In 2019, I wrote and taught a mini-course on photographic documentation of archaeological finds at the Ghent University archaeology department (3th bachelor students).
This university level initiation consisted of three 2.5 hour sessions, aimed at introducing students to the scientific photography of artefacts in such a way that upon completion, they:
1. understand that an image of an artefact can be made to serve different goals, and/or show different aspects of the object in question;
2. have a basic knowledge of how to make images that answer and/or weigh those goals, in a practical and scientifically valid way (and know how to expand on that knowledge),
3. have attained a solid theoretical base to build upon.
To those ends, the course started with a technical overview of the nature of light, visual perception, (the limitations of) how cameras capture and process optical radiation, how lenses (and their aberrations) work, the basic principles of exposure, ... Essentially, in this part, all relevant aspects of digital still cameras are explored as if they were scientific instruments rather than consumer devices, and photography as if it were a scientific process rather than a form of personal expression.
The second part (i.e., the last of the three classes) focused on studio photography, giving students a well-structured head start for further experimentation. Topics were metering, standard exposure, histograms, special techniques (tilt, focus stacking, fluorescence photography), and more practical skills such as working on full manual with studio flash, understanding and manipulating light in a studio context (creating hard and soft light, angles of incidence and reflection, the inverse square law), the use of colour, and how to post-process images (and, depending on the requirements of the image, how not to). In this last part, photography is portrayed as a craft, rather than the highly subjective art form that it is outside the tiny subfield of registration photography.
The workshop can also be organised on demand, in the course of a full day or in the form of separate lectures, in- or outside of an academic context; just contact me through my facebook page, or fill in the form below. I'd be happy to provide more information on content and/or price.
As photography can only be really understood and mastered by actually making images, ideally, the course should be followed by a hands-on, guided studio session, allowing each participant to experience the process first hand. That, and lots of practice.