IB Photo Syllabus

IB Photography Syllabus 2022-2023

Teacher: Rebecca Cauchon



(909) 357-6300 x16336

Course Description

This course will include high level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery, and creativity. Skills developed will be a mix of thinking, social, communication, self-management, experimentation, and research. You will challenge your own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries and develop technical proficiency and confidence as art makers. You will reflect and experiment with contemporary practices and media and be consumers of visual culture. There will be an expectation to participate in a range of creative activities and study the work of contemporary artists to use as references in your own artistic journey.

Overview of Assessments

IB Visual Arts has three assessments: Comparative Study, Process Portfolio, and Exhibition.

Comparative Study: Students will compare the works of different artists and will also be responsible for making connections between their own work and the artists they study.  Both SL and HL students need to understand the relationship between theory and practice. This course encourages you to critically investigate the work of other artists and allow the work to influence your own art-making practice. This independent critical and contextual investigation explores artworks, objects, and artifacts from differing cultural contexts. Students compare at least 3 different artworks, by at least 2 different artists, with commentary over 10–15 slides. Students also submit a reflection on the extent to which their work and practices have been influenced by any of the art/artists examined (3–5 slides). You will present your comparative study using Powerpoint or Prezi.

Process Portfolio:  Throughout the course you will work on your Art Journal. From this journal you will select a certain number of pages to submit. Your journal should clearly indicate technical details used in the development of all art making undertaking, such as processes, products, color palettes, format, size, hardware and software used. You should make comments on your feelings, how your work is progressing and what successes you have had. You should also write about any investigation or technical problems you have encountered. You should make comments on your attitudes about life, social, cultural and political concerns. Think about the big world outside of school. The visual arts journal is yours, so it should reflect your values and beliefs! These comments can be related to art you are investigating or artwork that you are producing.

There are certain items that must appear in your journal entries:

  1. Pages dated (the date you worked on them)
  2. Use of artistic vocabulary – IB Art Glossary
  3. Contact Sheets
  4. Camera Settings for your images: ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture (f/stop)
  5. Screen shots of your images open in Photoshop with the layers showing
  6. Research sources cited

Exhibition: You will be working on art and photography through the course, and you will select your best works to submit for evaluation. The selected pieces should show evidence of your technical accomplishment during the visual arts course and an understanding of the use of materials, ideas and practices appropriate to visual communication. Students submit 8–11 pieces with exhibition text for each, along with a curatorial rationale (700 words maximum).


  1. Approximately every week you will have a photography assignment due. Most of these will be photographic, however, some of them will need to be in other mediums. Your images will be submitted on your website Assignment page.
  2. Art Journal: Approximately every week you will work in your art journal. You will submit a certain number of pages. This journal is best done in a journal book and then photographed into a digital format to submit on your website Journal page.
  3. Specific Tasks: Daily shooting assignments as well as long term independent projects.
  4. Comparative Study: You will complete the first draft of this assessment and submit on your website Comparative Study page. You will then submit a final draft to IB.
  5. Process Portfolio: You will select your best pages from your Art Journal and then you will submit a final draft to IB.
  6. Curatorial Rationale and Exhibition: This is an explanation of your exhibition and the pieces you selected. Your work will be printed and hung in the IB Art Show.

Sample Assignments:

Independent Photography Project

Logo Production

Image Projection

Photography Business Plan

Photography Story

College Informational Poster

Light Painting Techniques

Image Transfer

Visual Storytelling

Collage and Photomontage

Painting and Photography

Mixed Media

Studio Lighting

Multiple Exposures


Action/Motion Techniques

Environmental Portraits

Natural Lighting and Reflectors

Low Light Photography

Post Processing Experimentation

Artist Recreation