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ART 3PC3 Photo Collage&Composite Images

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Chris Myhr


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 328

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23930


Office Hours: Wednesdays 12:30-1:30 (or by appointment)

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 contemporary movements in digital photography and photomontage/composite imaging
  • Demonstrate and apply an understanding of how meaning is generated through the organization, juxtaposition and manipulation of image and aesthetics 
  • Communicate ideas though complex and indirect aesthetic gestures and visual language (i.e. motif, metaphor, abstraction)
  • Achieve effective synthesis between ideas, intent, and technical execution
  • Develop creative projects over the three stages of digital imaging (capture, manipulation, output) 
  • Understand and work effectively with various forms of source imagery and materials (both analog and digital)
  • Work effectively with Adobe Photoshop and Bridge
  • 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)
  • DSLR camera (provided by department)
  • Printing services and materials (provided by department)
  • There is a $75 studio fee required for ART/MM3PC3. This will cover the cost of basic materials necessary for completion of this course. Your instructor will outline the details in class. The fee can be paid at the SOTA main office 
  • All readings and supplementary material will be available on Avenue to Learn in PDF format

Method of Assessment:

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. The breakdown is as follows:

30% Midterm Portfolio (Mini Projects 1 and 2 @ 15% each) - Due Oct 7
20% Major Project 1 - Due Oct 28
25% Major Project 2 - Due Nov 25
10% Artist Group Presentation - Schedule to be determined in Week 1
15% Participation and Professionalism

Detailed descriptions of all assignments will be uploaded to Avenue to Learn. Depending on the nature of the assignment, work will be submitted to an Avenue to Learn Drop Box folder, and/or delivered to the instructor during class time.

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

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 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 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:

All readings and supplementary material will be available on Avenue to Learn in PDF format. The following schedule and list of topics/readings is subject to change.


  • Orientation (TSH206, TSH115, Lyons)
  • History of Photomontage
  • Mini Project 1 Introduction 
  • Camera RAW refresher
  • Photoshop 1
  • Assign Presentation/Analysis dates/topics
  • Presentation prep session (time permitting)

Sept 16

  • Mini Project 1 In-Progress work due
  • Mini Project 2 Introduction
  • Scanner demo
  • Macro photography and lighting
  • Photoshop 2
  • Consultation/Work Session

Sept 23

  • Group Presentation/Analysis 1
  • Image transfer and materials collage demo (with Briana Palmer)
  • Consultation/Work Session

Sept 30

  • Mini Project 2 In-Progress work due
  • Group Presentation/Analysis 2
  • In-Progress peer reviews
  • Major Project 1 Introduction
  • Printing services
  • Consultation/Work/Printing Session

Oct 7

  • Midterm Portfolio Due (Mini Project Series)
  • Half-Class Critique
  • Review Major Project 1 

Oct 14

  • Midterm recess

Oct 21

  • Major Project 1 In-Progress work due
  • Group Presentation/Analysis 3
  • In-Progress peer reviews (Major Project 1)
  • Photoshop 4
  • Consultation/Work/Printing Session

Oct 28

  • Major Project 1 Due
  • Half-Class Critique
  • Major Project 2 Introduction
  • Slide Lecture (Online)

November 4

  • Major Project 2 proposals and sketches due
  • Group Presentation/Analysis 4
  • Figure lighting for photorealistic composites
  • Lighting exercise

November 11

  • Major Project 2 In-Progress work due 
  • Group Presentation/Analysis 5
  • Photoshop 5
  • Test strips and refining exports
  • Consultation/Work/Printing Session

November 18

  • In-Progress peer reviews (Major Project 2)
  • Consultation/Work/Printing Session

November 25

  • Major Project 2 Due
  • Full-Class critique (Day 1)

December 2

  • Full-Class critique (Day 2)