First Assignment: This is Your Life

For your first assignment, you will profile another person in this class.

To do this you will need to interview them. I want you to come up with the questions. I want you to find a five image profile on the web and create a photo series OF FIVE PHOTOS introducing us to that person. Think about the portrait slideshow we did in Photo 2. You might use those same interview questions. But I want you to go beyond the traditional get to know you stuff and get to what makes this person unique.


You don’t have to make it a video at all, but we want to use this as a place to start, to show several sides of a person and to beyond the surface level of things.


  • What do they worry about?
  • What adversity has the person had to overcome?
  • Why are they interested in art?
  • What parts of their personality or experiences are they trying to show through their photography?
  • What are their hopes?
  • What do they really want out of life?

You could photograph artifacts from home: Old trophies, baby pictures, certificates, etc.

You’ll turn in five photos and the answers to the questions you asked your subject into Google Classroom.

Five Photos will be due on Monday, September 11th.

To Do List for 8/30


Learning Targets:

  • I know what kind of photos I like to take pictures of.
  • I know what kind of a photographer I am.
  • I know which portfolio platform I will use to make an online portfolio I will use throughout the year.

Step by Step:

  1. Have a seat and talk about how excited you are about AP photo this semester. What was the best photo you took this summer? Post to Google Classroom.
  2. We’ll do the Opening Activity.
  3. We’ll be creating Portfolios right from the start. Choose a platform.

Opening Activity: A Photographer’s Manifesto


AP Exercise:

Pull up your Instagram, or Flickr or your Photo Album or your last 40-50 images. Put them in a slideshow or collage, a place where you can see all of those at once. Do a screen capture of these images like I did here at the top. Use the snipping tool to create a screen grab of the photos.

What do those photos say about you? Things to look at, things to consider:

  • Angle
  • Lighting.
  • Color Contrast
  • Contrast in general.
  • Shadows and highlights
  • Do these images display a consistent mood or emotion, or are they all over the place?
  • What themes emerge the most?

Write two paragraphs about the answers to these questions as a reflection on your blog.

After writing the 2 paragraphs, you will then:

  1. Write a statement of who you are based on these photographs.
  2. Choose someone in the class to share them with.
  3. Then ask the other student if they agree with your statement based on the images they provide as evidence.
  4. After speaking with your partner, do you want to revise that statement?
  5. Add that statement and the collage of your images to your Online Portfolio under a page called blog and under your blog title’s subheading.





In this class we will be making a new portfolio using one of the following blog platforms.




Google Sites

Adobe Spark doesn’t fit in with what I want you do with these blogs, and thus isn’t a good fit. We want a blog software platform that allows for the creation of separate pages.

Why are we doing this? To successfully create an AP Porfolio that fully represents you as a person, and an artist, much reflection is needed on your photographic work for this year. You need a place where all of your images and reflections live in an online place. This is for you to help figure out what you are passionate about. So when it comes to creating concentrations, we know that you are doing work that represents something that you deeply care about.

This is not for me, but for you. It doesn’t have to be a public blog for all to see. Though I will need to see it on a regular basis to check on your progress, the tool is mainly for you so you can create the best work possible.


AP® 2-D Design Portfolio Digital Photography

Course Syllabus

Evergreen Public Schools


This class will fulfill all requirements for the AP 2D Studio Art Design Portfolio.

AP 2-D Design is designed for students who have serious interest in Photography and wish to develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution of their ideas.  AP 2-D Design is not a course based on a written examination; instead students will submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year to the College Board and the Advanced Placement Program.

In this class, you will be introduced to new photographers, digital artists, and more advanced photographic techniques as points of departure to create work that reflects your vision as an artist. By exploring photographic and digital media with the camera and the computer, you will be able to develop skills and techniques to demonstrate your abilities and artistic intent.  You will also develop a body of work based on a particular idea expressed through photographic media.  This class will be managed as a studio environment in which the students work independently while sharing ideas and opinions.


The goals of the AP 2-D Design class are to:

  • Encourage creativity, independent thought and unique student voice through an investigation of ideas in the Quality, Breadth, and Concentration sections of the portfolio.
  • Emphasize creating artwork as an ongoing process that involves the student making decisions in order to develop new ideas and concepts.
  • Develop technical versatility in the medium of digital photography using the visual elements or art and the principles of design.  Other forms of two-dimensional design such as graphic design and mixed media will be explored.
  • Develop mastery in conceptualizing ideas and executing your vision while exploring composition techniques and technical skills.


Submitting a Portfolio for

2-D design—24 Required Works

This syllabus provides direction for the highly motivated photography student to submit the AP® Studio Art 2-D Design portfolio and earn college credit.

The 2-D portfolio contains three sections: Breadth, Concentration, and Quality.

Breadth:  You must document your experience with a variety of concepts and approaches that demonstrate your abilities and versatility with techniques, problem solving, and ideation. You will create 12 pieces of work in this section. Refer to your AP poster as we work on projects that reflect breadth.

Concentration:  A planned investigation of a visual idea of personal interest to you. In this section you will develop a body of work that grows from this investigation.  You must submit 12 pieces of work in this section.

Quality:  You will submit five examples of your best works; printed and mounted.  No 3-D work is to be included under the 2-D portfolio/quality section.   


