General Information

Sekolah Darma Bangsa
XC Photography: Introduction and Practice Photography for Non-Majors
SMP Class 2013-2014

OFFICE HOURS: TBA or by appointment

MEETINGS: 90 minutes, once weekly
CLASS: Tuesdays, 15.15-16.30
PREREQUISITE: a film or digital camera in good condition, preferably with manual controls like an SLR

Course Description
This is NOT a course in traditional darkroom photography involving film media and developing chemicals; this course mainly focuses on digital photography, including but not limited to image acquisition and composition, post-processing, printing and display.

The first semester starts with intensive lessons on aperture, shutter speed and ISO as components of the exposure triangle, followed by basic compositional classes. There will be frequent shooting assignments and critique (evaluation).  Interspersed are laboratory work, which are largely post-processing sessions done with image editing applications - mostly Adobe Photoshop, and possibly Adobe Lightroom - to help illustrate the finer points of digital media and technology within the realm of photographic art. The semester ends with an assembly of portfolio work and exhibit for a limited public view and voting.

The second semester opens with an introduction to light and lighting, progresses through several classes of specialised or stylised photography - both indoors (studio type) and outdoors, with concepts of printing and online display in between. Shooting assignments, critiquing and other practical work are still a large part of the lessons. Reading assignments will be given occasionally. The semester ends with another portfolio work and exhibit.

The general objective of this course is to provide the students a basic foundation of digital photographic skills and stimulate their appreciation of the visual arts in general and of photography in particular; this, in turn, would enhance their awareness of the interaction of lines, patterns, textures and colours in their immediate surroundings; of resultant shapes and forms; and how nuances of light affect all these elements.

In more specific terms, this course aims to instill a sense of focus in the students' minds – a skill they are hoped to develop in the duration of this course in order to effectively select a potential subject out of a chaotic background, capture its best look and preserve it as a slice of time.  This same skill of concentration will be advantageous for students in everyday living and in their future pursuit of higher education and occupation.

Class Format
EACH CLASS WILL BE CONDUCTED ENTIRELY IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. Students are expected to keep up on the use of English vocabulary and expressions during this course. A class typically consists of a short presentation (lecture, demo, etc) by the teacher followed by a practical exercise for the students where they apply and, or explore the concepts just presented. The class ends with peer and teacher critique of representative work from the class. At times, presentation and critiquing will sometimes be cancelled in favour of an extended outdoor practice of a theory or related theories. There will be occasional hand-outs related to the lesson or to digital imaging technology. Reading assignments will be given, as well, depending on the bulk or depth of the lesson and the school calendar.

Projects and Quizzes
These are aimed to gauge and show your understanding and exploration of the concepts presented in class. In other words, initiative, resourcefulness and creativity will be tested.

One (1) quiz will be given before midterms, followed by a (1) practical test for midterms, and one (1) more quiz before finals; these will aim to measure your understanding of the basic theory presented in class and its application in problem solving.

One (1) exhibit project will be made to showcase your artistry at finals; they will be open to votes for a (1) week from SDB teachers and workers – and school visitors, if any. Late or incomplete projects will be penalised by a deduction of points. Mechanics will be discussed in class prior to the exhibition.

Similarly, quizzes and exhibit work will be required in the second semester.

Attendance and Participation
Since we only meet in class once a week, any absence will have a detrimental effect on your knowledge and understanding of the photographic concepts presented in class. It will be evident in the results of your projects and quizzes. Be in class and be on time.

There will be a frequent attempt to analyse and critique each other’s work during class; be honest and share your thoughts. This activity will reflect your understanding and application of theory, and will help improve everyone’s skills.

A  (100-90)  EXCELLENT WORK - photo assignments show excellent creativity and understanding of the concepts presented in class; student is very resourceful and has much initiative, possibly shows a good command of English
 (89-80)  GOOD WORK – photo assignments show good creativity and understanding of concepts presented in class; student is fairly resourceful and still shows some initiative, possibly has a satisfactory command of the English language
C  (79-70)  AVERAGE WORK - photo assignments show basic creativity and understanding of concepts presented in class; some initiative and resourcefulness, possibly has an average command of the English language
D  (69-60)  BELOW AVERAGE WORK - photo assignments show basic creativity and understanding of concepts presented in class; initiative and resourcefulness are rare and inconsistent, possibly struggling with the English language
F  (below 60)  FAILURE – photo assignments not complete; student shows disregard of established classroom policies, including but not limited to disrespect for teachers and classmates and 4 or more unexcused absences per semester

Mobile Phones and Other Devices
Do not bring your phones to class, or put them on silent mode and do not use them during class. Laptops will be used only to transfer, store and edit images from the camera or memory card, and only when the teacher allows; laptops will certainly be required for post-processing of digital images in specified lessons only. Camera accessories, if any, shall be allowed according to the lesson or project at hand.
If your phone rings during class, or are caught using it during class, you will be asked to leave the room and shall be marked absent for that specific class. Using your laptop or fiddling with other devices not immediately related to the lesson at hand and, or without the teacher’s prior approval will be dealt with similarly. You have an option of accepting the alternative punishment of bringing treats for the ENTIRE CLASS and any visitors during the next meeting.

