Digital Imagemaking


Queens College
Summer Session 2  2014
ARTS 165 / ARTS 222
ARTS 235 / ARTS 6203-01
Digital Imagemaking I, II, II
Special Projects in Design
Science Building D141
Mon-Thurs 9:00am-12:50pm

Instructor:  Matt Greco
Office: Klapper Hall Rm #108
Hours: Monday 1pm-2pm
Course Website:

Course Description:

Introduction to Digital Imagemaking will emphasize the creative aspects of using a digital still camera such as subject matter, point of view, natural and artificial light, DSLR operation and/or other digital equipment operation and basic image processing.  This course will also examine how the ubiquitous “digital image” affects our everyday life.  Through the close critique of your own images, images taken by your classmates, and imagery in the public sphere you will learn how to interpret and understand the avalanche of digital images we encounter during our day.  This course will be as much about how to make good digital images as it will be about how to look at them.

Course Objectives:

At the close of this course the successful student will have a comprehensive understanding of the operation of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera as well as an introduction to intermediate digital photographic equipment and techniques.  They will master a digital image workflow that includes familiarity with different file types, the software used to edit those files, and the software used to archive and manage those files.  They will expand their vocabulary to include the proper terminology for creating and critiquing photographs.   They will demonstrate the ability to think creatively, form project ideas, and follow those ideas from conception to realization.

Course Requirements:

Students will be expected to complete all assignments on time and to the best of their ability.   Students are expected to attend every class but life does happen so you get 3 absences, after that you lose a letter grade for every absence.   Be on time please; for every 3 times you are late you will lose a letter grade.  There will be a museum field trip (TBA) and attendance is required.  There will be a paper due (relax, it will be a short paper) and will relate to the museum field trip.  We will have a midterm and final critique attendance is required for both.

Course Website:

Please check our course website every week for updates to the syllabus or schedule, links to information and resources, a student gallery page where we will showcase your work throughout the semester and a blog page where I’ll post interesting and educational material and where you’ll get an opportunity to reply with comments of your own.

Shooting assignments – 40%
Paper – 20%
Final portfolio (5 prints, DVD with 300 images)– 40%
Shooting Assignments (all assignments require at least 70 images and 5 8×10 prints):

1-    Document your day
Images of your daily life; your morning routine, your commute, your home, etc.

2-    Landscape
Images that are expansive; mountains, rivers, bridges, cityscapes, train yards etc.

3-    Portraits
Images of people or animals not yourself; family, friends, neighbors, peers

4-    Strange angle
Images from an unconventional angle; from above, from below, very close

5-    Strange light
Images lit with unusual light; night shots, neon light, slow shutter, time lapse

6-    Student choice
This is the final project with a subject of your choosing.  Start thinking about this now.  You will discuss this idea with me prior to shooting.


We will be utilizing the Noritsu Digital C-Printer to print files for this course.  The prints will be free and students will be required to submit your prints to the lab.  We will be printing 8×10 for most of the class.  Opportunity to print larger prints will be available during the second half of the semester.   Keep prints safe and clean; you will show these at the mid-term and final critiques.


The paper due will be two pages, typed, double-spaced and will be a response to one or more photographs that you see during the museum field trip.   This is a response paper not a research paper; I want to hear your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the work, not a list of facts, figures and dates.  Ask yourself these questions:  What is this a picture of?  What do I think the photographer is trying to communicate?  Does the work communicate this to me?  What techniques did the photographer use and did these enhance the power of the imagery?  What emotional or intellectual reactions did I have to the work?  Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated.


Please bring all equipment with you to class everyday.  Check all equipment to ensure good operation, especially jump drives and portable hard drives.  Lost images, corrupted disks, etc. are not acceptable excuses for missed assignments.  BACK UP EVERYTHING OFTEN.


-       DSLR Camera (will give recommendations on 1st day)
-       2GB (minimum) flash drive
-       1 DVD


-       A Short Course in Digital Photography by Barbara London and Jim Stone
-       Tripod
-       Lens cleaning cloth
-       Flash
-       Portable hard drive

Schedule (subject to change):

Day 1: 7.7
Intro, equipment recommends.  Shoot assignment #1 for Wed 9th

Day 2: 7.8
Intro to Mac, software, editing & archiving, uploading files, etc.  Intro to Bridge, Lightroom, Photoshop (file types and sizing).  Camera operations and characteristics of a good photograph.

Day 3: 7.9
Editing images using Photoshop I
Review images from assignment #1, submit 5 for print.  Shoot assignment #2 for Mon 14th
Focus Artist: William Eggelston

Day 4: 7.10
Editing images using Photoshop II

Day 5: 7.14
Workday, review images from assign #2, submit 5 for print.  Shoot assignment #3 for Wednesday 16th
II, III – Intermediate Photoshop skills: clipping, selections, masking, quick mask mode, actions etc.
Focus Artists: Richard Avedon & Man Ray

Day 6: 7.15
Movie & Discussion – Exit Through the Gift Shop

Day 7:  7.16
Workday.  Review images from assignment #3, submit 5 for print, shoot assignment #4 for Monday 21st
II, III – Intermediate Photoshop skills cont.

Day 8: 7.17
I – Intermediate equipment and software introduction
II, III – Studio lighting

Day 9: 7.21
Review images from assignment #4, submit 5 for print, shoot assignment #5 for Wednesday 23rd
Edit and Submit 5 final images to print for midterm crit.

Day 10: 7.22
Midterm crit, show 5 final prints

Day 11: 7.23
Review images from assignment #5, submit 5 for print, final project proposal, and shoot final project for Tues 29th
Focus Artist: James Casabere

Day 12:  7.24
Field trip (TBA)

Day 13: 7.28
On campus panorama project

Day 14: 7.29
Workday, review images for final, submit 5 images for print for final crit

Day 15: 7.30
Final crit (Due: 5 final prints to hang, DVD with 300 images, 2 page paper)


Printing Website

Syllabus PDF



Store Recommendations:

Camera Recommendations:
Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens
Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital Camera and 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit

Other Equipment (required):
-SD memory card
-USB Jump Drive (at least 2GB, i like the drive this links to, good price/good rating)

Other Equipment (recommended):
-Camera Bag
-Lens Cleaning Cloth
-UV filter for lens (protective, this filter size is 55mm be sure to get the correct size for your lens)

Adobe CS5 (Photoshop)

Gimp Shop

Equipment Reviews:

Online Photography Magazines:

Photography Exhibitions in NYC:



History of Photography, Camera Operation & Image Analysis PowerPoint

Lighting PowerPoint

Advanced Camera Techniques

Man Ray PowerPoint

Richard Avedon PowerPoint

William Eggleston PowerPoint

James Casabere PowerPoint

Keith Loutit Tilt-Shift Time-lapse Videos

Other Guys Bar Scene
This is the Bar Scene from the movie “The Other Guys” and this is a “How they did it” with Phillips’ “Carousel” which is the same technique