Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wednesday videos

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Monday, January 28, 2019

Project 2 Exposure Checklist

This assignment comes in 3 parts, each one covering an important aspect of camera exposure. Each part will be due the next class

Part 1 Aperture (30 points)
Explore the aperture settings on your camera. Take 6 images, creatively exploring your camera's aperture settings. You can use either aperture priority or if you are comfortable the manual setting. If your camera has limited option setting try using the cameras presets. The objective of this assignment is to become familiar with how aperture affects your images and depth of field. 1 image of a closseup subject using a small aperture (ex. f/2 to f/4)

1 image of a far subject using small aperture (ex. f/2 to f/4)
1 image of closeup subject using large aperture (ex. f/16 - f/22)
1 image of a far subject using a large aperture (f/16 - f/22)
1 image demonstrating shallow depth of field
1 image demonstrating deep depth of field

Bring these images to class Wednesday 1/30

Part 2 Shutter Speed (30 points)
This part of the assignment is meant to explore creatively shutter speed control in your camera. Set your camera to shutter priority mode, or choose from the presets that best represent shutter speed control, and take 6 images changing the shutter speed control. Explore and creatively capture the effects shutter control will create. To best understand how shutter work make notes on the scene light, the subject, and the aperture. Take as many pictures as you like, the more, the easier to edit the ones you like the best. Submit 6 images that best capture these situations:

1 image slow shutter fast moving subject. (Ex. lower then 1/8s)
1 image slow shutter slow moving subject. (Ex. lower then 1/8s)
1 image fast shutter fast moving subject. (Ex. higher then 1/250s)
1 image fast shutter slow moving subject. (Ex. higher then 1/250s)
1 image blurring to show motion.
1 image panning to show motion.

If you have camera only with presets, try using the presets capturing fast and slow moving subject to see if you can simulate some of th eshutter effects. (Ex. portrait or indoor preset for fast moving subject; or sports preset for slow moving subject.) 

Bring these images to class Monday 2/4

Part 3 Review

Take an additional 10 images, documenting your home.  Consider your most successful attempts at playing with your exposure, and replicate them here to make interesting images that show us a new look at the place you know best.  If you struggle with any of the exposure times, try putting your camera on a tripod or changing the ISO to get a more forgiving exposure time.  

Bring these images to class Monday 2/4

Depth of field apps for your phone

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Project 1: Scavenger Hunt

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

'it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice at something to be good at it" - Malcolm Gladwell

For our first project, you will be given a list of 25 words or phrases. You must create a photograph for EACH word/phrase. You will be graded on concept and completion, composition/technique, and creative approaches to each response. 

Shoot a MINIMUM of 10 exposures for EACH WORD. This doesn’t mean that all 10 exposures have to be masterpieces, or 10 unique and different images. The point of asking you to do this is to get you used to making lots of photographs, and to encourage you to try many things when brainstorming how to photograph your idea. Try a couple of different ideas; don’t just make one photograph for your word and move on. 

What is due? 250 exposures due in class Wednesday Jan 23rd.  Bring your camera with the images on them

If you are feeling stuck, try making a “word map” for each word or phrase. I always start with the definition of a word/phrase first. We will draw one together in class.

Here are your words:

1. Unexpected
2. Lines
3. Sharp
4. Blue
5. Hard
6. Round
7. Fabric
8. Busy
9. Smelly
10. Beautiful
11. Translucent
12. Wrong
13. Monochromatic (but not black and white)
14. Tiny
15. Something that you love
16. Veins
17. Framed
18. Wet
19. Young
20. Old
21. Tilted
22. Silhouette
23. Cold
24. Giant
        25.   Something that you Fear

You may immediately have an idea for each word....I want you to avoid that one and consider your second or third ideas. Most of us will have the same initial idea when approaching a theme or idea for a photograph. this idea will likely end up being cliche and unoriginal. Think hard about how to approach your word/phrase creatively. Think of your idea as an onion. Your first idea is the outer layer. I want you to peel back the layers to get to the center—your unique, considered idea.

This means that it takes a lot of practice and perseverance to develop your own eye as a photographer and artist. Don’t cheat yourself by not allowing enough time to try new things and experiment.

Photo Compisition Tips

20 Composition Techniques That Will Improve Your Photos - PetaPixel

Photo Quiz

1. Name you prefer to be called 2. Camera (s) you will use during the semester 3. What is your major? 4. Have you used Lightroom or Photoshop extensively? 5. Did you accomplish anything noteworthy over the break? 6. What are the five things you like to photograph most, or see in photographs? 7. What are at least five things you don't like to photograph, or see in photographs? 8. right now, take a selfie, or ask a partner to take a portrait. Feel free to find an interesting background. Cut and paste this into your email service that you use regularly and send it to with the selfie attached

Class Syllabus Spring 2019

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. “
Dorthea Lange


This class will introduce students to digital photography techniques and concepts. Technically, students will learn the proper use of digital cameras, basic and advanced techniques in Adobe Creative Cloud, and professional photographic printing.  Concurrently, students will gain an understanding of the cultural, conceptual and creative ramifications of digital imaging.

