Art 108 Principles of Photography
Professor Terry Towery


This course is designed to introduce the student to photography as a mode of artistic expression. Our ability to express our ideas photographically relies on our understanding of the medium and our ability to use the equipment. We'll begin by reviewing camera technique, light and film characteristics. We will utilize color slide film. This course is offered in the art department for a reason. I am interested in you breaking away from the typical "Kodak" moment. Through class discussions, we'll develop ways of responding to other student's work in constructive ways that will help us gain insight into the work as well as providing the photographer the feedback necessary to pinpoint problems. We'll discuss the variety of forms and function photography takes in this society. And through slides, books, and visits to galleries, we will also become familiar with photo history, contemporary work and the direction photography may take in the future.

TEXTBOOK Exploring Color Photography by Robert J. Hirsch Price: $38.12 Usually ships within 24 hours.
WCB/McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 0697292304 ;

Suggested Periodical readings
Photography in New York
Photo District News (, Doubletake, AfterImage, Aperture, Art in America, ArtForum, etc...


Attendance will be checked each class period. It is important that you be on time and stay until you are dismissed. After 2 unexcused absences your grade will be dropped one letter grade. You are responsible for having your work ready on time, Be sure to give the lab enough time to process your film. If you miss a critique, your grade for that project will be lowered one letter for each class day until you turn it in to me. In other words, if your work is not ready for the critique, you cannot possible make higher than a B. If you attend the critique anyway, I will allow an extra class day before I lower the B to a C.

There will be a series of assignments

There will be a written technical exam midway through the class

There will be a book project that will involve use of the library

There will be exhibitions outside of class you'll be required to attend

You will turn in a final portfolio of 20 edited slides

I will require that you visit at least two photo exhibitions and write visitation reports. Suggested exhibits will be mentioned in class during the semester

You will also give an illustrated oral presentation on a photographer or type of photography to the class.


40% of grade based on final portfolio

10% of grade based on exhibit visit papers

10% of grade will be based on each of the four in class assignments.

10% of grade is based on your Book Day oral presentation

Class participation and attendance are required.

Your grade for individual projects and the final portfolio will be an evaluation of creativity AND craftsmanship. Creativity is your individual and unique approach to the problem. Craftsmanship is your level of mastery of the technical aspects of photography, including presentation. Other factors that will affect your grade include: class participation and discussion, ability to take criticism and consider suggestions for improvement.


There is no smoking in class or in the lab. You may not bring food or drinks to class. We will take breaks during class. As you know, this is an expensive and time-consuming class. Each assignment will build on the level of competence you reached during the previous assignment so it is extremely important you understand each step along the way. Please feel free to ask questions over new material or for a review of old.

COURSE CALENDAR Wednesday, Feb. 20: Classes to follow a Monday schedule

Please be aware that there may be holidays during the semester. The dates and alternative meeting times are in the Lehman College Bulletin.

Class 1. Introduction and first assignment (scavenger Hunt) given. Course requirements discussed. Discussion of Cameras begun. Camera nomenclature, Introduction to the history of photography. Film basics.

Class 2. Slide lecture on the first assignment. Camera exposure controls including aperture, shutter speed, focus etc,

Class 3. Discussion of color film and light Interaction. Natural vs. artificial light. Film types and film speed. Color temperature.

Class 4.Bring work in progress to class. In process troubleshooting discussion. Continue discussion of technical aspects of camera and film. Creative use of film and camera discussed. Loading slides.

Class 5. CRITIQUE First assignment due at the beginning of class. Second assignment (Self-portrait) disseminated.

Class 6. Slide lecture on Self portraiture and portraiture in general. Composition and design in photography,

Class 7. Lighting for still photography demonstration. Discussion of kinds of photography (documentary vs. photojournalism, Fine Art, snapshot, stock, advertising, product,, fashion vs. beauty, Architectural, Still life, conceptual, etc...)

Class 8. CRITIQUE of Self-Portrait assignment due at the beginning of class. Directorial assignment given.

Class 9. Slide lecture on the directorial approach to photography.

Class 10. Oral Projects

Class 11. Oral Projects and contemporary issues in photography

Class 12. CRITIQUE #3 Assignment #4 (open) given

Class 13. Extending the photographic process. getting prints from slides,

Intro to Digital imaging, color xeroxes...

Class 14. Adding the final touches. Presenting photographs.

Class 15. Final Portfolio CRITIQUE Due at the beginning of final class

This calendar is tentative, it may be necessary to change these dates to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.


Professor Terry Towery

This is an expensive and time-consuming class. You must have the materials and time to dedicate to the course. It is possible this will be the most expensive class you will take in college. Please be prepared for this and understand that the University cannot supply your materials and you cannot pass the class without them.

For working during the semester you are required to have:

- A camera in good working order, 35mm with manual override of exposure controls (to be discussed in first class). No fully automatic or point and shoot cameras allowed e.g. APS, instamatic etc.

- A photographic light meter, built into the camera or hand-held

- 1 pair scissors

- 25 slide sleeves for 35mm slides

- At least 10 rolls of Slide film (3 should be tungsten balanced 7 should be daylight balanced) We will discuss film in class

- 1 photographic18% gray card

- Cash for processing of above film (approx. $100.00)

- Slide carousel 80

- at least 25 slide pages and 3 ring notebook

- Sharpie fine point marker for labeling slides (black)

- film cleaner or can of air or static free brush or a bulb blower or CLEAN makeup brush

- Slide mounts (I recommend Gepe snap together)

- 4 large plain manila style envelopes

You will also need other miscellaneous materials such as lights, presentation portfolio, etc.

Recommended supplies:

Clip light and 3200K photoflood

Polarizing filter

Supply houses

B&H photo&Video generally has the best prices for these materials. (This store is run by Hasidic Jews and is closed on all Jewish holidays. Call before you go!!! Not open on Saturday or Friday evenings. Open on Sunday before sunset) 1-800-606-6969 (Toll Free) or 212-444-6615 420 Ninth Avenue (between 33rd and 34th Streets), New York, NY 10001

Adorama 800-223-2500 (212)741-0052 42 West 18th Street Between 5th and 6th Ave

Film Processing Duggal, and many others on 20th street between 5th Ave and 6th Ave

Spectra Photo Digital. Ask if they do the processing in house or on the premises.