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Home » Academics » Departments » Photography Program » Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Roberto Torres

Roberto Torres | PHOT 150 - Introduction to Photography

PHOT 150 - Introduction to Photography

3 units - 6 hours per week (2 hours lecture and 4 hours laboratory practice)
Satisfies General Education for Grossmont College C3
Transfers to CSU and UC

An introductory course that examines the nature of photography and visual literacy through the personal exploration and making of photographic images with various image-making devices, including the use of Adobe Photoshop as well as an introduction to an analog (film) darkroom and photographic studio environment. The primary focus of the course will be to engage in photographic practice as a means to respond subjectively as well as objectively to the conceptual and aesthetic experiences of the photographic image as a visual document of creative expression and communication. Historical and contemporary photographic works from the contexts of the family album, art photography, commercial / advertising photography, photography and media, and cyberspace will be examined and critically discussed to further cultivate and refine each students’ visual literacy of the photographic image in society and culture. Any type of lens-based, image-making device including smart phones, digital point-and-shoot cameras, and digital SLR’s can be used.


Victor Alvarez

Victor Alvarez | PHOT 151 - Personal Photographic Vision

PHOT 151 - Personal Photographic Vision

3 units - 6 hours per week (2 hours lecture and 4 hours laboratory practice)
Transfers to CSU and UC

Course examines the foundations of photographic seeing, thought and analysis, and the uses of analog (film) and digital photographic materials and processes, including black and white film, digital grayscale and color (film and digital). Primary focus of the course is the development of a personal photographic vision through the use of photography’s aesthetic attributes and a refined sense of technical execution and craft. Appropriate for students with prior exposure to photography and basic photographic experience. Discussion and practice with small and medium format (film) cameras, image exposure methods, basic artificial lighting techniques, image optimization and use of the dynamic tonal range with film processing and digital imaging techniques, and photographic printing practices in both darkroom and digital environments. The Photography Program provides a 35mm film camera for student use during the semester.


PHOT 152 - Contemporary Photographic Practice

3 units - 6 hours per week (2 hours lecture and 4 hours laboratory practice)
Transfers to CSU and UC
Prerequisite: “C” grade or higher or “Pass” in PHOT 151 or equivalent

explores various advanced analog (film) and digital photographic imaging systems, including medium- and large-format cameras, emerging technologies, and artificial lighting techniques in providing a foundation within the medium. Conceptual, aesthetic and technical principles, theories and strategies will be examined, including the application of one’s photographic vision with medium- and large-format cameras, digital capture and/or emerging technology systems, appropriate image exposure, image-processing with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and printing applications, as well as artificial lighting techniques on location and in the studio.


PHOT 154 - History of Photography

3 units - 2.5 hours per week (2.5 hours lecture)
Satisfies General Education for Grossmont College C3, CSU C1 and IGETC 3A
Transfers to CSU and UC

A survey that examines the role and function of photography and its cultural history, including its relationship to art, science, social sciences, travel, fashion, and mass media.  Topics of discussion will focus on the important cultural, aesthetic and technical considerations in photography within the historical and contemporary contexts of works by photographers from the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  Such topics will include Looking At and Understanding Photographs, The Origins and Development of Photography, A New Aesthetic – 19th Century Photography, Photography and Modernity, Lens Culture and Mass Media as well as The Globalization of Photography in the Digital Age.


Victoria Murphy

Victoria Murphy | PHOT 166 - Image and Idea

 PHOT 166 - Image and Idea

3 units - 6 hours per week (2 hours lecture and 4 hours laboratory practice)
Transfers to CSU
Prerequisite: “C” grade or higher or “Pass” in PHOT 150 or 151 or equivalent

Offered in Fall semesters only

This course is an in-depth exploration of photographic imaging with an emphasis on relating historical and contemporary conceptual thought, practice and processes while directing the students’ energies toward a balance of image and idea. Students will develop a language specific for the communication of meaning within their photographs, pushing the medium beyond its pictorial qualities and engaging it into the service of ideas. Lens- and time-based concepts will challenge students’ ongoing work developed in previous classes, as they further examine present day realities, the function of memory, our cultural history, gender identity and the new visceral nature of the medium through contemporary methods, technical strategies, and alternative approaches thus achieving a stronger personal vision. The Photography Program can supply various types of cameras to use during the semester, a 35mm film camera as well as a medium-format or large-format camera.

Brandon Dennis

Brandon Dennis | PHOT 252 - Photographer's Portfolio

 PHOT 252 - Photographer's Portfolio

3 units - 6 hours per week (2 hours lecture and 4 hours laboratory practice)
Prerequisite: “C” grade or higher or “Pass” in PHOT 152 or equivalent

Offered in Spring semesters only 

An advanced course to further the development and refinement of the techniques necessary to support serious photographic communication will be the primary objective of this final course within the major.  Skillful control of modern technological options and clear understanding of historical and contemporary issues within the medium will be applied with a high degree of critical analysis in the production and interpretation of the student’s photographs. A final portfolio, including a print portfolio, portfolio book and/or website, will be produced describing the depth and scope of the student's interest, craft ability and vision. The Photography Program can supply medium and/or large-format film cameras as well as portable strobe lighting systems to use during the semester.

Last Updated: 01/25/2019


Paul Turounet
Professor of Photography

  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District