Print Version

Effective: Summer 2015

Advisory: Advisory: PHOT 5, 65A or 72; this course is included in the Digital Photography family of activity courses; not open to students with credit in PHOT 70.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will demonstrate knowledge of the principles of the interaction of color.
  • A successful student will analyze and correct photographs for accurate color balance.
Description -
Introduction to history of color processes. Introduction to the theories, principles, instruction in color correction and manipulation, and expressive potential of digital color photography.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. discuss the differences between how the human eye perceives color and how the various color processes are produced
  2. describe and apply basic color theory through the use of digital print media
  3. discuss events in the history of color processes
  4. demonstrate an understanding of color print media through visual print assignments
  5. recognize and appreciate contributions to color photography by professionals and artists from diverse cultures and backgrounds
  6. express a personal photographic style through color photography
  7. recognize how new and current technologies can enhance color photography
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
A lecture room equipped for projecting video tapes, slides, CD/DVDs, internet and computer-based applications, related digital media and picture railing for critique of color prints. A laboratory area equipped for making digital prints. A print finishing room equipped with mat cutters, rotary trimmers, and dry mount presses for producing presentation mats.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. The historical and technical basis of color photography
    1. The nature of light and the physiology of seeing color, including basic theories of color vision
    2. Legacy of chemical color processes, including films, papers, and Polaroid, C-41, E-6 and RA-4
    3. History and evolution of color photography and color technology
  2. Principles of digital color
    1. Use of image manipulation software to treat, interpret and correct image files; color work flow
    2. Evaluation of color prints based on both neutral and interpretive color balance, contrast, exposure, and viewing illumination
    3. Color management and awareness of the interplay between various color systems and devices
    4. File preparation for ink jet and RA-4 process printers
  3. Color photography as art
    1. Expressive use of color
    2. Exemplary use of color materials by professionals and artists from diverse cultural backgrounds
    3. Analyses of color strategies and color organization
    4. Alternative color materials and methods of display
    5. Critique sessions of student work
    6. Contemporary trends in color photography
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Portfolio of prints that reflect creative application of color materials and concepts
  2. Quizzes and exams
  3. Assignments, including written papers and field practice
Representative Text(s) -
Hirsch, Robert, Exploring Color Photography: From Film to Pixels, 5th edition, Focal Press/Elsevier, 2011.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion and critique
  3. Field work
  4. Oral presentation
  5. Online discussion forum
  6. Print and Finishing Lab
  7. Field trip
Lab Content -
  1. Use of computer workstation
  2. Use of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom imaging software
  3. Use of print kiosks and professional color laboratory services.
  4. Testing of color materials in the field under various light conditions and light sources.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Various Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  2. Manufacturer's Exposure and development data sheets
  3. A written paper that deconstructs and analyzes the color strategy used by a photographer who specifically uses color
  4. Reading of various photographer's biographies.
  5. Reading of various photographer's monographs.