SYLLABUS


Digital Photography II, (III)

Albertus Magnus College
Jerry Nevins, Professor
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773-8546, office

 

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Course Overview:

Digital Photography II affords you further opportunity to refine and extend the skills of photographic seeing Digital Photography I. This class will push you towards working on greater challenges both technical and aesthetic. As you advance, you need to identify what tools and technical and aesthetic challenges, you'll be working with to accomplish your visual goals.

Portfolio work

This Semester or Mod I am proposing a two track approach to your portfolio work.

Track 1.    At the heart of the creative process is a desire to express an inner necessity... to realize a body of work that is important and to you. My role is to identify, clarify, enable and support you in that process. In the first week, you will choose a project to work on based on both an expansion of your technical skills and a refinement of your aestheic awareness of contemporary photographic practice. You will identify artists who are already working in the mode you want to explore in order to realize the strongest possible work you are capable of.

(Translation.... You will take you work beyond the basics in the tradition of fine art photography. In order to do this, you need to study up on contemporary or historical art photographers. A good place to begin is to click through many of the links in the "Essential Photography Links" section from my home page. What interests you? What do you think you could pull off given the time we have together over the next 8 (16 for day class) weeks? Post ideas starting in Week 1 to the blog. Get feedback from me and other students in the class... The possibilities are vast and endless. Since you don't have that much time to sit on it, you need to be committeed to your project and begin work on it in week 2.)

Track 2.   Use the semeter to explore a variety of ways of working broken up into 2 week segments. This is a topical approach. One or more segments could explore a technical issues such panoramic photography, time exposure work, night photography, etc. New camera? Learn about technical issues of aperture, shutter, depth of field, in order to extend your technical ability to .... fill in the blank....Moving water that looks like fog.... night time ambient light....There are dozens of possibilities.



Some possiblities you might explore:

-Street shooting... use of the accidental in a close urban environment using your point and shoot camera. Study the work of Henri Cartier Bresson.... understand the possibilities for shooting in an intuitive, quick and fluid way. Embrace the accidental, edit for the sublime. Also study the work of Bruce Davidson, Gary Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Walker Evans.

"In photography, creation is a quick business — an instant, a gush, a response — putting the camera up to the eye's line of fire, snatching with that economical little box whatever it was that surprised you, catching it in midair, without tricks, without letting it get away. You make a painting at the same time that you take a photo." Henri Cartier Bresson

Take you photos without looking through your viewfinder for a new, exciting perspective. Hold the camera at hip level and shoot away as you make yourway down a crowded urban street.

Start here for an excellent introduction to the genre at Luminous Landscape. Define a project that is limited by a specific theme. Fall is an excellent time to visit numerous fairs in Connecticut... take a look at this photo essay on the theme "The Midway" Browse through the list of art photography magazines at the left. Find a body of work that resonates with you... show it to me or send me the link.

Here is a discussion in the NY Times on the shift towards privacy and the ethics of photographing strangers in a public place. Please read if you are considering this genre.

The Metaphor...Doorways, passageways both literal and metaphoric...Other metaphors?  What did Stieglitz mean by the term "Equivalents"? Study the portfolios of Minor White and Paul Caponigro.

Link:  Paul Caponigro.. Numerous links here to his work.

BOOKS    Minor White : Rites & Passages
                  Minor White : The Eye That Shapes Peter C. Bunnell, Paperback

Landscape as metaphor... as poetry

-Social -documentary photography... exploring political, environmental and social themes such as homelessness, aging, pollution and the environment, work etc. Study...
W. Eugene Smith,

Sebastião Salgado,

Robert Capa

 

Intimate portraiture of family members...

Richard Avedon Numerous links to follow on Avedon.
Joyce Tenneson.. Intimate portraits of women.
William Wegman... Man Ray and other dogs.....
Chuck Close... Over sized segmented Polaroids

"Make your beloved the subject of a portrait revealing their spirit; show us what it is about them that has captivated you. Love comes in many shapes and sizes. Show us who you love at jpgmag.com/themes/12."

Wonderful video from DPreview on photographing pets...

Many more themes here.

Formalism. Related to "The Constructed Photograph"

The Constructed Photography.

