Visual Arts Faculty Member Develops Mobile Phone Photography Class


As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt in-person education in fall 2020, Paul Dunlap wanted an engaging new course for his students with two caveats: it could be taught entirely online and not force students to learn. students to buy new or expensive equipment.

The photography professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of North Georgia (UNG) realized the answer would fit in the palm of his hand. He designed a cell phone photography course after researching several iPhone apps that mimicked photography processes from the 19th century to the present day.

“I saw an opportunity to develop a course that could teach historical context throughout the evolution of the medium,” he said. “I also knew that I could offer opportunities to study composition, light, color, theme, storytelling, concept, etc. to develop my own style.”

This semester, the Cell Phone Photography course debuted. The course teaches students to compose photographs, express the use of color and light, develop a theme through narrative storytelling, conceptualize ideas and theories, and use a smartphone as a digital darkroom with several free or low-cost applications.

The course served Dunlap’s two main objectives. It could be taught entirely online for students who were not comfortable with face-to-face lessons due to health concerns. Students who wanted more face-to-face teaching could be accommodated to an equal extent. The new class also has a low cost, as most of the students have cell phones with cameras.

“While there is always a bet in a course as unusual as this one, I thought the risk was worth it,” Dunlap said.

The risk has paid off. Sixteen students have registered for the course. They are divided into two groups of eight and meet alternately on Tuesday or Thursday. The class offers students pursuing a visual arts degree a higher-level studio course, as well as an elective course for those who are not art majors.

Jordan Mund, a senior pursuing a degree in graphic design, said she learned a tremendous amount of information from the class.

“I would never have known how many apps are available that help with photo editing without this course,” said the 21-year-old from Cumming, Ga. “I can share my art much easier since I can edit my photos on my phone.”

Mund previously said she took several steps to adjust her photos using a desktop or laptop computer. Thanks to the course, she can perform all of these steps on her phone.

“I took some beautiful, quality photos with my phone which I am proud to show in my portfolio,” said Mund, who is on the UNG cross country and track teams and hopes to become a sports photographer. or fashion.

Obulu Anetor, a cybersecurity and studio art graduate with a concentration in graphic design, is also proud to show off her photos. A trio of them are displayed in his room.

“It was amazing how something so tiny on our phones looked so professional when we printed them out,” said the 21-year-old from Abuja, Nigeria.


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