Basic Photography
ART-160-1945 - Basic Photography
Fall 2004

Art Building Room 501

Class Schedule: Lecture/Lab Tuesday - Thursday  2 - 4:50 PM
Office Hours: 1-2 Tuesday / Thursday by appointment

Instructor:  John Sappington -


Film Development Quick Reference
Printing Quick Reference

Course Syllabus

Online Syllabus:


This course will present an overview of traditional photographic processes as well as an historic exploration of the aesthetics of photography. From concept to print, this course explores the technical and chemical processes required as well as the conceptual and critical issues inherent to the medium. Traditional and new electronic photographic methods are presented as a vehicle to understand the implications of photography as an art form. Emphasis is placed on the creative process while exploring image making as a means of communication used by contemporary artists.

Recommended Texts:

Photography, Barbara London, John Upton, Ken Kobre, Betsy Brill, Prentice Hall

Black and White Photography, A Basic Manual, Henry Horenstein, Little Brown and Company

Required Supplies / Equipment:

Rubberized Apron
Rubber Gloves
Sharpie Permanent Marker
Anti-Static Brush
Film - Kodak TMax or Tri-X (* or equivalent 400 ASA general purpose black and white)
Negative Storage Binder (3 ring binder) and Protective Pages (*35-7B)
Photographic Printing Paper - (Resin Coated)
Mounting Board


50% of student grades will be based on class participation.  Students must attend class in order to effectively participate.

50% of student grades will be based on the completion of assigned exercises.  Incomplete assignments will be considered undone. 


Students are expected to attend all of every class meeting unless they have received prior permission from the instructor. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting. Anyone absent when attendance is taken will be assumed absent from the class.   If you are late to class it is your responsibility to make sure your attendance is acknowledged by talking to the instructor. 

If you are intending to drop the class, it is your responsibility to drop the class.  You should not assume that the instructor will automatically drop you because of absences.  If you stop attending classes and you do not drop the class, and the instructor has not dropped you from the class; the instructor may be required to give you a grade of F for the class.

Basic Photography

(subject to change)



Photography Resources

Internet Resources-Links General

Week 1

Syllabus Overview - Expectations, Requirements, Objectives, Best Practices.



Review Internet Resources - click here
5 Images for Tuesday - Make them interesting and possibly relevant to your interest in photography
Initiate Journal


Camera manual

Search Artists:

Carl Maydans Dies - NY Times

Van Deren Coke

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Week 2


Department and Facilities Policy Review with Tim and Tour

Begin fundamentals of visual phenomenology / camera technology

Basic Camera Operation


Critique / Review




William Eggleston Exhibition, Los Alamos @ SF MOMA - August 21st

Search Artists:

Diane Arbus
Robert Frank
Chuck Close
W. Eugene Smith
David Hockney

Week 3


Continued Exposure...

Film Development


Develop 1st Roll(s)
(If you have a roll in progress you may either add the assigned to this roll) otherwise with a new roll of tri-x or tmax (or equivalent from the materials handout) please complete the assignment described below for Tues.



Bracketing Exposures - Choose a subject and make 5 bracketed exposures.
1st exposure according to meter reading.
2nd + .5 half step greater aperture selection or more exposure (over)
3rd + 1 whole step (full stop) greater aperture selection (over)
4th .5 half step smaller aperture selection or less exposure (under)
5th - 1 whole step smaller aperture selection or less exposure (under)

*Be sure to make notes of the exposures in your journal.

With the remaining exposures experiment with the shutter speeds + and or - one shutter speed is equal to a full stop.

* Reference *(taken from Photography, 7th edition)


Oatmeal Box Pinhole Photography by Stew Woodruff
- How to Make and Take Pictures With Pinhole Cameras Made from Oatmeal Boxes

Search Artists:

Tina Modotti
Mary Ellen Mark
Sally Mann
Cindy Sherman
Nan Goldin
Eudora Welty

Week 4


Grain - Density - Exposing for difficult situations.

Review first rolls


Development Continues...
Preparations for printing. Contact Sheets - Photograms




The Lomographic Society - - from Mason Baird
Welcome dear photo-adventurer. you are just about to discover the most interactiv, vivid, blurred and crazy face of photography worldwide. we heartily and most warmly invite you to dive into our unique online photo-features, to taste our cameras and -most of all- to become a lomographer. help us to simply build the biggest snapshot portrait of our planet and to revolutionize the picture communication from the hip. prost.

Search Artists:

Bruce Weber
Linda Connor
Richard Avedon
Lee Friedlander
Catherine Wagner

Week 5


Printing Procedures


Printing -
Contact Sheets - Photograms



Contact Sheets of first rolls
Experiment with Photograms - Research Man Ray, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy


by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Search Artists:

Henry Wessel
Richard Misrach
Richard Avedon
Bruce Weber

Week 6


Printing Continues

Ambient Light


Review First Prints/Contacts



Shoot Same Scene throughout a 24 hour period. Pay particular attention to the movement of the shadows and your primary subject.

