Skip to main content

You are here

Upper School Photography

Department: 

Two major goals guide the visual arts department. The first is the development of technical skill. Each course offers students an active experience with the materials, techniques, processes, and vocabulary necessary for a solid foundational ability and understanding of visual art and design. The second is the development of personal artistic vision. The program offers exciting opportunities for beginning students to discover talents unacknowledged in the past and for advanced students to set in motion their personal artistic vision. Studio courses in design, drawing/painting, ceramics, mixed-media sculpture, photography, and art history and aesthetics seminars provide an environment of stimulating intellectual and creative inquiry.

Photo: Alternative Process
​This is a hybrid-process class that combines some of the newest photographic technology with some of the oldest. Images will be captured with digital cameras, manipulated using Adobe Lightroom, and then output as negatives using inkjet printers. These negatives will then be contact-printed using historical photographic processes such as Cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown.

Photo: AP (Junior Year)
This course is designed to cover the "breadth" element of the portion of the AP 2-D portfolio. During the fall term, students will complete a series of directed assignments focusing on the elements and principles of design. Once students have mastered the compositional elements of an image they will use those skills to photograph a project of their own choosing during the winter term. They will also be introduced to different cameras and printing processes as tools to enhance their photographic statement. This is a yearlong course and only the most serious students will be admitted. A portfolio review is required for admission into the class.

Photo: AP
​For seniors this class is the culmination of all their photography classes. The year will be spent refining and printing a final portfolio to be completed as part of the National Advanced Placement 2-D Design Portfolio in May. In addition, Sr. AP Photo students will participate in the Senior Show in April during the Waterford Annual Arts Week Celebration. Students should plan on exposing at least 100 rolls of film, print at least 100 work prints, and ultimately produce a fifteen print portfolio. A portfolio review is required for acceptance into the program.

Photo: BW Darkroom I
​This course is an introduction to traditional, film-based black & white photography, including 35mm camera operation, film processing, and photographic printmaking. Photography, like many art forms, can be divided into two parts: process and product. Process is the act of making images, and processing and printing the negatives or image files. Product is the final image offered to the viewer for examination and discussion. Assignments relate to the development of basic skills necessary in all types of photography (process). Students will also begin to look and think photographically. While the emphasis of this course is on the technical aspects of photography, composition and content will be discussed and evaluated as well (product).

Photo: BW Darkroom II
​This course continues your introduction to traditional, film-based black & white photography, including 35mm camera operation, film processing, and photographic printmaking. You will continue to hone your technical skills, but the goal is that as you achieve greater mastery, you are able to pay more attention to the visual and creative/expressive aspects of your work.

Photo: Color Digital I
​Using digital cameras students will learn to see in color. They will gain a better understanding of color relationships, color as design elements and the overall artistic and aesthetic uses of color photography. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop software will be used and discussed in detail to archive, process and workflow, file management, manipulate and print from. Applications of color photography, historical, contemporary, and commercial and fine art will all be explored. Students will improve their photographic vision and knowledge of color theory and proficiency with digital cameras and software. Advanced techniques covered will include color balance, localized color correction, burning and dodging, and selective hue and saturation control, use of curves and color spaces. Students will view work by master photographers and develop an understanding for the nuance and possibilities of contemporary color digital process and materials.

Photo: Color Digital II
​This course is an extension of what we began in Digital I Students will improve their color aesthetic. They will continue to explore color relationships, the strength of proper design and composition and the overall art of color photography. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop software will be used and discussed in detail to archive, process and workflow, file management, manipulate and print from. Applications of color photography, historical, contemporary, and commercial and fine art will all be explored. Students will improve their proficiency with digital cameras and software in particular Photoshop CS 6.

Photo: History & Aesthetics
​During this term we will study photographers of the twentieth and twenty first century. We will not be discussing the origins of photography in the 1800's. There is simply not enough time in our term to start from the beginning. More important than the development of early technology are the movements and photographers that had a major impact on photography. Simply we will study the people that shaped the aesthetics and approach of today's photographers.

Photo: Video Art
​This course is an introduction to the use of the moving image as an expressive tool for art-making. We will consider the multitude of expressive forms that artists using film and video have pursued. We will explore how the field of video/film art differs from more traditional uses of the moving image (such as narrative or documentary film). We will also seek an understanding of the relationship between still photography and the moving image -- these two forms are similar in so many ways, and yet also radically different. The technical aspect of the class will involve learning to operate HD video-enabled digital SLR cameras, and to edit the video you capture in iMovie. You will learn video and audio terminology, camera controls and camera handling, simple lighting techniques, and -- time permitting -- methods of sound capture beyond the camera's built-in microphone. You will learn to use the editing software to shape your raw camera footage into a polished expressive form. You will begin by learning the essential technical skills, but the goal is that as you achieve greater mastery of these, you are able to pay more attention to the visual and creative aspects of your work.