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Course Spotlight: Shooting Like the Masters, a History of Photography

Curious how photography courses work in an online environment? What kind of lectures, assignments and discussion are there?

Take a look below at some sample materials from upcoming course Shooting Like the Masters: A History of Photography.

Canvas

Online courses don’t meet in real time, so there is no specific time you have to be in front of the computer. The first week of class, log in at your convenience. You’ll see a welcome from instructor Clover Leary, who will walk you through how to navigate the class, where to look first, and how the weeks are scheduled. Then you’ll add your own introduction, including your interests and goals for the class. You can include a picture of yourself as well!

 

Assignments

Each week will include a creative assignment that you’ll submit to the group for student and instructor critique. Here’s the first assignment for History of Photography.

Portraiture
• For this assignment you will be turning in two different Portraits inspired by two different photographers.
• Include a brief description with each photograph: (50-100 words) describe the photographer and how you chose to emulate their portraiture techniques. Note: You may offer a completely contemporary interpretation in your work, but if so please
explain how you chose to references the stylistic qualities of the photographers you chose.
• Choose to emulate the stylistic qualities of two of the following photographers:

Hill & Adamson Nadar

Andre Disderi

William Henry Fox Talbot

Julia Margaret Cameron Mathew Brady

Carefully analyze the photographers’ methods: Study the lighting, composition, backgrounds, camera angle, props and costume elements etc.
You should carefully consider what light sources you want to employ:
If you are using natural light what time of day do you want to photograph?
Do you want to use overcast light or the harder light on a clear day?
Do you want to shoot in shade, filtered light or direct light?
If you are shooting indoors, are you using light from a window, lamps, or both?
Are you also using flash?

Lectures

Instructors create their own slide lectures for class, which may include images, audio or video. Here are some slides from the first lecture for History of Photography.

Discussion

Students can chime in on the discussion board to comment on each other’s work, ask questions, and contribute to class discussion. Discussion in an online course is just as important as an in-class environment!

If you’d like to try an online photography class, History of Photography will begin on April 2! Enroll online, or at (310) 825-9971. To learn more about the class, call our office at (310) 206-1422.

Course Spotlight: Eye to Eye: Capturing the Face

There are few things more powerful than a beautifully rendered portrait. Photography instructor Scott Stulberg shares with us what students can expect in his upcoming one-day course Eye to Eye: Capturing the Face:

Why is this one-day course important for my photography education?

Photographing people…. and in particular faces for so many years now, the insights that you capture through so many different kinds of shoots, locations, weather conditions and the interactions of all kinds of different people, well, it all adds up to a great deal of knowledge. For a good majority of the people out there with cameras, point-and-shoot is really what they have become used to. The reason I love teaching how to capture people in different ways is because you can become so intimate with your subject. You can see and feel how to best capture them for your final outcome. You might realize they look better with a red dress than with blue jeans. That for their particular look, a unique hat completely changes your vision. Lying on their back, looking straight up at you while you were shooting straight down on them from above, might give you the perfect look and feel on that particular day.

There is so much to think about when shooting portraits from lighting, from equipment, working with people you hardly know and trying to capture the essence of who they are and so much more. In this class, I want to share my knowledge of years and years of working with people from not just the United States but from all over the world. And not just adults but also how to capture children which is one of my favorite subjects.

Exploring methods to push yourself out of your comfort zone can lead to a whole new world of self discovery with your photography. This course will help you discover and develop your own personal vision and individual style and push yourself to get images you’ve always imagined but were not really sure where to start.

Capturing people is a huge part of photography and probably the number one thing that people photograph. There are so many ways to create amazing images of people and we will cover so many different methods and ideas and hopefully spark curiosity and creativity among many of us.

What will we spend the day exploring? 

Hopefully, we will have a model for some part of the class with whom I will be working to show everyone what it’s like to capture using different ideas and techniques. We will also probably have time to go outdoors, close by on the UCLA campus and try some different lighting equipment to see how easily you can control and work with the light outside to get beautiful results that can mimic studio lighting indoors.

I will be bringing different kinds of camera and lighting gear to show what might be worthwhile to purchase… to achieve different results whether indoors or out. And although we won’t be shooting as a class, with all of the demonstrations by the instructor, much will be learned. We will also look at many photographs and discuss what makes them work.

