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AP & Advanced Studies Photography


This rigorous one year course is designed for students who are seriously interested in exploring the practical experience of art through the investigation of photography. It is recommended that students enrolling in this AP Studio Art course come to the course prepared with the desire to pursue a personal artistic vision and style. Throughout this course students will be compiling a portfolio of original artworks and will be participating in regular critiques with their peers as well as participating in an ongoing dialog with the instructor.

By the end of this course, the student should be able:

  • To encourage the artistic process and evolution through critique & dialog

  • To allow the opportunity for students to further develop technical proficiency of specific media.

  • To inspire creativity and personal exploration in the creation of artworks

  • To utilize the elements & principles of design in an original manner

  • To encourage students to think independently & to contribute inventively & critically to society through art making.

AP 2D Studio Art (AP Photography) is a challenging and rewarding course that requires the utmost dedication on part of the student. Students will be following the requirements as stated by the College Board Advanced Placement Program. This course will culminate with the submission of a portfolio of 24 original artworks to the College Board Advanced Placement Program for evaluation toward the middle of the 4th quarter.


All AP Photography students will be required to complete the following sections for portfolio submission:


Section #1 – Quality

Students must submit 5 original artworks (printed & mounted) from one of the following sections; Concentration and/or Breadth. These artworks must demonstrate excellence in Concept, Composition, and Technical Skills. In short, these are the best examples from your portfolio.


Section #2 – Concentration

Students must submit 12 original artworks (digital upload) that demonstrate a concentration of a particular concern. These artworks must clearly demonstrate a common idea and be expressed through photography. A Written commentary will accompany the work in this section. The artwork in this section can not be included in Section #3.

This section is meant to be an area where you develop a body of work that comes from an investigation of a specific idea that is of interest to you. During ongoing one-on-one conferences with your teacher, you will be assisted in discovering and delving deeper into your concentrations ideals through experimentation and dialog. You will develop and present to the teacher, for approval, a written commentary or artist statement about your specific plan of action, thoughts and concerns about the investigation, and the process for the development of your chosen concentration theme. As your concentration work develops, you may discover a need to modify your commentary. It will be important for you to discuss this with the teacher. The written commentary describing your concentration and how it evolved must accompany the work and answer the following questions. What is your central idea? How does the work demonstrate the exploration of your idea? What artist or photographer inspired or influenced your style and/or concept?


Section #3 – Breadth

Students must submit 12 original artworks (digital upload) that demonstrate a wide variety of experiences, techniques, or artistic concerns in photography. Breadth artwork will utilize the principles and elements of design. Artwork submitted for this section can not be included in Section #2.

The artwork for the Breadth section should reflect your understanding of the elements and principles of design as they relate to photography, and demonstrate mastery of a variety of techniques and conceptual approaches. Using the elements of art and principles of design, you will be creating multiple 2-D spatial systems from multiple perspectives (foreshortening, atmospheric juxtapositions, surrealist overlays, figure/ground relationships, foreground / middle ground / background, systems of balance: symmetrical/mirror, asymmetrical, overall pattern, rule of thirds, and so on). Evidence for these techniques and approaches might include:

Human Figure Studies: Movement / Static

Landscapes: Urban or Rural

Still-life: Studio Constructed or Natural occurrence

Portrature: Standard, Environmental, Candid, Street

Photo Essay: Visual Storytelling whether narrative or cultural or political  

Photojournalism: Sports, Cultural Events


Tools and methods include Photoshop, digital photography, traditional black and white darkroom photography, traditional mediums, ink wash, ink line, oil paint, watercolor paint, mixed media, liquid light with watercolor, photograms with color applied. Mediums can be mix-matched, combined, and modified across problems.


You may refer to the following website for samples of student work at:


Artistic Integrity

While it is acceptable to be inspired and influenced by others it is not acceptable to copy a work outright, the use of published photographs or the work of other artists for duplication is considered plagiarism. If a student chooses to appropriate images from published photographs or artwork they must change that work enough so that it becomes their own rather than a mere duplication. Any artwork that appears to be copied will not be graded or included in the portfolio.

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