Seeing the Urban Landscape Through Photography (55+)

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA    Mondays, Oct 27–Dec 1, 2014    1:30–3:20 PM




To learn more and register, click here.


Urban environments comprise one of the most diverse "target-rich" places to "make" photographs. Whether you take pictures as a hobby, are a serious enthusiast or professional photographer, or just interested in learning how to "read" photographs with more insight and informed pleasure, you will improve your photography skills by the end of our discussions.

We will cover various types of photography in a variety of urban setting—buildings, gardens, streetscapes—and we will also look at photographic portraits and travel "happy snaps." You will be introduced to and encouraged to examine aspects and principles of photography that you may not have thought about before, and will certainly come away with a greater appreciation of photographs as works of art.

Note: We offered this course in fall 2013 in the Adults 55+ Program under the title "City Views: Seeing and Perceiving the Urban Landscape Through Photography."


Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.


This course will be taught by Rick Hulbert in 6 sessions at SFU's Vancouver campus. The classes will take place every Monday from October 27 through December 1, 2014, from 1:30 to 3:20 PM. The cost is $104.00.

Registration opens Wednesday, July 23 at 10 AM.


What will I learn?

Week 1: Architectural Photography

Most photographs are comprised of a subject in a setting. Buildings can be both. There are “rules” for photographing buildings and other human-made structures, and knowing them will help make you a better photographer. Mastering the rules will teach you how to “break” them meaningfully.

Week 2: How We “See” vs. How A Camera Sees

Our opening lecture will focus on the basics of how people see, how a camera sees, and why enhanced dynamic range photography can be so enticing and fulfilling for both the photographer and viewer. We will explore the topic of “composition” from an architectural perspective.

Week 3: Garden Photography

We will discuss an approach to photographing gardens that is complementary to the urban subjects covered. We will also continue to discuss the importance of “light” in recording or creating the final image.

Week 4: Urban Street, Portrait and Travel Photography

Street photography is about photographing people in candid situations. In urban portraiture, the subjects are aware of the photographer. Travel photography seeks to capture a “slice of life.” Combining these genres can be magical and will enable you to take your photographs to the next level.

Week 5: From Pre-Visualization through Re-Visualization

We will explore the process of making a photograph. You will learn how to create “jaw- dropping” images that will be the envy of your friends and acquaintances. Selected examples of student photographs will be constructively evaluated and enhanced by the instructor through digital processing.

Week 6: Public Realm Photography

The subject of public places in the urban context offers a great opportunity to apply the principles we have discussed thus far. You will have a chance to explore the notion of portraying three-dimensional environments by learning and applying lessons from cinematography.


How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Visual aids
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)


Who should take this course?

This course is for anyone who is interested in learning more about the techniques behind effective and compelling photographs of urban sites and situations.


How will I be evaluated?

(Evaluation applicable to continuing studies certificate students only)

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”


Textbooks and learning materials

Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class. Some course materials may be available online.



To learn more and register, click here.