Phonar, the free and open undergraduate photo class we wrote about a couple months ago, is now underway. While the physical class can only be attended by students at Coventry University, the general public can take part through the assignments and recorded materials shared through the website. Here’s the first assignment that’s due on October 13th:
Garner a portfolio of 8-10 images from different photographers whose work inspires you. Choose carefully, as though your edit was going to appear as a spread in a printed magazine, you may choose to lay them out as such if you wish, with attention to scale, pace and flow etc.
The portfolio must directly address a theme of your choosing – it could be a personal theme or a topical one, the choice is yours.
Participating is a great way of getting a taste of what taking an undergraduate photography course is like.
The Art Institutes, one of the nation’s largest for-profit school systems where people can receive an education in photography, has come under fire. Last month, the US Department of Justice filed a massive lawsuit against the company behind the schools, Education Management Corporation, accusing it of fraudulently collecting $11 billion in government aid by recruiting low-income students for the purpose of collecting student aid money. Whistleblowers claim that students graduate loaded with debt and without the means to pay off the loans, which are then paid for with taxpayer dollars. Read more…
Marc Levoy, the Stanford professor behind the “Frankencamera” project, teaches a course on digital photography called CS 178. The class website is a treasure trove for anyone looking for some great free education in photography:
An introduction to the scientific, artistic, and computing aspects of digital photography – how digital cameras work, how to take good pictures using them, and how to manipulate these pictures afterwards. Topics include lenses and optics, light and sensors, optical effects in nature, perspective and depth of field, sampling and noise, the camera as a computing platform, image processing and editing, history of photography, and computational photography. We’ll also survey the history of photography and look at the work of famous photographers.
Think you know all there is to know about digital photography? Try answering these 10 final exam review questions (answers can be found here). Leave a comment telling us how many you got right!
#phonar, short for “Photography and Narrative”, is a free and open undergraduate photography course run by Jonathan Worth at Coventry University in the UK. Worth spent nearly 15 years as a successful commercial portrait photographer in New York before taking this part-time teaching position, and invites some pretty prominent photographers to guest lecture in the class. Participants have access to recorded lectures, assignments, and special discussions.
You can check out the material from last year’s class on the course website, or participate in this year’s class starting in October by signing up here. There’s also a second course in the Winter called #picbod. Yay for free online education!
Shooting in JPG mode is convenient because you instantly have a file you can throw onto the Internet, but if you’re serious about photography, you might want to think about shooting in RAW if you aren’t already. The reason is that only shooting JPG is the equivalent of letting the camera make a print for you and then tossing the negative — something film photographers would never do. Here’s a simple diagram by Haje Jan Kamps and Reddit user jannne to help you understand the differences.
Learning how to control depth of field with your camera isn’t too difficult, but do you know the science behind how it works? This uber-educational 20-minute video lesson gives a thorough explanation of depth of field and the different factors that affect it. It was made by artist Justin Snodgrass, and is also available for download (and in parts) over on his website.
Earlier today, photographer Chase Jarvis announced his partnership with creativeLIVE, a free, live online class site. Each class presentations is filmed live, to an in-person audience in Seattle, and streamed on the creativeLIVE website.
“The goal here is to help democratize creativity,” Jarvis wrote on his blog.
Jarvis said that he had been working on the site for the past year, in order to create a live, interactive classroom. As an innovative model, Jarvis is offering the actual live, streaming footage for free, but the recorded versions of past classes must be purchased. The revenue goes towards supporting the site and the instructors.
The growing list of instructors boasts some pretty big names: Vincent Laforet tweeted that he will be leading a live three-day HDSLR workshop at the end of the month, and Zack Arias said he will be leading a studio class.