Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Students Explore Photography in J-Term Course
The HWS Update
Sarah StarksÕ photo prioritizing perspective.

Students Explore Photography in J-Term Course

In Associate Professor of Art and Architecture Christine Chin’s “Introduction to Imaging” J-Term course, students explored photographically based imaging throughout history and showcased their learning and creativity with hands-on projects.

Lectures in the J-Term course “Introduction to Imaging” taught by Associate Professor of Art and Architecture Christine Chin focused on the history of photographically based imaging from 1839 to the present, including camera usage, natural lighting and flash, light-based printing, composition and digital darkroom techniques.

Hands-on projects, from creating a camera obscura to mastering the basics of an SLR camera, then allowed students to put what they learned into practice while exploring their creativity.

Students created their own camera obscura — a darkened box with a small hole at one end that allows an image to be projected onto the opposite side — using a cereal box, something translucent, clear tape and a pin. “The idea of this project is to experience the inner workings of a camera,” Chin explains. Once the camera obscura is complete, it can be used to see objects upside down and backwards on the viewing screen.

Next, the class explored light-based processes and composition using the Cyanotype (or sunprint) process. The project involved placing objects on top of Cyanotype paper, exposing the paper to sunlight and then developing it in water; the paper starts out yellowish-green in color and eventually turns a dark blue-gray, except where the objects blocked the sunlight.

Lectures from Chin about the mechanics and controls of single-lens reflex or SLR cameras were reinforced by projects that asked students to consider perspective and point of view, framing, patterns and shapes and spots and lines as they explored their environments with their cameras.

Each student was required to submit an online portfolio of their work at the conclusion of the term.