
    ·       a combination of lectures and discussions on pertinent issues within the medium
    ·       presentations by local businesses and artists about career options in art/design
    ·       application demos and technical instruction
    ·       screening of artists, videos, and films that significantly connect to class projects
    ·       work time for projects
    ·       critiques of projects.

    Completing assignments outside of class WILL involve taking pictures, travel, and reading/writing. While skill is obtained through practice with the tool, ideas are nurtured through other sources, so resourcefulness is key! Look for ideas everywhere.  


    1.) Blog: www.tsuarts3361.blogspot.com: All assignments and required source material will be posted online. Specific Xeroxed articles, tutorials and other online source material will be assigned and posted on the blog as the course progresses.   You will also be required to keep up your own blog.

    2.) Attendance: mandatory at all class sessions. Class moves fast and it is extremely difficult to catch up unless you take responsibility and look up anything you missed. More than three absences (excused or unexcused, they are all the same) lower your final grade 1 grade down each absence. Come prepared for work in class or you will receive an absence. Since most class material is covered at the beginning of class, being notably tardy also counts as an absence. Checking Facebook during class lectures or videos will make you absent for the day. 

    3) Projects: There will be 4 to 5 key assignments in this course. They are always due at the beginning of class on the deadline date. See the assignment tab on the course webpage for updates on this soon.  
    4.) Critiques: Students are expected to participate in class critiques of works, both completed and in progress. As the term evolves, we will orient towards weekly progress critiques. Talking about your work and others is a crucial aspect of assessing whether your design communicates effectively. 

    5.) Grading: Assignments will be graded under the following rubric:
    §  The thoughtfulness of your approach (at both the research and process stage, as well as in the final piece)
    §  Your ability to utilize the relevant technology proficiently and present your work in finished form
    §  Your ability to fulfill the technical and conceptual specifications of each assignment
    §  Your willingness to take risks, challenge yourself, your peers (and your teacher)
    §  Your ability to begin to articulate relevant concepts regarding the structural and representational issues at stake

    6.) Equipment check out: we have 3 Digital SLRs,  portable studio strobe lighting kit, HD video cameras, among other things. All equipment, especially cameras, are due back the NEXT class period, or you will receive a grade deduction on the current project, and then your university records will be charged for the camera.

    7.) Lab Etiquette: Always back up your work. Data loss—from a lost, fried and/or stolen hard drive, or satanic software - cannot be used as an excuse for late or missing work.
    Students are not permitted to use the internet or any electronic devices during lectures or student presentations. Cell Phones must be turned off unless instructed otherwise.


    Schedule Subject to Change

    Week 1 Introductions and Review of the Syllabus
    Week 2 Technical Demos: Lightroom/Photoshop
    Week 3 Applying to exhibitions, how to critique photography
    Week 4 Technical Demos: Lightroom/Photoshop
    Week 5 Field trip, Starn Twins lecture
    Week 6 Studio Lighting Demo, Still Life
    Week 7 field trip Waco, Society for Photographic Education Conference, Cotton/Parkeharrison lectures
    Week 8 mid term reviews
    Week 9-10 final project introduction
    Week 11 – 14 final projects


    Cheating, plagiarism (submitting another person’s materials or ideas as one’s own), or doing work for another person who will receive academic credit are all impermissible. Turning in work made before this class, or from other classes, is also a violation of academic honesty. Disciplinary action may be taken beyond the Department of Fine Arts.


    It is the policy of Tarleton State University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (http://www.ada.gov/) and other applicable laws. If you are a student with a disability seeking accommodations for this course, please contact Trina Geye, Director of Student Disability Services, at 254.968.9400 or geye@tarleton.edu. Student Disability Services is located in Math 201. More information can be found atwww.tarleton.edu/sds or in the University Catalog.


    Please note that some of the photographs we might look at during this course may include nudity, be graphically violent or be politically provocative. Some individuals may find these images disturbing or even offensive. Such works are included because they presented important challenges to artistic traditions and conventions, to social mores, to standards of beauty and taste, and ultimately, to the definition and history of photography itself. Students will not be required to subscribe to any particular theory of the purpose and meaning of photography, nor will they be required to like all of the images shown. However, if you choose to take this course, you will be expected to understand the issues involved and why they are important. Critical thinking in all areas is something I believe in. I want students to be exposed to good work, I want my students to be able to grapple with difficult ideas, and I want them to develop their own sensitivities and skills. If you have any special concerns, please discuss them with me.

    {ANY QUESTIONS????!!!!????}

    As you've probably guessed, you will have to spend plenty of time in and outside of class shooting, editing, and talking about your work. You should therefore photograph subjects that you consider important or have strong feelings towards. Making good art always takes longer than you think! Trust the process. This is an advanced level class, so I expect advanced level work and commitment.  If you are not really into pushing yourself and working/playing hard, then you will probably not like this class.  I take this subject matter very seriously, and I want you all to make good work for your portfolio.  Good luck this semester!

    -Chris Ireland