Cindy Sherman... staged tableaux
Olivia Parker. "For twenty years I have constructed what I photograph in the studio, combining objects and surfaces into new entities by the manipulation of light, space, and photographic materials." OP
Alexander Rodchenko Russian Constructivist early 20th Century Images
Gregory Crewdson
(Images)

Through The Window.

Look out of a car / airplane / train window, when something catches your eye and you reach for the camera. Include a reference to the window that frames the shot.....

Through the window at JPEG Magazine....

Look at JPEG Magazine's list of possible Themes.... they have some excellent ideas and work submitted by its readers is excellent.


The list could go on and on... each student must commit to a theme by the end of the first week of the course and stay with it to a create coherent, strong portfolio.

Browse through the extensive list of gallery and museum links for photography located on my home page entitled "Essential links for Photo students.  Find work you appreciate Post comments baout it on the class blog. This is an excellent way to refine your thinking about your project. Do you have the technical resources to engage your project? Do you have the necessary time, money, etc? Have you bought new equipment that you'd really like to explore in depth?

Academic Expectations:

Post at least twice a week to the class blog. Care about the quality as well as quantity of your creative work, help and collaborate with others in the class, communicate openly with me…. Do your best. Your portfolio posted to Google Drive and the class blog will be the tangible evidence of your progress in the medium but your overall contributions will play a role in determining your grade as well. Don't wait until near the end, then run around and try to get your work done in a rush... that's like skipping class all semester. Go shooting each week, post each week, let me track your progress on your fotothing.com portfolio. You may keep working on earlier assignments until the end. You may replace earlier work with newer work you like better. Your final grade is based on "The Big Picture", that is, how well you have tried to understand the assignment and worked to create pieces reflecting the spirit of the task at hand, your progress in the medium, your contributions through posting comments on other's work on the class blog as well as on fotothing, Effort counts!

The portfolio will consist of 60 or more high quality digital files posted to your fotothing portfolio.

Special Needs and Accommodations: Please advise the instructor of any special problems or needs at the beginning of the semester.. Those students seeking accommodation based on disabilities should provide documentation.

Tradition of Honor: As a member of the Albertus Magnus College Community, each student taking this course agrees to uphold the principles of honor set forth by this community, to defend these principles against abuse or misuse and to abide by the regulations of the College. In art work, that means you have taken all of your photographs and have not appropriated any of the images presented as your own.

Tradition of Respect: In our class: 1) Everyone is allowed to feel they can work and learn in a safe and caring environment; 2) Everyone learns about, understands, appreciates, and respects varied races, classes, genders, physical and mental abilities, and sexualities; 3) Everyone matters; 4) All individuals are to be respected and treated with dignity and civility; and 5) Everyone shares the responsibility for making our class, and the College, a positive and better place to live, work, and learn.

Tradition of Respect: In our class: 1) Everyone is allowed to feel they can work and learn in a safe and caring environment; 2) Everyone learns about, understands, appreciates, and respects varied races, classes, genders, physical and mental abilities, and sexualities; 3) Everyone matters; 4) All individuals are to be respected and treated with dignity and civility; and 5) Everyone shares the responsibility for making our class, and the College, a positive and better place to live, work, and learn.

Technical Requirements:

For Digital:

-A digital camera with usb cable to connect to computer usb port or a card reader, connected to your usb port (preferred).

-A reliable internet connection from home. Broadband is preferred and is cheaper than dial up for most people at this point.

-A Pentium IV CPUor a dual core cpu, windows computer running Windows XP or Windows 7 You should have at least 1 gb of RAM. (2 for Win 7) Your browser should be Chrome, Internet Explorerv.6.0/7.0 or Firefox. You will need to install the shockwave flash player plug-in available free here in order to view the video tutorials I have created for you.

-Know how to install software, create online accounts, upload text and images, and how to save your work into folders on your computer and how to locate and browse to those folders to retrieve it.

Suggested Reading:

Basic Techniques of Photography, John Schaefer, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1992

Beyond Basic Photography.- Henry Horenstein, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1977

On Photography, Susan Sontag, The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1977

Cape Light, Joel Meyerowitz, New York Graphic Society, Boston, 1978

American Prospects, Joel Sternfeld



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