What will I take away from this course?

One of the most important aspects of this course is learning how to feel and see light differently and understand the impact of light in your photographs. My goal is for everyone to realize the importance of light in your images as the definition of photography really is “painting with light”. It is absolutely the most crucial part of anyone’s photography but especially with portrait photography. Even the new iPhone 8 and X has some new portrait lighting methods…. and when you can start to understand the importance of what light can do….. and how you can work with that light to give you what you envision, you will have hopefully opened up a whole new world for your photography. There is so much to know about shooting people and especially the face and by the end of the class, hopefully everyone will have a much better understanding of what it takes to push your portrait photography in a new direction and give your images “Stopping Power “.

There’s nothing like a great portrait, no matter who is the subject. It’s been the most photographed subject of all time and the more you play…. the more you experiment… the easier it gets. We will be playing a lot in class!

Thanks, Scott!

Enroll in Eye to Eye: Capturing the Face today!

*Photography courtesy of Scott Stulberg

Course Spotlights: Photographic Portraiture and The Business of Photography

Instructor Todd Bigelow shares insight on his fall quarter courses, Photographic Portraiture and The Business of Photography:

Why are these courses important for my photography education?

Portrait photography is, without a doubt, the type of work most commonly associated with commercial, corporate and editorial photography. To put it another way, a good photographer will shoot portraits for a wide variety of clients. Although the use may vary, the need for strong portraits is constant. For example, corporations hire photographers to shoot portraits of employees to promote on their website and printed materials, for use in marketing materials and corporate campaigns and even for annual reports. Magazines of all kinds hire photographers to shoot everyone from celebrities to the average citizen for stories and profiles while ad agencies hire portrait photographers to promote a client’s products or services. Now, when you really break this down, you have TWO critical parts: First is the need to learn how to create a variety of portraits to fit specific needs and the second is to learn how to develop those clients and create a business relationship. By combining the Portrait Photography course and The Business of Photography Workshop, students get the full picture that will enable them to pursue a career in photography.

Do you have a sample assignment for each?

The Portrait Photography course is designed with practicality in mind. I’m a working photographer who is bringing 25 years of experience into the classroom, so the assignments reflect what students will typically encounter in the profession. For example, I will assign a variety of portraits to be shot while honing in on key elements such as the use of natural light or control of the background through depth of field and composition. Great portrait work is not the result of secret techniques or super advanced knowledge, it’s really about excelling at the fundamentals of portrait photography which include light, composition and subject rapport. I also assign conceptual work where the students draw on their own interpretation of a concept (such as Love or Power) and develop a portrait that reflect the concept either literally or figuratively. For example, the image here was shot to reflect the concept of “toughness.”

As for The Business of Photography, we go into details on what is required if you truly wish to create a freelance photography career. This course has been taught all over the country and presented at major photography conferences in Florida, New York, Virginia and elsewhere and has been named several times as one of the best photo workshops worldwide by Photoshelter, so it’s value to photographers is real. Photographers must learn how to not only develop a portfolio, but how to leverage that portfolio to develop clients and create licensing revenue. One thing photographers learn immediately when developing an advertising, editorial or corporate client is that you will need to sign a contract. I present a number of real contracts and break the important sections down so my students will know what to expect and how to negotiate. We also discuss at length the need to copyright your work and protect against others using your work without consent or pay, a real problem in the profession. I also provide real, up to date information about creative fees as well as how to structure your business and prepare to pay taxes as a self employed person. For more detailed information as well as student testimonials, please visit www.BusinessOfPhotographyWorkshop.com.

What will I take away from these courses?

Students who enroll in the Portrait Photography course will walk away with a very strong foundation to create a variety of portraits. We incorporate a full day in a well equipped studio where students can play with various lighting set ups, but students will understand upon completion that creating portraits is more about the subject than it is about the equipment. That’s the key difference between Portrait Photography and, say, Studio Lighting. We concentrate on subject first and equipment second. Students who enroll in The Business of Photography Workshop will ingest a wealth of practical knowledge that will help them navigate the world of freelance photography as a career. This course is essential to photographers seeking to earn money using their technical and creative skills.

Thanks, Todd!

