Digital Photography (Section 2) [CRN 77153 Course] [CRN 77156 Lab]

Discipline: Journalism and Media Communication
Instructor: Serio
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1340
End: 1500
Field Work: Day 1 - Thursday, 1 December | Ecuador
Prerequisites: None but please see the list of required supplies Download Syllabus

Aspects of digital photography, artistic photography, and photojournalism will be explored.

How to use the camera, how to compose photos, and how to critique images will be discussed at the beginning. Students will learn about shutter speed, aperture, lighting, different focal-length lenses, ISO speed, flash, white balance, and how all of these control, manipulate, and even change the interpretations of a subject. There will be discussions, exercises and readings.

Next, the course will deal with photojournalism; works of well-known photographers will be incorporated into the class to inspire discussion about what makes imagery beautiful, exciting, or even disturbing. We will also discuss ethical and safety issues that can affect the role of the photographer in presenting an unbiased view of subjects. Prior to each port, students will learn how to capture, with respect, the distinctive characteristics of the people, culture, and environment. Students will experience each new port through the lens of their camera and shoot subject matter that conveys what they see, feel, hear, and even smell in a thought-provoking way and write captions and short essays.

At the end of the semester, students will compile a final portfolio that will include edited essays and selected visuals from all assignments.

Field Work

Country: Ecuador
Day: 1 - Thursday, 1 December

We will first visit the Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art and learn about the culture, the history, and traditional and contemporary arts of Ecuador. Students will jot down information and if permitted, photograph inside the museum pieces. We will then travel to locations scattered throughout the city where mosaic murals have been placed in unconventional locations. Through these elaborate, colorful works, artists convey strong pictorial messages illustrating topics from preservation of the environment to scenes of old Guayaquil. We will photograph the work and use these as inspirations to create David Hockney “joiners,” photo collages consisting of numerous images of the same subject shot from slightly different viewpoints. The final photos will be completed on the ship and become Cubistic mosaic-like expressions. Before arriving in Guayaquil, we will discuss equivalent photographers Minor White and Aaron Siskind who found beauty in details of peeling paint and torn posters; subjects became symbolic and freed the viewer from literal interpretations. And Karl Blossfeldt and Imogene Cunningham photographed delicate seed pods and flowers showing magnifications of nature that became sculptural and deceptive in scale. We will travel to the colorful historic neighborhood of Cerro Santa Ana, and later, if time permits, to the botanical gardens where students will search for and photograph subject matter inspired by these artists.  Learning objectives:

  1. To learn about the history, culture and art of Ecuador at the museum. To either photograph if permitted or jot down notes about selected pieces
  2. To photograph street art, murals, and mosaics on city structures and governmental buildings.
  3. To shoot scenes and environments with repetitive, slightly varied viewpoints and exposures that will translate into collages
  4. To photograph in the colorful historic neighborhood of Cerro Santa Ana, to visit the Casa Del Artista Plastico, and if possible, to shoot at the botanical gardens
  5. To shoot magnified compositions of abstract details with the concept of equivalent photography in mind
  6. To shoot botanical details that convey large scale sculptural effects