fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Spring Quarter

Spring Registration Now Open
Most Classes Begin Apr 03
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

PHOTO 05 — Pens and the Lens: A Dual Path to Visual Creativity

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 13—Jun 1
Time: 6:30—9:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 15
Units: 2
Tuition: $550
Instructor(s): Joel Simon, Jane Kriss
Limit: 25
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
6:30—9:00 pm (PT)
Apr 13—Jun 1
8 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 15
2 Units
Joel Simon, Jane Kriss
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Drawing and photography are powerful art tools. In this course, you will learn how to use them in tandem to jumpstart your creative process. You will develop both sketching and photographic literacy whether you are an experienced photographer, a fine artist, or someone whose artistic talent has yet to be revealed (even to yourself!).

With equal emphasis on photography and drawing, we will use a contrast-and-compare experiential method that explores the many principles these two techniques share and also reveals how effective drawing and photography can be when used in combination. The lens (of our camera) and the pen (in our hand) create a well-proven partnership. This course begins by providing a context for the intertwined histories and interplay of photography and art. For example, lenses were used by 16th-century artists to create highly detailed, realistic paintings and drawings. The course then moves quickly into the specifics of how we can use both picture making and drawing to be visually creative, whether your interest is in recording life, visualizing ideas, or creative self-expression.

Through a series of photographic and sketching exercises, we will gently expand our current comfort zones, opening avenues for clear thinking and communication, ideation, and collaborative invention. Each class session will include lectures and lively hands-on participatory exercises. The techniques introduced in this course will be further explored in weekly homework assignments.

This course is open to photographers and artists of all levels. Students should have access to any digital camera, including mobile device cameras.

Documentary and Fine Art Photographer

Joel Simon studied with Leo Holub and has worked as an editorial and fine art photographer for four decades. He has lectured on more than 65 trips with Stanford’s Travel/Study program. His work has been published in Vanity Fair, Time, GEO, Condé Nast Traveler, STANFORD magazine, and Sunset. His work can be viewed at joelsimonimages.com.


Jane Kriss has over 40 years of experience in the visual arts, with a career spanning graphic design, fabric design, fine art, and illustration. Her work can be viewed at janekriss.com.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.