Calendar & Syllabus

Tentative Curriculum for Spring 2011

January 20: Introduction to the program.  Pass out binders – each with username/password for Photobucket and a link to the WordPress. Explain flow of class (critique –> examples of what we’ll work on during class –> photo exercise. Talk about what the purpose of photography is/what are photos used for? Also, stress difference between the photographer and the model. Show examples of women photographers – Lisette Model, Annie Leibovitz, & Sally Mann, looking particularly at framing. Making everything in the rectangle “perfect” might require moving to a different vantage point, angle or height.  We will shoot portraits in the studio (black and white) – one single object (the model) to arrange in the frame. Remember that a portrait doesn’t necessarily need to include the whole body or even the face. Book Women by Annie Leibovitz as a reference in the studio. Homework: bring in a photo (from a magazine, book, the internet, etc) of a woman and tell us something that the photographer might want us to know or think about her.

January 27: Go over homework — each student may voice what they think the photographer is trying to say about the woman.  Look at the photographs from class last week — each photographer will say what they were trying to achieve with the portraits – talk about the good things in each photo (accelerated students should lead discussion) and things that might be improved next time.  Exercise for today will be in still life photography – look at photographers Edward Weston’s vegetables & sea shells, Irving Penn’s food, and others. We’ll set up stations of dishes/teacups, food, flowers, sisters/pens, books/glasses, etc. Remembering techniques of framing and composition, students will build their still life to create a compelling composition and use different focal points to accentuate the image. The photographs will be taken in both color and black and white.  It’s important that each student pays particular attention to their own photographs because they will be used in an exercise next week. Homework: bring in a photograph or image that might be “manipulated” or “digitally altered.”

February 3: First lesson in photoshop. We’ll go over the photographs taken last class briefly.  Students will show their homework and we will talk about the techniques that make them “images” rather than photographs. Looking at photomontages by artists like Jeff Wall, Rauschenberg, Rodchenko, Many Ray, Adrian Brannan and Hannah Hoch we will talk about different styles of photomontage. A quick exercise to get ourselves thinking about composition will involve cut up photographs to create a class montage. Students will then begin working on their own photomontages using 12 photographs to create a compelling image.  This class will largely be dedicated to acclimating the students to the photoshop interface and understanding the functions of toolbars. Directions for the assignment and a “how-to” sheet will be provided.  Depending on how quickly the class moves, we’ll continue the project next week.
Tentative homework: If you had text written on your body — what would it say? Be prepared for being written on next class (dress appropriately!!)

February 10: Lesson II in photoshop. Step-by-Step tutorial through photoshop. Finish projects from last class. Introduce Picasa for those who want to explore more outside the class.

February 17: Northampton Center for the Arts to view a show by the Youth Action Coalition. We’ll look at other students work and maybe even get a surprise visit from a former Care Center Photo instructor!  Beforehand we will do a scavenger hunt around Noho. Check list will be provided!

February 24: No Class – February Break.

March 2: Text & Bodies part I

March 9: Text & Bodies part II

March 16: Photoshop Lesson II:  We will work with the portraits taken over the course of the semester. Each student will do thorough editing to a portrait they are not totally as pleased with.  Discussion at the beginning of the class will revolve around ideas of editing – the pros and the cons. Looking at airbrushed models and at other digitally altered images we will talk about the power of the photographer to convey a message though an original image and through an edited image.  Depending on how quickly students catch on to the program, experienced students will pair up with new students to help understand concepts and problem solve.

March 16: Class at the Care Center / visit from the White House. In class today students will be encouraged to work on/begin creating larger projects that range outside of the classroom. Topics can range from family, landscapes, still lives, a-day-in-the-life, photos that go along with a song, piece of art, or video, etc. Depending on projects that will be undertaken, we will cater classes depending on projects. Students who choose to take advantage of this opportunity will be in the gallery show at the end of May in Holyoke.

March 23: We will continue to work on independent projects through class. Today we will determine what the rest of the cycle will look like, depending especially on field trips that can enhance the projects. Books and photographers will be provided for reference for each student’s projects.

March 30: Street Photography in Holyoke / viewing the Canal Gallery. We will talk about presentation of the gallery show! Get excited!!

April 6: We will take a field trip to the Mead Art Museum to look at the new exhibition “PHOTOdocument” about documentary photography and text.

April 13: TBD

April 20: TBD

April 27: TBD

May 4: Final Class — large in class critique.