Class Projects


There are always individual project requirements, but the projects are open-ended enough for you to develop your own style and mode of expression. The development of the portfolio is an ongoing process that uses informed and critical decision-making to assemble a body of work.   

Work is expected to be of high quality in thought, process, and product. You are expected to use artistic integrity and be transparent about your inspiration and appropriation. Work based on another artist’s work or photos must move beyond mere duplication and become an expression of your own personal voice and vision. Through discussions and selected readings, students will be made aware of what appropriation is and what it encompasses in regard to the making of art.

We will research and keep online journals or blogs, keep an open dialogue throughout the artistic/creative process, and class/individual critiques.

Students must realize that work also must be done outside of class time in order to satisfactorily complete the course  Homework includes the maintaining a digital sketchbook (discussed below), creating a written and visual journal, and making photographs.

Note:  This is a college-level course.  Students should expect to spend time working outside the classroom through the duration of the course.

Digital Scrapbook/Sketchbook

In non-digital art classes, students have sketchbooks that serve as a place to explore ideas as well as collect ideas and inspiration.  In this class you will be creating a digital sketchbook using web based apps.  Possible apps you can use are Pinterest, Evernote, Padlet or Google Drive (there are of course other possibilities).  The purpose of this digital sketchbook is to collect any artwork, text, imagery or photographs that may inspire you for art projects.  You will be encouraged to collect a wide variety of content across different mediums, artists and styles.  Collecting artwork in mediums other than photography is encouraged; the goal is to expose you to as many different forms, media and styles of art and design as possible.


Assessments are both formative and summative,  and include self-evaluations, peer evaluations, and feedback from  the instructor.

The last week of the first semester is used to review your work and compile a selection that best reflects Breadth for your AP portfolio.

The first week of the second semester is used to declare your area of interest for your concentration, and prepare a proposal for the Concentration Project.




We will spend significant time learning another fine art: Critiquing.


Good art is rarely created and refined in a vacuum.  Students are expected to participate by showing their work and discussing their ideas.  The critique is a positive and instructive part of the class and is not intended to embarrass or discourage a student.  During the critique ideas are exchanged and references made to other student work or work by other artists.  Critiques will be both written and verbal.


Course Planner


September to January:  Concentration


Students will create and develop a cohesive concentration, exploring a single visual concern in depth. Each student will also provide and present an outline of their specific coherent plan of action or investigation, growth, and discovery for their area of interest. .


Students will brainstorm for possible concentration topics. Students will create several “mini” concentrations before settling on their final concentration idea. These precursor projects will help students develop the ability to generate ideas through brainstorming, develop and enhance those ideas and then produce those ideas in a finished work or art and design.  In this way the mini concentrations will help students hone the creative process.


Students will view works created by artists from the history of art, to discover in-depth exploration topics studied by former students and professional photographers.


Students, through a series of reflection papers and their digital sketchbook will react to various works by famous photographers and fine artists in order to verbally articulate the style and vision they wish to accomplish in their own concentrations, and defend how their ideas will work composition wise.


Students will write a reflective paper about their concentration, including what they started out to achieve and how their idea and execution  changed and evolved during their discovery journey.


The Concentration is an opportunity to  focus on one area of photography to further develop their portfolios.  Some examples include photojournalism, documentary, landscape, portraits, nature, fine art, macro, architecture, abstract, color, photo illustration, digital compositing.


February to April: Breadth


We will focus on using artistic elements and principles of design to express our artistic vision.  Examples include:

    • Use macro photography to emphasize space and focal points using the rule of thirds.


  • Explore techniques from artistic movements into digital photography, cubism & surrealism.
  • Create architectural imagery that explores the ideas of line, scale & proportion.
  • Manipulate camera shutter speed to explore motion.
  • Create portraits that explore texture by layering multiple exposures.
  •  Explore pattern by creating a mixed media collage based on original photography.




  • Explore the interaction of photography and other forms of media by adding drawing/paintings and other media to digital media.
  • Explore texture in nature photography using oblique/side lighting.
  • Create diptychs to explore ideas of image juxtaposition, symmetry, and balance.
  • Use black & white photography to encourage understanding of form, tone, and value.


Creative problem solving is a very important part of this course. The work on the Breadth section will provide students a variety of experiences in different media and styles so that they can solve creative problems that do not have single answers.  Solutions can include

media other than digital photography and students are encouraged to explore graphic design, typography, collage, illustration and digital painting.  They will develop their own artistic voice while creating new and original work in response to creative problems.


April –  Portfolio:  Preparation and Submission based on College Board schedule


We will use this time to focus on fine tuning your best work for submission in your portfolio.  Students will finalize their portfolios and critique each other’s portfolios.  Topics will include: Color correction, color space,, printing, mounting, sharpening, artist statements, Concentration explanations and descriptions, , portfolio and gallery presentation.


Post Submission: Preparing an art submission for display and online presentation.


Equipment and Materials:


Students will use digital SLR’s and use Adobe Creative Suite  editing  software.


Class resource books:


Barrett, Terry Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images

Freeman, Michael, The Photographer’s Eye

Freeman, Michael The Complete to Light and Lighting in Digital Photography

Hirsch, Robert Light and Lens

Online Resources:

Video/written tutorials, class blog, photographers’ websites, instructional articles, readings and blogs.