Everybody takes pictures, but we strive to become photographers who understand
that every situation lends itself to photographs to be made many different
ways. Every photograph is only one of many options available to the photographer.
We become aware of these options. We learn to make choices that make better
In addition to acquiring vocational and avocational skills in photography,
we begin to gain a greater interest in our surroundings and the people
around us. Our visual awareness is sharpened. We become more aware of design
and aesthetics. In learning to see and in working with our subjects most
of us also become more interested in our environment, in human interaction
and in expressions of personality.
Many photographers find their work a source of self revelation, self
understanding, and self-fulfillment.
Art or Communication
Are you in the right course? This course deals with the art of photographic
communication. If you are an art major, register for Comm credit (because
of college catalog limitations in your major). If you are a Comm major,
follow your advisor's recommendation. This course is appropriate for the
needs of both majors. Art 315: Photography is taught as an art course only.
This class is a prerequisite to Art 315. Art 315 is offered is in the May
Time For This
Outside of class you do background reading and preparation, expose your
film, process, print, learn Photoshop, and have appointments to go over
your results. Nine to ten hours per week, average, in and out of class
(in fall term), is the total average expectation for an average student
to make average progress. It is extremely important to stay on schedule.
Do NOT TAKE THIS CLASS if you do not intend to spend significant out-of-class
time or if you expect to cut any classes. The learning requires both class
attendance and lots of extra time. Fortunately, the work is fun and the
class sessions are intended to be interesting as well as informative. Students
who procrastinate often find it impossible to complete all the work. Incompletes
are never granted except for "act of God" circumstances.
No unexcused cuts are permitted, and the student is responsible for the
content missed whether excused or not. Class time is used to view and discuss
photographs (others) and (ours), clarify assignment objectives, discuss
technical and compositional aspects of assignments, demonstrate procedures,
and review outcomes. Since a limited number of projects can not cover every
important topic, some class sessions will cover issues in photography that
go beyond the scope of the studio assignments. "Ethics in photojournalism,"
is an example.
What We Learn
We learn visual ways of knowing. We learn how the power of image and the
power of composition can merge to produce meaning and feeling. We improve
our awareness and skills in the following areas.
1. We learn to recognize, develop and encourage our own creative impulses
and insights including ways to intentionally foster the creative aspects
of our personalities.
2. We learn there are many compositional options in presenting an image;
some sensitive, some bold, some candid, some deliberate, some flat, some
involving, and so on.
3. We gain insight into compositional theory needed to produce effective
4. We learn many reasons photographs are made and how the photographer's
intention impacts the style of the photograph.
5. We learn to ask the ethical questions facing photographers.
6. We learn to control the camera's features.
7. We see many qualities and characteristics in light and shadow as
it strikes the subject, each effecting photographs differently.
8. We learn about photographic careers including photojournalist, photo
artist, and others.
9. We become familiar with a number of prominent photographers and their
10. We learn to use strobe (flash) and other lighting to get the right
amount of light and to get quality lighting.
11. We learn to select and control film characteristics both in exposure
12. In the darkroom and we learn to manipulate the tone and contrast
of prints and to selectively improve areas in the print as needed.
13. We learn to digitize images and use the computer to enhance, interpret,
combine, and print images.
This is an experiential learning course. We learn by doing things. We make
photographs, look at them, discuss them, and learn from them. Due dates
and evaluation appointments are announced in class.
Students complete 6 projects explained in more detail on assignment
pages linked to this page. Some class time and assigned reading helps prepare
us to complete each project successfully. For full text of the assignments
click on the Assignments button on the left. The six projects are:
1. Using directed variations of Available
Light for people pictures.
2. Using available light for a Photo
3. Using directed variations on Flash
for people pictures.
4. Using Fast Film in limited light - probably P3200 film
at a night sporting
5. Using Zone System theory to control the negative's
contrast and tonal range to make a landscape,
life or product photo.
