ART605 MFA Graduate Seminar in Photography: Studio Co-Requisite I, Romeo Di Loreto, Fall 2019
This seminar will cover advanced topics that will help you develop the craftsmanship of black and white photography at the graduate level. Special emphasis will be placed on aesthetic and visual concerns. You should already have a full understanding of the operation of the camera, the lens, film types, film exposure, black and white film development, the negative, black and white printmaking, toning, and final re-touching.
The following topics will be covered:
- Theories of Sensitometry, and the Zone System
- Photographic chemistry and the importance of understanding the periodic table
- Altering commonly bought photographic chemistry with additive chemicals
- Controls of Print Contrast
- The use of medium and large format cameras
- Development of medium and large format negatives and its controls
- Pinhole photography and non-traditional “imaging capturing devices”
- Studio lighting and the understanding on how light and the eye works
- Advanced B&W craft- Altering the light in the darkroom
- Preparation for color and its theories (Introduction to MFA Seminar in Photography: Studio Co-Requisite II, Spring Term)
- Preparation for the digital “Lightroom” and its theories (Introduction to MFA Seminar in Photography: Studio Co-Requisite II, Spring Term)
- Preparation of photographic imagery for exhibitions and portfolio reviews
This seminar will become like a Renaissance Bottega, with lectures, demonstrations and hands–on experience. Through my personal and teaching experience, I have come to the conclusion that certain things are taught much more efficiently by watching and doing, rather than by talking and doing.
You are required to keep two journals. One as a technical notebook, where you write class notes and keep all hand–outs. The second notebook is your creative journal. Be as creative as possible! Draw in it, paste and glue things in it, record data and feelings. I always make double contact sheets. One I put in my negative archive, the second I use to cut out the images that I feel are strong and glue them into my journal, where I write my ideas, quotes, re–write a poem or write a poem.
There may be a series of slide presentations or videos that may clarify some of difficult technical ideas taught.
The following field trips will take place during the term:
- Bologna: Exhibition “Anthropocene” at Fondazione MAST
- Cortona and its photography Festival “Cortona On The Move”
- Delta Del Po: “In the folds of Italy”
- Paris and Paris Photo
- Lucca and its photography Festival “PhotoLux”
- Inside the hidden Alinari Archives, Firenze
- All other field trips to museums will be part of the MFA in Photography History & Aesthetics Seminar (we have worked hard to connect the two seminars, which need to be taught hand in hand in order for you to benefit most from the program).
This includes participation/full participation.
Attendance and promptness are mandatory. Two absences will result in one grade less. Two latenesses are equivalent to one absence. Eight minutes tardiness is equal to a lateness.
Critiques are like tests; therefore, they cannot be missed! Check the final exam date on your schedule. No final critique absences will be excused; therefore no flights can be scheduled before or on this date. Missing the final critique will greatly affect your grade, resulting in a high risk of failure. Only the co-directors and the Dean can make any exceptions to this rule. Please talk to us in advance if you anticipate anything in these regards.
Remember that the MFA Graduate Seminar in Photography: Studio Co-Requisite I is mandatory and must be successfully completed in order to proceed in the MFA curriculum.
Students can achieve a passing grade by completing all of the requirements, having optimum attendance, participating in class, during critiques, and during outside projects, and behaving professionally with guest visitors.
A = Work that far exceeds the minimum requirements in craftsmanship, presentation, and visual/intellectual order. Your concepts, ideas, and insightful participation in class and in critiques have to be of high level to obtain this grade.
B = above average work that far exceeds the minimum requirements. Skillful handling of the materials with good concepts, showing initiative in critiques and in class.
C = Average work completion with only adequate control of the materials. Minimum class and critique participation.
D = Failure to complete assignments resulting from a minimum amount of effort, poor execution, and sloppy craftsmanship in the handling of the materials with little or no class participation.
F = Little or no effort with consideration to the assignments. No participation in class or critiques.
Midterm Review - A review will be conducted with the Co-Directors, the Major Professor, invited faculty of SACI or individuals that have collaborated with your progress, generally DIS Professors. It is also open to other MFA in Photography candidates.
(Completion of assignments, projects, portfolio’s, punctuality/attendance, and your journals will be discussed.)
Final Review - A review of your work will be conducted with the Co-directors, the Major Professor, selected SACI faculty who has collaborated towards your progress during this first term, who are generally DIS Professors.
