Photography 1 || Spring 2019
Professor Matthew C. Lange ||
Office hours: Tuesday 11:00-12:00 or by appointment

Course Description
This course will serve as an introduction to the fundamentals of photography for students in Communication Design. Our curriculum will be based on operating digital SLRs and compact digital cameras, with an emphasis on composition and technical knowledge. In conjunction with digital capture we will examine file management, fundamental digital darkroom technique, and archival printing.

The course will involve studio and location shooting during classroom laboratory sessions. Studio projects will include portrait and still-life exercises. On location shoots will be designed to put fundamental camera techniques into practice.

Course Objectives
To successfully complete this course, you will be expected to develop your technical and aesthetic understanding of photographic media according to the following criteria:

Successful completion of this course will require: Evaluation criteria:
Use of professional vocabulary to discuss technical and aesthetic issues in photography. Competency demonstrated in written assignments and in-class discussions.
Ability to frame photographs using basic principles of design and composition. Competency demonstrated by taking photographs both in-class and as homework.
Ability to use available and artificial light to photograph still life, portrait and landscape subjects. Ability to correctly expose photographs in a wide range of lighting conditions.
Analysis of aesthetic value and the technical competency of one’s own work, the work of one’s peers, and the work of professional photographers. Competency displayed through in-class discussions and writing exercises.
Developing skills necessary for collaborative teamwork. Competency displayed through in-class team projects.

Teaching/Learning Methods

Class sessions will be designed to facilitate course objectives through group discussions, hands-on photo shoots, editing & printing photos, photo gallery visits, readings and peer-to-peer review. Weekly assignments will supplement classroom discussions and activities, and will serve as a journal of your personal growth.

Weekly Assignments (Learning Journal): 40%
In-class productivity: 20%
Mid-term Project 20%
Final Term Project and Presentation 20%

Weekly shooting assignments, submitted via Flickr, are essential to your success in this course. Expect to shoot & upload at least 40-50 images, and share your best 4-5, every week.

In-class Productivity includes initiative on shoots, participation in classroom discussions, and quizzes.

Web Resources: Flickr, OpenLab
Flickr will serve as the primary web resource for this class. You will find all weekly homework assignments, and will be responsible for posting work, in our Flickr group, which can be found at the following URL:

Additional course information, Open Educational Resources including shooting and editing tips, and an electronic copy of our syllabus can be found on the following OpenLab Course Site:

Required Equipment
You will need access to a camera to complete your weekly assignments for this course. To get the most out of this class, you should use a camera that allows full manual control.

You may sign out cameras from City Tech’s equipment room. If you do not have full manual settings on your camera, you will be required to use City Tech cameras for at least one-third of your assignments.

If you would like to buy a camera, you might refer to,, B&H photo, etc.

Additional Required Materials
– Secure Digital (SD) Memory Card
– Portable External Hard Drive
– Inkjet Paper (Do not rush out to buy this – additional details to follow.)

Recommended Texts
A Short Course in Photography: Digital, 4th Edition. Barbara London and Jim Stone. 2018. Pearson, NY
Read This if You Want To Take Great Photographs. Henry Carroll. 2014. Laurence King Publishing, London.

Attendance is taken and is important to success in this class. Students arriving after attendance is taken will be marked “late.” Two “lates” equals one absence. If a student’s class absences or equivalents are excessive, the instructor will alert the student that he or she may be in danger of not meeting the course objectives and earning a grade of “F”.

Please email me in advance if you will be unable to attend a class session. It is your responsibility to obtain notes for missed sessions from your peers. You will still be expected to submit assignments before any missed sessions. Absence from class does not excuse you from submitting homework assignments on time.

Field Trips
There are 3 scheduled field trips throughout the semester. Any student who is not yet 18 years old must have a signed permission form from their parent or guardian for each trip beforehand.

Academic Integrity Standards
Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.

***The following schedule is subject to change. Weekly Assignment posts on Flickr will serve as updates.

Week 1 – Jan. 30: Introduction and Course Overview || Ways of Photographing
For Next Week: Composition 1: Light & Shadow

Week 2 – Feb. 6: Physics, Optics, Capture || Camera & Exposure Settings: Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, File Formats || Photographic Composition: Rule of Thirds, Perspective, Foreground/Background
Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Margaret Bourke-White, James Welling….
For Next Week: Composition 2: The Frame

Week 3 – Feb. 13: Lighting, Portraiture, Composition || Shooting Exercise: Portraiture and Depth of Field Intro to Lightroom, Histograms
Eadweard Muybridge, Jacques Lartigue, Francesca Woodman, Stan Douglas….
For Next Week: Characteristics 1: Depth & Flatness

Week 4 – Feb. 20: Shutter Speed and Aperture || Field Trip: Brooklyn Bridge Park
RAW Conversions, Histograms
Bill Brandt, Irving Penn, Susan Meiselas, Fazal Sheikh….
For Next Week: Characteristics 2: Time and Movement

Week 5 – Feb. 27: Portrait Lighting, Direction & Quality of Light || Studio Shoot: Portraiture
Irving Penn, Seydou Keita, Dawoud Bey, Alec Soth, Deana Lawson….
For Next Week: Environmental Portrait 1 for Midterm Project

Week 6 – Mar. 6: Studio Shoot: Directorial Self-Portrait
For Next Week: Environmental Portrait 2 for Midterm Project

Week 7 – Mar. 13: Quiz 1 || Edit and Print Midterm || Digital Workflow: Color Correction for print, Adjustment Layers, Curves
For Next Week: Edit captions, upload Corrected Images for Midterm

Week 8 – Mar. 20: Midterm Presentations & Critique

Week 9 – Mar. 27: Studio Lighting: Still Life || Controlling Intensity, Angle & Quality of Light
Man Ray, Edward Weston, Fischli & Weiss, Laura Letinsky…
For Next Week: Studio 2: Still Life

Week 10 – Apr. 3: Field Trip: TBD (Brooklyn Botanic Garden) || Quality and Meaning of Color
William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, Sarah Charlesworth, Barbara Kasten….
For Next Week: Color

Week 11 – Apr. 10: Studio Shoot: Color and Light || Introduce Final
Aaron Siskind, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Carrie Mae Weems…
For Next Week: Final Project

Week 12 – Apr. 17: Museum Field Trip (TBD)
For Next Week: Final Project, Write 3-4 Paragraph Statement for Final Project


Week 13 – May 1: Studio Shoot || Digital Output: Understanding devices and media
Work Session: Edit & Color Correct Final Project
For Next Week: Final Project

Week 14 – May 18: Contemporary Uses of Photography || Quiz 2 || Work Session: Print Final
Broomberg & Channering, Trevor Paglen, Walid Raad…
For Next Week: Finish Printing Final Project, Post Final Images


Week 15 – May 22: Final Presentations
Presentations & Critique of Final Project