Tentative Curriculum for Fall 2011

September 9: Introduction to the program at the Care Center. Look at women photographers Annie Leibovitz, Sally Mann, Cindy Sherman, Lisette Model as well as Alfred Stieglitz.  Introduce the website and photobucket account. Open square to get acquainted with the cameras, talk about framing, composition and lighting. Practice getting close to the subject and taking macro photos.

September 16: Introduction to film/photo building, the studio and digital lab. Go over last weeks images, how we talk about photographs and critiques.  Show images by Ansel Adams, Art Wolfe, Frans Lanting, John Szarkowski and Dorothea Lange. Walk over to the farm and divide class in 2 – half will do a lesson on black and white landscape photography and half will have a designated color to shoot. Next class we will talk about the difference and the importance of color.

September 23:  At the Care Center. Go over color/black and white images from last class. Talk about the differences and uses for black and white photography versus color photography. Revisit the concept of manual focusing/depth of field. Watch the documentary Born into Brothels and talk about the importance of photography in movement and change. Walk around Holyoke and explore concepts and ideas that were stimulated from the movie. Assignment: 10 or more architectural photos of a single building. Homework: bring in a photo from a magazine, book, newspaper or online and write 1 sentence about why you like the photo.

September 30: Mini-presentations on the homework assignment. Visit Eduardo Hernandez Santos’s show in the Smith Museum Gallery. Take photos around Smith College using natural light and think about movement in photography. Group of 3 students to do a panorama.

October 7: No class, October Break

October 14: Go over photos from last 2 classes. Lesson in Photoshop. Learn basics of photoshop – montages, panoramas, collages, filters. Split class in half, switch at 10:45. Other group will begin portraits and working with lighting.

October 21: Go over work so far in photoshop. Students can give feedback on the work in progress and make suggestions for furthering creativity. Depending on number of people still working on their photoshop projects, another lesson/continuation of last week.

October 28: Sum up of photos/montages/work that hasn’t been seen yet. Tell a story project. Theater building. Divide into groups of three. Students should use props, costumes and different scenes to create a story that should be composed of about 10 photos.

November 4: Use the photos from the theater building that we took last week to compose a story of at least 5 frames. The photos can stand alone with titles or can be in one longer group with a single title. Photos should be creatively edited to add to the effect of the story.

examples: converting the images to black and white, editing the brightness and contrast or saturation, overlaying photos to create motion or a memory effect, using filters to appear through a different lens (blur to make it look like it was  taken through a window?)

November 11: Focus on portfolios/show. Students should choose from their portfolios which photos they would like to include in the show. If any touch ups need to be made they should utilize photoshop during this class to make any last minute adjustments. Students should also spend class time combing through photobucket for any photos of theirs that they want to include in their portfolio and all photos on this website should be claimed. For students who are finished with their portfolios and are satisfied with their image for the show, they should work on black and white portraits with the studio lighting, paying particular attention to the way light falls on the subject. Photographers might utilize a white sheet to give their subject a clean look or can choose to photograph in their regular clothing. After a regular portrait is taken they should take “fragment shots” of sections of the body that could later be pieced together in photoshop or that could stand alone in a series of body shots.

November 18: TBD

November 21: Gallery Show goes up today!!

November 25: No class, Thanksgiving Break

December 2: TBD

December 9: TBD

December 16: Gallery Show Critique with Hampshire Students!! Congrats on a great semester, keep shooting!


Tentative Cycle 4 Curriculum

March 11: Introduction to the program & natural light exercise. Introduction to framing, composition and camera mechanics. Introduce website and homework. Spend time on the computers setting up student portfolio folders (Hampshire).

March 18: How to’s: Baby and children portraiture. Put previous week’s photos into portfolios. (CANCELLED).

March 25: Street photography & artists books (Care Center).

April 1: Painting with light – an exercise in using flashlights to create portraits. Exploring shudder speed through movement.

April 8: CLPP Conference

April 15: Visit to a local museum (UMass) to look at the contemporary photographer, David Goldblatt.  Thinking about ideas for their own photography, especially for next week.

April 22: Lab: Text & Image/photomontages. Studio: Thinking about the photos we saw last week, creating a series of images that show motion or movement in some way.

April 29: Outdoor photography: trip to the Hampshire Farm to explore depth of field.

Alternative exercises:

Still lives in photography – playing with studio lights to create dramatic effects on objects.

Analog shooting: exploring manual focus and other analog features.

Macro photography: up close and personal shots on a nature walk through the Yiddish Book Center gardens.

One Response to “Calendar & Syllabus”
  1. Ezra says:

    Wow. The Care Center girls don’t know how lucky they are!

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