Digital Arts Syllabus VSAR 302

Week 1: August 29


– Introduction to class, Who am I??

– Student introductions

– Course requirements, objectives, and outcomes


Blog: Create personal blog for your art, writing, journaling, and reflections:

Blog writing exercise:

You will introduce yourself on your blog. Write your goals, expectations and experience with photography and adobe.

Interview each other, and then write a profile or your interview. What is it you want to know besides the obvious: major, etc.

We will come up with several interview questions as a class, such as, what are you passionate about? What are your short-term dreams? Long-term?


Aaron Sison

Rachel Kolb

Esteban Robinson

Andrew Pandes

Mikaela Long

Marcel Fuentes

Screen: PROOF:The Photographers on Photography


Please sign up for for a month. It is $24.99 per month. I would recommend at least doing two months, but if you think you can complete each tutorial listed on the syllabus in one month, then sign up for one month. PLEASE LET ME KNOW ONCE YOU DO SIGN UP. (You can try and call to get the student discount, but it may not be offered anymore)  You are more than welcome to share accounts with each other if that makes things easier. Below is the link.  I have also listed the 5 tutorials I would like you to watch. I can guarantee that is much better than a text book. The video tutorials are long, but they teach you step by step on how to use the programs. I will go over the Adobe programs in class, but the videos will help you better understand the context of the information I will go over.

Please watch: Foundations of Photography: Exposure

Week 2: Sept 5. NO CLASS

Week 3: Sept 12

LECTURE: Basics of Camera. Ways of Seeing

Bring Cameras and HARDDRIVE

Bring your EXTERNAL STORAGE DRIVE to class: we will set these up so they work for you all semester with your Lightroom folder. Set up Catalogs on your external storage device.

Activity: Shooting Ways of Seeing 45 minutes.

Video: Rick Smolan and Natalie Forbes


1. Photoshop Lightroom 5 Essentials: Develop Module Basics

2. Take some photos, Ways of Seeing and bring them in next week into Lightroom, edit and upload onto blog before class.

Week 4: Sept 19


Tryptychs with Julianne Kost

1. Julianne Kost Photography website:

2. Diptychs and Triptychs Part I:

3. Diptychs and Triptychs Part II:

4. Julian Kost Adobe Evangelist website 2010: polyptychs

Examples :

Activity: Working in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Screen: Jerry Uselman

HOMEWORK: Photoshop CC for Photographers: Fundamentals

Shoot your own Tryptch or Diptychs and post to blog.

Bring Cameras will shoot.

Week 5. Sept 26

Lecture: Depth of Field Bring Cameras, shoot in the field. We will be going off campus. Walnut Grove Park.

Activity: Shoot off Campus at Walnut Grove Park. Back to class, upload and edit photos. In class discussion, be prepared to read from Letters to a young artist.


Photoshop CC for Photographers: Intermediate

BRING CAMERAS FOR Indoor photo shoot: portraits

Week 6: October 3

Lecture: Environmental Portraits. What is the environmental portrait?

Activity: You have 45 minutes to around campus and do this exercise. We will come back to class and upload.

Introduce Photographic Series Book and Mercedes Free Photobooth Assignment. DUE DATE NOVEMBER 7

Homework: The buddy environmental project. You will each draw a name in class and interview that person off campus and take at least 3-5 pictures. Think of this as a photo story as well.

Take 2 or our own environmental pictures, upload to blog. Upload environmental pictures from class shoot and post three of your own for homework. Print you best photo no smaller than 16×20.

Week 7: October 10

Lecture:  Studio Lighting

Activity: We will be doing Studio Lighting. We will be in the 2nd Floor in the Library, Kellog 2302/2305.

 Practice different types of Lighting in studio. You will receive a PDF about different light that I would like you to practice and focus on. You can shoot each other, bring props, outfits or different pieces of products you would like to shoot. You may also bring friends to shoot.

BACK TO CLASS: Upload your best photos from class, at least 5 to 10. Blog about your experience.

Screen: An American Journey: In Robert Frank’s Footsteps

Screen: Richard Rendaldi and Ian Ruther.

Homework: Blog about Videos: Two separate post. 

Week 8: October 17

Lecture: Outdoor lighting. Field Trip Off Campus to Discover Park Lake.

Activity: You have 50 minutes to around campus and do this exercise. We will come back to class and upload.

