Instructor: Hannah Cooper McCauley, MFA
Classroom: Mac Lab and Photo Lab
Office: A101 in Photo Lab
Office Phone: 210.564.6187
Office Hours: MWF during US Flex Time,
before and after school by appointment
One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind.
- Dorothea Lange
Unless you photograph what you love, you are not going to make good art.
- Sally Mann
Photography I is a focused and intensive photography course that provides students the opportunity to have a more in-depth exploration of their creative process and photographic interests. The course is structured around theme-based photographic projects as well as group critiques and portfolio production. Students work toward a focused, cohesive, and highly crafted photographic portfolio suitable for exhibition, juried competitions, and professional and college applications.
Photographic processes include advanced digital image manipulation, large-format inkjet printing, alternative photographic methods, and presentation techniques. Students will produce photographic projects based on themes such as documentary, still-life, portraiture, story-telling, abstract and photo-essay.
CLASS WEBSITE www.tmi-photo.com
Our class website is the primary method for communication between instructor and student. This site includes weekly class announcements, assignment parameters and due dates, slideshows, tutorials, and photography resources. It is the student’s responsibility to check the class website often. The syllabus and instructor contact information will also be available on our site.
- Digital Single Lens Reflex camera (DSLR) with kit lens (18-55mm is typical, additional lenses are recommended) — with manual and battery
- SD memory cards for your camera (at least two 32GB recommended)
- External hard drive—500 GB or higher (You must bring to class every day)
- Two boxes of Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster
One small box size: 8.5 x 11”
One large box size 13 x 19” or 17 x 22”
- USB flash drive of 16GB, 32GB or higher
- Tripod (TMI has tripods that may be checked out by students)
- Subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe Photography Suite is only $9.99 per month for students for Photoshop and Lightroom:
- The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr., E. B. White, and Roger Angell.
METHOD OF INSTRUCTION AND STUDY
This course is organized around a number of components that introduce specific information or experience:
- Lectures: classroom presentation of course information
- Demonstrations: classroom tutorials and studio/lab demonstrations of technique
- Lab and studio: individual creative work during class lab or on location
- Critique: feedback on projects through individual and class discussion. Final projects will all culminate in a major critique. Students are expected to be present at each critique to present their work, and both give and receive valuable feedback from their peers. Do not ever miss a critique.
- Slide/electronic presentations: photographic history, photographic theory, current issues and practices
- Text and readings, discussion: technique, theory, critique, and context
- Assignments: introduce strategies for creative solutions for course projects
- Conferences: individual and group feedback on in-progress student projects
- Exhibits: opportunities to see finished work in an exhibition context
CLASS RULES AND EXPECTATIONS
Always follow the TMI Honor Code: Because I believe that integrity is essential, I promise not to lie, cheat, or steal.
- Be in class on time.
- Turn in all work (both your projects and any assigned class materials) fully and on time according to the assigned deadlines and critique days.
- No food or drinks in the labs at any time. No chewing gum during class. Failure to comply will result in a demerit.
- Come to class prepared — bring required materials (this usually includes your camera, flash drive, and any assigned work-in-progress). Be ready to participate and engage in the material.
- Show respect. To me, to each other, to yourself, to the lab, to your equipment.
- Do not plagiarize — you will receive an automatic 0 for your assignment in addition to disciplinary action.
- Share your opinions, discuss your work with me and with your classmates, and ask lots of questions about what you do not understand.
- Students should turn off and put away all cell phones during class (unless otherwise specified by me).
- Believe in yourself, your talents, and work to the very best of your ability.
- Photography is about the process of discovery and can be a tremendous tool to engage with and participate in your world. Keep your camera with you and handy at all times!
Students will conceive, shoot, edit, print, and submit photography projects as assigned throughout the year. Topics might include documentary, still-life, portraiture, story-telling, conceptual, abstract, photo-essay, and alternative photographic methods. Since this is an advanced-level photo class, I will expect advanced-level projects and projects of the highest quality. This includes postproduction and print quality.