Enroll in Photographic Portraiture and/or The Business of Photography today!

Lightroom I (Online) this summer

Image by instructor Ken Wischmeyer

We’ve gotten many requests for a photography class covering Lightroom in depth, so this summer, check out Lightroom I (Online) as a Photography Certificate elective. There’s no prerequisite, so it’s appropriate for those just starting the program, or anyone who wants to get a comprehensive overview of Lightroom.

Check out the syllabus below. To register, click here.

Instructor: Kenneth E. Wischmeyer

DESCRIPTION


Adobe Lightroom software offers the digital photographer a comprehensive set of tools to organize, manage, enhance, present, and share their work. This course provides the student with a complete examination of the application’s features, including image archiving with keywords and metadata, color and tonality correction, creating special effects, electronic and Web presentations, book publishing, printing, and integrating image files with Adobe Photoshop. Lightroom I emphasizes both technical skill development and creative exploration.

MATERIALS


Software Requirements

  • Adobe Lightroom 4 or higher
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Apple QuickTime Player

EVALUATION


Grading

Weekly Assignments                           85%

Participation (Online Discussions)      15%

SCHEDULE


When Topic Notes
Week #1 Digital Photography

Introduction to Adobe Lightroom

Week #2 The Library Module

Workflow and Image Management

Week #3 The Library Module

Metadata and Keywords

Week #4 The Develop Module

White Balance & The Histogram and The Basic Tab

Week #5 The Develop Module

Tone Curve and Image Sharpening

Week #6 The Develop Module

Retouching and Local Adjustments

Week #7 The Develop Module

Black & White and Toning

Week #8 The Book Module

Layout & Design

Week #9 The Slideshow Module

Presentations

Week #10 The Print Module

Printing and Finishing Techniques

Week #11 The Web Module

The Web Photo Gallery

Week #12 Adobe Lightroom & Adobe Photoshop

Panoramas and HDR images

Course Spotlight: Photographing Architecture in the City

 

Images by instructor Richard Langendorf

This spring, we will be offering a new course with instructor Richard Langendorf, Photographing Architecture in the City. A unique offering, this course would appeal to students interested in photography, architecture, art and art history, and urban planning and design. The diversity of backgrounds and experiences should make for an interesting array of creative projects.

Each student will work on a self-initiated project,  selecting a site for the focus of his or her work in the course. The place may be anywhere in the Los Angeles region – urban or suburban. It may be a work of architecture, an urban space, the urban edge, or the like.  This work will proceed in stages, examining the site from varying perspectives, including light, detail, documentary, and poetic interpretation, and ending as a portfolio of photographs that express the qualities of a particular place, sequenced as one or more stories.

Below you’ll see a list of class lecture topics, technical demonstrations, and creative assignments. To enroll, click here, or call (310) 825-9971.

Lectures on Architectural Photography
Early History, Wonders of World, American Topographic Views
Pictorialism, Modernist Views-Europe & US
Documentary: Progressive Era & Reform, Great Depression
Modern View: Experimental, Rise of Color Art Photography
Arch. Journals, Modern Arch. Photographers (Commercial), architecture without architects; architecture in color, landmarks & special events
Dusseldorf Academy, New Topographics, Learning from Las Vegas, Modernism reappraised
New Documentary: DATAR, etc.; architecture- from commercial to art photography
Post Modern: where architecture and photography merge
Man-altered landscapes, cityscapes of change
Constructed, Staged, and Invented Image
Final Project, no lecture or future of architectural photography

Select Demonstrations/Technique

Equipment selection
Checklist for planning and shooting
Shooting: lens selection, aperture-shutter-ISO trade-offs, etc.
Shooting: composition, parallax and parallax correction
Shooting: low light, twilight, night photography, TPE
Shooting: HDR and Pano, and post in ACR/Lightroom
Post: working non-destructively
Post: ACR-basic panel, curves, lens correction, and FX
Post: noise reduction, sharpening, mixed light conditions
Post: HDR and Panorama, Photoshop and other software
Post: enhancing/replacing sky

Assignments

Assignment 1: Site Proposal
Assignment 2: Getting Started, Research Paper
Assignment 3: Detail
Assignment 4: Time
Assignment 5: Light
Assignment 6: Context
Assignment 7: Poetics / Interpretation
Assignment 8: Documentary
Assignment 9, Post-Modern
Assignment 10, Outline, Final Project
Deadline to update Previous assignments
Assignment 11:Final Project
Assignment 12 Print Version, Final Project

 

Interview with Photography Student Joe Stehly

We always love hearing about the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. In this interview, recent photography certificate graduate Joe Stehly talks about what he learned in the program, and where he’s hoping to take his work in the future.