6. An Expressive photo of a more personal nature - including
the use of Photoshop to manipulate images - possibly
Some may elect to make theater
photographs of a play in place of 2, 4, 5, or 6 above. Individual students
who can show that they have previously mastered the materials in these
assignments may propose alternatives to any of the assignments. Plan to
present proposals to the instructor before you expose the film.
You are encouraged to do additional work for the Record, the Maple Leaf,
or any other reason for extra credit. Bring the work in for feedback and
Several tests help us verify learning. The tests and the topics covered
are announced in advance. Tests have questions from class and assigned
reading in the text and handouts. Additional test information will be placed
on-line or in Course Info pages available on campus only.
Tuesday, October 5, most art classes are planning to spend all day in Chicago
to see exhibits. Some students use this as a chance to photograph subject
matter in Chicago. Other field trips may include seeing exhibitions, on-location
photographing, and studio visits.
Visiting Artist and Exhibition
In November the Goshen College Art Gallery has an exhibition of the art
work of Ken Heibert,
graphic designer. He has authored several graphic design texts. Heibert
is this year's Eric Yake Kenagy Visiting Artist. He will present his work
on Tuesday, November 2, in Ad28. He will speak in Convo on Wednesday, November
3. Students in this class attend both events (or study the video if attendance
is prevented by a serious conflict). There will either be a related assignment
or test items related to these events.
Topics and Issues
Each term the Art Department sponsors or designates three Topics and Issues
sessions, one hour each. All students in all art courses are responsible
to attend and respond to these sessions in their various classes according
to each instructor's requirements. These may at times take place at a time
you have another class. If this happens, you should plan to watch the video
recording of the event. This term's Topics and Issues are listed here.
Place these times and places on your calendar.
|September 5, Sunday, 4 pm
Tim Dyck and Ted Springer discuss their work
|October 21, Thursday, 6 pm
"Milestones and Intersections"
|November 2, Tuesday, 7 pm
Ken Heibert, Visiting Artist
Assignments will rely on specified background reading. The text, Photography
by London and Upton, is not covered sequentially, but every project is
based on information in the text. Some test material is taken from text
materials related to assignments and class topics.
Tuition provides instruction, student assistants, facilities, darkroom,
computers, software, and enough supplies to complete the basic requirements
of the course. However, students are not limited to the basic requirements
and some students simply use more materials because they make more mistakes.
In these cases students may purchase their own supplies at Gene's Camera
Mart in Goshen or elsewhere. The college can also provide supplies for
which each student is billed on an individual basis at the end of the term
for extra film, printing paper, and so on. supplies. The instructor
keeps an individual record of all extra supplies in order to calculate
an additional fee at the end of the term for each person. It is recommended
that students also also keep a record. Record every role of film used,
who provided it (you or GC), the date, and so on. Write down all supplies
Late work receives a lower grade unless you have something go seriously
wrong (like a blank film), in which case you must show the film (do not
discard it) and get the deadline extended in order to redo the film. You
must prearrange to have the deadline extended in order to receive full
Whatever can go wrong, does. Murphy's law rules photography. Good learners
own up to their mistakes and make good use of mistakes to perfect their
practice. Poor learners admit to having bad outcomes, but they tend to
blame the bad outcomes on circumstances beyond their own responsibility.
Never redo a role of film unless you are fairly sure what was done wrong
and how to improve the procedure enough to avoid same mistake. Consult
the instructor unless you are very sure about what to do differently. It's
very easy to ruin a roll of film by a moment of carelessness. Don't despair.
Do it over, but always find out for sure what went wrong. Save the film
for problem analysis. Often the instructor can tell you the solution over
the phone. There's no penalty to your grade so long as you prearrange a
deadline extension. Have a cry, but don't despair; it happens to me too.
Mistakes are extremely disappointing, but they can be the best learning
experiences if we keep a "can do" attitude.
Stay in Touch
You may phone the instructor any time between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Office:
535-7592, Ceramics: 7593, Photo Lab: 7596, Home: 533-0171. Generally, e-mail
is better than voice mail: firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. Leave a phone number
in your e-mail message. You will get a fairly prompt reply.