Please note: Students will be required to shoot photos outside of class and on weekends. In-class time will be primarily used for demos, Photoshop processing, critiquing, printing, and covering other relevant material. It is essential that students have assignment photographs shot and ready for editing by the given deadline. 80-minute class periods will be reserved for critique days, when applicable. All projects are due on critique day unless otherwise noted.
End of Semester Projects: Research Presentation and Portfolios (20%):
There will be 2 major projects due at the end of each semester in lieu of a final exam:
In the Fall semester, students will research and present on an a photographic artist chosen from a pre approved list. The project will culminate in a 3 page written biography with bibliography and source images, as well as a 10-15 minute presentation on the selected artist to be given to the class.
In the Spring semester, students will work towards creating and completing a final photo portfolio— due at the end of the semester—consisting of 10 cohesive photographs and high quality prints with a thoughtful and well executed idea. Students will turn in this portfolio of prints during the last week of the semester in lieu of a final exam. Portfolios will require a written artist statement in addition to other assigned parameters. The Spring semester will include an individual senior-showcase to be curated, printed, mounted, and hung in a designated area on campus.
In-Class Assignments (25%):
These may include:
- Technical exercises on photographic methods or postproduction technique
- Contact Sheet or digital image submission
- Critical analyses of photographs
- Guided in-class discussions and activities
- Research presentations
Exhibition Submissions (5%):
Students are required to submit photographs to at least four photography exhibition opportunities (one per quarter.) Proof of submissions is required for a grade. Failure to make submissions to these will result in a 0. Check our class website for opportunities to submit your work under Contests and Exhibition Opportunities under Links. Details, examples, and guidance will be covered extensively in class.
Grades, assignments, and project details will be uploaded and available for review online, and each student is responsible for checking onCampus regularly. Please see me as soon as possible if you have any questions or concerns about your grade or progress in class.
Grades will be determined by using the following criteria:
The success of the images you make is a reflection of the degree of clarity and commitment you put into an idea. Every aspect of your image is a decision. Do not expect good results (or a good grade) through procrastination and last-minute action. However, mistakes do happen and things may fail- do not get discouraged, it is all part of the learning process. Some of the most inspiring works were born out of accidents and frustrations. Use your mistakes to your advantage, but do not use them as a reason for not doing work. Take the failures and rework them into successes.
Creating art is a process of discovery. It requires research into ideas and materials, as well as experimentation to see what excites you. The more you play, the more you think, and the more you work, the better you will become.
This is an art class. Art is about thinking. Think about your ideas and concepts to make thoughtful images. We see so many pictures everyday. How are you going to make something that holds our attention? It is difficult to do this, so think and work hard.
Assignments will be evaluated on the basis of the care and craft you have put into your work, and the technical decisions made to support the content and/or ideas it represents. If you do not care about how your work looks, why should anyone else?
A demonstrated ability to use tools and execute techniques. Neatness counts. You will be downgraded for sloppy technique.
The inspiration and/or ideas behind the technique, or what your work is about. Making thoughtful photographs is hard work. Push yourself.
The level of innovation exhibited in the execution of craft and concept.
In keeping with the grading policies of what is accepted as a standard at most colleges I assign the following definitions to letter grades. Please note I am not in the habit of inflating grades. You will get the grade you earn.
A =Outstanding achievement technically and conceptually. Far above the level necessary to meet the course requirements. The Best. (>, =, 90%)
B= Significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements. Above average.
(>, =, 80%, < 90%)
C= Satisfies the course requirements (everything required is completed). Average. (>, =,70%, < 80%)
D = Worthy of credit while failing to meet all of the course requirements. Poor. (>, =, 60%, < 70%)
F =Failing to meet course requirements. Unacceptable. (< 60%)
A: Excellent: Work that is of outstanding caliber, exhibiting exceptional comprehension of the material, along with meticulous attention to craft and innovative application of skills. This work is exceptional in every way and is indicative of the highest possible thought and effort. Be prepared to work hard if this is the grade you want to achieve.