(Completion of assignments, projects, portfolio’s, final presentation and project, and punctuality/attendance and the viewing of the work produced during this term will be discussed.)
The names of SACI faculty or individuals who have collaborated with the progress of your work must be communicated to the Co-Directors two weeks prior to the review, and officially invited via e-mail attaching the two co-directors on the invitation.
Please remember that you are MFA students. Your personal drive is fundamental in acquiring the skills needed to be in full control of your chosen media. We will dedicate all the time necessary and provide you with as much knowledge as possible; nevertheless this needs to be a reciprocal collaboration.
- 35 mm, medium format or large format camera and a professional Digital SLR Camera
- 50 mm or equivalent lens
- 35mm, 120mm and 4x5 B&W film
- Black and white photographic paper variable contrast / resin-coated and fiber based photographic paper.
- 35mm, 120mm and 4x5 clear plastic negative sleeves
- Storage Binder or Box to keep all negatives and contact sheets and print.
- Ilford anti-static cloth
- Rubber gloves (optional)
Materials you decide to use will depend on your thesis work, and the type of images you produce. Since you will be learning all of the above-mentioned topics you will need to purchase other than what you concentrate on for your thesis work.
Where to Purchase Photo Materials
- Bongi Ottica (they give a student discount)
Via Por Santa Maria, 82/r Firenze
- Ottica Fontani
Viale F. Strozzi, 18-20a
- Toscana Foto Service / Internet Mail Order Service. www.toscanafotoservice.it
- Internet Ordering: These websites are excellent for finding photo materials required by MFA students. You can also find good pre-cut or custom cut archival matt board (with sufficient notice) at Fotomatica at very good prices!
For Camera Repairs
- Private Repair Service (give to Romeo)
- Bongi Ottica
Via Por Santa Maria, 82/r Firenze
Tel: 055 2398811
- TECIAS (for digital equipment and some Analog)
Viale Corsica, 39AB
Tel. 055 359968
For Computer Repairs (MAC)
- Juice Apple Premium
Via Fra Giovanni Angelico, n.6/R
Tel. 055 660337
- Apple Firenze
Piazza della Repubblica,
- Apple I Gigli
Via San Quirico, 164, Campi Bisenzio (FI)
In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Textbook Provision, SACI provides, when possible, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price of required and recommended reading. Note: Many required and recommended texts are available for loan or can be consulted in the SACI Worthington Library.
Beyond Basic Photography, Henry Horenstein,
ISBN: 9780316373128 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Christopher James, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, Delmar Thomson Learning, 2002.
ISBN: 9780766820777 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
John Berger, About Looking, Vintage International, 1991.
ISBN: 9780679736554 (Retail price: $15.95)
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, Hill & Wang, 1981.
ISBN: 9780374521349 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Robert Adams, Beauty in Photography, Aperture, 1996.
ISBN: 9780893813680 (Retail price: $16.95)
John Berger, Ways of Seeing, Penguin Books, 1997.
ISBN: 9780140135152 (Retail price: $16)
Susan Sontag, On Photography, Penguin, 1979.
ISBN: 9780140053975 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Hollis N. Todd and Richard Zakia, Photographic Sensitometry - The study of Tone Reproduction
ISBN: 9780871000002 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
John B. Williams, Image Clarity - High Resolution Photography, Focal Press, 1989.
ISBN: 9780240800332 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Jain Kelly, Darkroom 2, Lustrum Press, 1979
ISBN: 978-0912810225 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Ben Nettles, Breaking the Rules - A Photo Media Cookbook, Inky Press Productions (Praie), 1992.
ISBN: 9780930810085 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Oscar F. Ghedina, Foto Ricettario – Formule Procedimenti Tecniche, Hoepli, 2010.
ISBN: 9788820344788 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Fil Hunter & Paul Fuqua, Light Science & Magic - An Introduction to Photographic Lighting, Focal Press, 1997.
ISBN: 9780240802756 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Ansel Adams, The Camera, Little, Brown, 1995.
ISBN: 9780821221846 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Ansel Adams, The Negative, Ansel Adams, 1995.
ISBN: 9780821221860 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Ansel Adams, The Print, Little, Brown, 1995.
ISBN: 9780821221877 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
White, Zakia, Lorenz, The New Zone System Manual, Morgan & Morgan, 1990.
ISBN: 9780871001009 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Stephen G. Anchell, The Darkroom Cookbook, Focal Press, 2008.
