View Camera

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 222

       Course Name: View Camera

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 115

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course deals with large format photography, at advanced level. Students use College-provided equipment. Content includes techniques used in large format film exposure, development and printing. Focus is on discovering benefits associated with view camera in various aspects of the photographic field. Lab and studio work outside of regular class time required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Manipulate the technical abilities of the view camera to full advantage.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the essential processes by developing and printing large format film.
  3. Discuss technical developments and artistic trends in the field of large format photography.

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

  1. Introduction to large format photography
    1. Film handling
      1. Loading
      2. Processing
      3. Printing
      4. Storage
    2. Camera handling
      1. Transport
      2. Setup
      3. Focus and perspective control
      4. Exposure metering
    3. Comparison to 35mm (photographing the same scene using both formats)
  2. Perspective control
    1. Front standard tilt
    2. Rear standard tilt
  3. Exposure control
    1. Bellows extension
    2. Reciprocity failure
    3. ”Multiple pops” of the electronic flash
  4. Plane of focus
    1. Front standard tilt
    2. Rear standard tilt
  5. Advanced plane of focus
    1. Combination of swings and tilts of front and rear standard.
  6. Table top
    1. The Scheimpflung Principle
    2. Polaroid back
  7. Portrait
    1. Applying previously learned techniques in photographing people
    2. Advanced lighting
  8. Special topics
    1. View camera history
    2. Contemporary trends
    3. Future of view camera
    4. Discussion of final project-portfolio development

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures/demonstrations
  2. Media presentations
  3. Critiques
  4. Class discussions

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Completion of eight (8) assignments, as well as the final project. Work can be presented as B&W prints, c-prints, or chromes.

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

  1. Sourcebook: "A User’s Guide to the View Camera", by Jim Stone
  2. Film
    1. B&W, color negative or chrome in 4X5 format
    2. Polaroid to fit in 454 carrier
  3. Negative sleeves for 4X5
  4. Photographic paper to correspond with the film of choice. (Do not use RC paper if printing B&W negatives)
  5. Mount board for final project

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade will be based upon the following elements and their weights
  1. Photographic assignments 80%
  2. Final project 20%
  3. Attendance is mandatory; missing more than three (3) classes results in lowering of grade by one (1) level.

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

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.