Advanced Experimental Photographic Techniques

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 214

       Course Name: Advanced Experimental Photographic Techniques

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 116

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course expands experimental and manipulation techniques available in photography. Focus is on using current digital media in conjunction with analog photographic practices. Content includes survey of modern interpretations of 19th century processes and more demanding contemporary photographic processes.

IV.   Learning Objectives

A. To demonstrate mastery of classical photographic techniques in images produced.
B. To demonstrate control over the visual organization of images, by making  photographs according to themes that demonstrate the student’s own photographic vision.
C. To produce and handle necessary chemicals with proper techniques and safety practices.
D. To make digital negatives demonstrating advanced proficiency.
E. To identify the historical context of acquired techniques.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

A. The negative
       1. From camera
       2. Halftone film
       3. Reversal film
       4. Digital negative

B. Chemistry
       1. Personal safety
       2. Handling
       3. Mixing
       4. Storage
       5. Relevance to original process

C. Tintype
       1. Types of metal
       2. Coating practices
       3. Classic vs. modern
       4. Toning
       5. After care

D. Carbon print
       1. History
       2. Modern improvements
       3. Carbon tissue
       4. Exposure
       5. Development
       6. Dinal support

E. Color manipulation with Cross processing techniques:
       1. C-41 to E6
       2. E6 to C-41
       3. B&W to C-41
       4. E6 to RA4

VII.  Methods of Instruction

A. Presentations and discussions of relevant work.
B. Demonstrations of shooting techniques and all printing processes.
C. Critiques of student work, both in progress and at the end, to develop standards and evaluative criteria.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

A. Active participation in all critiques.
B. Attend specified gallery exhibitions and write a 2-page paper.
C. Produce a final project of at least 10 original pieces ready for display.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

A. Camera: 35mm negative size format or larger, Holga and a pinhole camera.  
B. Film: B&W film in 4x5 or 8x10. Halftone film in 8x10 (or larger). Premium OHP transparency film in 8 ½ x 11.
C. Negative Sleeves: Buy the correct size for your negative format.
D. Textbook: "The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes" by Christopher James.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade will be based upon the following elements and their weights:
A. Photographic assignments: 60%
B. Paper: 10%
C. Final project: 30%

XI.   Other Course Information

A. It is essential to be on time; lectures and presentations take place at the beginning of class and will not be repeated. Attendance is expected for all classes and review sessions.
B. All assignments and projects are to be on time and demonstrate proficiency.
C. Instructor will specify in the syllabus the approximate cost of materials over and above the lab fee.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.