ISBN: 9780240810553 (Retail price: $43.95)
Stephen G. Anchell and Bill Troop, The Film Developing Cookbook, Focal Press, 1998.
ISBN: 9780240802770 (Retail price: $46.95)
Black and White Photography, Rand, Litschel, Delmar Cengage Learning, 2001.
ISBN: 9780766818170 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Leslie Stroebel, John Compton, Ira Current and Richard Zakia, Photographic Materials and Processes, Focal Press,1986.
ISBN: 978-0240517520 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Pinhole Journal - Instructions for Making and Using Pinhole Cameras and Zone Plates , Vol. 8 #1 20th issue
Susan D. Shaw & Monona Rossol, Overexposure - Health and Hazards in Photography, Allworth Press, 1991
ISBN: 9780960711864 (Retail price: $40)
Kodak Black & White Darkroom Dataguide, Eastman Kodak Company, 1996.
ISBN: 9780879856021 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
David Vestal, The Art of Black-and-White Enlarging, Harpercollins, 1984.
ISBN: 9780061818967 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Sensitometry for Photographers, Jack Eggleston, Focal Press, 1984.
ISBN: 9780240511443 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Quality Enlarging, Eastman Kodak Company, 1982.
ISBN: 9780879852795 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Black-and-White Processing Using Kodak Chemicals, Eastman Kodak Company, 1985.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Gordon Hutchings, Pyrogallol: The PMK Formula, G. Hutchings, 1991.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Romeo Di Loreto, Photography Workbook, Guide to Mastering Black & White Photography
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Sylvan Barnet, Writing about Art - A Short Guide to Writing about Art, Pearson, 2014.
ISBN: 9780205886999 (Retail price: To Be Determined)
Joseph Gibaldi & Walter S. Achtert, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Modern Language Association; Fifth edition, 1999.
Joseph Gibaldi , MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Modern Language Association, 2003.
ISBN: 9780873529860 (Retail price: $22)
Additional articles will be supplied in connection to the lesson and the personal interest of students.
Your Internet research or ask Professor Di Loreto Romeo for further research materials on what most topics needed.
The Italian Language
I highly suggest you learn the Italian language for simple communications as you are here for two years. When we go to areas out of the bigger city, you will feel more at home, hence you can be much more expressive. Take a class or ask the SACI Italian instructors for suggestions.
- To strengthen your technical skills at a Masters level.
- To develop and fully understand your individual artistic expression.
- To develop skill in discussing photographic imagery in order to comfortably express yourself in situations of a classroom, lectures, gallery openings of your personal work and to begin to have a mastery of verbal and written dialogue for applications of grant proposals.
- To have fun, explore and research new techniques and visual languages.
Assignments are designed to help explore the options of technical control as well as visual experimentation. Keeping in mind the inseparability of photographic technique and expression, students will be expected to articulate their particular choices in relation to the overall conceptual approach of the projects.
At the end of this seminar you are required to have a portfolio of a minimum 20-finished images. This does not mean you only make 20 finished prints, but 20 re-thought and worked images. Also required is a well-researched artist statement, which you will work on the entire term. I also ask that each student make good digital reproductions in JPEG format and hands them in to me at the end of the term on a DVD, including identification of the artist, title, photographic process, date, size and a Word DOC and PDF file of your artist statement and self evaluation of your progress. You are required to leave a copy of this documentation with me; a copy will be placed in the SACI library for future student research and use.
General Safety & Emergency Instructions
Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.
Additional Safety Information
Across from the elevator is a green first-aid kit for eye injuries. It contains a solution for application to the eyes, eye patches, a plastic container, and scissors.
Monday, September 9
If possible, we can view quickly some work previously made by MFA candidates.
Introduction to the MFA program and the term work.
Students will be given a notebook.
No cameras or image capturing device will be permitted to be used during the first week in the program. Students must write down their images, their impressions, and reflect on the city to which they have newly moved. You need to start observing not only looking, you need to use all your senses: scent, touch, hearing and inner sensations. Italy / Firenze needs to be understood. Remember that a good image is not two-dimensional but has multiple dimensions.
Friday, September 13 (Class lesson may extend for part of the afternoon)
Becoming familiar with your new darkroom facilities: Darkroom practices.
Explanation of the entire facilities and all the equipment: Enlargers, easels and chemistry and tour of all spaces reserved for MFA in Photography candidates only.