While photography should be fun, it takes time to master the skills. It also takes times and effort to be out shooting with your camera to find the good shots. For that reason, this class requires a substantial amount of OUTSIDE time to be used for assignments. There is an enormous amount of information to learn about camera technique and design software.  The class will move quickly early on to cover all this information.  The culmination of this course is the final project presentation at the end of the semester.


  • You will practice image composition by shooting 50 plus images a week, and will catalog those images. 
  • You will become technically proficient with the workings of your camera.
  • You will become proficient with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop on the Mac.
  • You will learn about the history of photography as an art, be able to exam and critique the work of yourself and others, and you will learn how to effectively communicate your ideas both visually and verbally.


Class time will involve:
  • a combination of lectures and discussions on pertinent issues within the medium
  • application demos and technical instruction
  • introduction to other photographers that significantly connect to class projects
  • field trips and on-location camera exercises
  • work time for projects
  • critiques of projects

Outside of class, homework will be mostly centered around shooting images for homework assignments.  The best way to improve in this medium is to shoot as much and as often as possible.  You are expected to work around 2 hours a week outside of class.


Text: There is no textbook.  Any required reading will be posted on the blog. However if you prefer to have a take home textbook, I recommend:  A Short Course in Digital Photography by Barbara London and Jim Stone and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classroom in a Book by John Evans. Http:// is a great site for adobe tutorials. A subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud is not required but recommended.
  1. A working digital camera (A digital SLR with removable lenses, manual settings, and shoots in an uncompressed digital format will give you the most versatility and you will be able to get better results easier.  You may use a point and shoot, but you are expected to understand the limitations of what your camera can do.  Please no phone cameras for everyday use.)
  2. Memory card for camera, at least 8 gig
  3. USB drive ALWAYS back-up your work, you may save things to your lab computer, however it is a public lab so anything is possible, and hard drive crashes are not a viable excuse for late work.
  4. Final Project Printing – to be announced

The estimated cost for this course will be around 50 - 100 dollars (if you already own a camera)


Schedule Subject to Change

Week 1 intro to camera function and digital processing, scavenger hunt project
Week 2 – composition, digital photo editing, manual camera settings, exposure checklist
Week 3 – pixels and digital output, photography history 101, archival techniques, composition
Week 4 – landscape photography, advanced digital output landscape project
Week 5 – long exposure photography, night time project
Week 6 – narrative storytelling, photoshop compositing, narrative tableau project
Week 7 -  advanced photoshop compositions, large format printing
Week 8 – photojournalism 101, research strategies, photojournalism
Week 9 – preparing images for the web, photojournalism project presentations
Week 10 – abstract for final project, intro to studio lighting
Week 11 – studio (people,still life) shooting, studio project
Week 12 – mimic a famous photographer - research/assignment, mimic project
Week 13 advanced photo techniques, final project
Week 14 final project display (book, website presentation)


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.

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. More than 6 absences is an automatic fail. 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 seven or eight key assignments in this course. Every week there will be deadlines for those assignments. They are always due at the beginning of class on the deadline date.  Late assignments will not be accepted without approval from the instructor. 

This is a list of Projects from last year that we might be doing in this class (tentatively )
  1. Scavenger hunt project
  2. Exposure checklist, perform a list of manual exposure tricks
  3. Studio Lighting Assignment, perform a series of works exploring lighting techniques
  4. Landscape/Photojournalist Assignment, explore a topic related to history and place
  5. Mimic the work of a famous photographer
  6. Night photography excercise
  7. Narrative Assignment, create a series that tells a story
  8. Final Book Project, create a self directed body of work that will printed and bounded.

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 images communicates effectively. 

5.) Grading: each project is worth 100 points and will be graded by:
FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS– 34%- does the project match the online description?
Did the photographer take enough images, are they presented correctly and on time?
CREATIVITY – 33%- originality of thought and expression.
Does the artwork show innovation and uniqueness? Did the artist solve the given assignment problem in an expected or unexpected way?
CRAFTSMANSHIP -– 33%- attention to detail.
Does the artist skillfully manipulate the images so they look their best? Are all details carefully finished and/or intentional-looking?

6.) Equipment check out: A student may check out equipment that is available by the Fine Arts department.  You assume responsibility for the item and you are required to return it before the next scheduled class.  Some of the items we have are:  Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera, Canon Digital Rebel SLR Cameras, Portable Studio Lighting Kit, Strobe Flashes, Tripods, Video Cameras, and more. 

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 mobile devices during lectures or student presentations. Cell Phones must be turned off unless instructed otherwise.


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.

Cheating, plagiarism (submitting another person’s materials or images as one’s own), is impermissible and a violation of academic honesty. 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.  All work turned in for this class must have been made during this 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 or 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 printing. You should therefore photograph subjects that you consider important or have strong feelings towards. Your projects shouldn’t feel like busy work. Please do not become discouraged if you do not quickly grasp the ideas and techniques discussed in class - photography is a difficult and complex subject that is hard for many people. Making good art always takes longer than you think! Trust the process.

Apply yourself, work hard, develop your skills and exhibit individual growth and you will do very well in this class. I am here to help you succeed, so do not be afraid to ask any questions. I will always try my best to make myself available to interested students. Have fun, keep positive and be creative!

-Chris Ireland