How did you get interested in photography, and why did you choose the UCLA Extension Photography Certificate?

I am an aerospace engineer by trade, but also took many art classes growing up.  I still really enjoy art and feel that it is very important to continue growing artistically. I have taken art classes focused other mediums since graduating college, but photography is the genre that speaks the loudest to me. My old roommate is a professional photographer and some of his black and white images sparked my interest.  He taught me some basics and I continued to learn on my own until I reached the point where I could not progress any further.  I needed professional instruction. Around this time I took a management class at UCLA Extension and saw a catalog for other class offerings during a break. While looking through the catalog the photography curriculum caught my eye. I decided to give Photography I a try and I really liked it so I enrolled in the certificate program.

For someone who is new to photography, what should they know about getting started?

I think the first thing to remember when starting the program is that everyone in the class with you is there for the same reason that you are: to become a better photographer. These classmates end up becoming close friends and people you can collaborate with on later projects.

Similarly, the instructors are focused on making you a better photographer. They have great real-world experience and teach you a lot about the business of photography and the creative process in addition to technical instruction.

What was your favorite UCLA Extension class and why?

Two classes that I took stood out as favorite of mine. The first was Lighting I with Kevin Merrill. I had never been in a studio before or attempted elaborate lighting setups. Both were intimidating to me prior to taking the course. However, after learning some basics I found that many creative avenues were opened to me by understanding how to use light. I found that many other classes, as well, pushed me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to round out my skill set. These new techniques that I was exposed to are not only interesting, but they allowed me to grow and expand creatively in ways that would not otherwise be possible.

The other class that really helped me grow was the Photographic Portfolio class. This was the final class that I took and I feel like it brought me full circle. The structure of the classes forces you to focus on one specific genre while creating a cohesive portfolio. I focused on Black and White Urban Landscape for the portfolio and was really able to fine-tune my skills. The instructor, David Daigle, is extremely detail oriented (every pixel matters) and this enabled me to better critique my own photos both compositionally and during post-processing. I learned an enormous amount in this class.

Where do you hope to take your practice in the future?

I plan to continue working on urban landscape photography while studying what the pioneers in the field, such as Julius Schulman, created.  The UCLA extension courses helped me find my voice artistically in this area and I will continue to refine that through various projects. I have also started setting up a home studio and am excited about the opportunities that it will enable.

What are you working on right now?

I have a few projects that I am currently working on. One is a continuation of a project that I did for my Documentary and Landscape Photography class where I look at the public/private school divide in Pasadena through photography. I am also working capturing more buildings throughout Los Angeles and soon I am going to Europe for a vacation in order to get some new subject matter.

ASMP Talk on Freelancing with Todd Bigelow

Instructor Todd Bigelow, who leads our Business of Photography workshop, will be giving a virtual interview with ASMP on being a freelance photographer.

ASMP Talk: Freelancing with Todd Bigelow – Tuesday, February 21st @ 11amPT/2pmET

Join ASMP Executive Director, Tom Kennedy, in a virtual interview with LA-based freelance photographer, Todd Bigelow, to discuss the many issues – building a portfolio, making client connections, licensing, protecting your works – facing freelance photographers in today’s fast-paced, tumultuous times. Following the one-on-one interview, Tom will open up the discussion with Todd to include a Q&A with webinar attendees. You can register here: https://www.asmp.org/webinars/strictly-business-webinar-february-21st-freelancing-todd-bigelow/. 

