Photo I: Curriculum


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Class Schedule
Once a week for class, and once a week for computer Lab.

Week 1
This first class is free to all prospective students. It is free to allow someone to evaluate whether they have the time and financial resources to continue with the class, without spending any money first.

In your first class, you'll learn about the "program" and hear the first of three lectures on proper exposure. At the start of class, we will set up your Digital Camera to the settings we think are suitable for the class. You will also get your first shooting assignment. Some of our classes, including the first class, may last three hours, with most lasting between two and two-and-a-half hours, depending on the size of the class. The shooting assignment is due at the start of the second class in the form of your memory card with 36 pictures exposed using the camera in the "Raw" setting. At the start of the second class, you will be taught how to transfer your images to an external hard drive or a DVD.

Week 2
Payment is due at the beginning of the second class – checks, money orders payable to Chicago Photography Classes, cash or credit card are accepted.
You'll also schedule your five digital Lab sessions (see below), so bring your personal calendar or date book. You will receive the second of three lectures on exposure. We'll emphasize shutter speed.

The assignment we give you (using shutter speed for creative control) is due at the start of Week 3.

You are expected to attend your first Lab between Week 2 and Week 3 to learn how to make "proof sheets" of your first assignment. Lab sessions last for about three hours and have one teacher for every five students. We prefer that you attend the same Lab for all five weeks of classes.

The Photo I Computer Lab is located in the "Lower Executive Suite" of 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave. Take the stairway located behind the front elevator down to the Lab.

In your first Lab, you will make contact sheets from the assignment given to you at the first class. You will be converting your pictures into black & white. If you have more than 36 pictures, we ask that only 36 pre-selected images be downloaded and printed.

There are no refunds after Week 2.

Coupons must be presented with class payment. Only one coupon per family/couple.

First Computer Lab
Please bring everything that is in the green bag that you received during Week 2, as well as either a 32 GB Flash Drive or an External Portable USB Hard Drive. (Refer to the Photo I Class Materials List in the three-ring binder given to you in the green bag during Week 2.)

Week 3
We will review the proof sheets you made in your first Lab. You will hear the third lecture on exposure, with emphasis on depth of field, and be given an assignment that helps you explore the principles of depth of field. We will review the depth of field proof sheets at the start of Week 4 and look at the "prints" (enlargements) at the end of Week 4.

Week 4
We will review the proof sheets from the shutter speed assignment at the start of class. Then this class explores the subtleties of exposure meters and photo composition and includes our first critique session of your prints before the end of class.

You will also receive two "shooting" assignments for the week: "three people interacting" and "24 different angles of sculptures." For some people, this assignment is very difficult because we do not want you to "pose" people.

Week 5
Class will start with a review of the proof sheets of the depth of field assignment and will have a photo critique. Then you'll hear the first of three lectures on the psychological relationship between the photographer and the subject. The shooting assignment this week creates interdependence among class members; you'll work with two of your fellow students to complete it. It is necessary to attend the same class period for the last three lessons (5, 6 and 7) since you will be working with other students.

Week 6
You'll learn more about the psychological relationship between the photographer and the subject, and we'll have a critique session of "24 different angles of sculptures." You will also get your print (Lab) assignment for Week 7.

Week 7
This class is devoted to an extensive critique of the photographs you took of another student and the ones that were taken of you. You'll also hear the final lecture on the psychological relationship between the photographer and the subject. The success of this session depends on each student fully completing the assignment and coming to class ready to participate in the critique. The last portion of this class will focus on composition. There will also be a discussion about Photo II and other classes you may attend.

Some Additional Thoughts
The curriculum described above is just that – a curriculum. We can't begin to share what really happens as you move through the seven-week session. You'll learn to understand your camera better: All of the buttons, knobs and attachments that seemed so intimidating when you signed up for Photo I will start to make sense to you. You'll have a collection of digital files that you'll know how to turn into finished images to show and share with others. Photo I is designed to provide you with a solid and stable platform for you to continue your lifelong learning of photography.  It's unlikely that one seven-week class can teach you everything about anything. This class is just what someone needs to achieve sustained learning. When you complete Photo I, you will have all of the information necessary to continue your journey from solid ground, and we offer Photo 2, 3 and 4 classes, as well as others, such as Off-Camera Flash and Portraiture and Lighting. After completing Photo I, you are entitled to call us with photography questions whenever they arise.  Laughter Will Have Been Heard & Learning Will Have Occurred. ;-)

Other art center's try to Impress you with what  they and others have done... We want to Impress - With what we will teach YOU to do ;-)