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ART 3PB3 PhotographyBeyondtheFrame

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Chris Myhr

Email: myhrch@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 328

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23930


Office Hours: Tuesday 10:30-12:30

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Outline and articulate creative/research interests in a clear, effective, and professional manner
  • Understand and engage with historical/contemporary movements in photography
  • Integrate digital imagery with material structures/objects
  • Work with Adobe Photoshop in the production of cinemagraphs and stereoscopic images
  • Demonstrate and apply an understanding of how meaning is generated through the organization and manipulation of photographic imagery and materials/objects 
  • Achieve effective synthesis between ideas, intent, and technical execution
  • Actively engage in critical dialogue with peers, and integrate feedback to further develop and refine ideas and creative work 

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  • External/USB storage drive (formatted exFAT or MS-DOS/FAT)
  • There is a $75 studio fee required for ART3PB3. This will cover the cost of materials and printing necessary for completion of this course. These items are absolutely necessary for completion of this course. The fee must be paid to the School of the Arts office in TSH 414 by Week 2 of the class   

Method of Assessment:

3PB3 is a hands-on studio production course focussing on inter-disciplinary approaches to photographic practice beyond the presentation of conventional print/screen-based images. Students will develop a series of projects that will explore the “grey areas” between conventional photographic practice, sculpture, installation, and the moving image. There will be a particular emphasis on photographic imagery that offers an expanded sense of space and time, and the integration of digital imagery with materials, objects, and architecture.

Final grades will be determined through the assessment of studio work, as well as the quality of student
contributions to discussion and presentation/feedback sessions. At least 10% of final grade results will be uploaded to Avenue to Learn by last day for cancelling courses without failure by default. The breakdown is as follows:

25% Project 1 - Stereoscope project (Due Feb 13)
20% Project 2 - Cinemagraph project (Due Feb 27)
35% Project 3 - Photographic sculpture/installation  (Due Mar 27)
20% Professionalism/Participation

Each assigned project will include a description outlining overall objectives, specific considerations, submission requirements/formats and deadlines. Student work will be evaluated in terms of:

  • Technical proficiency
  • Conceptual focus and rigour
  • Synthesis and presentation
  • Work ethic and personal investment 

Successful projects will clearly demonstrate effort and attention to three key stages of studio production: research/planning, experimentation/development/creative problem-solving, and refinement/resolution. For more information on the assessment of project work, see the rubric pasted below, and the assessment_proposals_critique.pdf document posted on Avenue to Learn.

Although time will be allotted for in-class project work, students will also be required to dedicate a minimum of 9 hours/week developing techniques and strategies introduced in the course, conducting independent research, completing assigned projects, and preparing for discussions and presentations. 

Students taking this course will be expected to arrive on-time at the start of each class, and be sufficiently prepared to work on projects and participate in class activities. Each unexcused absence without official documentation (see the MSAF section for details) will be reflected in the final evaluation.

Students are expected to demonstrate an attitude of respectful criticality and active engagement at all times, and contribute to a collegial and productive learning environment. Student participation will be based on performance during peer critique/presentation and formal screening/reading response sessions. It is recommended that students read the assessment_proposals_critique.pdf document posted on Avenue to Learn for more details on criteria and expectations.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

A penalty of 5% per day will be deducted from assignments submitted late, or those not presented in the required format. Assignments will not be accepted after seven days without official documentation (see the MSAF section for details), and will receive a grade of zero. Studio work will be considered late and incomplete if not accompanied by required written work (i.e. project proposals, etc). Late studio and/or written work will not receive the benefit of detailed verbal/written feedback from the instructor or other members of the class. Extensions for late work, or accommodations for missed tests or tutorials, will be granted only upon the recommendation of a student's home faculty: please take such requests directly to your home faculty's office. 

Each unexcused absence, or partial attendance (i.e. early exits from scheduled classes, etc) will result in a 25% penalty on the overall Participation and Professionalism grade.

Recommendations/appeals for extensions will not be accepted on or after project due dates, and must be received no later than 48 hours before the deadline. 

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Any readings and supplementary material will be available on Avenue to Learn in PDF format.

The outline below is for orientation purposes only, and is subject to change. Please consult the full and definitive syllabus posted on Avenue to Learn for any potential updates.

Semester Schedule (Subject to Change):

WEEK 1 - JAN 9
Project 1 and 2 introduction and contemporary/historical context lecture
Workshop A (Metal/Wood shop basics)
Workshop B (Image capture, masking, export)

WEEK 2 - JAN 16
Demo: Stereoscopic photography (Project 1)
Special topics workshop (Visiting artist: Mark Mackenzie)
Workshop: Basic viewer construction  
WEEK 3 - JAN 23
Demo: Cinemagraphs (Project 2)
Workshop: Shooting and editing cinemagraphs

WEEK 4 - JAN 30
Work/Consultation session

WEEK 5 - FEB 6
Work/Consultation session

WEEK 6 - FEB 13
Project 1 due
Project 1 critique (Installed in presentation space by 1:30pm)


WEEK 7 - FEB 27
Project 2 due
Project 2 critique (Installed in presentation space by 1:30pm)

WEEK 8 - MAR 6
Project 3 introduction and contemporary/historical context lecture
Demo: Preparing low-resolution images for print (interpolation)
Demo: DIY adhesives and mounting prints on materials/structures
Planning/Consultation/Work session

WEEK 9 - MAR 13
Consultation/Work session

WEEK 10 - MAR 20
Consultation/Work session

WEEK 11 - MAR 27
Project 3 due
Project 3 critique - Round 1 (Installed in presentation space by 1:30pm)

WEEK 12 - APR 3
Project 3 due
Project 3 critique - Round 2 (Installed in presentation space by 1:30pm)