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CLASSES I’VE WRITTEN

Below is a partial list of classes I've written for the Academy of Art University. Most of these classes have been written for other instructors teach. Each course is about 800,000 words and provides enough content for a 15-week course on their given topic. Software-based courses include screen-capture video demonstrations.

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This is an intermediate course in video production and video editing using Adobe Premiere. Students discover how to fix common distortion problems, change the speed of clips in the timeline, create advanced titles, remix audio using Premiere’s Essential Sound panel, and adjust color and exposure. 

The second half of the course addresses the exciting world of drone videography and photography.  Students study best practices for flying a drone safely, study some of the FAA regulations for recreational and commercial uses of drones, learn how to search airspace restrictions and check the weather before flying, and discover how to incorporate drone photography/videography into a commercial business. 


EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

The word "editorial" refers to the marketplace where this style of photography is sold. That means publishing companies that create physical products such as books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and so forth.  But, increasingly, it also means online-only media companies. 

This class is divided into three parts:

  1. An overview of editorial photography. We'll survey the five factors that most contribute to the creation of a great editorial portrait: subject, setting, action/concept, lighting, and wardrobe. 

  2. The nuts and bolt: Information about techniques, best practices, and strategies:

  3. Shooting intensive modules. In these, students will have little reading material, but will, instead, dedicate their time almost exclusively toward creating new work for their portfolios.


CONTEMPORARY LANDSCAPE

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Contemporary means we'll focus on artwork created since the 1970s. Why the '70s? It marks the last major shift in the practice of landscape photography. Many of today's artists are still engaged with the issues that were introduced 40 years ago.

So, what is landscape?

In short, landscape is land that has been aesthetically processed. It's a natural scene mediated by culture. It is land that has been edited, organized, and reduced to the point at which human eyes can comprehend its breadth and depth in a short time or with one frame. In short, think of land as the raw material. Landscape is that material processed and shaped for aesthetic, expressive, or political ends. It transforms space into place.

The class is divided into five parts:

  1. Introduction, basic technical and practical matters

  2. History and theory

  3. Survey of contemporary landscape art

  4. Advanced technical issues

  5. Conclusion


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DIGITAL PRINTING TECHNIQUES

This graduate course teaches best practices for making inkjet prints.  Topics include: printing workflow, the benefits of making a test print, creating custom ICC profiles, creating hard proofs, evaluating and correcting prints, outputting in black-and-white, managing print size and interpolation, choosing substrates to match artistic intent, and presenting work to the fine art marketplace. 


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PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT

A portfolio is a cohesive, carefully edited and sequenced body of work that demonstrates a photographer’s skill in terms of aesthetics, creativity, lighting, camera control, and concept development. In this class, students develop projects that fit within a specific marketable category of photography. The idea is for them to advance their own personal style through weekly shooting assignments customized for the individual goals of their portfolio.


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PHOTOSHOP & LIGHTROOM FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

This is the beginner class in digital imaging. Students follow the Pareto Principle, using Lightroom for 80 percent of their workflow and Photoshop for the remaining 20%.  In Lightroom, students learn how to import, organize, rank and perform basic, global adjustments their images in Lightroom. In Photoshop, students learn how to perform more precise and detailed local adjustments.


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DIGITAL IMAGING

This is the mid-level imaging class, devoted entirely to Photoshop, and students learn intermediate skills such as sections, masking, basic retouching, interpretive transformations, and the basics of printing. 


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COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Commercial photographers make a living by selling or licensing their work to clients. This differs them from fine art or documentary photographers who are not motivated by money.

This course introduces students to the various forms of commercial photography and also examines the traits required to be a successful commercial photographer, such as having a consistent vision, a willingness to collaborate and an attitude of reliability and professionalism. We examine best practices for the following disciplines: assisting, retouching, editorial photography, stock photography, commercial portrait photography, wedding photography, commercial still life photography, real estate photography and advertising photography. 


PORTRAITURE

Portraits reflect our tendency to think about ourselves, ourselves in relation to others, and others in relation to themselves. They emphasize the uniqueness of the individual, and, by extension, human dignity. 

Portraits initially seem to be a simple topic, but they possess multiple layers of depth. This sweeping course covers: 

  1. The history of portraiture from antiquity to today

  2. The four elements of portraiture (environment, clothing, pose, face, the role facial position plays in the meaning of a portrait

  3. The six categories of contemporary self-portrait

  4. Practical tips for shooting and lighting portraits

  5. The different conceptual uses of portraiture in contemporary photography.

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SENIOR PORTFOLIO

Students focus on the best practices to create physical and digital-based portfolios. They also learn how to create promotional materials like artist statements, creative bios, CVs, promo cards, tear sheets, testimonials and business cards.




QUALITY OF LIGHT

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Mastering light is as important as mastering ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. In fact, one might argue it's even more important because lighting is a rare skill. In a crowded marketplace, lighting prowess can make a portfolio stand out.

This course teaches students the practical skills needed to employ, control and communicate with light. Specifically, this class is about directed lighting. That means light that has been shaped and controlled so that its quality, intensity, direction, and hue support a photographer's concept for a given scene. In this course, light is no accident; you're responsible for how it looks. Students employ studio lights for most of their assignments. Natural light does play a role in this course, but a small one. In a couple of assignments, students may se natural light, but they will need to augment it with modifiers like reflectors and diffusion panels. 


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HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Students explore the rich history of photography and the impact of photography on the visual arts.   My account of history is designed to be useful for artists, not historians or sociologists. That means it is based on two things. First, we examine how artistic practice and photographic possibility were shaped by technical evolution. Second, we examine the four conceptual ways artists and others have worked with the medium over time.


MOTION PROJECT

This is an intermediate course in video production and video editing using Adobe Premiere. Students discover how to fix common distortion problems, change the speed of clips in the timeline, create advanced titles, remix audio using Premiere’s Essential Sound panel, and adjust color and exposure. 

The second half of the course addresses the exciting world of drone videography and photography.  Students study best practices for flying a drone safely, study some of the FAA regulations for recreational and commercial uses of drones, learn how to search airspace restrictions and check the weather before flying, and discover how to incorporate drone photography/videography into a commercial business.