B: Above Average: Work that is well done in all respects and exhibits better than average comprehension of material, better than average attention to craft and thoughtful execution. This work is free of any major defect, yet, has room for improvement.
C: Average: Work that is attentively produced and meets the objectives of the course. This work is middle of the road, average work and can benefit from a more vigorous investment in the course content. Weaknesses stand out. Being like most other things you encounter in the world is being average - no better.
D: Below Average: Work that shows only minimal commitment to the goals of the course and only the barest investment of time. This work has defects in all categories.
F: Insufficient: Work that is indicative of a lack of commitment and effort.
All assigned work is due at the beginning of class on the date specified. It must be uploaded, edited, printed (when applicable), and ready for class critique. Any assignments missed due to an unexcused absence will result in a 0. Any project deadlines and major critiques missed due to an unexcused absence will result in a maximum grade of 50.
Make-up work due to an unplanned excused absence (such as illness, injury, or family emergency) is due 1 day after your return. Any student who has an extended excused absence must communicate with me ASAP to discuss work missed and its deadline.
Make-up work due to a prearranged excused absence is due before you leave. Please see me as soon as possible for a planned excused absence. If absent for sports, your work is to be uploaded to the server or handed in to me by the beginning of class on the due date—please plan ahead and keep in contact with me so as not to fall behind in the course material. Some work may be turned in immediately upon student’s return per my discretion, so long as the student has communicated with me about their absence before hand. Failure to turn in work when it is due will result in a 0 for the project or assignment.
Make-up work due to an excused or unexcused absence will be subject to TMI’s policies found in the Student Handbook. Please review the Student Handbook for a more detailed guide of the school late work policy.
FAILURE TO TURN IN WORK THAT IS NOT ABSENCE RELATED
Any assignments that are not received on the due date will result in a 0. Any projects received after the due date must be turned in on the next school day for a maximum grade of 50. Please remember that camera, computer, or equipment failures are not a valid excuse — always back up your work and leave yourself plenty of time in case of technical errors.
Students should adhere to class and lab rules, should be engaged in the course material and in their projects and project ideas, should turn in projects and assignments fully and on time, should be in class and in their seats at the beginning of class, should ask questions, should support one other’s work, should behave in a respectful and polite manner, and should take risks, work hard, and experiment with new ideas.
All students are expected to adhere to the TMI Honor code. Any dishonesty in academic work is unacceptable, and will be submitted to the Honor Council for review. This includes plagiarism in artwork: you are expected to create your own work. You are expected to create new work for each assignment. It is unacceptable for you to recycle work from another course or previous assignment.
Additionally, copying another artists' work and representing it as your own constitutes plagiarism, even if you are making minute changes to the work such as color and/or additional line work.
Here is the College Board's statement on ethics, artistic integrity, and plagiarism as defined in their AP Studio Art course description:
"Any work that makes use of (appropriates) photographs, published images, and/or other artists’ work must show substantial and significant development beyond duplication. This is demonstrated through manipulation of the formal qualities, design and/or concept of the source. The students individual “voice” should be clearly evident. It is unethical, constitutes plagiarism, and often violates copyright law simply to copy another artists’ work or imagery (even in another medium) and represent it as one’s own."
RESOURCES FOR MATERIALS
Camera Exchange (San Antonio) — carries required Epson photo paper as well as new and some used cameras
6635 San Pedro
Precision Camera (Austin) — highly recommended — carries a wide variety of all photography supplies including new and used cameras, lenses, tripods, film, and paper
2438 West Anderson Lane
Photography requires time, patience, and hard work. I encourage students to be creative, inquisitive, and courageous in your work. And I cannot stress this enough, TIME MANAGEMENT. Have fun, and welcome to TMI Photography I!