GH Nagai Photographics

Course Syllabus

Can Photographers Fly...?
Camera as Metaphor

Gordon H. Nagai, Instructor
I. Meeting 1: Photography as Meditation and Art…
  1. Introductions.
  2. Class Business and discussion of course outline. (Get ready for the ride of your life...!)
  3. Personal Assessment (Who's Been Looking Through My Viewfinder…?)
  4. Slide Presentation: Why do photography…? (Because I love it…!)
  5. Photography as Meditation and Process: Brain Dominance. (How not to be half-brained…!)
  6. Suggested Reading: Art & Fear - Ted Bayles and Bill Orland.
  7. Photo Assignment 1
II. Meeting 2: Photography as Process…
  1. Review Photo Assignment 1. (Omigawd...!)
  2. The Whole Process: How to use all 40 steps involved in taking a photo. (Oh, shoot…!)
  3. Slide Presentation: Where do you look…? (How to look down and out…!)
  4. Personal Assessment: How do you look? (What is your visual voice…?)
  5. Two Cosmologies and My Personal World-View: Scarcity vs. Abundance.
  6. Beauty and the Beast. (Benefits & hazards of pursuing your passions...)
  7. Photo Assignment 2.
III. Meeting 3: What Makes a Good Photograph…?
  1. Review Photo Assignment 2. (My developer ate it...!)
  2. A Good Photograph is the result of three things. (No, not dice, prayer beads, and a genie…!)
  3. Three steps to finding what stirs your passions and gives you the image that is your work.
  4. Principles of Aesthetics ("The Rules").
  5. Slide Presentation: ("Mother, may I...?" - or, Rules: When, Why, and Why Not…!)
  6. Photo Assignment 3.
IV. Meeting 4: What Makes a Good Photograph Distinctive…?
  1. Review Photo Assignment 3. (Opps…!)
  2. What Drives a Picture: Elements of Composition. (Guess who's in the driver's seat…!)
  3. Slide Presentation: Elements of Composition. (Where the eye meets the road…)
  4. Photo Assignment 4.
V. Meeting 5: Camera as Metaphor - What do You See…?
  1. Review Photo Assignment 4. (Ahh…!).
  2. Camera as Metaphor. (Point of photography is NOT to expose film…!)
  3. Exposure: The High Purpose of all Art. (Filing your flight plan…)
  4. Slide Presentation: Beauty and the Beast. (We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto...!)
  5. Photo assignment 5.
VI. Meeting 6: What do You See…?
  1. Review Photo Assignment 5.
  2. Reason we do photography: To pass through the portal to a land of wonder and enchantment…
  3. Slide Presentation: Reprise of course concepts, models, and philosophy.
  4. Slide Presentation: Poetry and Song (Know thyself, then follow your heart…)
V. Meeting 7: Where the Eye Meets the Road...
  1. To Fly, To Soar: Examining Poetry and Song.
  2. Review Photo Assignment 6.
  3. Slide Presentation: Good Shot, Better Shot.
  4. Personal Assessment II.
  5. Evaluation: Course and Instructor.
  6. Graduation: Presentation of wings…


If you need support or assistance because of a disability, you may be eligible for academic accommodations through Disability Services. For more information, contact Disability Services at (541) 463-5150 (voice) or 463-3079 (TTY), or stop by Building 1, Room 218.