Course Description:

Studio, six hours; outside study, nine hours. Completion of preparation for major and upper division core courses required. Requisites: courses 24, 28, 101 or 104, 154. Selected topics in visual communication and image explored through variety of approaches that may include projects, readings, discussion, research papers, and oral presentations. Topics announced in advance. May be repeated for maximum of 15 units. Letter grading.


Class structure:

Classroom tie will be used primarily to review work either as class discussion or individual meetings. Every week you will have a new Project due the following class meeting or week. Work is to be presented according to instructions by 2:00 pm.



You must demonstrate through the readings, projects (both process and end project) as well as through classroom discussion that you grasp the material being taught.



You must attend each class. This class will cover a lot of material in a short period of time. There is little, if any, way to make up for a lost class. You are responsible for work due on the day you are absent and for Projects given on the day you missed. An emergency or illness is the only acceptable excuse. You must let the T.A. and me know, prior to the class meeting, that either you will a) miss the class and the reason; or b) why you did not attend. Class begins promptly at 2:00pm. There is a 5- minute grace period. If you arrive to class between 2:05 and 2:15 you will be marked tardy. Every tardy is a 1/3 grade point down on your final grade (A+ to A). If you are later than 15 minutes you’ll be marked absent. Each (unexcused) absence will result in one full grade letter down (A+ to B+). Three unexcused absences will result in a failed grade in the class (F).



Each class you will be evaluated equally on the following

  • Success of project
  • Presentation of project
  • Quality of effort
  • Class participation and engagement
  • Understanding of the reading material
  • Attendance, depending on the circumstances, will also affect your grade as stated above. Your final grade is the average of all grades in combination with your attendance records.


DMA Lectures/ events:

Your attendance is required at least 3 lectures/ events offered by the DMA during the Fall quarter. Check the mandatory events for this quarter. Each missed lecture counts as an ‘absence’ and thus affects your grade as stated above. Send evidence of your attendance to the T.A.


Turn off cell phones during class. No food in class. No text messaging, ichatting, skyping , or emailing during class.



Photography is rapidly becoming the dominant art form in the 21st century, with international museums and galleries devoting huge exhibitions to the medium. With the undeniable and devastating effects our culture continues to have on the natural environment, many artists are turning their attention to creating works around the culture of nature. From the banal snapshot of one’s backyard, to classical photography of the sublime and human awe of nature, students will consider the full range of the artists’ photographic practice in the broad context of nature and the landscape.

Participants will gain an understanding of contemporary approaches to the landscape through an overview of contemporary photographic works by such artists such as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Richard Long, Thomas Struth, Sophie Calle, Jeff Wall, and Andreas Gursky, among others. Field Trips to photograph landscapes at dusk or dawn will occur for the purpose of creating a photographic artwork series. Students will edit, process, and print their images.



  • The Photographs as Contemporary Art. By Charlotte Cotton. Thames & Hudson Publishers.
  • On Photography. By Susan Sontag. Picardor Publishers.
  • Philosophy of Photography. By Henri Van Lier. Leuven University Press.



Selected reading from the following publications:

  • River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West. By Rebecca Solnit. Published by Penguin Books.
  • The American Space: Meaning in Nineteenth-Century Landscape Photography. Edited and with Notes by: Daniel Wolf. Published by Wesleyan University Press
  • Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs. By Ansel Adams Published by Little, Brown and Company
  • The Altered Landscape. Edited by Peter E. Pool, with essays by Patricia Nelson, Limerick, Dave Hickey, and Thomas W. Southall. Published by Nevada Art Museum of Art/University of Nevada Press
  • Photography After Frank. Essays by Philip Gefter: Published by Aperture
  • View Finder: Mark Klett, Photography, and the Reinvention of Landscape. By William L. Fox. Publisher University of New Mexico Press
  • California: Views by Robert Adams of the Los Angeles Basin, 1978–1983 Essay by Robert Haas. Published by Frankel Gallery, San Francisco/Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
  • Edgar Martins: Topologies. Essay by John Beardsley. Conversation with David Campany. Published by Aperture
  • Cruel and Tender: The Real in the Twentieth-Century Photograph. By Emma Dexter. Editor: Thomas Dexter. Publisher Tate Publishing
  • Thomas Struth: Strangers and Friends. By Thomas Struth. Essay by Richard Sennett. Published by MIT Press
  • Contemporary German Photography. Edited by Markus Rasp. Preface by Ulf Erdmann Ziegler. Published by Taschen
  • Surface: Contemporary Photographic Practice. Edited by Vicky Hayward. Published by Booth – Clibborn