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 Course Requirements and Restrictions

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Posts : 61
Join date : 2009-06-09

PostSubject: Course Requirements and Restrictions   Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:22 am

This Basic Photography course is written for students who have not had any previous technical training in photography. It is written for the 12+ year old student; however, any student with the maturity to take care of a camera and work independently on photo shooting assignments can master this course. This course is also offered as a credited course for high school student elective. Please indicate if the student needs course credit.

The photography assignments will consist of written, oral and projects and can be sent to me via email address or posted to the blog. There will be one project each week for the student to complete, as well as a class project at the end of each semester. For film cameras, my suggestion is that you have a CD made of the roll of film being processed, or if you have a scanner at home you can digitize the photos that way too. Obviously for digital cameras, you will need to download from the camera to your computer to email as attachment. Please note, that when emailing the digitized photos watch the size of the file, try to keep it under 500 KB if possible.

When I critique the photographs, I will not be giving a grade for creativity but for completing the assignment to the best of the student’s ability. Photography is an art form and requires creativity, imagination and a “good eye” (similar to painting or sculpting) in order to become a good “Photographer.” Some people have this gift and others will remain “picture takers” ---those who use a camera to record family events, vacation fun, etc. Hopefully, by the end of the course, the student will know if they wish to pursue photography further; at the very least, they should be taking better pictures no matter what their talent.

The course starts with an overview of the history of photography, discussion of some of the better-known photographers, and careers in photography. Then, we will look at the parts of the 35mm camera – how it actually takes pictures, how film is exposed, different types of film, and a comparison of film cameras with digital. After that, we will talk about different aspects of photography – basically what makes a good photograph and how to take various kinds of pictures: flash, nighttime, silhouette, interiors without flash, etc. Finally, we will combine photography with journalism and graphic arts – how to use pictures to tell a story and how to layout an article with pictures.

The camera equipment for the course can be either film or digital. Here are the requirements for the two types.
• 35mm SLR (single lens reflex) camera with, at least, a 50mm lens.
• Flash (either separately or built into the camera).
• Cameras with automatic focus (AF) like the Canon Rebel should also have a switch to Manual Focus.
• Cameras with automatic exposure must also have a switch to manual control of shutter speed and f/stop (the aperture).
• Purchase of Color film – film speed of 100 or 200 is best unless doing night photography without a flash.

You can purchase an inexpensive camera outfit like this for approximately $200-350 new at Porter’s Cameras ( or a good professional photo shop. If you are buying used, go to a good photo shop unless you have a friend who is a photographer and can give you advice on purchasing from eBay or newspaper ad. Be sure to get it insured if you purchase through eBay. You don’t want to get stuck with a used camera that needs repair because cameras are extremely expensive to have fixed and take weeks to get fixed. Also, if a family member, has a vintage 35mm Rangefinder (instead of SLR) camera with manual focus and has a flash, that will work also. One brand name for a Rangefinder camera is Leica. They are still around but very expensive

Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes because they are not limited in shape to accommodate film. If you want to use a digital camera, it must:
• Have manual focus
• Have manual control of the shutter speed and f/stop (the aperture)
• Have a flash unit built in or able to attach a flash unit.

Digital camera purchase will be a little bit more expensive than film because of the manual features. Most inexpensive digital cameras are made and priced for the point-and-click picture taking crowd and not for artistic photography. However, the savings in film cost and processing with digital cameras may make up the difference, not to mention the instant feedback in seeing your pictures right away and the ease of storing the pictures. A good digital camera with manual overrides will cost about $400 and up. Any of the name brands: Canon, Kodak, Konica-Minolta, Sony, Nikon, Fuji, have all come out with digital cameras. Best place to start comparison shopping (for features and price) is a good camera store so you can ask questions and get the right camera for you, and compare the prices. Once you know what you want, then Circuit City, Walmart, Wolf Camera, or even online could be the place to purchase.

Class fees will be minimal if any. The only cost the student will have is for his or her textbook to be printed out. This may be done at home on a printer, through Kinko’s, or can remain in digital format which will either be available on CD, or emailed as an attachment, and may possibly be posted on the blog for the class if there are no restrictions on file sizes. Class quizzes will be accepted in paper format only, so the students will be responsible for providing me with a paper copy of their quiz otherwise I will need to charge them for a copy. Any questions should be directed to my email which is or via phone 828-644-0707.
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