Digital Imagemaking


Queens College
Art Department
Fall  2014
ARTS 165 – 03
Digital Imagemaking I
I Building Rm # 213
Fridays 10:00am-1:50pm

Instructor:  Matt Greco
Office: Klapper Hall Rm #108
Hours: Friday 9am-10am
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 – 20%
Mid-term portfolio (5 final prints, critique comments) – 20%
Paper – 20%
Final portfolio (5 final prints, 300 images, critique comments) – 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-      Narrative
Images that tell a story; shoot a series of images that individually/collectively tell a story
7-      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)
–          USB cable to connect camera to computer or USB card reader
–          2GB (minimum) flash drive
–          2 DVDs with jewel cases


–          A Short Course in Digital Photography by Barbara London and Jim Stone
–          Tripod
–          Lens cleaning cloth

Schedule (subject to change):

Week 1: 8.29
Introductions, course outline, review syllabus, required equipment, recommended reading

Week 2: 9.5
What is a DSLR?  Shutter speeds, f-stops, ISO, lenses, depth of field, metering
What makes a good photograph? Composition, color, balance, subject
Shoot assignment 1 for 9.12
Focus artist: William Eggleston

Week 3: 9.12
Using a Mac to edit and archive photos; uploading files, card readers, flash drives, external hard drives, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Photoshop, other software
Review images from assignment 1, submit 5 for print

Week 4: 9.19
Using Photoshop to edit your images; file size and type, cropping, white balance, levels, curves, color balance
Shoot assignment 2 for 9.23

Week 5: 9.23
Movie & Discussion: Waste Land

Week 5: 9.26

Week 6:  10.3

Week 7: 10.10
Shoot assignment 3 for 10.24
Focus artists: Richard Avedon, Man Ray

Week 8: 10.17
Photoshop review
Review images from assignment 2 & 3; submit 5 each for print
Shoot assignment 4 for 10.24

Week 9: 10.24
Work day Prep for Midterm
Review images from assignments 1,2,3, & 4; submit 5 for final print

Week 10: 10.31
Mid-term critique, show 5 of your best prints from first half of semester.
Shoot assignment 5 for 11.7

Week 11:  11.7
PSD Quiz Due
Review images from assignment 5; submit 5 for print
Shoot assignment 6 for 11.14

Week 12: 11.14
Proposals for final project due
Review images from assignment 6; submit 5 for print
Shoot final project for 12.5
Focus artist: James Casabere

Week 13: 11.21
Field trip (TBA)
Paper due 12.12
Shoot final project for 12.5 cont.

Week 14: 11.28

Week 15: 12.5
Workday Prep for Final
Review images for final project; submit 5 for final print

Week 16: 12.12
Final Crit (each student will show 5 final prints), paper due, 300 images due, loaner cameras returned


Printing Website

Syllabus PDF



Store Recommendations:

Camera Recommendations:
Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens
Nikon D3300 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens

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

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