Advanced Photography Reflection (Q1, Fall 2015)

Vivian Maier Self-Portrait
Vivian Maier Self-Portrait

Advanced Photography – Quarter 1 Reflection

The H-Block Advanced Photography students have discussed what they feel is important to them in this class. They have agreed on three main ideas (listed below). Mr. Gooder agrees to evaluate this class according to these criteria. Students will first write a reflection and share it with their teacher, who will respond in writing.

The reflection itself is an assignment and will be due on Friday.

Directions: Write a paragraph (5 or more sentences) describing your work in each of the following categories. Please pay attention to each of the bullet points (although you don’t need to make a list). You should cite examples of your (ie which projects or images you excelled on, or specific lessons or experiences, in and out of class), and reflect on ways you can improve as you move forward (things you want to learn, pay more attention to, and so on). 

Optional: The class decided that each student should have the option to suggest the letter grade they feel you deserve in each category. Mr. Gooder will assign his own letter grade and compare them. If they differ, he will split the difference. You may prefer Mr. Gooder to do the grading, and just work on the reflection (without assigning grades). 


  • Excludes outcome of print–more about each student trying to do the best work they can
  • Focus on desire to improve, applying techniques, overcoming challenges, reshoot as needed
  • Use class time effectively
  • Try new things (ie painting with developer, solarization, different print sizes, image cropping, and so on)
  • Open to suggestions from teacher and peers
  • Meets deadlines and gets work in on time
  • Pays attention to teacher’s comments (listening and learning shows up in the work)
  • Attention to detail (doesn’t leave negatives out; uses darkroom notebook)
  • Shoots more than just the assignments
  • Tries to improve and grow as a photographer
  • Prompt and prepared – good attendance


  • Demonstrates good darkroom étiquette:
    • washing trays
    • pushing prints into chemistry
    • moving prints along
    • cleaning up your enlarger station / things organized into drawers
    • cleaning up (ie drying prints) for the rest of class
    • careful with the rotary door
    • Watch the phones
  • Helps other students through:
    • Giving constructive feedback while working
    • Participation in critique when work is done–pays attention, looks at work
    • Insightful comments on other peoples work
    • Respecting other points of view
    • Helping to maintain a non-competitive atmosphere in class, or engages in healthy competition

Quality of Work

  • Demonstrates darkroom skills (dodging/burning; filter choice; focus; easel setup; clean negs)
  • Makes choices about individual style or related to what you are trying to express with the print
  • Develops strong negatives (good values and density)
  • Negatives and prints show originality; effort in terms of finding subjects and locations
  • Negatives and prints show variety
  • Shows a distinct point of view; has a story to tell
  • Note: while art is subjective, we agree that all work should be of high quality according to the above criteria

First Assignment: Light, Shape, Shadow and Line

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Essential Questions: 

  • What design elements make a photographic image compelling?
  • How can one design an image specifically for a black and white medium?
  • In the photographic darkroom, which negatives make the best fine prints? What are their specific qualities?


  • Shoot 1 roll of film. Second roll may be given after the first is developed. 
  • Subject and location are up the the photographer, but the images should be visually compelling and use these four elements specifically: light, line, shadow and shape. Experiment, look for bold or subtle examples around you. See the slideshow, which you can download at the bottom of this post, for examples.  
  • make a contact sheet
  • make at least five 5×7” prints.
  • make one 11×14” print of your best image (your teacher will help you choose what to print)

Slideshow (shown in class): 

Light Shape Shadow & Line Lecture advanced

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Advanced Photography Final Reflection

Joseph Sudek, photographer.

Write a 5-7 sentence paragraph for each answer. Put your name and date at the top.

  1. How do you feel about your work on the Boston Field Trip? Describe you approach to the city, your experience shooting—what opportunities did you find photographically? How did you shoot differently than the students around you? Having seen your contact sheets, which photos do you feel were successful? What else did you enjoy about the trip?
  2. How do feel about your presentation on a photographer? Having listened to the feedback from your classmates, and having received a rubric from Mr. Gooder, what do you feel you did well? What did you learn from this experience?
  3. Why do you like photography? What do you put into it? What do you get out of it?
  4. What is your favorite kind of photography? What do you want to try next?
  5. Optional: What grade do you feel you expect to receive in this class for this quarter and why?


Urban Photography

In preparation for our field trip to Boston, students are looking at examples of urban photography. Students will shoot black and white film or color digital images on the trip. Students will be asked to look for and photograph architecture, people, details and design. Students will be challenged to capture the essence of city life, culturally and visually.

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photo by Vivian Maier

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Photo by Joel Meyerowitz

Download and look at the full slideshow of urban / street photography here:

Lecture – Street Photography field trip

Photography Photo Expedition to Boston

If you are going on the photography field trip, please read the following. Your teacher will give you the standard school field trip permission form for your parents to sign. 

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We are planning a field trip for a full day, on May 1st, to Boston to shoot photographs. This trip will give the students an opportunity to document urban subjects, like people and architecture. This will also help advanced students understand the many great photographers they have studied this year, who spent their careers exploring big cities with cameras in their hands. We hope to get great new material to print by year’s end!


We will get ourselves to Boston by train and walk through a variety of interesting locations, capturing images as we go. We will have lunch in Chinatown and take the train home, returning by the end of the school day.


We will be taking the Commuter Rail from Concord to Porter Square, where we will transfer to the MBTA Red Line Inbound to South Street Station. We will explore a some of Fort Point Channel, then walk into Chinatown. We will have lunch in Chinatown before walking to the Boston Public Garden, Boston Common, and the State Capitol building. We will re enter the “T” at Park Street, take the Red Line back to Porter Square, and the Commuter Rail back to Concord.

Here is a map of our tour, (getting off the T at South Station at about 9:30am and reentering Park Street at about 1pm):

Chaperones and Guidelines

Students will be accompanied by a chaperone in groups of four or five, but will be encouraged to spread out a bit to explore their environment and to take photos (photo taking in a herd doesn’t work well!). Each student will carry a map and be told how far they can wander—no more than a city block away from an adult—when to reconvene at each stage. Students should bring a cell phone to stay in contact with their chaperone and their teacher. On this field trip, students will need to be responsible for their camera, the time and themselves. If you have concerns about your students readiness for this field trip, you should decline to consent. Students who do not go with us will be given an alternative assignment to be completed during the school day.

 Field trip expense*

The field trip will cost about $30-$40. Students should bring money with them for the train and lunch. There is no fee, and nothing to be paid to the school.

  • Students should bring $21 for trains ($16 for the Commuter Rail, plus $5 for the Boston T).
  • Student should also bring $10-15 for food—we will eat lunch in Chinatown.

* Please contact the teacher Adam Gooder at if you have questions or concerns about the field trip expense.


Color Photography

Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

Here is a assortment of some of my favorite contemporary photographers working in color, and web links to their work.

Christopher Payne  (“Asylum”)

Cig Harvey (“You Look At Me Like an Emergency” and “Gardening at Night”)

Rania Matar


Edward Burtynski


Alec Soth (“Sleeping by the Mississippi”)


Laura McPhee

Alex and Rebecca Norris Webb

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