Illustrative Photography I Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

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Parcells Hall 304

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Mon-We from 8:30-9:00

Tue-Thu from 2:30-3:30

Other times by appointment either by email, phone, or Zoom. Please email or call to make an appointment.

Course Information

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PHTC-1345-001 Illustrative Photography I


Prerequisite: ARTS 2356

Course Description

Instruction in the technical aspects involved in commercial photography. Topics include lighting equipment, techniques of production photography, reproduction principles, illustrative techniques and advertising.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

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Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

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(3 sem hrs; 2 lec, 4 lab)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information





  • USB thumb drive or external hard drive
  • Notebook for comp book
  • portfolio case (with sleeves)
  • 20 sheets Epson Premium Semigloss paper
  • 1 ink cartridges for the Epson P600 printer (color to be announced)

Student Performance

Course Description:  Instruction in the technical aspects involved in commercial photography. Topics include lighting equipment, techniques of production photography, reproduction principles, illustrative techniques, and advertising. (WECM)

End-of-Course Outcomes:  Demonstrate proper use of cameras, tungsten and electronic flash lighting, and associated equipment; and conceptualize photographic illustration. (WECM)

Specific Student Outcomes:

Students will

  • Demonstrate knowledge of camera operation
  • Identify and utilize basic techniques for professional studio lighting
  • Learn metering techniques for exposure and lighting ratios
  • Solve basic lighting problems in commercial photography
  • Gain knowledge of various tools for image capture
  • Discuss their photographs in verbal and/or written form
  • Present work for grading in a professional manner, as directed by the instructor
  • Participate meaningfully in critique
  • Maintain a professional and respectful attitude
  • Maintain classroom facilities and shared supplies

This course will help the student to recognize the different properties of light and to learn to recognize and utilize these properties in different media. The recognition of the proper lighting for particular subjects and situations is strongly emphasized as is problem solving skills.

The course will help students learn the tools needed to achieve proper lighting of a subject. This will include discussions of different types of light sources and the tools to modify the properties of the light. The use of soft boxes, scrim, gobos and other tools will be covered. Students will learn proper metering techniques for exposure and lighting ratios.

This course is intended to supply the student with the basic tools for illustrative photography. By the end of the course the student will have been exposed to the use of large format cameras and professional lighting techniques. Students will be able to solve lighting problems in commercial photography.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

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In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Classroom Environment:

For your benefit please read and comply with the Amarillo College Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook as posted on the AC website at:
All conversation should be related to the discussion at hand and comments should not be directed toward specific individuals. Please refrain from private conversations or other activities that might distract other learners.
Phones, laptops, and other technology:
 I want all students to be successful. Cell phones detract from the learning environment. For this reason, they should be turned off and put out of view upon entering the classroom. If you need to carry a cell phone for emergency purposes please see me in advance. If you bring a laptop or similar device to class it should not be used for any purposes other than taking notes in class.
It may be necessary for you to have access to a cell phone or computer to attend through Zoom.

Grading Criteria

Keep in mind grades are not given. Grades are earned based on student performance and participation in the classroom and studio.

Grading Format / A-F 100-0 points

A = Excellent (100-90)

B = Good (89-80)

C = Average (79-70)

D = Weak (69-60)

F = Unacceptable (59-0)

Course is graded on a 100-pt scale broken down as follows:
Weekly Assignments 50%
Final Portfolio 20%
Quizzes, Pinterest contributions, comp book 30%
TOTAL 100%

If you have a legitimate circumstance that requires you miss a test day, let me know IN ADVANCE so we can make an alternative arrangements. If you miss a test due to an emergency, let me know ASAP so arrangements can be made. All quizzes must be made up within a week.

All assignments are due on the date specified. All assignments turned in late will have 10 points deducted from the grade. Assignments will not be accepted after one week.


I understand it is sometimes impossible to come to class (due to illness, etc.). I want you to be successful and your attendance is critical to your success.

It is YOUR responsibility to obtain the information missed if you are absent. In some cases I will have recorded lectures or lab demos for those unable to attend. Also, you must get notes from classmates, read the given material, do research to learn the material you missed.


Habitual lateness is detrimental to your success in this class and disruptive to others. I will note attendance in the first 5 minutes of class. If you are not present, you will be considered absent for that day. Latecomers will need to check with me to ensure you are marked properly.

Additional lab time:

This course will require more time than allotted to complete class assignments. Open lab times will be available for those who are unable to complete assignments in normal lab hours. Consider this part of your homework time, a requirement for the class. Not having enough time to complete assignments is not a valid excuse!


Tentative Course Outline:

This outline is subject to change throughout the semester at my direction.

Week 1


Introduction to qualities of light, using hot lights, safety

Lab and studio tour, Discussion of history and examples of advertising photography.

Assignment: Discuss clip book and comp book. In Pinterest add 2 commercial ad photos using different styles of light. How were they lit? We will discuss them in class. 

Week 2

Lecture: Qualities of light, review of exposure techniques

Lab: Working with the hot lights

Assignment: Assignment 1: Lighting Ratios and Exposure.

Week 3 Labor Day

Lecture: Product lighting, light ratios, using light modifiers

Assignment:  Continue Assignment 1

Week 4

Critique: Assignment 1

Lecture: Lighting continued, lighting for texture and dimensionality, additive lighting, subtractive lighting

Assignment: Assignment 2 – Depth of field and focus

Week 5

Critique: Assignment 2

Lecture: Understanding advertising photography

Assignment:  Assignment 3 - Formative lighting: diffuse and specular, Quiz 1

Week 6

Critique: Clip Book and comp book reviews

Lecture: Lighting for emotion and impact

Assignment:  Continue Assignment 3

Week 7

Critique: Assignment 3

Lecture: composition for photo illustration

Assignment:  Assignment 4 – Product Lighting

Week 8

Critique:  Assignment 4

Lecture: Introduction to using the view camera, setting up the view camera, lights, focusing

Assignment: Assignment 5: Product Lighting: Jewelry

Fall Break 10/18-10/24

Week 9

Lecture: View camera lenses, exposure and metering, lens choice. Using the digital back and film, Camera movements; Rise, fall, slide, swing

Assignment: Continue Assignment 5. Assignment 6 – Food Photography

Week 10

Critique: Assignment 5

Lecture : Motion and Video

Assignment: Quiz 2, Continue Assignment 6

Week 11

Critique: Assignment 6

Lecture:  Strobes

Assignment: Assignment 7 - Motion

Week 12

Lecture:  Electronic strobe lighting on Location, architecture

Assignment:  Continue Assignment 7, Assignment 8 – Architecture

Week 13

Critique: Assignment 7

Lecture: photographing on location, real estate photography

Assignment:  Final Portfolio work

Week 14

Critique: Assignment 8

Lecture: On location, Business aspects of photography

Assignment:  Final Portfolio work

Week 15

Critique: Portfolio help and preparation

Lecture: Business aspects of photography

Assignment: Final Portfolio, turn in comp book

Week 16

Finals week

Additional Information

Syllabus Created on:

08/14/21 2:34 PM

Last Edited on:

08/14/21 2:39 PM