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PHOT 165 SLO Assessment Exercise

Posted in PHOT 165 by Paul Turounet on October 20, 2008

© Paul Turounet, detail from contact sheet #1998_858 and print from the series Tierra del Sol, 1998 – 2007



The SLO (Student Learning Outcome) Assignment is a Photography Area assignment for all students enrolled in PHOT 165 – Color Photography I to demonstrate their knowledge, comprehension and application of photography’s basic principles of vision, color theory and craft as a means of creative expression.  The exercise will consist of making and printing a color photographic image and writing an artist statement.

The student learning outcomes (SLO’s) for the PHOT 165 Assessment Exercise are as follows:

Create color photographs of creative expression that demonstrate the purposeful use of color photography’s aesthetic attributes for an effective communication of personal vision, including the use of light, the use of color contrasts and color harmony, compositional organization, photographic description, emphasis and moments of exposure.

Demonstrate application of photographic tools, color materials and processes, including camera controls, color image exposure and processing strategies and color photographic printing techniques.

Demonstrate application of proper laboratory practices necessary for making and presenting color photographic prints of optimum technical quality, craft and professional standards.

Demonstrate application of critical thinking practices in describing, interpreting and evaluating the use of color photography as a means of determining their effectiveness in the communication of one’s personal vision.



Initially, it is strongly recommended that you review your analog contact sheets, digital files and/or edited contact sheets and edit your selection to one image that is visually engaging, reveals interpretive possibilities and meaning, and reflects command of camera aesthetics, the application of color theory and technical craft.  For review materials, click on Beyond The Surface | Thinking About Photographs, Seeing Photographs, and Art of Color.  It is suggested that you consider images that demonstrate the following:



The role and use of light, including direction of light (front lighting, side lighting, diffused lighting and backlighting) and how light shapes the subject being photographed, emphasizing or diminishing description, texture and volume.

Compositional Organization

The use of organization framing strategies and techniques, including compositional balance (rule of thirds, symmetrical and asymmetrical balance), considerations of visual space (depth of field with foreground-to-background relationships and use of frame edges), the placement and level of the horizon line.

Photographic Description

The ability to describe what is in front of the camera, including various vantage point strategies to reveal a point of view, figure-field relationships through separations of tone, shape, and pattern as well as the use of scale and perspective.

Emphasis and Moments of Exposure

The use of the camera’s controls, including the aperture and shutter, to reveal visual content as controlled by the literal use of selective lens focus, depth of field and shutter speeds to reveal a deliberate moment of time.

Use of Color

The ability to demonstrate how color and colored light in photography can be used to not only describe the colors of objects and details of content, but also suggest the possibilities of a psychological, emotional and/or symbolic context, including various color theory considerations such as the color of light, color as a means of description and the application of color contrasts.


Technical Craftsmanship

Image Quality

The use of camera controls and light-metering techniques for optimum image exposure as well as employing proper laboratory procedures for producing images that reveal a full-range of tonal and descriptive information.

Print Quality

The use of proper laboratory procedures and image optimization techniques for producing color photographic prints of optimum technical craftsmanship, including the use of primary controls (exposure and contrast), color balance and secondary controls (burning and dodging).


The ability to employ controls for optimum print presentation, including cleanliness and retouching.



The Color Photograph

Review and edit your work from analog contact sheets, digital files and/or edited contact sheets made during the semester thus far and produce a final color print that demonstrates optimum use of photographic vision and the necessary procedures and controls for producing a well-crafted color photographic print.  Your instructor will not be able to assist you with editing.

The Artist Statement

Write an artist statement no longer than one page that discusses your sense of vision and your use of photography’s aesthetic considerations to inform your intentions and suggest an interpretation of the color photograph.  You are encouraged to write drafts of the artist statement for content and grammatical review before the assignment due date.

For review materials on writing about your photograph, click on Writing About Your Photographs as well as the discussion in the textbook, Photography (London & Upton), to consider how to write about your photograph.  Include the following in your discussion:

Description of the image with particular attention on the use of light, compositional organization, photographic description, emphasis, the moment of exposure and the use | role | function of color.  How do these visual concerns provide an understanding of the content visually and suggest interpretive possibilities with particular attention on the use of color as a means of description, the color of light and the application of color contrasts?

Interpretation of the image for the photographer and audience. What is the photograph about? What concerns, ideas, and/or curiosities does the photograph reveal (emotional, psychological, sociological, cultural) with particular attention on the use of color (color expression from the Art of Color)?

Evaluation of the photograph in terms of communicating your intentions.  What was the experience like when you made the photograph?  What were your intentions and how does the photograph suggest that photographic meaning?



For evaluation (see Course Calendar for Due Date), please complete the following requirements:

Color Photographic Print

  • The photographic image is required to be printed on 8″ x 10″ or 8.5″ x 11″ analog or digital color photographic printing material
  • The final print is required to be retouched, sleeved in a protective plastic enclosure and turned-in a manila envelope.

Artist statement

  • Required to be typed, no longer than 1 to 2 pages, and turned-in with print.


Click on the Adobe Acrobat PDF file to download: PHOT 165 SLO Assessment Exercise.pdf

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