Saturday, January 18, 2014

Syllabus for PHO 111 Spring 2014

PHO 111 Intro to Digital Media

Teaching Assistant:  Ginger Cook

o/  WTFA-225              h/  by Appointment
c/  903.517.6024           e/


 Materials – Textbooks, Readings, Supplementary Readings:
Due to the rising cost of photo textbooks that are outdated by the time of publication, there is no mandatory text. Instead of a textbook, it is recommended that students get a account, an online tutorial for software and photographic information.
Textbooks Optional:
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Classroom in a Book, Adobe Creative Team
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers, Martin Evening
Design Basics, David Lauer, Stephen Pentak

Course Description:
Introduction to Digital Media (IDM) is an intensive semester-long course in which you will learn the technical and conceptual tools to understand the basics of digital media as well as begin to learn the language of the visual narrative. You will begin to explore the photographic fundamentals of composition and lighting.

In this class you will build a blog as a means of communicating and presenting your work to a wide audience. 

Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course students should be able to demonstrate the following:
·       editing and archiving digital files using digital asset management software
·       how to make color correct inkjet prints by using technical software
·       an understanding of the photographic vocabulary
·       how to analyze and interpret photographic images
·       effective critique by participation in critical evaluation regarding your own work and the work of others
·       have an understanding of professional presentation
·       have submitted a weekly blog of commentary and assignments


 Instructional / Methods / Activities Assessments
This course will consist of a series photographic assignments and excises to assist you in achieving the objectives of this course. Each week you will work on various combinations of shooting, blogging, and participating in critiques and discussions.

This will be a fun learning experience so please bring your energy and enthusiasm and a willingness to share into this class.  It is important to keep your blog up to date, and turn in your assignments on time.

Each week you are expected to add one to two entries as well as posting your assignments into the blog. In addition to submitting your work on the blog, you will also be asked to submit photographs as matted prints. You will be graded on the quality and content of the images, as well as the quality and execution of the presentation.

Your final project will consist of a blog which includes all of your assignments and projects. Additionally, you will present a series of matted photographs for the final critique.

Grading: “Grades are not given, they are earned”.

Students will receive a numerical grade that will be determined by performance on critiques, exercises, quizzes, blog site, class and lab participation. These will be added up at the end of the semester and 100% of the total amount will be averaged for the semester’s final grade. All assessments, attendance, etc will count a total of 100 points each with the exception being Final Review. The Final Review will receive three grades in each of the following categories: Creativity, Technique, and Presentation and each will count a total of 100 points. At the end of the semester all the grades will be averaged and the following scale will be used: 

A = 100-90, B = 89- 80, C = 79-70, D = 69-60 and F = 59 to 0.

Your final grade will be derived from the following sources:

1. Class Participation:
The way you conduct yourself in class is extremely important. You should come to lectures and labs with questions from the assigned reading. Note taking during lectures and labs is essential. During critiques it is important to express your thoughts and feelings about the photographs being presented.

2. Attendance:
It is important to attend class in order to learn the information being presented.

3. Assignments and Exercises:
You will have weekly visual assignments that are graded on how well the specific problems have been solved. Each assignment, unless otherwise noted, will be given a numerical grade.  Remember your work must be well-crafted and it must be about something more than being just a "pretty" picture.

4. Blog Participation:
You will be expected to post at least once a week to your blog plus post all of your assignments to the blog.

5. Final Project:
Students will submit a final project that will consist of matted prints from both new work and past assignments.

Please note there will be no extra credit assignments.

Please make an appointment to see me before mid-term and finals to individually go over your grades and your progress in the class.


Students will have access to a Macintosh OS X computer and print lab equipment with all the software needed to complete photographic assignments and exercises.

Students will need to provide the following:
·       Digital camera with a minimum of 10 mega pixels and media card i.e. 
Note: Find the instruction manual and read it / make sure that the camera is in good working order. Cameras are available from the 3rd Floor of Journalism Check-Out for student's use.
·       500GB external hard drive / two hard drives would be better
·       Notebook/ All students will be responsible for notes on ALL information given during class and lab time.


Interaction with Instructor Statement:
Please contact me through email or making an appointment to make sure I am in my office.  Appointments are encouraged

Office Hours: by appointment  


Course Specific Procedures:

Procedures & Policies for Submission of assignments

A.  Due Date: All assignments and exercises are due on the date and time given by the instructor.
Note: All images must have been shot, processed and printed this semester for this class only.

B. Print Submission: All work must be from files that were produced during this semester.  No images from previous classes can be submitted.  All photographs will be printed on 8 X 10 or larger inkjet paper and presented in a professional manner.

Attendance is required and is recorded at all class and lab meetings. Every student will be responsible for all information given during scheduled class and lab times.

Note: A total of 4 absences from any class meetings (lecture or lab) will result in a failing grade ("F") for the course and you will be dropped from the class. Excused absences are listed under Class Attendance (A13.02) in the A&M-Commerce Procedures. Verifiable excuses for absences must be turned in to the instructor.

University Specific Procedures:

ADA Statement
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities.  Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities.  If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:

Office of Student Disability Resources and Services
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Gee Library 132
Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835
Fax (903) 468-8148
Student Disability Resources & Services

Student Conduct
All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenets of common decency and acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment.  (See Code of Student Conduct from Student Guide Handbook).


In PHO 111 IDM, we will be shooting still and video shooting assignments as well as a variety of technical exercises. 

Please post all of your assignments to your blog.  Include additional research and comments for your assignments on your blog as well.  We will work on assignments according to the needs of the class. We may not get to all of them, we may do them in a different order, or I may add/delete assignments depending on the individual class.

The following is the basic outline of what will be covered:
Introduction to the 3rd Floor Check-out area
Introduction to the Print, Mount, Matting Lab
Introduction to Lightroom
Introduction to PhotoShop
Introduction to Photo Design and Composition
Introduction to Printing, Matting, Mounting, Framing and Presentation
A Brief History of Photography
Introduction to Cameras and Lenses

Self Portrait/Portraits
Aaron Siskind
David Hockney
Photo Montage
Night Shots
Multiple Me
Others as class interest indicates

Possible Field Trips: Dallas/Fort Worth
Possible Shooting Field Trips: Cooper, Sulphur Springs, Greenville, Paris

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