CLASS: ARTS 3361/4361 Photography 2/3, TR 9:25am– 11:50am , Mac Lab, FA 110
OFFICE: Fine Arts 165
OFFICE HOURS: Monday 11 am to 1pm, or by appointment



This is an advanced studio course in photography, with an emphasis on the digital image as a vehicle for creative 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.  Assignments will be based off concepts inherent to the photographic image.  You will be expected to show a great deal of individual focus and direction with your work.  Advanced topics of image processing and printing including alternative processes will be discussed. 


Students who complete this course will:
  • Develop advanced skills in photographic processing using a digital darkroom.
  • Concentrate on the development of a distinctive personal style and will pursue      individual interests and research in their work. 
  • Apply critical thinking to analyze and critique their own work and the work of others
  • Engage in an ongoing study of the history of photography
  • Appreciate photographic works of art across time and cultures
  • Develop a portfolio of accomplished 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

As part of the discourse in class, critical and theoretical readings from the above text, among others, will be given out periodically and discussed.

  • A professional DSLR camera, if you do not have one 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 2018, you are not required to own these yourself but it is recommended.  
  • Whatever materials or props for assignments you might require.  
  • Future printing demos might require you to supply paper.  More info coming

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 camera, ideas are nurtured through other sources, so resourcefulness is key! Look for ideas everywhere.  


1.) Blog: 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: Consistent and engaged attendance and participation in all aspect of the class is required. Repeated absences will result in the lowering of your grade. More than three absences (excused or unexcused, they are all the same) lower your final grade 1 grade down each absence. Missing 5 classes is automatic failure. 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.  No late work accepted unless under extenuating circumstances. 

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. Attendance on these days is mandatory. 

5.) Grading: Students will be evaluated (graded) through a combination of assignments, attendancequizzes, and participation. Full participation in all aspects of the class including critiques will be graded. Additionally, because this is an art class, students will be evaluated on creativity and their ability to produce work. This means that if you make a considerable effort, the instructor will take your labor into account, though this does not guarantee an "A."

For maximum success, concern yourself less with your grade, and focus on investing yourself into the process of photography and art making. For some of you, this might mean the one and only art class you ever take, while for others it might be the beginning of something you will continue to do indefinitely. If you want feedback approach me in class, and listen to my remarks, I will send grades and remarks via email but I never do it as soon as I would like.  Treat the class seriously and challenge yourself to learn the most you can about photography.

Grading Scale:

A: Excellent work and growth in the course. It demonstrates a prolific and focused body of work that is conceptually and technically accomplished. It is also reflective of one's personal growth over the semester including their attendance and consistent participation during class critiques, readings, and discussions. 
B: Good sound work. All work was turned in on time and shows clear intention and technique.  Work should be devoted to an idea, but still needs room for developing a sophistication with the concepts. Participation and attendance is consistent. 
C: Very average. The completion of projects are turned in on time, but suffers from technical issues and attention to ideas and concepts. Things are unresolved and there is minimal class participation. Attendance is consistent.
D: A poor attempt. Lacks analytical and conceptual skills, technique, and inconsistently meets the course requirements. No participation. 
F: Failing work and grade. Reveals a huge deficiency in overall effort. Please do not let it get to this point. Take responsibility and consult with the university's academic calendar drop period to see if this is an option.

6.) 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 (and will)

Week 1          Tue 8/28 Syllabus/Class Objectives, Archive Homework Assignment
                        Thu 8/30 Archive Discussion, Assignment 1 discussion

Week 2          Tue 9/4 Review of Camera techniques, DSLR basics, Lightroom controls
                        Thu 9/6 Digital Negative Creation

Week 3          Tue 9/11 Photo History – Alternative Process, Archive Project
                        Thu 9/13 Assignment 1 due

Week 4          Tue 9/18 Cyanotype printing demo
                        Thu 9/20 Van Dyke Brown printing demo

Week 5          Tue 9/25 Class work day
                        Thu 9/27 Allegory and Tableaux discussion

Week 6          Tue 10/2 Archive Project due
                        Thu 10/4 SPE CONFERENCE

Week 7          Tue 10/9 Advanced Lighting demo, studio strobes
                        Thu 10/11 Class work day

Week 8          Tue 10/16 Tableaus and Constructed Images project due

Week 9          Tue 10/23 Narrative assignment discussion
                        Thu 10/25 Laurie Simmons Exhibition at Fort Worth Modern

Week 10       Tue 10/30 Art of sequencing photographs
                        Thu 11/1 Advanced Photoshop demos, printing demo

Week 11       Tue 11/6 Considering your own symbolism, Personal Mythologies Project 
                        Thu 11/8 Narrative Assignment due

Week 12       Tue 11/13 Individual Meetings with Professor on final project
                        Thu 11/15 Writing About Photography and your work

Week 13       Tue 11/20 Open Lab Day
                        Thu 11/22 THANKSGIVING

Week 14       Tue 11/27 Open Lab Day
                        Thu 11/29 Open Lab Day

Week 15       Tue 12/4 Last day Final Crit – Personal Mythologies Project


Cheating, plagiarism (including using someone else’s photographs without proper credit), 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. Learn to be ethical with your research and studio work. 

This is the Tarleton statement….Tarleton State University expects its students to maintain high standards of personal and scholarly conduct.  Students guilty of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action.  Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work, plagiarism, collusion, and the abuse of resource materials.  The faculty member is responsible for initiating action for each case of academic dishonesty that occurs in his or her class.


It is the policy of Tarleton State University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities  Act (  and other applicable laws. If you are a student with a disability seeking accommodations for this course, please contact the Center for Access and Academic Testing, at 254.968.9400 The office is located in Math 201. More information can be found at 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 August 2018

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