Los Angeles based freelance photographer Todd Bigelow has handled assignment work for more than twenty-five years for some of the world’s leading publications, non-profits and corporations including Sports Illustrated, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Time, ESPN.com, Newsweek, People, The NY Times Magazine, Costco, Target, The James Irvine Foundation and others. While at the LA Times he contributed to two team Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of the LA Riots and Northridge Earthquake. Portions of his long term project documenting immigration have been exhibited internationally and several images reside in the permanent collection at the California Museum of Photography and the Oakland Museum of California.  His workshop, The Business of Photography, is offered by leading universities, professional photography organizations and photography conferences around the country and has been named three times as a “fantastic” and “inspiring” workshop by Photoshelter.  Todd also teaches photography and photojournalism courses at California State University-Northridge and UCLA Extension.

Interview with Photography Graduate Christian Alarcon

Christian Alarcon just finished his photography certificate at UCLA Extension. Below he shares with us his academic and professional experience. To see Christian’s work check out his portfolio at christianalarcon.com .

Tell us about how you got interested in Photography, and why you chose the UCLA Extension Photography certificate.

I came to UCLA Extension a few months after High School in Spring 2011. I originally enrolled aiming for the Design Communication Arts ch2certificate. About mid way through the program, I decided to take Photography II as an elective. The day after I signed up, I went out and purchased my first camera, a Canon Rebel T3 equipped with an 18-55mm lens. I was HOOKED! That camera was in my hands everywhere I’d go. I didn’t even know how to properly use it, I would click the button and just hope I’d make a photo. Once the Photography II course began it was like I entered a new world. I would sit in class viewing slideshows of work and listen to my instructor Masood Kamandy and fellow classmates talk about exposure, shutter speeds, ISO’s and I had no idea what they meant. Clearly going straight into Photography II wasn’t the smartest decision, but it’s what motivated me to learn more about my camera and the art of Photography. I took a break from the DCA program and continued taking photos and learning as much as I could about photography on my own. As soon as I felt more comfortable operating my camera, I enrolled myself in the Photography Certificate program and that’s when my passion really began to grow.

For someone who is new to photography, what should they know about getting started?

img_7363_2Be very patient! Being patient with art is so important because then you’re achieving what you really want to achieve. Experiment with different styles and find what gives you that rush of emotion. Photography isn’t a competition. There will be times where you look at other peoples work and think to yourself “why don’t my photos look as good as theirs?” Don’t compare yourself to other photographers; instead look at their work as inspiration to help you get better. Put your passion into the craft and develop your own style. The most important thing is to always have fun and remember that you can never really fail if you’re doing something you love. The last crucial piece of advice I can give is learning how to save and back up all of your files. One day you will go deep into your archives and find some hidden gems that at the time you did not think were so great. And learn how to edit your work non-destructively. You will go through many different editing phases, and you will be very upset when you want to edit a certain old photo differently but you damaged the original copy.

 

What was your favorite UCLA Extension class and why?

I enjoyed all of my classes at Extension, but I’ll have to say Street Photography was definitely my favorite. From the moment I got my camera, Street Photography was an art that always fascinated me. Taught by the legendary John Weiss, this class really opened my eyes to the different elements of capturing great photos in the streets. Three of our class sessions were field trips, which consisted of us meeting at a certain location in the city and shooting together as a group. This gave us the opportunity to be out in the field while getting advice from our instructor, which I thought was really special. Weiss shaped me to become not only a better photographer, but also a professional. His passion and craft towards the art is truly something amazing and I can only hope to reach such a pinnacle one day. It was an honor being taught and guided by John Weiss, and for that I am very thankful.

christian-alarcon-08

Where do you hope to take your practice in the future?

There are so many things I wish to accomplish with Photography. My biggest dream of all is to travel. I would love to experience and capture the many different cultures of the world. Seeing the work of the greats like Steve McCurry, Alex Webb, and my former instructor John Weiss is what keeps that dream alive. I also hope to open my own studio here in Los Angeles, a creative work-space where I can offer my services and showcase my work. The possibilities with Photography are endless; as long I have a camera in my hands I’ll be happy.

 

What are you working on right now?img_5445

I am currently just taking my work day by day. I go out into the city with my camera every chance I get. Los Angeles is an amazing place to live and find inspiration. Everyday is a new story worth capturing. In today’s age people are so caught up in their daily routines and social medias that they don’t find the time to go out and experience the greatness their city has to offer; the people, the culture, the architecture, the food, and so much more. The work I continue to curate will eventually become a book where I can share all of these elements that make our city of Los Angeles such an iconic and historical place.

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