Course Description

This is a beginning course that explores the technical and aesthetic concerns of photography. Through the fundamental concepts of light, exposure, and composition, students will develop the ability to control photographic style to create visually engaging images.

Credits, Hours
2 cl hrs, 2 lab hrs, 3 cr

COMD1340 sectD087

Class Meeting

In-person location: Class meets Tuesday in V111 at 2:30 – 5:50

Faculty Information

Professor Ken Pelka

In person office hour:

  • In person: Tuesday: 3:30 – 4:30 , Thursday 6:00 – 7:00 in V111
  • If you need to meet another time, an online meeting can be arranged

Contact Information:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 917-794-0709. Text for quicker response

Learning Outcomes

Through hands-on technical exercises and creative assignments, class discussions and critiques, students will demonstrate:

  • accurate use of vocabulary related to photography to describe photographs in written and verbal peer critique
  • visual literacy to analyze the meaning, the aesthetic value and the technical competency of one’s own work, the work of one’s peers, and the work of professional photographers.
  • understanding of camera functions
  • ability to use light, composition and exposure to to convey a point of view in a photograph. 

Teaching/Learning Methods

  • Technical exercises
  • Creative exploration of photographic style
  • Peer-to-peer critique
  • View and discuss the work of 20th century and contemporary photographers
  • Readings and video resources by and about photographers

Required Equipment


Each student will be be able to use a City Tech camera during the class. You may also bring your own dSLR.

You will need a camera to complete the coursework. 

You may use a camera phone. For some assignments, you will need to use Lightroom Photoshop App to gain control over shutter speed and ISO.

Resource for buying a camera:

Required Software

This course will give instruction in how to use Lightroom and the Lightroom Photoshop App. You may use Lightroom instead just note that the interface will look a bit different and you will need an iCloud subscription.

If you will be using a camera to do your coursework, you will need access to Adobe Lightroom

If you are using a cameraphone, you will need the Lightroom Photo Editor App, sometimes called Adobe Lightroom Photoshop.

Lightroom Versions

Lightroom Classic works with photos on your hard drive. Best for professional photographers who are managing hundreds of thousands of photos.

Lightroom is a cloud-based application so you can edit your photos on any device.

Lightroom Photo Editor/ Lightroom Photoshop App allow you to shoot and edit photos on your mobile device.

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.

All photos taken for credit in the class must be taken by YOU and taken in response to the assignment. No photos will be accepted that were taken before the assignment was given.

No photos will be accepted for assignments without metadata and a date taken.

When uploading photos to flickr, make sure metadata is not turned off.

In Flickr, when we look at an image, the metadata is a useful tool for analyzing exposure issues. Below are metadata examples for camera phone and a camera


Attendance is taken and is important to success in this class. Both absences and arrival more than 15 minutes after the start of class will be marked.

The COMD BFA and AAS degrees are design studio programs. In-class laboratory activities and engagement with other students is a significant portion of the courses. Absences more than 10% of the total class hours may result in a 10% drop from your grade due to an inability to meet deliverables of participation. This may be in addition to other penalties that will be imposed for failure to complete in-class academic requirements. Missing more than 25% of total class meetings will not be permitted. Any 2 lateness’s (15 minutes or more) will be equal to 1 absence.