You will present your best photos from Studio Lighting. We also discuss ideas for Proposals for paper.

Go over photoshop editing and camera Raw.

Bring in Letters to young artist. We will read about them again and discuss ideas for imagery.

Homework: Letters to a young artist, blog post about it and bring your favorite entries to class. Will discuss in class. Make two photographs from your inspiration from the artist in the book.

Study for quiz. Highly suggest you watch Lynda videos. Your proposal is also due November 7. 

Week 9: October 24

Possible Guest Speaker.

Midterm in class.

Lecture: Night shooting and low light. Guest Speaker. 

Activity: We will be shooting on campus and practice Night and low light shooting.

Please bring a tripod and Cameras!!! You can bring flash lights, neon lights, fun lights if you want to write with light in the dark. I am hoping we will be shooting for about an hour.

Homework:Proposal due Nov 7.

Week 10: October 31- CLASS TBD

Week 11: November 7

Lecture: Photo Booth project presentations. Please bring your two best 16×20 prints for hanging in the gallery, ARTS 101.

We will go over Panoramas in Photoshop and Landscapes and HDR


Activity: How to make panorama in photoshop. What is a panorama. Why? What is the relationship to place? What is the story embedded in the images? What is the story you want to tell about the landscape? – Upload, Create Folder and edit 3 of your best photos. ( If we have time to do this in class) Why use HDR? What is HDR?

Homework: You will take two panorama picture, one spherical and one regular panorama and upload it to your blog.


Richard Misrach landscape photographer

Richard Misrach photographing the night

Richard Misrach’s images

Philipp Scholz Rittermann: panoramic images

Mike and Doug Starn

Starn Twins

Micro/Macro introductions:

digital art: Joseph Scheer: moths

object scanning in total darkness

Screen: Ansel Adams.

Week 12: November 14

Lecture: Working on Books, going over content. Please bring all materials.

InDesign Lecture: Work on in Indesign and lightroom. Continue with masking techniques and blending modes in Photoshop: the all-powerful Layers palette. We will create our pages and book templates.

Activity: It is very important that you bring your imagery for your book today and come to class as we will go step by step. This will be the only full day we will use in class to work on them. I will be going around to each of you and see your imagery and discuss your proposal. We will be going over the steps of more content from bridge, and editing in indesign.

Homework: Work on book.

Week 13: November 21

Lecture: Book DUE. You will have the final two hours of class to work on your books.

Lecture: ORDER Books.Continue to work on Blurb. books. These need to be order by the end of class today. DROP DEADLINE: Send book to by the end of the nightHomework: work on book.

Homework: Order your book. 

Week 14: November 28

Activity: Alphabet Challenge!!! Possible Field Trip location. 

You will have 40. minutes to take pictures of the alphabet! Back in class you will edit, crop and put into a Grid or if you choose, we will be discussing how to order in Chatbooks or Grid. Make Folder, upload, batch rename, edit and upload to blog.

Homework: Finish Alphabet for homework. Option of ordering through Chatbooks.

Week 15: December 5


Shooting assignment with Phones. Chat books App.

Activity: Guest Speaker

Screen:National Geographic: Through the Lens

You will present your final Photographic Series Book Project

FINAL CLASS/PARTY/PRESENTATION OF Photographic Series Book Project

MEET IN ARTS 342: POTLUCK: please bring something to share.

Week 16: December 12 FINALS WEEK

Week 16: December 12 FINALS WEEK


artists who work in series

Roni Horn

Sally Mann

Howard Schatz


Helvetica: the movie: Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which recently celebrated its 50th birthday) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives.

Jim Brandenburg: Chased by the Light: A Photographic Journey

Landscape / Industrial Sublime

David Maisel

Leah Ollman review David Maisel in LA Times

Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky: The Landscape of Oil

Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan: Midway: Message from the Gyre

Triptych Project definition / polyptych / diptych :: duet / quadriptych :: quartet / quilt

Three: Book

Live Books


Barbara Bordnick flower: close-up and mid-range

Howard Bjornson

Food Photographers / Cookbooks

Sara Remington Blog

Sara Remington Photography site

Sara Remington Interview Communication Arts

Aesthetic renditions (rather than documentary)

Huntington Witherill

Dar Spain

Dar Spain

Online TOOL resources


Free Photoshop Brushes







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