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Boulder Valley School District Course Syllabus


Photography 1, A71

Teacher: John Costello, Room #606 Course Description

This introductory course deals with controlling light to produce an aesthetically pleasing image on light sensitive film and paper. Students will learn camera use, film processing, darkroom procedures, visual literacy and the principles and elements of art in composition. Office Hours: Planning Periods 1st & 7th Phone Number: 720-561-8114 Email:

Class Website:

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

Photographers create derived meaning and respond to works of art, objects in nature, and the environment.

How does a photographer communicate an idea, feeling or message to the viewer?

Principles of design are used to effectively organize the elements of art in a work of art.

How does a photographer use the elements of art and principles of design as building blocks to cohesively organize a work of art?

Technical practice, along with safe and appropriate use of materials, tools, processes and technology, result in strong artistic skills and craftsmanship.

How does a photographer safely and responsibly use materials, tools, processes and technology in creating a well crafted work of art?

Art is created and understood through personal, social, historical and cultural perspectives.

How does art history and culture relate to the creation of photography?

Critical analysis and aesthetic inquiry help understand and distinguish similarities and differences among works of art.

How are similarities and differences defined among works of art?

More information about the BVSD Curriculum can be found at

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Boulder Valley School District Course Syllabus

Essential Learnings •Introduction of the photographic process by using pinhole cameras to make a negative and positive image •Use a 35 mm SLR camera to correctly expose a negative •Manipulate an exposure to create a various range of depths of field •Develop B&W film, make contact sheets and enlarge negatives •Mounting and presentation techniques for their photographs •Understands and applies traditional methods of photographic composition •Control the photographic image by using contrast filters & dodging and burning techniques. •Articulates and interprets the work of prominent photographers: William Henry Jackson, John Fielder, Ansel Adams, Anne Leibovitz, and Bruce Davidson. •Demonstrates that one’s own photograph expresses a feeling, idea or message in a written or verbal format •Uses appropriate art vocabulary to express observations •Compares and contrasts elements of art, principles of design, and sensory and expressive features in photography •Evaluates the use of elements of art and principles of design in developing and solving visual arts problems •Uses tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner •Articulates the use of a variety of film speeds •Experiments with Photoshop software program •Describes photography including information such as subject matter, style, elements of art, principles of design, symbols, artist, title, period and culture •Uses oral presentation, group critique, and self/peer assessments to reflect on and analyze one’s photography and the work of others •Supports opinions by reasoned processes, using an expanded art vocabulary

Grading Policy Grades at Broomfield High School will provide feedback, guide instruction, and reflect a student’s knowledge and attainment of content standards. Grades will reflect what a student knows and is able to do. Photography is largely a projects based class. Approximately 20% of the grade are “Formative” assignments that will guide instruction and help the instructor know how the students are progressing. 80% of the grade is based on student’s mastery of “Summative” projects and tests.

Textbooks and Supplementary Materials •There is no prescribed text but students are expected to take notes on concepts that are introduced during the course of study.35mm SLR Camera: (available for check out) Students are encouraged to use their own 35mm SLR cameras when available. •The equipment and chemistry for developing 35 mm B&W film is provided. The equipment and chemistry for enlarging and dry mounting prints up to a size up to 11 x 14 is also provided. •Students will need to purchase approximately $75 of their own film, photographic paper, mounting board, dry mounting tissue and negative sleeves. BHS has a system for purchasing these materials with “Art Cards". Any money NOT spent will be refunded at the end of the semester. •Students are strongly encouraged to get a “Trapper” to keep all their Photo Paper, Negatives and notes organized.

More information about the BVSD Curriculum can be found at

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Course Syllabus Photo 1  

BVSD course description