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Large Format Photography Syllabus

Cazenovia College - Paul W Pearce

CAZ College ( SA-226-01) Large Format Photography Reisman Hall 006 

Paul Pearce pwpearce@cazenovia.edu photo@properproof.com 

Website: www.properproof.com
E-mail will be used for communication in this class. 

You are responsible for checking your email and the website for information and updates. 

Office Hours: T/TH 5-6pm

Prereq: SA161, SA 162, SA 261 or permission of instructor

This class is an advanced photography class, emphasizing the capturing of images with cameras using film that is larger than 35mm film. Large Format Photography is a way of working that is deliberate and thought-out, it requires attention to detail and a controlled workflow. 

This class is is for students who already mastered the basics of photography, both traditional analog, darkroom and digital.

Students should already have an understanding of these basic photo skills:

Focus, Exposure, Motion, Depth of field, Lighting, Composition, Content

Students will be responsible for subject matter and ideas for their work. 

The goal is to become a more mature and professional photographer.

Class Objectives: To make the transition from small format, medium and digital to professional Large Format equipment. 

We will continue the path toward a strong personal style and visual form of expression.

To exploit the capabilities of the movements of large format equipment for focus and perspective control.

To create several coherent bodies of work demonstrating this expressive personal style suitable for exhibition or publication.


Technical topics:

- Advanced exposure and development techniques of large format film 

- Demonstrate the proper use of the camera movements (rise, fall, tilt, shift, swing)

- Reveal an evident connection between technical choices and subject matter

- Print large scale images in the darkroom and digitally, that reveal attention to tonal and color balance

- Create a body of large format photography suitable for a professional portfolio

- Make connections between their own artistic practice, theory and contemporary artists

- Develop a strong ability to describe, interpret and evaluate photographic work


Film: the differences between sheet and roll film

Formats: - the differences between small, medium and large format.

Lenses: Focal length, f/stops and film coverage

Shutters: Leaf vs Focal Plane shutters, flash sync

Meters: Incident, reflected and flash

Developers: The effects of different developers and development time on negative quality 

Printing: RC vs Fiber based paper. Large prints, Mural paper for extra large prints



Aesthetic/Creative topics: 

To use camera controls to go beyond the snapshot, creating images that our eye can’t see.

Going beyond the “pretty picture”.

To become familiar with the basic history of creating images through photography.

To learn to examine, interpret and talk about photographs and to appreciate the photo work of others.

Exerting artistic control, refining your eye; lighting, point of view

Meaning: is there substance to this image, does it connect with the viewer, on what level? 


Class will consist of demonstrations and discussions followed by practical exercises and assignments. 

There will be lab sessions during class hours where students work independently with instructor oversight. 

Students will also need to spend out-of-class time to shoot photographs. 

Students are encouraged to shoot as much as possible.

We will explore photographers and photographic trends through videos and on-line research followed by feedback forms and discussions


Students will create work in and out of class related to technical and aesthetic exercises- these will be evaluated for the final grade.


We will use class critiques and on-line forms to share ideas and evaluate reactions to each other’s work and multimedia presentations.


Equipment and supply requirements:

Light meter (ambient light and electronic flash). analog or digital Ex. Sekonic L-558 or L-608

4x5 sheet film (2 – 50 sheet boxes recommended): B/W: 100 or 400 ISO, Kodak or Ilford

Paper: B/W, RC, Multigrade, 8x10” (Ilford is recommended) 

B/W, Fiber, Multigrade, 11x14” 

4x5 negative storage pages 

3 Ring binder, Folder

Small logbook (to carry when you shoot)

Hand Towel


ONLINE PHOTO SUPPLIERS

Freestyle 1-800-292-6137, www.freestylesalesco.com

Calumet www.calumetphoto.com

B&H 1-800-947-9970, www.bhphotovideo.com

Light Impressions (portfolio boxes, matting supplies, archival material, frames and accessories) 1-800-828-6216, www.lightimpressionsdirect.com


Grading: Work will be graded on: individual progress and growth throughout the semester, originality, craftsmanship, technique, level of challenge and concept. Effort, class participation, and , especially, your sense of exploration; that is, your willingness to take risks in the process of creating art 

The typical “A” student is a responsible and active learner who doesn’t take shortcuts. He or she will follow all steps in the creative process, not opting for an easy out when the project becomes difficult; will hand work in on time; will participate fully in class; will ask questions; will do extra work for the sheer pleasure and need to learn. As a result, his/her work will show considerable growth beyond previous technical, expressive and conceptual capabilities.

University Grading Policy- The grading policy is in accordance with the University grading policy, based on: 1. Successful completion of project requirements 2. Quality of production 3. Conceptual development of art work 4. Participation in critiques and discussions.


Assignments are evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. Technical 2. Formal 3. Assignment goal 4. Effort/Challenge/Creativity

Class Participation/Presentation will be factored into your grade. Critique attendance is mandatory.

Each criterion is measured on a scale of 1-4. 

(4= excellent; 3=good; 2=average; 1=poor; 0=unsatisfactory)

Final Grades: 

Exercises/assignments 60%, Quizes 20%, Reviews - research - forms 10% - portfolio 10%


If you miss a critique or turn in an assignment late your grade will be reduced by one letter grade.

Assignments are not accepted if more than two weeks late.

You may re-do and assignment within one week for re-evaluation (only if initially turned in on time)


A/A- Excellent. Demonstrates a full understanding of techniques, concepts, and theories covered in class; exceeds class expectations, self-motivated and challenged; attends and participates in classes regularly. Submits new work (not assignment submissions) for the final portfolio.

B+/B/B- Good. Have completed the assignment well and attended classes and critiques. 

C+/C/C- Average. Have completed the assignments, but without much effort and challenge.

D+/D/ Poor. If you are an art major, you will have to repeat this class with a “D” grade.

F Failing. Not met the requirements of the class.


SPECIAL SERVICES: Students requiring accommodations in class, for test taking or for outside work due to special needs must notify the Office of Special Services. Please communicate with the instructor your need for accommodations by presenting documentation from the Office of Special Services. 


ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY: Cazenovia College is devoted to academic honesty. Plagiarism, cheating on examinations and undocumented copying of art will not be tolerated. A description of plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty can be found on the Academics page of the college website.


Attendance: Attendance and punctuality are mandatory. You can’t learn if you are not here! If you must be absent contact the instructor as soon as possible. You are expected to make up any work you miss. Absence due to illness or hardship will be considered unexcused unless I am provided a written medical document.

Two late arrivals count as an absence. Coming unprepared to work counts as an absence. One or two missed classes do not affect your grade. These absences should be reserved for any time you have a conflict (work or travel etc.) or are not well enough to attend. Each absence beyond two will lower your final by one letter grade step (B to B-). After 5 absences you cannot successfully complete the class and should withdraw or risk failing. You must make up work that was done in any class you miss. If you miss a video presentation, you must make arrangements to view it on your time and write up a review or analysis.


Cell phone usage and text messaging during class is absolutely prohibited, as is personal use of laptops or other electronic devices. Before class begins, you must turn your cell phones off. If you must have your cell phone available due to a crisis situation, you must notify the instructor before the start of class. At the discretion of the instructor, you may be permitted to leave your phone on “vibrate” mode. Use of text messaging during class will result in dismissal from class that day, and will be considered an unauthorized absence.