Course Description

A well-known phrase is “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But what does that mean? And how can we use photography to make creative art photographs? Every environment and every moment offers infinite possibilities for creating compelling artistic photographs. The creative process requires visualization, connecting with our views of the world, and the art of seeing photographically. This course will cultivate our ways of seeing the world through experimentation, practice, and an overview of the history of art photography. The final product will be that each student will have at least one matted and framed image finished in the class.

Course Outline

Week 1.
Introduction to the course
Exploring art photography and how it differs from other photographic disciplines Viewing established art photographs
A brief history of art photography Assignment

Week 2.
Further exploration of “Art Photography” Review of Assignment
Review of basic camera techniques Assignment

Week 3.
Further exploration of the History of Art Photography Review of Assignment
Description of Photoshop processing
Exploring creative camera techniques Assignment

Week 4.
Lecture: Composition and how it relates to creative photography Review of Assignment
Beginning hands on Photoshop processing Assignment

Week 5.
Lecture: perception and learning to see photographically Review Assignment
Hands on Photoshop processing Assignment

Week 6.
Developing a style Review assignment Photographic manipulation using the camera Assignment, print one or more class images Assignment, purchase a photo frame for next class

Week 7.
Hands on Photoshop processing
Hands on Framing and Matting photographs Review assignment
Week 8.
How to use Open Calls for entering contests Exploring what to do with finished images Class critique of framed and matted images

Please note that this outline is flexible and may change to accommodate your needs and experience.

Learner Outcomes

The final product will be that each student will have at least one matted and framed image finished in the class.


Chicago’s Best Photography Teachers
If you’re suspicious of photographers who want you to invest in a trip to Kauai in order to take beautiful landscape shots, you’re already more perceptive than most and perhaps you just need to get to Harper College. A photographer in the U.S. Army and a graduate of Columbia College, Harold Rail makes a living in photojournalism, commercial, and creative photography, so the man has the chops. A decade's long dedication to Zen Buddhist practice informs his images with knowing nano-second captures of infinity – and, honestly, where else can you get the combo of experience and artistry? Rail champions the art of photography teaching affordable classes for children, teenagers, and adults at Harper College. See the eccentricity and enthusiasm that blooms in his photographic work on exhibit at the new Hyatt Centric in Chicago, too.


I really enjoyed working with Jim, he was open about many techniques, and getting info about being in the profession was very interesting and eye-opening. He made us all feel comfortable and excited about us learning and moving forward. Barbara Linderman

I learned a lot in the photography class. He taught by example and we had a lot of hands-on experience in class. He was able to talk to the various levels of experience each student had in class and to the variety of camera models we each had. Sue Lech

Harold is a great instructor, who makes his classes very interesting and full of creative energy! Vince Walsh.


Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Creating Art through Unconventional Photography
Online: With Live Meetings
6:30PM to 8:30PM
Aug 23, 2023 to Oct 11, 2023
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Course Fee(s)
Tuition and Fees non-credit $225.00
Section Notes



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