Photography I (fine arts emphasis) Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Parcells Hall 304

Office Hours

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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ARTS-2356-002 Photography I (fine arts emphasis)


Course Description

Introduction to the basics of photography. Includes camera operation, techniques, knowledge of chemistry and presentation skills. Emphasis on design, history and contemporary trends as a means of developing an understanding of photographic esthetics.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

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:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 2 lec, 4 lab)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


 Recommended but not required: A Short Course in Photography, 9th Edition Barbara London & Jim Stone


For this course you will need: 

  • A digital camera with a minimum resolution of 10 megapixels or more.
  • A camera storage card for the camera
  • A storage device to hold your semester work like a USB thumb drive or external hard drive

If you are a photo major you will need a digital SLR or mirrorless camera ( capable of interchangeable lenses) for all your other photo courses. You may want to consider beginning this class with one.

Optional equipment not required but can be helpful include:

  • Tripod
  • Remote Release
  • Additional camera cards

Supplies for the course include:

  • 1 package Epson Ultra Premium Semigloss paper
  • 1 Epson brand ink cartridge for the Epson P600 printer (available at bookstore) color to be named

These supplies are available at the college Bookstore. Some cameras are available at the Bookstore as well, and they will work with you if you have financial aid.

Supplies are due 3 weeks after the start of the semester and need to be supplied to complete assignments.

Student Performance

Exemplary Educational Objectives                                               

Exemplary Educational Objectives (ACGM)

1. To demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.

2. To understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within an historical and social context.

3. To respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.

4. To engage in the creative process or interpretive performance and comprehend the physical and intellectual demands required of the author or visual or performing artist.

5. To articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

6. To develop an appreciation for the aesthetic principles that guide or govern the humanities and arts.

7. To demonstrate knowledge of the influence of literature, philosophy, and/or the arts on intercultural experiences.


Specific Course Outcomes:

1. Students will demonstrate effective communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.

2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship of the Visual Arts and Social Responsibility.

3. Students will demonstrate knowledge of basic digital camera operation.

4. Students will utilize aperture and shutter to control motion and depth of field.

5. Students will manually control camera exposure for shooting in various lighting conditions.

6. Students will manage digital image files.

7. Students will learn basic darkroom procedures.

8. Students will utilize compositional design elements to create communicative photographic images.

9. Students will discuss their photographs in verbal and/or written form.

10. Students will present work for grading in a professional manner, as directed by the instructor.

11. Students will participate meaningfully in critique.

12. Students will maintain a professional and respectful attitude.

13. Students will maintain classroom facilities and shared supplies.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

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

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.

Using someone else’s words, ideas, or images without giving them credit is plagiarism, a very serious Students Rights and Responsibilities offense. It is very important to understand how to prevent committing plagiarism when using material from a source. If you wish to quote verbatim, you must use the exact words and punctuation just as the passage appears in the original and must use quotation marks and page numbers in your citation. If you want to paraphrase or summarize ideas from a source, you must put the ideas into your own words, and you must cite the source, using the APA or MLA format. The exception to

this rule is information termed general knowledge—information that is widely known and stated in a number of sources. Determining what is general knowledge can be complicated, so the wise course is, “When in doubt, cite.”

Be especially careful when using the Internet for research. Not all Internet sources are equally reliable; some are just plain wrong. Also, since you can download text, it becomes very easy to inadvertently plagiarize. If you use

an Internet source, you must cite the exact URL in your paper and include with it the last date that you successfully accessed the site.

Current Semester Work:

With the exception of the photomontage assignment, all assignment photographs and portfolio work must be new work from this current semester intended for this class.

Grading Criteria

 Grading Criteria/Grade Scale:

Keep in mind grades are not given. Grades are earned based on student performance.

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                       60%
Final Portfolio                                  20%
Final exam  and Quiz                      20%                                    


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 or you will be given a 0 for the grade.

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. 1 quiz will be given during the semester to ensure the students understand the material covered.


I understand it is sometimes impossible to come to class (due to illness, etc.), but because so much of the course occurs during classtime, you should not take this class if you have other commitments or issues that will require you to be absent. I want you to be successful and your attendance is critical to your success.


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. 

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!

Failure to officially withdraw before the final deadline will result in the appropriate grade being assigned to the student.



Tentative Course Outline:

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

Week 1

Lecture: Orientation, get to know everyone. Class syllabus and policies, supply list, etc. Discuss Final Portfolio. History of Photography.  Composition, Looking at Photographs.

Lab: Purchase supplies, bring digital camera and manual if available

Assignment: Assignment 1: Composition.

Week 2

Lecture: The camera and exposure. Camera modes, scene modes

Lab: Working with cameras, editing, prepare  Assignment 1, turn in

Assignment: Assignment 2: Motion

Week 3

Lecture:  Digital Foundations

Lab:  Prepare Assignment 2, turn in

Assignment: Assignment 3: Depth of Field

Week 4

Lecture: Lighting, Posing people, White Balance

Lab: Posing people, lighting, Assignment 3 Due

Assignment: Assignment 4: Photographing People, Quiz 1

Week 5

Lecture: Working with film. Darkroom printing

Lab: Photogram. Assignment 4 Due

Assignment: Assignment 5: Photogram, Assignment 6: Film

Week 6

Lecture: Darkroom printing, Review for final portfolio, Night Photography

Lab: Darkroom

Assignment: Assignment 7: Night Photography

Week 7

Lecture: Landscape Photography

Lab: Assignment 7 Due

Assignment: Work on Final Portfolio

Week 8

Lecture:  Final Portfolio due, give presentations

Lab: Print Final Portfolio


Additional Information

Syllabus Created on:

08/22/21 10:38 AM

Last Edited on:

08/22/21 10:59 AM