Pick a location and photograph it periodically (*morning, noon, evening, night) throughout the course of a day.


Pushing Film allows you to shoot in lower light situations.

This solution essentially fools the light meter by setting it at a
higher ISO or ASA rating and then overdeveloping the film in
order to compensate for the underexposure.

Although your experiences may vary somewhat - here is a good starting base for pushing:

400 ASA pushed to 800 ASA - 50% overdevelopment - 10 minutes normal development time = 15 minutes.
400 ASA pushed to 1600 ASA - 100% overdevelopment - 10 minutes normal development time = 20 minutes.

Search Artists:

John Baldessari
Richard Prince
Sherry Levine

Week 7


Critique - Present minimum 2 prints (bring contacts sheets as well)


24 hour Assignment - Develop and contacts for review


For Review:

Film Development Quick Reference

Printing Quick Reference

Photograms and Montage works... Click Here
Man Ray
Jerry Uelsmann


On Photography, "In Plato's Cave", by Susan Sontag, 1973, Picador.

Search Artists:

Robert Adams
Joel-Peter Witkin
Josef Koudelka

Week 8


La Jete
, by Chris Marker


5 Prints - 7 Contact Sheets - Ideas for Portfolio
Required for Mid-Term




La Jete, by Chris Marker

Search Artists:

William Klein
Fredrick Sommer
Arnold Newman
Joel Meyerowitz

Week 9
10.12 -14.04

Mid Term Critique

5 Prints - 7 Contact Sheets - Ideas for Portfolio

Week 10



Ambient / Artifical Light


Shoot 1 roll minimum per week
Work Prints now through week 15

Interested in going in to purchase paper at a discount!

Adorama Camera has HP5 24ex for $2.09
They have the Ilford Value pack that comes with 25 sheats of either glossy or pearl multigrade iv and 2 Hp5 36ex for only 12.95

No tax
shipping will be about $8

there is also another website that has ilford Rc multigrade iv pearl or glossy 100sht pack for only $28. Shipping on this is also around $8 Their film is a little bit more expensive though so i am not even going to mention it.

If you could post this on the syllabus and tell everyone to contact me at this email if they want to order something, that would be great. The more people we get, the cheaper it will be for everyone. I am just going to need check or cash first because I am broke and can't put the money out up front.




- Experimental Shooting/Printing - Double Exposure, Flash, Night Work - Choose 2 of for 3 images total.

- Referencial Photographs - Choose Photographer and make a series of images after him or referencing his or her work
3-5 for review and discussion.
Due in 4 weeks.

Search Artists:

Irving Penn
Martin Parr
Bruce Conner
Stephen Shore

Week 11


Alternative Processes

Tuesday -

Photography: A Critical Introduction, Edited by Liz Wells - "Thinking about photography: Debates, historically and now."


Individual Review of experimental. - Thursday


Print Assignment:
Experimental Printing - Solarization, Negative, Double Exposure - Choose 1 of for 3 images total.

Shooting Assignment:

(Natural) Beauty - minimum 3 images
Television - minimum 3 images


The Decisive Moment - Cartier-Bresson
Leaflet, Written for Los Angeles Museum - Edward Weston
A Personal Credo - Ansel Adams

Search Artists:

Nick Waplington
David Levinthal
Duane Michaels
Regan Louie

Week 12



Tues: Lab

Review - Contacts of Experimental Shooting, (natural)beauty, television



Reading/ Discussion:

Selection from Ways of Seeing - John Berger

Search Artists:

Bernd and Hilda Bechner
Andreas Feininger
Sigmar Polke
Karl Blossfelt

Week 13




Experimental Shooting, (natural)beauty, television



Presentation / Mounting with TIM


Search Artist:


In Plato's Cave - Susan Sontag

Week 14 11.16-18.04


Legal / Copyright Issues

Protecting your images


Class Critique - Starting Promptly at 2:10 BE THERE ON TIME PLEASE!


Final Portfolio Expectations - see final day for description.
Legal / Copyright Issues

Week 15 11.23.04


Sven Wiederholt

Visiting Artist

Dress for studio shoot with Sven - You will be the subject of the class demonstration.

Thursday: Thanksgiving
Week 16


Week 17 12.07-09.04 Lab:

Final Critique: Tuesday 12.14.04 2-4


Final Portfolio to include:

Any outstanding assignment prints/contacts you wish to submit.

20 Minimum Prints - Representing your work over the course of the semester but,
excluding any of the assigned image concepts

Please make a premeditated selection of 5 of your best images
for open discussion and critique during the class period.