Complete description of the entire Black and White analog MFA Darkroom and all the enlargers, lenses, condensers, print washers, paper dryer and chemical set up and discarding.
Monday, September 16
Introduction to Sensitometry, the science of the photographic curve, its interpretation and significance to where information is held in the characteristic curve or digital file and the Zone System.
The Photographic curve and its relationships to wavelengths of light (the relationship between exposure and development).
Reading: “Manual of Photography” chapter #2 – Langford
Friday, September 20
Monday, September 23
Printing / Developing methods 1
Adding chemical agents to alter commonly found print developers’ nature in the darkroom. The understanding of the periodic table re-enforced.
A brief description of photographic chemistry and the characteristics of its components. The importance of the periodic table and its knowledge to alter commonly found photographic print chemistry. This is in the form of a lecture not practical session!
Friday, September 27
Friday, September 27 (Extra afternoon session)
Saturday, September 28
Monday, September 30
Explanation of both tank and tray processing methods (Jobo rotator system).
Friday, October 4 (Extra afternoon session—both lessons are a requirement)
Explanation and demo of equipment.
Possible guest lecturer: George Tatge: Expert in Large Format and Medium Format Photography.
Morning: Lecture, demos of large format practices and zone system.
Afternoon: Practical lesson and practice for students. Please! Bring 4x5 and 120mm film, you will be shooting under the supervision of George Tatge.
Please order film in advanced. It is not easy to purchase 35mm film. You can buy 120mm at Bongi Ottica; but will be cheaper if you mail order through Western Photo or Fotomatica.
I SUGGEST THAT YOU DIVIDE A BOX OF FILM AMONGST EACH OTHER: I SUGGEST ILFORD FP4 100 OR ILFORD HP5 400 ISO
Monday, October 7
Explanation of both tank and tray processing methods and Jobo rotator system.
Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12
Monday, October 14
Guest Lecturer: Alessandra Capodacqua, Professor of Photography specializing in Pinhole Non-Traditional Imaging Capturing Devices and International Photographic Artist. Florence based.
Friday, October 18 (Extra afternoon session)
Monday, October 21
Friday, October 25
The names of SACI faculty or individuals who have collaborated with the progress of your work must be communicated to the Co-Directors two weeks prior to the review, and officially invited via e-mail attaching the two co-directors on the invitation, so we are fully informed.
I strongly recommend that that you do not include too many people in your review--only individuals who have worked closely with you during this first half of the term.
MIDTERM BREAK for undergraduates (October 26 - November 3)
Monday, November 4
Where to go from here: Direction of term work!
Talk about Paris Photo Field Trip!
Friday, November 8, 9 and 10
Monday, November 11
Friday, November 15
Monday, November 18
Printing / Developing methods 3.
Altering the light in the darkroom: Flashing, Bleaching and Toning Techniques.
Friday, November 22
Darkroom work and supervision and guidance by Romeo. Completion and practice of altering the light in the darkroom: Flashing, Bleaching and Toning Techniques.
Monday, November 25
Friday, November 29
Monday, December 2
Friday, December 6 (Extra afternoon session)
A Brief review of Photographic Chemistry and the characteristics of its components. The importance of the periodic table and its knowledge to alter commonly found photographic print chemistry.
MFA Final Term Review preparation work time in afternoon.
SPECIAL NOTE AND REMINDER!
Monday, December 9
Friday, December 13
FINAL EXAM WEEK: December 16 to December 20
Monday, December 16
Friday, December 20 MFA FINAL TERM REVIEWS
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR INVITED COMMITTEE, CO-DIRECTORS AND DIS PROFESSORS IN ADVANCED. MANY PROFESSORS TRAVEL AT THE END OF THE TERM AND IT IS RATHER DIFFICULT COORDINATING EVERYONE. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR COMMUNICATING TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE FINAL REVIEW WHO IS BEING INVITED BY E-MAIL, COPYING THE CO-DIRECTORS SO WE ARE CLEAR. THE DEAN AND PRESIDENT OF SACI GENERALLY GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO ATTEND ALL FINAL REVIEWS.
FINAL REVIEW BOARD COMMITTEE:
Completion of assignments, projects, portfolios, presentations, and punctuality/attendance and professionalism) will be discussed.
Faculty of SACI or individuals who have collaborated with the progress of your work must be officially invited and communicated to the Co-Directors of the program two weeks prior to the review.