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ART 140 A: Basic Photography

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MW 9:10am - 11:50am
ART 116
Gavriella Aguilar

Syllabus Description:


Schedule - Spring 2017

MONDAY/WEDNESDAY 9:10a - 11:50a



OFFICE HOURS: WEDNESDAYS 11:50-12:50PM (rm 17)



Artist: Ruth Van Beek


Art 140 is an introduction to the theory, techniques, and processes of still photography with a digital camera.  Course content will emphasize photography's potential for self-expression and creative problem-solving in an artistic context.  Image output will include digital prints, B/W darkroom photogram prints and on-line submissions.

Course content will be delivered through slide lectures, demonstrations, field trips, workshops, discussion, group reviews, readings and consultations.

You will complete photographic projects (both on-line and in print form) in response to a set of assignments. Each assignment is designed to stimulate consideration of a specific conceptual approach but may be realized with a vast range of creative solutions.  Written assignments include quizzes, reviews and assignment proposals.

You are encouraged to visit art galleries, the art library for art books and publications and artist's websites for inspiration and information.



•    To achieve competency in basic photographic techniques

•    To develop an understanding of photography as a visual and cultural practice

•    To enlist the creative possibilities of photography as an art form in your photographic works

•    To understand the importance of “process” to discovery and learning

•    To develop experimental approaches to both problem “seeking” and problem solving

•    To successfully initiate, develop and express unique personal aesthetic solutions

•    To think critically and objectively about your work and that of your peers

•    To offer thoughtful and articulate feedback to your peers



You are responsible for obtaining information missed due to absence from classmates. 

Participation in class is an essential requirement for this course.  Formal assignment reviews are equivalent to exams and attendance is required to participate. Active involvement in assignment reviews, lectures, workshops and group discussions will deepen and reflect your understanding of the course material.  The opportunity to receive feedback from the instructors and peers and to experience and participate in peer reviews is a crucial aspect of your learning in this class.

Please turn off cell phones and electronic devices during class.




Please note: a digital camera that allows manual control of aperture and / or shutter speed and focus is required along with a 1GB memory card.  Cell phones and automatic digital point and shoots will not allow you to work to your capacity.  Digital cameras are also available for checkout from CSS in Kane Hall and the SOACC in the School of Art, but cannot be relied upon on a regular basis as availability and borrowing times are limited.

In all cases, read the manual to understand the camera you are using. If you do not have a hard copy, you'll find a PDF manual on-line that you can download. Your computer may have a slot for the memory card you are using, but if not, you may use the usb or mini-usb cord supplied with your camera that connects your camera to the computer for direct downloading. You may also use an external card reader (purchased separately).


You will be using Adobe Photoshop (equivalent image processing software is also fine) for image processing: resizing, color correcting, exposure adjustments, etc.. If you don't own this software, the computers in Oldegaard Library, Mary Gates Hall and the School of Art Computer Center (2nd Fl. Art) all have Photoshop installed for your use. See this link for further information and recommended tutorials on Photoshop. PHOTOSHOP . info . tutorials UW online workshops for software:
   Link (Links to an external site.)


You will receive a $15 Digital Print Card usable for printers across campus, including SOACC and Oldegaard Library and B/W photographic paper for use in the Photogram / Darkroom assignment.  You will also spend approximately $60-100 on printing your images; in addition to campus printing facilities, commercial printing facilities may be utilized.

A tripod and gray card are not required but will be very useful. 


An external drive is portable and will allow you to quickly upload/backup your images. Flash drives and portable hard drives are available in a variety of sizes and speeds. It is critical that important information is backed up and saved in at least two locations.


Google Drive lets you store files online (unlimited capacity). Google Drive is one of the core UW Google Apps. It takes longer then a flash drive or external hard drive to upload but you can then access your files from anywhere you have an internet connection:


Hundreds of computer stations available that include Adobe Photoshop.

  • Oldegaard Technology Help Desk and Computer Vet

  • School of Art Technology Services

School of Art Computer Center: Hours, Location, and Contact Info 



UW workshops for studying softwares
   Link (Links to an external site.)

Barbara London, Jim Stone, Short Course in Digital Photography, Pearson Publishing, 2011: 1st or 2nd edition.

Alsion Carroll, Henry Horenstein, Digital Photography: A Basic Manual, Little Brown, 2011

Taking and Resizing of Digital Images of Coursework 1.
 Digital Photo Quality 2.  Resizing - PS CC - 4.2.15.pdfView in a new window

School of Art Technology Services - 
School of Art Computer Center: Hours, Location, and Contact Info (Links to an external site.)



Reframing Photography Rebekah Modrake

The Photograph as Contemporary Art  Charlotte Cotton

Blink. 100 Photographers, 10 Curators, 10 Writers (Links to an external site.) Phaidon Press

On Photography  Susan Sontag

Burning with Desire: The Conception of Photography  Geoffrey Batchen

Vitamin Ph (New Perspectives in Photography) T.J. Demos

BELIEVING IS SEEING: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography Errol Morris 



Henry Art Gallery photography & video collection on-line:



Emails are welcomed if instructions were not clear in class or have not been addressed satisfactorily on the website; please review the website in regards to schedule, assignments, etc. before writing.


How to Critique

First Thursday Gallery Tour

Schedule - Spring 2017

School of Art Policies


Catalog Description: 
Introduces theory, techniques, and processes of still photography in an artistic context. Emphasizes photography's creative potential.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:03pm