Art making is at the core of this class and students will be encouraged to develop personal expression through the use of the digital camera and digital imaging. The course challenges students to create meaningful work that strikes a balance between form, content, and technique. It is assumed that students will have little or no experience with digital photography although traditional darkroom experience is recommended. Students should have basic computer skills.
The technical goals of the class are to acquire an in‐depth understanding of the tools and techniques of digital photography including the digital camera, printing and an emphasis on image‐editing software, Adobe Bridge and Photoshop.
Theory & Practice
This capstone course will help you synthesize your experiences in undergraduate school and prepare you to bridge the gap between your studies here and graduate studies or professional employment. In order to accomplish this synthesis, you need to be ready to work, to question, to make new connections and be committed to your process. It also helps to be honest, direct and motivated. This class is unlike any other in your experience at TCNJ, in its purpose and process…. it will test your maturity and creative independence in a new way.
There are two main components to this year-long capstone course: The first (Fall) is ongoing group discussions and production relating your creative endeavors to those of fellow students and to society as a whole. You will be evaluating your previous works and establishing visual research for both the fall and spring. Theory & Practice is writing intensive and will include weekly readings and writing assignments as well as a thesis of your research and your own progression by the end of the semester. By the end of the semester you should having understanding of:
The myth of photographic truth
The influence of ideology on representation
How the spectator looks at images
How the convention of realism depends on technological developments
The interconnection between popular culture and mass-media
How consumer society reproduces desire
How constructions of gender construct visual culture
The postmodern aesthetics of pastiche and simulation
What entails the globalisation of visual culture, in terms of both multiculturalism and branding
For each class you are asked to read a chapter (or two) from Practices of Looking and one (or two) theoretical article (which you may find more challenging). Discussions incited by readings and viewings will be imperative as you write your Thesis paper. You are expected to complete a significant body of work within the class that shows both comprehension and mature visual exploration. The work should be presented with a thread of cohesiveness, though experimentation is encouraged. Critiques will occur weekly.
Photography II: Documentary
The idea that the photograph is an objective document of reality dates back to photography's beginnings in the nineteenth century. Artists and scientists believed they were capturing a true picture directly from nature.
In this class we will focus on understanding and creating documentary photography while exploring it's history, traditions and role in contemporary society. We will investigate the photograph as evidence, especially its application to scientific and anthropological proofs and the documentary image's potential within a broader program of social reform. Reading and lectures will explore how photojournalists greatly expanded the boundaries of documentary photography through new mass media publications and how documentary photography also made its first significant inroad into the world of fine art. The course will focus on the idea of the documentary as an approach inseparable from the photographer's particular viewpoint and aesthetic concerns.
The technical aspects of the class will include an in-depth introduction to the tools and techniques of digital photography with an emphasis on the image editing software, Adobe Photoshop; students will become proficient using the digital camera and lighting as well as image through print and online.
Throughout the semester we will read and discuss selected texts exploring practical and theoretical topics. Students will also be expected to write short responses on various topics and themes. In addition, we will be looking at a variety of artists works that are important to the cannon.
Four completed photography projects, a research presentation and a final blog are required. The course will be taught by demonstration, lecture, and critiques (group and individual).
Photography III: Image and Narrative
Senior Fine Art Thesis is an intensive research/study and studio concentration that culminates in the public presentation of the senior exhibit. The student will be required to prepare and present this body of work, their visual thesis, for critical review to an Art Faculty Committee prior to its public presentation in the Senior Fine Arts Exhibition. Additionally, the student will be required to present a written component to the visual thesis that describes in full the processes and the outcomes of the senior research.