Ontario College Certificate in Photo Arts Curriculum
Accepting Applications for September 2021
Vocational Learning Outcomes
- Use safe working practices in all aspects of the dark room and studio with emphasis on the appropriate use, handling, storage and disposal of darkroom materials.
- Use film cameras, historical and alternative processes, and digital cameras, to adapt a full range of photographic techniques and integrate them in the creation of photo-based images.
- Use dark room equipment and chemicals as well as basic digital photo processes to develop negatives, create and manipulate prints and mixed media images.
- Create desired lighting effects in a photographic image through use of available light and/or studio lighting equipment
- Critically analyze both the form and content of photographic images through verbal and written processes.
- Identify personal indicators and interests which indicate the beginnings of personal style in photographic works.
- Interpret signifiers in completed bodies of work for the determination of content and meaning.
- Compose considered and deliberately adjusted photographic images through the application of design theory and processes.
- Use a studio journal to systematically record thoughts, ideas, stimuli, processes and formulas for film and digital photography.
- Present images through well designed portfolios and exhibitions.
Courses and Descriptions
Digital production and imaging are vital skills for the contemporary photographer. Students will learn basic photographic workflow skills, image capture, processing, retouching, printing, and delivery through a combination of technical and creative projects. Learners will focus on image quality as they create appropriately formatted images using the dSLR, scanner, raw file processor, imaging software, and printer. Creativity and self-expression are reinforced through the development of a self-directed project using image modification, compositing, and design.
This general survey of the history of photography provides an overview of the period from the early 19th century to the mid 1960's. The great masters, major movements, technical developments, theories, and art criticism of this period will be examined through slide lectures, group discussion, readings and personal research. The course focuses on the analysis and critical evaluation of significant works in terms of their artistic, aesthetic and social relevance and relationships, one to another. Students will be encouraged to draw on their learning to inform and stimulate their own work. A research presentation will comprise a major part of the course evaluation.
Black and White I is a darkroom-based course that introduces photography from its most basic concept: the capture of the image, which is in essence, light, onto a light sensitive surface. This course emphasizes establishing technical competence through demonstrations, lectures, critical discussion and hands on practice. Starting with photograms, learners are introduced to the basics of enlarger exposure controls, and black and white darkroom printing. Students then learn to operate 35mm SLR cameras and apply this basic technical knowledge to taking photographs with black and white film. Learners develop their own film, recording the process as they follow precise instructions, and demonstrating their knowledge about proper care and storage of film negatives. Strict health, safety and environmental controls relating to darkroom procedures are identified, discussed, and consistently practiced.
This course explores the essential tools of black and white photography, and the theory and practice of creating a basic black and white print. Students are introduced to the types, and selection of film and paper and the use of darkroom equipment, chemicals, and darkroom procedures. Projects promote further development of technical skills with the 35mm film camera and in the darkroom. Shooting assignments focus on predicting and controlling how depth of field and movement are captured on film. Learners develop proper camera exposure habits by analyzing the light meter's readings, selecting and noting appropriate aperture and shutter settings. The basic skills of composition are developed and applied through shooting a variety of subjects. Group discussions and critiques offer students the opportunity to practice critical thinking, analysis, and identify technical issues relating to their negatives and prints. Course delivery includes student presentations, demonstrations, lectures, studio, field trips and critical discussions. Special attention continues to be paid to health and safety issues, and managing the environmental impact of photo chemicals.
This course is an extension and elaboration of Black and White 1 & II. Students will further develop their skills in image making by constructing a number of pinhole cameras and investigating a variety of light sensitive materials and types of film that can be used to make negatives. Learners will expand upon, and refine, the repertoire of methods and techniques that the photographer can employ, and continue to improve their darkroom printing skills. The emphasis is on the development of personal style, the communication value of the print, and understanding of critical theory and practice at an introductory level. Reference to the work of the masters in photo arts will help to inform and stimulate thinking.
In this in depth colour study, students will examine the structures of colour theory and perceptual mechanisms of the additive and subtractive colour wheels, as well as the `printer's' colour wheel. Particular emphasis will be given to the property of value, both in black and white, as well as full colour in both traditional and digital media Colour properties and colour systems will be applied to the visual design of digital images within a series of exercises using image editing software. Learners will further develop their basic digital imaging skills using selection, brush and colour correction tools. Students will learn how colour creates focal point, mood and story by examining, assessing and describing a wide variety of photographs from different styles and eras, then demonstrate it in their own work. Research, presentations and in class discussions will be used to develop stronger perceptual and critical skills.