In addition to the scheduled class sessions, some special instruction times
are scheduled for darkroom instruction, picture taking, using the flash,
computer use and so on. Students are encouraged to request special instruction
sessions when they feel a particular need or if they are having any kind
of problem. A special group session may be appropriate. Student requests
and suggestions are welcome. Student assistants with advanced skills can
be made available as tutors or as lab assistants in the darkroom when and
Equipment You Need
Each student should have the use of a 35-mm
camera capable of manual f-stop, shutter speed, and focusing adjustments.
Also, each camera needs a built-in or separate light meter. Have your own
cable release if your camera does not have a time delay shutter release.
Other equipment is available in the art department. Your own tripod would
be great. This web
page has been prepared to help you make camera and equipment selections.
Housekeeping in the lab
Never leave the area before you go back and see what you left behind. We
share a facility. Good negatives and prints can't be made in a messy lab.
In consideration of classmates you must leave the lab areas free of litter
and chemical spills. Pick up all your stuff. Deposit trash in the waste
can. All equipment must be placed back in its place. Always allow a few
minutes to do this before you leave. Remind each other. Grades are reduced
if messes are left. Others see leaving a mess as disrespect and hostility.
It makes them angry and saps creative energy from their work. Students
will be asked to DROP THE COURSE if they habitually fail to clean up their
Report malfunctioning or missing equipment or supplies to the instructor
with a phone call, e-mail, or a note on the office door.
Generally, you will have an evaluation appointment after each assignment.
This gives an opportunity for instruction in whatever is needed. This will
also clarify the criteria by which photographs are graded. The course grade
is based on your photographs, your improvement, class ATTENDANCE and participation,
tests, darkroom housekeeping, and a review of the whole term's portfolio
at the end. Ignoring any one of these items lowers the grade. Your photographic
production carries the greatest weight. Tests are second. Attendance and
class participation is next.
Upper Level Credit
Art 315: Photography, May Term, is available to more experienced photographers
who are upper level class members. This course would count in the current
General Education Art list. For upper level credit, students do the same
number of studio projects as for 255. Assignments may be directed toward
artistic expression rather than communication or journalism. In addition
they will study Criticizing Photographs by Terry Barrett, write a paper,
and make a class presentation reviewing the work of a photographer or a
group of photographers using Barrett’s methods and types. The report is
illustrated with slides or scanned images made by the student.
This is Your Course
Be creative. Never feel limited by an assignment. There will often be more
film in you camera than you actually need to do an assignment. Use it for
whatever interests to you. Always carry your camera. Carry extra film.
Don't miss spontaneous opportunities. Use these images for extra credit
or just for fun. Of course, we hope the assignments are fun too, even if
they are difficult. As you become more knowledgeable, you will do photography
based on informed decisions, some skill and of course, creative inspiration.
This may not be easy, but it is certainly fulfilling. "Photography made
easy," tends toward thoughtless cliché. Great work comes from personal
from conviction, persistence, some frustrations, many mistakes along the
way, and dedication.
Marvin Bartel has been a member of the art faculty at Goshen College since
1970. Prior to coming to Goshen he was on the art faculty at Northeast
Missouri State University (now Truman U.), Bethel College (Kansas), and
Topeka High School (Kansas). Bartel has master and doctor's degrees in
art education from the University of Kansas. He is a practicing exhibiting
artist, maintaining his own studio.
Bartel's primary artistic focus is ceramics, but he has produced numerous
quality photographs including some in exhibitions at the Midwest Museum
of Art, Elkhart and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Among his published work
is an article in Ceramics Monthly on how to use photographic images
on ceramics art objects. The Mennonite Central Committee has used Bartel’s
photos from Zambia in publications. Goshen College has published his photos
from Belize. In addition to photography, Bartel teaches courses in art
education, architectural design, and ceramics. He designs buildings, designs
and builds energy efficient kilns, has a small orchard and a vegetable
garden. He and Delores are participants in the Eighth Street Mennonite
Church congregation, Goshen. They have 3 children and 5 very photogenic
and frequently photographed grandchildren.
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