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There are pictures all over the place. You see them hanging on walls at home, banners at school and signs at stores. Pictures are relevant in everyday life because they are prevalent everywhere we look. Deep down, everyone has some interest in taking good pictures. Here is why you should start your photography career in the first photography class at TCNJ. Here are 10 Of the Best Course Concepts in Photo 1 (AAV-130) At TCNJ! You could also excess notes and study guides for this course here!

1. Everyone Wants to Be a Photographer

It’s no secret, we all have a little portion of photography in ourselves. People like to take pictures, whether it is to share visuals or for our own vanity, we can’t stop taking pictures. It is because of this that things like ‘the duck face’ have become a trend and why social medias that revolve around images, like Instagram, have become so successful.

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2. It’s Easy

The class itself is not very difficult. It is meant to teach you a few things to improve your picture – taking tactics, not to have a constant critical eye at the things you do. Plus, as stated before, all (at least most) people like taking pictures and when a class revolves around something you enjoy, there tends to be less struggle getting through those classes. So if you like photography, give it a try. Plus, there are many beautifully photogenic places on campus to capture.

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3 . You Will Actually Learn and Have Something Useful

(photo for a friend to use to promote himself as a bassist and his band, edited in Photoshop)

That’s right. The skills acquired in this class are useful (like most classes actually). The skills can then be applied to a myriad of subjects outside of school. These newly found skills can just improve your next family photo or you can portray the landscapes you thought were so beautiful the exact same way you see them.

4 . Keep Documentation

Photography is used as a form of digital documentation on a wide scale. It is easy to keep organized with files all online because there aren’t piles of paperwork all over the place. For students who are  in the arts, photos are how they keep a record of the majority of their pieces, especially sculptures because they are often too big to keep in storage or are made of materials that degrade. In the sciences, images are used to aid in the record of experiments. In history, images give a visual idea of how things appeared in different times, and the pictures we take today will be used for future students studying modern history.

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5.  Exposure Literally

(A photo of my siblings and I taken at three exposures)

This class will expose you to a number of different concepts in the art of photography. Have you ever taken a picture where the sun was just too bright and it ruined the entire image? That’s where exposure comes into play. You will learn the different settings that your camera has and how to use them to their fullest capacity to really get your money’s worth out of your camera. You’ll learn about lighting, timers, composition and color, all things that can make your photography peak.

6. Teachers

Image result for tcnj ken kaplowitz(Kenneth Kaplowitz)

The teachers for any course are essential to the quality of the education you receive from that specific class. The professors for the Photo one class are Kenneth Kaplowitz and Anita Allyn. The class I am currently taking is run by Kaplowitz. He is very easy-going and simply asks that you try your best and do not come late to class. His reactions to work he is pleased with is extremely enjoyable to watch; he’s actually said ‘yippee’ a few times. He is funny and it is fun being in his class. As far as Allyn, she has been very helpful and accommodating. She has a bubbly personality that would be easy to get along with.

7 . Photoshop

(A photo originally of the sky that I learned to photoshop in class)

This class will educate you in Photoshop. First off, the school provides the entire Adobe suite to all of its students. If this service is being provided, it is important that the students learn to use this software and take advantage  to use it. In learning it, you will be able to edit your photos in a way that makes them more appealing and can captivate different audience. This learning tool will also help you to create mystical things that if not for Photoshop, would never exist.

8. Interesting Subjects

(An image focusing on stitches, used for a mid-term assignment)

Kaplowitz blew his class away in discussing one of his newer projects. It involved bird droppings. He took pictures of them a close up and edited them minimally to the point that they were unrecognizable from their natural state. They looked like galaxies and different parts of space. The class allows you to explore different subjects and understand that art, in any form, does not require the cookie-cutter subject matter that is thought to appeal to the masses. This class allows you to explore the obscure and manipulate it in such a way that makes it even more foreign.

9. Autonomy

(photo edited while playing I Photoshop, combining two original pictures)

The class is structured in such a way that it is not always do-what-the-professor-says. Yes, of course, they give assignments and you have to do them to pass the class, but most of the time you are given a vague topic that allows you to have the vast majority of creative control. Just like most classes, you get what you put in out of this class. So the more you want to experiment with different settings and photo editing apps, the wider rage of knowledge you’ll have of how to work with images.

10. It’s Fun

(panorama taken in my backyard, combined using Photoshop)

This class is not boring. Of course there are drier sessions than others. But the class remains interesting because the subject matter constantly changes. The class is engaging because there are always new things to be learned that are being taught in different weeks. The best part is that no two images will ever be the same because of the way people choose to take the pictures and  how they use the editing tools to make them into something else.


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Samantha Leigh

Studying at TCNJ as an art student of the class of 2021.


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