The rise of colour photography in the early 1970s heralded major developments, with leading-edge photographers challenging established norms, responding to the dynamic artistic climate, and the social and political contexts of the day. Building on their knowledge of the history of photography, learners will examine these developments and trace them through to the issues and technological wonderland that photographers and image makers work in today. The studio course allows learners to pursue either digital or darkroom-based projects, further honing technical skills. The projects are designed to develop in the student an appreciation of the issues that drive the art form and which will ultimately influence their own artistic practice. Slide lectures, critical analysis, group discussion, research, and hands-on projects will facilitate this process.
This studio-based course introduces the principles and elements of design as they apply to the art of photography. Learners will learn and apply design language and theory by researching, analyzing and discussing historic and contemporary photographers' design choices and styles of expression. Students will experiment with image-based design solutions by manipulating their own compositions, both in camera and at the computer using imaging software. Particular attention is paid to the perception of three-dimensional space in the two-dimensional photographic medium, along with the impact of colour as an element of design. Film-based projects will be printed in the darkroom, further developing shooting and printing skills. Students will also learn basic skills of scanning prints and negatives, then importing, cropping and layering those files using image editing software. Research, presentations, and in class discussions will be used to develop perception and critical thinking.
In this studio course exploring historical processes, students will apply the knowledge gained in 'History of Photography.' Inspired by the creative vitality of the great masters, learners will print a small portfolio using the very historical processes that triggered developments in black and white photography. Using a contemporary approach to historic printing processes, learners will incorporate a hybrid of analogue and digital imaging techniques: shoot with film, then scan, digitally manipulate and output appropriate media for use in darkroom printing the work using van dyke and cyanotype printing processes. In-class discussion focuses on the general art trends and issues of the period, with emphasis on understanding the difference between historical working conditions and the current health and safety controls and regulations that must be implemented today when handling, storing and disposing of chemicals.
Using a hybrid of darkroom and digital imaging techniques, learners will continue to develop and apply their image making and editing skills. Whether it is through computer manipulation, sequencing, incorporating text or using a different surface / medium, there are an infinite number of ways to broaden the scope of a single photograph. 'Image and Object' is a creative environment where students engage in the process of transforming photographs. This course examines the inter-relationships between photography and other media through slide lectures, critiques and presentations.
Light is the heart of photography. Understanding its properties is paramount to the success of any photographic process. In this darkroom-based studio course, students will explore the properties of light, the types of light available to the photographer (natural, available, incandescent, studio strobe, etc.) and the diversity of its application. Learners will also continue to develop their scanning and basic digital image editing skills, submitting digital files to the specifications set out in specific assignments. Course activities include safe handling of equipment and management of electrical hazards, demonstrations of a wide range of lighting scenarios and environments, group work, slide lectures, studio projects, site photography, daily critiques and keeping a studio journal.
Demonstrating the adage that, "what's old is new again", this studio course introduces students to the creative possibilities of tools and materials like toy cameras and instant film that others may consider dated or technologically inferior. However, when put in the hands of artists, these techniques have become wildly popular means of creative expression in contemporary photography. Students will build on the historic and alternative processes explored in the 'Historical Processes: Studio' with an array of tools and techniques including plastic cameras, instant film, hand colouring, toning and physically altering the print. This studio course is darkroom-based and includes slide lectures, classroom demonstrations, group discussions, daily critiques and keeping a studio journal.
Professional presentation skills are key to selling one's photographic work and services. In this course, learners will acquire, select, edit, and sequence bodies of work for exhibition and portfolio presentations. Students will format digital images for various outputs and employ best darkroom and digital printing practices for professionally presenting their photographs in exhibitions and portfolios. Students will research, shoot and print images for a thematic* group exhibition, and work collaboratively to design, and promote the show. They will also select, print, and present photographic images of their own choosing in the end of semester student exhibition. Learners will assemble print and digital portfolios, including carefully selected images and appropriately written supporting artist's documents, that target the photo market they identified previously in The Business of Photography course.
Successful photographers are skilled not only in photography, but also in business practices. In this course students will learn ways to make a living in the industry, set up a suitable studio, and design and create artist and business materials to promote themselves. Through one on one discussions with faculty, learners will identify the market for their individual strengths, then fill gaps in their portfolio by shooting and editing additional work in preparation for the subsequent 'Photography Portfolio and Presentation' course. A focus on workflow establishes productive working habits relevant to all types of photographers. A studio visit with a local professional photographer provides further opportunity for discussion and feedback.