Photographing History in the Making
General Catalog Course Title:
Freshman/Sophomore Seminar
Terms Offered:
Fall 2013
Spring 2013
Fall 2012
Spring 2012
Fall 2011
Spring 2011
Fall 2010

Responding to this transformational period in the history of the university, this experimental seminar will explore photographic technique and be conducted in the context of the current climate of change and conflict sweeping the university. Political discussion will be an integral part of the seminar. Class participation is essential. Students should be interested in learning about changes that are occurring at the university and in discussing these topics (for example, fiscal issues, priorities, privatization, students' rights), as well about how documentary photographs convey and affect political change. The seminar emphasizes civic engagement and is not intended to be primarily a photography course. Students should have a background in photography. The seminar will explore the roles of documentary photography, photojournalism, and activist photography as both documenters of and vehicles for change. To hone photographic skills for both film and digital photography, aesthetic, semantic, and technical aspects of photography will be discussed. As time permits, possible photography topics may include quality of light, exposure control, depth of field, composition and patterns, perspective, color science, the human visual system, spatial and color perception, or digital versus chemical processing. Print film assignments are not required but are encouraged; however, darkroom facilities are outside the control of the class. Students are required to take photographs and submit a written paragraph on a weekly basis, and these photographs will be critiqued in class as time permits. To complete the course assignments, students must have a camera that enables manual setting of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO as well for focus and that has either interchangeable lenses of different focal lengths or a zoom lens. Although access to both a film camera and a digital camera is preferred, this is by no means necessary. The class includes visits to campus museums, galleries, and archives.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.