Landscape Photography Field Study

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 223

       Course Name: Landscape Photography Field Study

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 115, ART 117, or consent of instructor or department chair.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers aesthetic and historical developments of landscape photography. Content includes impact on artistic, cultural, social, economic and political issues, survey of historical photographers and modern practitioners of the medium. Week-long field study provides chance to employ techniques and ideas learned in class.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the historical developments and social relevance of the medium.
  2. Integrate composition and other aesthetic issues inherent to this medium into works produced.
  3. Research and produce a photo project which can be placed in the larger context of the medium.
  4. Manage and adapt to technical limitations inherent with photographic field work.

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. History of landscape photography
    1. 19th century
    2. 20th century
    3. Contemporary “revival”
  2. Technical issues
    1. Early setbacks
    2. Light sensitivity
    3. Color sensitivity
    4. Coating of lenses
    5. Question of size
    6. Large format vs. practicality
  3. Composition and creativity
    1. Color theory
    2. Tonal range
    3. Depth of field vs. photo realism
    4. Pre visualization vs. post visualization
    5. Color of light
    6. Time of day
    7. Atmospheric condition
    8. Point of interest
  4. Social relevance
    1. Social landscape
    2. Urban landscape
    3. Environmental issues
    4. Photography as political tool
  5. Interpretation:
    1. Art and photography
    2. Personal “vision”
    3. Site-specific photo project
    4. Contemporary critique
    5. Contemporary relevance
    6. Has it all been done before?
  6. Field study:
    1. Equipment
    2. Transporting your gear
    3. Food and water
    4. Geographical location vs. time of year
    5. Dealing with tourists vs. being a tourist
    6. Personal discovery

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Media presentations and discussions of relevant work.
  2. Demonstrations of shooting techniques.
  3. 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

  1. Active participation in all critiques.
  2. Participate in the field study component.
  3. Produce a final project of at least 15 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.

  1. CAMERA: Manual camera.- any format, analog or digital.

  2. LIGHT METER: A hand-held light meter is required.

  3. TRIPOD: One that is big enough to hold your camera steady.

  4. CABLE RELEASE: A small one that is six inches long will be more than adequate. Make sure that the thread FITS your camera.

  5. FILM & PAPER: Determined by student’s personal preference.

  6. NEGATIVE SLEEVES: Buy the correct size for your negative format.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

100% of the grade is based on completion of the course-long photographic project. Students are evaluated during group and individual critiques throughout the course.

XI.   Other Course Information

It is essential to be on time; lectures and slide presentations are at the beginning of class and will not be repeated. Attendance is expected for all classes and review sessions.

All assignments and projects are to be submitted on time and demonstrate proficiency.

Instructor will specify in the syllabus the approximate cost of materials over and above the lab fee.

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.