Students capture moments in photos

Justin San Diego

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Photography exposes students to an alternative art class

The hallways of the third and fourth floors of the Technology Center display student photos that capture fashion, style, political issues and photography fundamentals.
San Jose City College offers six photography classes: beginning photography (Photo 22), intermediate photography (Photo 62), Photoshop 1 (Photo 76), Photoshop 2 (Photo 77), digital photography (Photo 79) and directed study (Photo 98.)
“Students can choose to take portrait, fashion photos, commercial photos, architecture photos, landscape photos and sports and action
photos,” said Ciaran MacGowan, an SJCC photography professor for 16 years.

The photography program has one studio and a darkroom on the third floor, and another studio and darkroom on the fourth floor of the Technology Center.
The studios contain backdrops, lighting equipment, photos props and a curtain to block light from the windows.
“We have had students that have gone on to become freelance photographers, staff of magazines in New York, wedding photographers and more,” said Terri Garland, an SJCC photography professor for 24 years.
Garland said she is excited about teaching an all-day Friday class this semester so students can work with a concentrated block of time.
“Students who understand traditional photography usually do better at digital (photography) than students who haven’t experienced traditional photography,” Garland said.
Traditional photography uses cameras that expose film, which are then processed in a darkroom.
Former photography student Robert Ragazza, 47, said he enjoys returning to the photography classes and helping Garland.
Ragazza, who won awards for his photography, said his favorite photos for the class were ones he took of Mono Lake near Yosemite.
The beginning and intermediate photography classes teach elements of developing perfect photos such as exposure, composition, light, shadow and camera control.
“Shutter speed controls the amount of light that exposes the film,” MacGowan said. “Slow speeds cause the picture to be blurry.”
Beginning and intermediate photography classes require students to have their own camera.
“The class is also available as a fun, creative elective class,” MacGowan said.
Renee Badilla, 24, film production major, is in Garland’s intermediate photography class.
“I enjoy expressing myself and getting to be creative,” Badilla said. “It’s nice to produce a physical copy and capture that moment in time.”
MacGowan also teaches Photoshop classes on the third floor of the Technology Center in room 303. The room contains 28 Apple computers that have new software.
The Photoshop classes focus on photo repair, layout and design, collages, and applying light, shadow and color to images, to name a few.

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Most photography classes often have open availability said Garland.
Directed study is an independent study class to help photography enthusiasts learn by creating. The credit varies from half a unit to nine based on the student’s work.
All photography classes offered at SJCC are 3-unit, transferable classes except directed study.