Basic Supplies Needed
1   -  a camera with manual controls. SLR (digital or film) is highly preferred, your own or borrowed from family or friends; brand is of no importance for the purposes of this course. remember to bring your camera to each class unless specifically instructed not to do so.

1   -  a packet of photographic paper for inkjet printers (a packet typically holds 20 sheets of size A4 paper), preferably non-glossy (sometimes labelled as matte or semi-gloss paper)

1   -  a clear book folder for storing your prints, appropriate size for A4 paper, properly labelled on the upper right corner your name, course, class, teacher and schedule

1   -  a brown envelope for A4 paper, needed when submitting print work for checking, properly labelled on the flap with your name, course, class, teacher and schedule

as needed   -  computer (preferably a laptop or a netbook), USB flash drive, memory cards and batteries for your camera, battery chargers, car readers

as needed   -  plain Styrofoam boards (can be taped up or taken apart for bigger or smaller sizes), white and black paper, aluminium/gold foil, white bed sheet or translucent shower curtain, wooden frame (with assistance from the GA department), clear tape/electrical tape/duct tape, cutters, scissors, rulers

few   -  some soft lead pencils and permanent colour markers

General Class Schedule
Specific dates and more details on the class topic will be given to students on the first meeting at the beginning of the semester.

First Semester
dd  DD – MMM – YYYY
The Mode Dial…  The Exposure Triangle Part I: Aperture*
The Exposure Triangle Part II: Shutter Speed*…  The Exposure Triangle Part III: ISO*
The Exposure Triangle: Putting it all together…   QUIZ I
LAB WORK I: The Histogram…   LAB WORK II: PPI and DPI
Colour Temperature and White Balance
Focusing Options, Depth of Field and Bokeh…   PRACTICAL TEST
Sensors and Megapixels…   File Size and Quality
Introduction to Composition I: Framing, Rule of Thirds and Cropping*
Introduction to Composition II: Lines and Perspective
Landscapes and Cityscapes*
Introduction to Composition III: Patterns, Texture and Shape…   QUIZ II
Flora and Fauna*
Introduction to Composition IV: Colour
Street Photography*
Class Intensive: Finish Portfolio Work for upcoming Exhibit (FINALS)

Second Semester
dd  DD – MMM – YYYY
Basic Monitor Resolution and Calibration…   Lab work III: Resizing for Online Display
Introduction to Light and Lighting
Lighting and Light Modifiers…   DIY reflectors and backgrounds
Basic Still Life and Product Photography I*
Basic Still Life and Product Photography II*
Lab work IV: Noise and Noise Reduction…   QUIZ I
Introduction to Portraiture I - Indoor Solos*
Introduction to Portraiture II - Indoor Small Groups*
PRACTICAL TEST: Portraiture Solos
Portraiture by Window Light*
Lab work V: Black and White Conversion (and other Monochromes)*
Introduction to Portraiture: Outdoor Shots*
Flash Photography I – Introduction to Lighting Patterns…   QUIZ II
Flash Photography II – Practical Work with Soft Boxes and Other Light Modifiers
Lab work VI: Importing, Organising, Metadata in Adobe Lightroom

Lab work VII: Developing and Exporting in Adobe Lightroom

Portfolio Work…   EXHIBIT (FINALS)
* PORTFOLIO WORK: select just one of your best work, print it on an A4 photo paper, properly label with shooting and editing data, and submit in a properly labelled brown envelope (UP TO 3 DAYS AFTER THE LESSON AT THE LATEST)

Twitter Updates
The class twitter account provided – @xcfotosdb – is  only for updates related to class, the lessons covered and photography or digital technology in general; as such, I do not expect to see personal posts and messages – you have freedom to deal with those in your personal twitter accounts. 

Do not post a tweet just for the sake of leaving a message and do not expect late night or early morning replies, either. Also, do not frequently ask questions which you could have asked during class – each class should be a sharing experience, so you are encouraged to share your thoughts and questions about the lessons with everyone while in class.

I generally check the class twitter account 2-3 times per day, so this is also a way to keep in touch with me and with members of your class. As with any public venue, remember your basic etiquette even on online social networks.


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